Monday, September 19, 2005

My Dream is Relaxed

Sapporo food
Karaoke, Hidemi and Jenny
Owen, Lindsay, and me

Much has happened since my last post. I don't really expect that I'll always write about everything but I'm hoping once I get pictures up, I'll have to do less talking. This weekend was truly wonderful I must say. On Saturay, Jenny, David, Ryuta,Hidemi, and I went out for Hidemi's birthday. We went to the Sapporo restaurant which is right next to the Sapporo brewery. We didn't catch the tour but we did have a beautiful view of the bay and sunset. Dinner was ridiculous! We got the buffet meal and had all you can eat and drink. The tables had bbq grills in the center of them. The five of us definately ate and drank our money's worth and managed to play several drinking games (Pin, Pom, Pan/ Fuzzy Duck/ and 31) in between mouthfuls of Sapporo, lamb (sorry little lambs!), and veggies. After dinner it was off to icecream and karaoke...the pictures are worth a 1,000 words! On Sunday, I met up with Martine, she worked with my brother at a cafe in our home town of Boonton. She is teaching English with GEOS and I gather it's very different than my work situation. It's a bigger company with more teachers and is spread out over a much larger area in Japan. The teachers come from all over the world. I met many of them on Saturday when Martine invited me to a Jamaican BBQ at her friend's house in Machida. Her friend, Greg, is thinking of opening a Jamaican restaurant in Tokyo and I sure hope he does because the food was delicious! Before we got to his house we came face to face with a festival. There were women, men, and children dressed in bright costumes. They were singing, dancing, and playing the was amazing to see! Of course I took pictures! The party was nice but the real partying happened afterwards. Around 6-ish, most of us trekked to the station to go to Fujisawa for some bar hopping. There were about 20 of us in the group. My friend Lindsay, a gal from Minnesota whom I met in Tokyo on the birthday weekend, met up with us there. I didn't go too crazy drinking..for one, I'm making a half-hearted attempt to save money...hah! For two, I drank entirely too much Sapporo the night before on Hidemi's birthday. I did manage to lose an earing and a headband..I'm learning to accept this handicap of mine. Martine's friend, Corinne, was sweet enough to let us sleep at her place in Fugisawa. The next day, Martine, her friend Owen, and I made a semi-epic voyage to the train station to go home. Along the way, we stopped for breakfast in a Denny's/Friendly's style restaurant. The food was very strange and un-breakfast like by our western standards but the coffee was amazing the the music playing made us feel like muppet babies. Actually, it was quite similar to the song you'd hear when Pee Wee Herman would get on his magic red bicycle and fly off to the credits of his TV show back in the 80' I miss that show! Anyway, we all felt like we were dreaming somehow...especially when we walked by a motorcycle shop that had real spider monkeys and Tucans dancing around in cages. We walked further until I spied a sweet little puppy staring out of a store front window at me. I had to go in and say cute! After a quick hello, we left only to discover a vintage guitar shop. Vintage guitars are right up there with cute puppies so, once again, I had to go in. I couldn't resist! We met the coolest Japanese man named, Kenichi Kamei. He played the banjo for us and showed me a mini koto. I ended up buying a Tai Sho Koto for about $100. It is small like a dulcimer but you press buttons (which make chords) and you strum the strings. I have no idea how to tune it but I hope to find out somehow. Kenichi Kamei plays in a surf style rock band (think, the Ventures)and I plan on seeing him perform in the future. I would go see him on Oct. 8th but I have managed to book a show that night! My first show in Tokyo will be at a venue called Bar Drop. I'll be playing with some other Japanese bands I met through myspace. I'm really excited. I'm going to try posting some pictures now!

Friday, September 02, 2005


Kuwaii (left)
Kowai (right)

I think I've finally figured out the difference between "Ku-wai-e"(sounds like Hawaii) and "Ko-wai" (please excuse the misspellings) The first means cute, atleast I hope it does because a few Japanese boys said I was "Kuwaiee" tonight. They were drunk. The second means "scary"..I believe I accidently told a student that her shoes were scary yesterday. Kate-sensei when will you ever get it right? Tomorrow I go to Tokyo! Yea birthday fun!