Saturday, September 13, 2003

In no other place, besides Japan, is it possible to see men in hot pants. I`m serious. Ok, not totally. You see, on my way to the Internet Cafe, I came across two men who looked like they were wearing what looked like a combination of hot pants and cloth diapers. However, I figured that they were probably dressed as such for some sort of festival or portable-shrine-carrying, because they had bands tied around their heads and shirts with kanji on it. Still....it was just kinda wierd....another "only in Japan" moment.
Dude....or should I say dudette....ya gotta check this site out!

I came across this website/blog that shows pictures of ugly wedding dresses. I think girls might appreciate this more, because, believe it or not, guys, we secretly like to look at wedding dresses in Bridal magazines and try to picture ourselves wearing them ;-) But guys might also get a good laugh and it can serve as a warning of what your fiancee shouldn`t wear to your wedding! ;-)
Presenting....the Language Awards!

The Wierdest Sounding Language E-VER Award (Western Category): German

The Wierdest Sounding Language E-VER Award (Eastern Category): Chinese (all dialects)

The Most Beautiful Sounding Language Award: French

The Most Beautifully Written Language Award: Japanese

The Mother-F****ing Hardest Language to Read and Write EVER Award: Chinese (Honorable Mention: Japanese)

The Most Amount of Useless Letters Award: French (Honorable Mention: English)

If you beg to differ and/or have other suggestions, please let me know!!

Friday, September 12, 2003

Sh**, I was right...What I was afraid of is beginning to happen. I got a call from Y-san (for whom I no longer have feelings for, thank goodness) while at work, inviting me to a "meeting" tonight. I told him I was free after 6, but now I`m gonna have to somehow tell him I can`t go. This really frustrates me...and makes me question everything that happened these past few months. It makes me see things in a different light. All the stuff they did for me...There were motives behind them. It makes me so mad....how could I have been so stupid, so blind? He also invited me to Shinjuku next week, to some theater....but I don`t know if I want to go....I don`t think I should go because I don`t know what else will be going on there. I am beginning to consider "severing ties"....which will be hard, especially after all they did for me, but I refuse to be forced into something I don`t want to do. That person I talked to in Tachikawa was right....

Thursday, September 11, 2003

The danger in dipping your feet in the Asa River

First of all, let me begin with something unrelated: I did something I promised myself I would never do-I talked on the cell phone while driving my bike! It wasn`t too bad because the streets weren`t very crowded though. Anywayz...

Because it was so hot yesterday, and I had plenty of time before work, I decided to dip my feet in the Asa River again. It feel so nice, especially in such hot weather. The cool water and the beautiful day put me in high spirits. So after about a half an hour, I got up. I was all sweaty and had both the sleeves of my shirt and my capris rolled up, but I was in a good mood as I made a small detour to to get my lunchbox that I had forgotten in my bicycle`s basket. Since I have to park my bicycle by building 2 (I live in building 1), I had to pass (or should I say, I chose to pass) my apartment complex`s administrative office. As I was passing it, I heard a voice behind me say "Konnichiwa". I was Mr. K, who is the closest thing to a landlord (I don`t think he owns the apartments--I think he`s more of an administrative head). Now, my dealings with him have gone pretty smoothly and I found him to be a really nice man. Anywayz, he called out to me and of course, I say hi and he asks me where I am coming from. I answered him honestly (now I realize that I shouldn`t have) and said I was next to the Asa River. He looked a little confused so I clarified for him. And then he asks me, "So....been pretty busy at work?".....Now, I knew perfectly well what he was trying to insinuate so I answered, "Well, I don`t have work until the evening" and he said, "Ah, so every day you don`t work until the evening" Now, I have told him several times that my work schedule is different every day and I had to tell him once more. Also, he caught me one morning as I was on my way to work so he knows perfectly well I also work in the mornings. It`s just that I didn`t like that he was basically trying to ask me "Why aren`t you at work?" and that he seemed to be insinuating that I slack off. It`s like, "It`s none of your business what I`m doing with my time."

However, this roundabout insinuating is something that is part of the Japanese culture, as many expatriates in Japan will tell you, so I chalked it up to that....but it still frustrated me. And while I have had difficulties with the Japanese culture...very few truly exasperate me. But for some reason, I felt "mad" at Japanese society for the second time ever since coming to Japan. And then, I started thinking how I was going to go back to the US for good, without a doubt, which got me thinking about what I was going to do with my future. So my spirits took a nosedive and for the rest of the afternoon, I was in a state of depression. I was worried about my future, pissed at the Japanese, frustrated about not being able to sit by the river without scrutiny, frustrated at my lack of a love life, and worried about what was going to happen when T-san and her friend came over later that night. Anywayz, I was staring out the window as the sun was beginning to set...and this is what I had the urge to write:

Looking out my window...

Beyond the station, I see a tall building that is part of a university, which AW, DT, and I would pass by on our way to AW`s apartment or to wherever we were going. The view of southern Hachioji and Machida is blocked by the hills, but the sun is so bright I swear I can see out beyond the hills and I think of how we used to drive over them every weekend in AW`s car. I know now that I was in an unhealthy situation but God, I miss those days. It makes me so sad thinking about what happened...

I was so down that I started thinking about that situation that I referred to above. But anyway, I straightened myself up as best I could and headed off to work. I had to classes and fortunately, I taught two students that I got to know well before going back home, so I had a very good two classes and my spirits were lifted again. Now, how often do you hear of being in a good mood because of work? :-)

Anyway, later that night, T-san and her friend YS came over to my apartment because, according to T-san, YS wanted some English practice, but I was worried that perhaps they had some other intentions (which I won`t go into here). But things went pretty well. We talked about all sorts of things in both Japanese and English. I told them about my crush on TK and after the left, I had hopes up about him (lately I had lowered my hopes about him)...I figured that at least I have this fantasy to hold on to. Anyway, T-san mentioned that she would like to come again, and I told her I didn`t mind, which I don`t....I don`t mind company but now I wonder if indeed, she does have other intentions that she plans to carry out in a series of visits...I don`t know....it`s just that after talking to someone in Tachikawa about this, I have become pretty paranoid about it lately.

Anywayz, after I leave this Internet cafe, if it is hot enough, I plan to dip my feet into the Asa River again ;-)

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

It`s been one year...

Yes, one year ago today...As I was writing this (12am Sept. 10th), it was one year to the very hour since I boarded that plane, feeling buzzed from the aspirin I took, not knowing what the hell the future held for me (not that I know any better now ;-)). And right now, as I am typing this, it was one year, almost to the hour since I arrived at Narita. Then came the long waiting at immigration, then DT and JF being the very first people I met. Little did we know...but that`s another story. Who would have known that I would still be here one year later? Where am I going to be one year from now??

On a related note, the new exchange students arrived last night. That`s all I know for now. But I am looking forward to meeting the UD students and hanging out with them and KM!
Anyway, I finally did it...I dipped my feet into the Asa River! I had meant to do it ever since moving into my apartment and I promised myself I would do it before it got cold. After all, I live right next to the river, so I have been tantalized by it every day, especially on hot days. It just begs for feet to be dipped into it. Anyway, I was on my way back from the Internet cafe when I decided to do it. I had to find the perfect spot to sit on, which wasn`t easy considering that the river is embanked by steeply inclining walls. The water was a bit cold at first, but afterwards, it felt oh so nice! I just sat there for a while, eating my German Bacon-flavored Pringles. The Owada bridge and the blue sky with thick white clouds were on my left and the astounding view of the mountains (that are within Hachioji city limits, I believe) on my right. Finally, I got the chance to test the waters of the river that greets me with a gurgle every day. I just hope I get a chance to do so again before it gets cold because once it gets cold, I may never get the opportunity again.
For the second night in a row, they`ve played a cheesy, elevator-music version of "Mr. Lonely", along with some spoken narrative (you expect me to understand it!?) on the radio station I`ve been listening to. I guess it`s a regular part of their radio program. But must they torment me with sad, sappy songs like "Mr. Lonely"?? Well, at least now they`re playing a cheesy, elevator-music version of "Norweigan Wood" (how dare they butcher the Beatles like that!?). I swear, they play a LOT better music before midnight!

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