Thursday, January 22, 2004

I had heard about this movie called The Passion of the Christ that was directed by Mel Gibson (at first I thought Mel Gibson was playing the part of Christ in it...hehe) and is coming out sometime around late February. I didn`t really think much of it, but today, I saw the trailer on Yahoo! and it actually looked pretty good. Then I noticed that there were....subtitles? Not a bit of English to be heard anywhere, so I read up on the movie and apparently, it`s going to be entirely in Latin and Aramaic, the language spoken in Judea at that time. I think that`s really awesome. Pope John Paul II is said to have previewed it and said "It is as it was". Whether it`s exactly how it happened will never be known, but the linguist in me is pretty excited that they are using the authentic languages. I also think it`s a pretty daring move since many Americans are adverse to subtitles (whatever). However, I read that they were thinking about not putting in any subtitles at all...they probably figured that since "everyone" knows the story that they`ll figure out what`s happening. Now, as much as I am all for authenticity, I personally would like at least a little bit of subtitlage. Come on...bring on those subtitles...I can take `em on.... ;-)

So needless to say, I now would like to see this movie when I get back to the US...it`s even a movie that I can take my mother to and know that she will absolutely love it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

About my bicycle...

Sometime around November, my bicycle was towed away by the police. I had parked it next to Daiei, where I had parked it for the last year without any problem. It had always been pretty safe to park next to Daiei as long as you didn`t leave it overnight, and even then you could get away with it. Then, around October, they set up these bike stands that require you to pay. I figured that no one was going to be as stupid as to fork over money for them because there was still plenty of space to put your bike elsewhere. But all of the sudden, when I finished work one day, *poof!*, it was gone. My bike, which had transported me through heat, wind, and rain, through good times and bad times. Fortunately, now I live near enough to the eki that I can easily walk to work, so it wasn`t urgent for me to get my bike back. A few weeks later, I received a postcard which I understood to say that my bike was being held at a certain address and that I had until January 31st to pick it up and had to pay a 3,000 yen (30 dollars approx.) fine. I thought about picking it up but now that I am leaving, it would be more trouble than it`s worth. It would be one more thing I would have to give away/get rid of...so I will just gently let it go....*sigh* I wish I could have given it a better fate, especially after all the use I got out of it...I`m gonna miss that bike of mine!

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Stay tuned for the December Chronicles...
The November Chronicles, Part IV

My birthday...Nov. 28th-29th

I want to write about my birthday before I let too much time pass by. It wasn`t as wild or as exciting as my 23rd birthday (my 23rd birthday, oh my...) but overall, I had a really good time. I started celebrating my birthday on the 28th of November, when I invited my coworkers to go out to an izakaya after work. I wanted to something with my coworkers for my birthday but didn`t think they would quite mix with a bunch of Japanese university students, so since we had been going out to drink after work a lot around that time, I figured that my birthday would be just another excuse. We went to Kitchen Bar Den, where I had gone twice before...the first time with KM and his friends and the second time for the Poplar party. Afterwards we were joined by KM, TH, and NY, who weren`t able to make it to my birthday celebration the next day, so invited them to come to my celebration on Friday. NY surprised me with a pretty bouquet of flowers, TH gave me a cute cell phone strap and KM gave me some chocolate wafers with some really wierd-looking stickers made by his future employer, Lotte. My coworkers had to go home because of work the next day but since I had asked for my birthday off, I joined KM, TH, and NY for karaoke. That evening, I felt that there was some sort of flirtation going on between TH...during karaoke, when TH and NY went to get some more drinks, KM was like, "You should hit on him..." I almost wondered if he noticed anything going on between us or even if TH had told him anything....

Anyway, by the time I got home, it was around 3 or 4 am. Thankfully I had the entire day to do whatever I wanted...this was a rare treat for a Saturday. But I mostly ended up running errands, cleaning my bathroom, and getting ready for my celebration at a shabu-shabu (traditional Japanese boiled meat) restaurant, where I had made reservations (all by myself!) several days before. I had invited a bunch of my friends from Soka, and one of them, T-san, had suggested the restaurant. She also had assured me that TK would be there, so I went through the trouble of getting him a belated-birthday present. I had made reservations for 7pm but when I got there, no one had arrived yet, and I thought that the Japanese were famous for their punctuality. Actually, no one arrived until almost 7:30. Looking back, I am slightly bitter because I had sent out invitations almost a month in advance and many people told me that they would "absolutely be there"...and many didn`t come even after I sent out another invitation closer to the day of my birthday. And it ended up that TK didn`t show up...absolutely no explanation, except for afterwards (Oh, sorry I couldn`t come, but happy birthday...). I am really grateful to those that did show up...IT, AT, T-san...I don`t mean to sound racist but the all the non-Japanese that said they would come kept their word. I know, I know, it`s just a fact of Japanese culture to be non-confrontational....but I still can`t help feeling slighted....

But anyways, once people did arrive, I had a nice time....and afterwards, some of us headed over to the Irish Pub, where were were joined later on by KY. I guzzled some pretty strong drinks...and received a call from my parents...I hope they didn`t notice that I was buzzed! After a while, there was only me, AT, and PN, the Brazilian exchange student. We started venting about our experiences as exchange students and PN even related a very scary experience she had with the Japanese police....basically she was discriminated against because she is Brazilian. Later on, they walked me back to my apartment. I had a really good time talking to them and had a good time on my birthday overall, inspite of my complaints ;-)

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