22 May 2008

Double the fun!

2 post in one day. This is pure insanity. More introspections than actually about travelling or eating but these were things on my mind I thought should be put out there. Enjoy. Please comment on them. Because I don't want to communicate with you otherwise...joking!

If you are bored you can play me in this game it's free and kinda sweet if you like MMORPGs

world of kung fu

Is it hot in here or is it me?

I am finally acclimated to my new surroundings down here in Wakayama. My jobs are close by so commuting isn't a problem (yeah for Icarus, my blue bike, handed down to me by a former room mate). I'm finding good places to eat. Not great but good. I am getting to know the locals...well they are getting to know me I think. Everywhere I go I bump into a student from one of the high schools. I say "Hi!" and feebly talk to them in Japanese as best as I can. Sometimes I don't want to be bother so I came up with a solution...

Batman, Superman, Inspector gadget and the like all use secret identities. Batman's is not bad his mask covers most of his face and talking in a husky voice seems to though people off in the movies. Superman is where I took my inspiration from. I can't walk around with a cape and cowl. So Superman hides his Super-identity with glasses. Simple and genius. Clark Kent could never be mistaken as Superman not with those dorky glasses. So I bought of pair of fashionable frames that have just plain lens in them. If anything, I feel like when I put them on after I get off work I am a different person. Therefore, maybe people think I am a different person. Of course, It doesn't always work.

I went to go grab a quick bite for dinner and as soon as I sat down some lady came up to me and started talking to me. She just wanted to practice her English.........and practice......I am too nice to tell her to go away. I figure a lot people here don't get to interact with Non-Japanese very much so I entertain sometimes. My small way of helping to open the closed minds of most Japanese. Anyway, this lady went on and I should've noticed but she was a little off. And then she told me herself she was mentally disabled...and then I really just wanted to leave. On the other side I did meet another American today. In my neighborhood of all places!?! He was walking by with his son and dog. In that instance, I didn't mind being "recognized". Maybe Andrew with glasses will become more recognized than regular Andrew...maybe I am just being egotistical.

Big fish in a big pond? or Big fish in a little pond? uhh, it's the same fish isn't it?

Balance is the way of life....as I sit here and stuff my face with cookies.

The last bastion for late nights and no trains

I have been in Japan for almost a year now (next week Friday will be the "anniversary"). I have be able to easily adapt to almost all the situations that I have run into here, be they good or bad. I sense myself being a little jaded sometimes. However, there is one thing here in Japan that will always remind me how innovative the Japanese are, Internet Cafes.

I have seen but not entered one in the US and Canada. They seem pretty dingy and are where you would expect to find computer trolls hiding from the daylight. Most people in the US just bring there laptop where ever and find a wi-fi spot (like a coffee shop or library) or just use what they have at home. That kind of thing is few and far between here in Japan. It's convenient for the American lifestyle but Japan is Japan. And their lifestyle is different.

Normally, to travel I take a train or my bicycle (or even rarer the bus). The trains here stop around midnight and start up again around 5am. So if you happen to miss the last train. You have a few options. 1) stay at the bar or restaurant you were at because they usually stay open all night. 2) Take a taxi...and have to deal with the taxi driver who pretends he doesnt know how to get to the next station and then charges you a ridiculous fare. (Taxi drivers aren't the same anywhere you go.) 3) and my favorite choice, the Internet cafe.

For a small fee of about $10 or 1200 yen , you can get use of the facilities. This includes a huge selection of comic books (I never bother with them but if you like japanese comics you can always find something you like), all you can drink fountain drinks (sometimes beer can be purchased and sometimes all you can eat soft ice cream!!!), you can order food (hit or miss on the deliciousness), of course you can use a computer, or take a shower, or use the massage chairs, or just crash in you booth until morning comes.

The reason I bring all this up is because the other night I missed the last train. The trains here in the countryside end quite earlier. So, I was lucky enough to find an Internet cafe and not have to curl up with the homeless in their rather shabby chic blue tarped mansions. After feeling down about missing the train, my spirits where brought up when I entered my booth and curled up to some internet TV.

It's one of those "only in Japan" experiences as some people say here. If you come we'll miss a train and stay at one. or just go to one during th day but that's not as much fun.