Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun...

The past three days have been absurd, absolutely crazy. Let's start with Monday. The beginning of the week we celebrated President's Day. Fabulous! I got to stay home, organize the house (yet still manage to be a bum) and just do what I wanted. I was all by my lonesome, so I took myself out to a nice meal of awesome Ramen within walking distance of the house. No complaints about Monday. I baked the landlord and his family brownies and blueberry muffins and went to go give them to them (along with the FSU hat I bought for him). Well no one was home but I didn't want to wait until the next day so I went back to my house and translated and english note into Kanji so that I could leave it on his doorstep with the gifts. Well, not 2 hours later, the doorbell rings (I didn't know it was a doorbell but I happened to be on the phone with Alex at the time and he knew what it was) and I pulled on some pants and went to the door. The landlord came over with his entire family to meet me officially. He brought his wife, son, and two adorable grandsons. The learned a few english phrases to greet me and I had learned a few Japanese ones for them. They loved the gifts. It was so nice to meet them.

Tuesday was just dumb. I've never referred to an actual day as dumb, but Tuesday definitely was dumb. I'll Cliff Notes it for you:
  1. Hit the snooze button for the first time in my life, causing me to wake up 15 minutes later than I normally would. (Which offset my entire day- I'm anal retentive like that).
  2. Could NOT get my keys to work in my new bike (yes, I got a bike this weekend. And for those of you who haven't heard already, I suck at biking. I havent been on one since i was in my early teens and I am sooooo bad at it. I almost ran over TWO pedestrians today - Gomen nasai). So I was forced to walk to the train station to get to work. 
  3. I took my train to another train (typical) and then went to my final destination of Soubudaimae station. The station closest to wear I work, less than a half mile. Well, you know me, somehow I manged to get myself completely lost in that less than half mile between the station and base. I took a wrong path and went completely UNDER the base and all the way around again. Finally a coworker called to see where I was (I had no clue) and said he would come pick me up. I walked around for another 5 minutes before I realized where I was and finally got on the direct road to base,  and found my coworker! I walked at least 5 miles on Tuesday. Because I had to walk home from my train station, because of the not-being-able-to-unlock-bike-this-morning thing. 
So Tuesday was dumb....
Today was a hoot. (Yes, I said "a hoot," get over it.) I biked to the train station (after finally realizing that I mixed up the mail box keys for my bike keys (damnit, they looked the same). When I try and park my bike at the station, the flipping parking thing doesn't want to work for me. (Side note: when you park your bike at a station there are little padlocks that clasp down over your wheel so you keep your parking spot all day and then pay for your time there when you return.) I ended up having three different Japanese people try and help me with my bike (turns out that the specific parking area I was using doesn't open until 9am- so I use a different one tomorrow that opens earlier). But the lady that (bless her heart) was trying to help me spoke no English at all. And you all should already know that my mastery of the Japanese language is still a work in progress. But she eventually conveyed to me that she worked next to train station and would lock my bike up at 9am when it opened. (Yes, I believed her. No, I'm not gullible. In Japan, your word is your bond and I absolutely believed that she would help.)

Then I got on the train for work.  Waited at the station this time for my coworker, mainly because I didn't want to get lost and have to walk through the tunnel of doom again. And worked all day. Got a one month pass on and off base until my actual military card comes in - which makes things a lot easier on myself and my coworkers. Then I got a ride home from my boss. Well, I got a ride to the train station to get my bike so I could ride home.

I made it about 500 yards before I got hungry and thirsty (btdubs, I am so out of shape) so I stopped at a local restaurant. BEST DECISION I'VE EVER MADE!!! I walk in an I get the typical "ahhhh, so tall" from a few people there (this place only holds like 12 people at the max). But the difference this time was that everyone wanted to talk to the "blonde gajin" (blonde foreigner). I met a girl named Keiko (Cake) (I say girl because she looked like she was my age but claimed to be 44 with a daughter who is 20), who was eating and drinking there and Hide (He-day) and Nori (Nor- eee) who worked at the place. Turns out that Keiko was pretty awesome at understanding and relaying my English (and poor excuse for Japanese) to everyone at the bar/restaurant. She had me hysterically laughing a lot. Hide and Nori kept bringing me yakitori (yah-kih-tour-eee) meat on a stick) and whiskey lemons (highballs) and biros (beeros- Asahi beers). Oh my goshimas it was awesome. I was only there about an hour and a half but I definitely made my mark on the neighborhood. I was invited to a volleyball game on Friday. "7-9pm we play. 9pm until whenever, we DRINK!!!" is what I was told. So apparently I need to attend this volleyball game on Friday so I don't lose face or disgrace anyone in my area. I am so excited! Eventually I decided to go home and crawl into my bed... so I asked for the bill to pay and leave. 960 yen. 960 yen total! For 3 beers, 2 whiskey lemons, and 4 yakitori sticks. That's about $10USD. I love that place. I will be back. And I can't wait for volleyball.

That's it for the past 3 days. I'm exhausted.



PS. I spied on the neighbor's cat tonight. That thing is loud. It hangs out by the landlord's door and caterwauls until he feeds it/lets it in/kicks it/etc. But I had never seen it before... so I grabbed a vending machine beer and stalked it. That thing is huge. I may actually be afraid of it. 

1 comment:

  1. GO TO THE VOLLEYBALL GAME! The best thing that happened to me in Japan was making friends at a local restaurant. So many people meet their "Japanese family" that way. Mine was a Ramenya, and this just reminded me that I need to send them souveneers.

    It sounds like you're doing a great job making a good impression. Thanks, blondezilla. :) I can't be in Japan anymore to hold the fort, so it's good to see that someone is doing an awesome job.

    Let me know if you need any help with Japanese, or travel ideas/suggestions. I'm actually working for a travel agency now that I'm back. I promise I won't try to sell anything to you unless you want me to. ;) My Japanese isn't perfect, but I'm conversational.

    If you're ever in a tight spot with Japanese, or need a suggestion or explanation, tweet me @marksmaster or @JTA_inc.