I've been here 8 months now, and hasn't it flown by? Actually, this blog has been going for 10 months and I've not run out of things to say yet!
So, in the essence of randomness had an interesting exchange on the train. Now, Japanese people are polite and modest, and often refuse things they really want out of politeness. So, the other day, I was on a train. A seat became available and I saw an old man standing up and indicated the seat to him. He motioned for me to sit down. I motioned that he should. This went back and forward for about 4 refusals each before he said he was getting out next station. So I sat. Still wasn't sure whether to continue insisting though. But then again, I've seen the oldies here thrusting their way through crowds to take possession of an empty seat.
I've mentioned the cosplay thing before - where youngsters dress up as Goths or dolls or whatever else costume they can get their hands on, and pose around up in Harajuku. Wellllll.... the other day I saw a Westerner dressed in a Little Bo Peep outfit. Boy did she ever look stupid. Especially near where I live.
I've recently started using a couple of different places to park my bike. This of course means I have to actually remember where I dumped it. It also means I spend a lot of time being confused and wondering around trying to find it.
August holiday I'm going to Hong Kong! I'm very excited and paid the deposit today. I can plan now...
A couple of weeks ago I started proper Japanese lessons. I get one group and one private one every week. They're great! The language is starting to sink in. Sentences are starting to be formed in my brain. Shame my memory isn't better though! Or my confidence to use it. But that'll come.
The schitzophrenic weather is going loopy here. Some days are bright, hot and sunny. Others are grey and it pisses it down. So it's either too hot or too wet. And it's not even rainy season or summer yet! I've been drenched twice in the last week. Not fun.
Saturday night I went to a beer garden at the top of Parco (a huge department store) in Ikebukuro. It was nomi tabehodai (stuff yer face with as much food and booze as you can in two hours) and it was a really chilled out place to be. Unlike most of these where you can only drink as much as they get around to bringing you. This was serve yourself. And wooeee were some of their drinks strong. Unfortunately they didn't warn us before clearing it all away. Naturally, this was another night that ended in karaoki. Barbie Girl is definitely my song of choice at the moment. It's over taken my other regulars. Of course, it does all depend on Ken...
We had an American with us who doesn't live here. He pointed out they took credit cards. So odd. In the UK I used my cards the whole time. Here I'm totally used to carrying cash and using it for everything. I did find it a bit odd at first though. But so few places take cards there's no real choice and I've not thought about it in months.
Another bizarre fashion I've been seeing for months, is men with towels wrapped around their heads. I can offer no further comment nor hazard a guess as to why. It's just -- odd. That's all.
Many Westerners complain about not being able to find shoes that fit here. So far I've been okay when I've needed footwear. What's struck me recently though, especially as sandal wearing season is here, is just how many Japanese girls also can't seem to get shoes to fit properly. Lesson in shoe wearing - the whole of the underneath of your foot should be in contact with your shoe. Toes should not be dangling from the sides. Got it?
Final note: my contract is being renewed at the end of this year and I told my boss I want to stay for two more years.