It's summer in the city and it's hot hot hot. Actually, I love the hot weather but my skin definitely doesn't and has gone crazy. Am hoping it'll calm down anyway.
The summer has been fun so far. I'm a little sad I'm getting less holiday than I had in previous years (different branch of company, different set up).
Anyway, a lot of the summer, actually a lot of the time since moving into the gaijin house has been spent with a core 'family' and has been a lot of fun. I need to get some photos of the house. It's VERY old, but full of character. And characters, for that matter. There's twelve people living here currently:
One Japanese guy who speaks no English and doesn't seem to really speak much to the Japanese people in the house or ever use the kitchen or anything.
One couple: he, Australian, hates everyone; she (his wife), Japanese, lovely girl. Bit of an odd set up (seven years in a gaijin house in a 4 mat room, but still).
Then there's a French and a German girl who share a room, who haven't been here so long. The French girl is pretty friendly. The German girl seems a little grumpier with us.
Then there is a lovely Taiwanese girl, who's kinda barking, but pretty cool. She hangs out with us in the house sometimes but hasn't ever been out with us.
And then the family: three Japanese guys, a Dutch guy, a German girl and me. They're all insane. Apart from me. Actually, the third Japanese guy just joined the 'family' and is still a bit of a cousin. Us others cook together or for each other quite a bit, drink and hang out in the house and go and do things in the evenings and at the weekends.
I really thought I'd hate living in a shared house, as I've lived with so many basket cases in the past, but this is a fun set-up AND I do have my own kitchen, which is a bonus for me!
Anyhoo, some family photos:-
This is Eras, the hot Dutchie, pissing around with the easily corruptible Shuji-kun, who seems to have picked up a LOT of very bad language recently - I can't imagine why, in Yoyogi Park.
Can you spot the flatmates in this picture? The lovely, but completely insane, Anke (from Germany) with the cool Masato - who occasionally allows me to practice speaking French with him. Again, total nutter - but not caught up with the others. Yet. This was in the Benetton shop in Harajuku.
Anti-social nutters: Masato and Kate enjoying a quick cigarette while the rest of us sweated away over Ramen in 45 degree temperatures. Well, it felt like it. I mean, who eats ramen on a hot day? Actually, a LOT of people. This was a famous ramen restaurant in Ebisu.
Er, do you think I should tell Anke and Eras this isn't how you're meant to use chopsticks, or just leave them to it?
We have a lot of fun together anyway but, very very sadly, both Eras and Anke are leaving in August, and Kate is pissing off to England for six weeks. Maybe August will be a quiet month?
Actually, it probably won't be!
Last week I went to the 'Alice in Wonderland' restaurant in Ginza - walking past the huge H&M building which is due to open in September... got VERY excited! The restaurant was pretty cool too, although maybe not 'Alicey' enough. The waitresses were dressed up in Alice costumes, the chairs had bunny tails on the back and a lot of the food (which was nice) came in various guises such as a Caterpillar sushi roll, a beautifully crafted mock turtle shell and salad, lots of faces and bits and pieces.
At the weekend we had a house barbecue party in Futogoshinchi which was filled with awesome people, great food and lots of booze and nipple touching. Pretty standard stuff really. I've not taken those pictures off my camera yet but will.
On the subject of which, did I mention I've started a new blog for photos? Am slowly getting it sorted with all the pictures I've taken in the last four years. Could take some time but will give you the link soon.
After the barbecue, around 7pm-ish, we headed back to Shinjuku for a quick drink or two. Got home around 7.30am after a five-hour bargain karaoke session for 1980 yen! and we could take our own drinks from the conbeni. Lots and lots of fun.