Being awesome, made to look easy.



About bloody time

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Ok, firstly you may notice that I have reverted my post back to it's previous lovely style.  This is in the (possibly naive) hope that Blogger has sorted out that annoying spambot problem.  I guess I'll find out soon enough.

Anyway, here is the long awaited post that many of you/some of you/one of you have/has been waiting for.  I apologise for the fact that this has taken so long and that this blog really hasn't served the function I intended it for, which was to keep you all up to date with my adventures.

Firstly,  I will point out that, after a considerable degree of coercion, I have decided to start using my MySpace page more frequently (more so than once every 3 months at any rate) - so I suggest you all join and add me as a friend, so that I look popular and awesome and am encouraged to use it more.  You can find me here.

As far as my adventures are concerned, I haven't been doing too much I suppose.  I have settled into some sort of routine - well, kind of.  

I still have the same girlfriend, Saori, who is most fantastical, but will be moving to Canada at the end of the month - which is most lame for me, but I am sure she'll have an awesome time.

I have finally been able to control my spending at last, so am no longer broke all the time.  This is even after I spent a load of cash buying myself an Xbox 360, a widescreen LCD HDTV and a big hard drive to store all my glorious stuff.  Unfortunately, next month I have to drop about £100 just to renew my passport - which is utterly lame.  Especially as it costs my American friends less than £20 to renew theirs.  UK smells.

In terms of weather, things are finally starting to look up here.  It's starting to get warmer now, which was a very sudden change and the days are starting to get a bit longer, which is nice.  Strangely enough though, even in the midst of summer, it still gets dark here around 7:30pm - which is a bit rubbish really as I love the long days.  Then again, summer here does tend to have all the qualities of poo on a stick - overly hot, humid and long.  Still, atleast I get to enjoy spring time before the horror of summer befalls me.

Talking of spring time - I may very well possibly perhaps maybe have plans for this spring.  In April, my housemate Don is going to do a 5 day tour of western Japan, including Hiroshima, Osaka and Kyoto.  So, if it looks like it won't cost me too much coin then I will join hm and should be able to get some amazing pics.  I will have to get my video camera fixed for that one so I can share with you some tacky music videos of traditional Japan.  Also, in May, I plan on climbing Mt Fuji.  This may well prove to be the death of me, but I'm sure it'll be a laugh - or at the very least, a gruelling and unfulfilling activity.  Either way, I'm game.

As far as work goes, all is good.  We got 2 new teachers recently and they have just been kids trained.  As of yesterday, I lost 2 of my kids classes, including one I absolutely hated on friday afternoons.  Now I am down to 7 classes a week and as of April, I should lose 2 more and be down to 5 a week, which will be monkey genius.  I have also started teaching a private student on monday afternoons - she is very nice and it's a little bit of extra income, which is cool.

I am going to stick a load more pictures onto my Flickr account in a moment as well, so you can all check that out if you fancy and see some of the things that I have been up to.

Anyway, I am going to skidaddle now.  I hope this proved vaguely interesting and I will make a definite effort to try and keep this page updated more regularly in future.  I hope you're all well.  Adios.


Back again

7 comments

Hey everyone. Apologies for the distinct abundance of time between my last post and this one. What can I say? I don't spend much time on my computer and when I do it is usually just to listen to music or watch some of the myriad of tv shows that I am trying to keep up with. At the moment I have been watching (in order of priority):

1) Battlestar Galactica (2003)
2) Lost
3) Nip Tuck
4) Desperate Housewives
5) Supernatural
6) Coupling (working my way through it again)

When I finish these I then need to crack into Heroes, House, Prison Break, Naruto and Death Note. Far far too much quality television and not nearly enough free time. That's not to mention all the movies that I currently need to watch as well. Man, life is hard.

So, now to talk about what I do with the bulk of my time as these tv shows are only a very small part of it and I am sure no one really cares about them anyway. I will do it in bullet point style again as that proved rather popular.

1) I got another new housemate. The one who had a acute fascination with plastic bags and the collection there of has now departed. The new housemate is called Danny and is from Essex. I can now add him to my collection... of housemates. I now have a whole 2. The other one, for those of you who can not remember (or maybe I didn't mention it) is called Don and is from Canada. They are both cool and we all get on well. We all have the same free days too (wednesday and thursday) which is cool. We have made a tradition of cooking pancakes on our free days - it is fantastic; pancakes and Futurama.

2) I have ordered a DS-X for my Nintendo DS. For those of you who are unaware what this is, it is a small cartidge for my DS which will allow me to listen to music on it and also "improve" it's gameplaying capabilities. It should arrive any day now - I am most excited. I recommend it for any DS owner. Google it and find out exactly what it can do for you.

3) Teaching is still going well enough. The novelty has worn off to an extent and the mundanity of the routine of going to work 5 days out of 7 is starting to annoy me. But to be fair, I would experience that with any job and need to put up with it till I retire. Bearing that in mind I then remember that my job is considerably more interesting and easier than most, so for that I am grateful. Not to mention that my job allows me to live in Japan, which is ofcourse awesome. I have got alot more kids lessons each week now too, which is not great as I have been given some crappy classes. Still, some of the kids are really good too, so I don't mind it so much.

3) Last night I went to see the new James Bond movie. I was most impressed. I thought Daniel Craig did a very good job of playing a very different style of Bond. It was also a nice way of showing how Bond became the way we know him. In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Now I just need to wait for them to finally send Borat over here - I want. On a side not, before going to see Bond we got Coldstone ice creams. Coldstone is an American company and they make the most sensational ice cream. There will be a mandatory visit there for anyone who comes to visit me.

4) I have decided to treat you with a load of largely unconnected photos which are all long overdue. Enjoy.


- My friend Marie next to an inflatable Santa in Ginza (a famous area in Tokyo).


- Me next to the same inflatable Santa.


- A typical scene in Ginza; large, advertisement-covered, well-illuminated buildings.


- An unnecessarily graphic sign for the toilets at a cinema in Yokohama.


- My friend Yimin holding two large, cuddly, pudding-shaped chairs. What more can I say.


- The beautiful Nintendo Wii. I want one so bad. It is very very tempting to save up, buy a big tv and then get a Wii. Ofcourse if that happens then I will be forced to stay here for 5 years until the next generation of consoles. Although then the whole cycle would probably just start again. Damn you Region Coding!


- A very cool hat I found. I feel "F*CK OFF TEENAGE DESTORY" says everything a young man could possibly want to say. In the end I opted for an even better hat though, which I will post a picture of later. All I can say about it is "DO YOU KHOW MY HEAD?" - all will become clear later.


- My housemate Danny dressed as a monkey at Karoake. We were all smashed and went to Karaoke where we found costumes - so naturally we dressed up immediately. I was a Koala, Ade was Picachu, Anthony was a rabbit (I think), Sam was a happy hamster thing, Jay-Jay was a Tiger - there were other costumes too, but my memory of the night is hazy at best. Good times though.


- Lastly, my friend Keita with my other housemate Don. This was taken on a night out drinking which resulted in far too much straight vodka being drunk. Nasty.

5) The night before last we hosted a houseparty in our apartment which went really well. There was load music, much alcohol and even some break dancing. T'was most great. I suspect there will be many more houseparties in our apartment as it is unique in that, unlike all our friends, we have no neighbours (ie. we live in a stand-alone building with no adjoining apartments) - so we can have loud parties without any complaints from people. This is great as the last house party I went to ended in the police being called out due to noise complaints. We already have a christmas party planned for the flat. My friend Emma is going to come help us decorate the flat appropriately. I will be sure to get some pictures of it for you.

Anyway, I think that is all for now. Sorry that this has taken so long to post. I apologise as well to anyone that has emailed me that I have yet to reply to. I will endeavour to get back to all of you asap. Hope you're all doing well. Adios.


Bonjour

9 comments

Hey. Sorry I have taken so long to update this (again). This is going to be quite a short, half-assed update; but I wanted to put something up on here.

For starters I wanted to apologise for being so crap at keeping in contact with you all. Basically the only time I spend in my flat I am either asleep, getting ready for work or just hungover and not in the mood for chatting on msn. The rest of the time I am out living it up like a king - which is excellent, but it makes keeping in contact with you all more difficult. Still, rest assured that I certainly haven't forgotten any of you and I hope you're all doing well. I often inform my friends here of many of the excellent stories from home in which you have all featured - which probably bored people to death as they haven't met any of you, but that is no concern of mine. Speaking of which - you all need to get yourselves out here. Life here is so much better and more fun than in England and it seems such a shame that you are all missing out, so you really need to get yourselves over here.

Anyway, time for some more bullet point updates - although I can't really think of much.

1) Sweat, sweat, sweat: One thing that sucks big style here is the strange affinity Japanese people have for unreasonably high temperatures. Now that the weather has become nice and mild (mid-November and it had only dropped to 'mild') all the shops and trains have decided that we need the heating on. Not only that, but the average heating temperature is 28 degrees. So basically I can walk about enjoying not sweating for once and then the second I get on a train, it's back to being baking hot. It is utterly lame.

2) Girls: They continue to be fantastic. There are quite a few that I like, which is nice. Things are going quite well with a few of them as well. Many of them will all be at the same party on Sunday, so that should be interesting. It may well all blow up in my face, but I am sure it'll be amusing.

3) Drinking: I am still spending loads of money and getting wasted all the time. It is fantastic. I am learning all the good tricks for getting wasted more cheaply and yet am still spending all my hard earned pennies. Still, I don't mind. This sunday there is going to be a big halloween party at my friend's house just down the road. I am trying to decide on a costume. There will be many beautiful women there in ace costumes which will be nice.

4) Sight seeing: I have done bugger all. I will do some again at some point and get you all some pictures.

5) Teaching: Getting easier all the time - I love this job. Two of the teachers at my branch are leaving in a month or 2 though which sucks as I get on well with them and also it will mean that I will get a shit load more kids classes which will be utterly poor. Still, I just let my kids run wild now as I really don't care if they learn anything or not. Hell, I don't care if they catch fire - as long as they don't bother me and I am still being paid for it.

6) BOOM! I can't think of anything else now as I am a little wasted and want to go to sleep. Adios :)


Bastards

1 comments

I have been forced to change the template on my blog because some stupid spambot things were laying seige to the comment section on one of my previous posts for some reason. This is particularly annoying as everytime someone leaves me a comment, I get an email telling me about it. Unfortunately, even after I told it to stop doing that because the spam was generating a lot of emails for me, it continued to bombard me with emails. So I had no choice but to change the whole template of the blog so that I could have word verification on the comments sections. Needless to say, I am not a happy bunny.

Anyway, below is the video of the Sakuragicho clock as promised. Unfortunately some of the lights were out on the day that this was filmed, but you'll just have to live with it. It goes through this whole light show every half hour and it lasts for 5 minutes, though there is only about 3 minutes of it in the video. It's just another factor contributing to Sakuragicho being one of the coolest places in Japan.


Not for kids

4 comments

I will start off by offering my apologies for my distinctly infrequent posting on this blog. As you have no doubt ascertained, I usually spend very little time actually sitting on the computer and when I am on it, I usually can't be bothered to do anything other than listen to music or watch Peepshow. Anyway, I am spending this weekend (well, wednesday/thursday - my weekend) at home, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to give you an update.

Unfortunately I can't really give you too many details about what I've been doing as most of my memory of the last month is kind of hazy and the few things I can remember, I would rather not have documented records of. Basically I have spent the last month going out pretty much every single night. Until today I had only had 1 drink free day in a month. Said day was sunday, where I had actually vowed to give up alcohol for a week to save money, as funds were running decidely low. That lasted all the way up to monday evening, where I went out with some friends and had all sorts of wonderful adventures. It was a fantastic evening, but unfortunately I somehow decided that it would be a brilliant idea to spend the last of my money buying drinks for everyone I was with. This is why I am having to spend my weekend at home. Fortunately it is payday on friday, which is good as I only had about £7 left. I had enough money for 1 meal today, 1 tomorrow and then my train fare to work on friday. Still, it's all good and it was totally worth it for monday night. I guess I could go into more detail about that one - it's one of my more interesting evenings out, but by no means particulary outlandish when compared to some of the nights I have had.

Ok, so it started at work. I was talking about how I hadn't had any alcohol for 36 hours and how this was totally awesome (well, in theory it was awesome - in actuality it was pretty lame). Shortly after this, I got invited to go for drinks in Yokohama by my friend Yuri, who was meeting up with one of her friends in TGI Fridays. Even though I wasn't planning on drinking again for the rest of the week, I am not one to turn down an invitation out. The invite was extended to Emma and Brian (who I work with) and so we all headed back to our respective homes to go get changed. Wen I got home I decided to have a couple of 'house doubles' as I had bought a big bottle of schmirnoff the other day and figured that it is always a good idea to lay the foundations if one is planning to have a fun evening out. I rapidly discovered that as I hadn't had much vodka for a while that I had apparently lost my taste for it - it was decidedly unpleasant. Then again, I did try and mix about 4 shots worth with a quantity of fruit juice that wasn't much greater. The second one I made definitely went down more easily. Anyway, after those and having got changed I was ready to head out into town.

I met Brian at the Kamiooka station as he also lives here and we often do nights out in Kamiooka. We got to Yokohama and met up with Emma and her boyfriend Alex and then headed to TGI Fridays. We met up with Yuri and her friend, who was very nice. We also bumped into our friend Jon who is a cool American barman who works at an awesome bar right near where I work - we go in there all the time (I now have a tab there and everything). We stayed in TGI's for quite a while and this is where my memory starts to fade. I remember at some point leaving to buy 'street beers'. Well, I say beers - I picked me, Brian and Alex up some chu-hi's. These are disgusting fruit flavoured, alcoholic beverages. I buy these instead of beer because they are 7% instead of 5%. Seems to me that if you are going to drink something cheap and nasty, it might as well be strong. Now my memory becomes very fuzzy. I remember that Brian and Yuri left to get the last train. This had been my original plan as I had the 1pm to 9pm shift the next day and I hate doing that with a bad hangover. Still, as I was having an awesome night and also becoming better acquainted with Yuri's friend, I decided that I would stay out. We went to a convinience store, where I decided that it would be a brilliant idea to buy us all a big bottle of Jinro (some nasty spirit - who knows what it is) and a big bottle of green tea (which works so well at covering up the taste of alcohol - much better than lemonade or fruit juice etc). Unfortunately it wasn't like we had glasses or anything, so I demonstrated the appropriate method of consumption. This involved drinking a large quantity of Jinro straight from the bottle and then quickly following it up with some green tea. I demonstrated this a number of times - just to make sure everyone understood the technique ofcourse. By this point I felt like my head was likely to fall off, so I passed the bottles to Jon and Alex who happily consumed it all between them. The next thing I remember is that we had somehow wandered over to Sakuragicho. Now this is within walking distance of Yokohama, but it must be like 30 minutes or something and I don't remember any of that. I remember that we encountered some guy who was playing the bongos like a king, but by that point I had become otherwise engaged - although I am not going to go into any details about that. Anyway, after a while Alex, Emma and Jon headed off on the walk back to Alex and Emma's house and left us to our own devices. If you've lost track of who is where, then just go back and start reading again - I have no intention on helping you out on this one. Basically, the night continued to be most excellent and I ended up waking up in Sakuragicho right near the big clock/ferris wheel thing - which I will be posting a video of in just a moment. I managed to get a train back, get home for 3 hours sleep and then get to work. Strangely I was feeling most death-like the next morning (well later in the same morning). I was also decidely unpleased to find that I had my end of probation evaluation that day. Still, fortunately I am awesome at my job so I am sure I did fine. I have also become something of a legend in my own time because I go on nights out pretty much every night and yet somehow still have perfect attendance at work - although there have been some occassions where I would definitely have been better off calling in sick. Still, I am determined not to have any days off unless my leg falls off or something.

Anyway, that was a very brief and largely undetailed description of one of my nights out. I guess on the scale of crazy nights out, with 1 being standard fare and 10 being utterly insane, that one probably scores about a 6. To be fair I have left out all the details about the parts of the evening that most appealed to me, but I have no intention of putting those sorts of details on the internet.

Anyway, that aside all is going really well. There is never a boring moment here; most nights out are adventures; I am constantly meeting loads of new and interesting people - basically life is still stunning.

I apologise for the fact that this post is pretty terrible, but it has been composed with no real care or consideration and atleast it's something. I hope you are all well and excelling at whatever you are doing - those of you that aren't should get yourselves on the next flight over here (unless ofcourse you have some sort of aversion to being happy, in which case I would recommend Norfolk).


Hedonisticaliticism

4 comments

Sorry I have taken so long to post anything.  I am rubbish and spend too much time going out.  Anyway, here is the long awaited video of my flat, which I filmed about 2 weeks ago but hadn't posted.  I will be doing another update within the next two days about everything that I have been up to.





Death to the little ones

246 comments

Ok - more stuff. Bullets again as I am tired and intoxicated and can't be bothered to do things properly. These are not in order, but I am sure no one cares - or at the very least, I don't.

1) Roppongi night out - see post here.

2) Got a new house mate. A Canadian guy called Don. He is pretty cool and brought a slimline PS2 with him which I am sure will be good for a laugh every now and then.

3) Getting better at Mario Kart arcade. Not sure if I mentioned it before, but there are MK arcade machines. Everyone loves them and they are wicked. Is always ace to kick some Japanese school kids asses at it.

4) Had kids training. It was my own personal hell. They had us pretend to be students all day (6 year olds) whilst they taught us. Needless to say I hated every second of it and gave the instructors evils throughout and generally took the piss when asked to do demonstration teaching. It in no way prepared me for teaching kids.

5) Have now taught a fair few kids lessons. Mostly I hate it, but it is easy enough. I have a few annoying, crappy kids - so I just bully them in submission. I had one goofy looking kid who tried to Kancho me with in 30 seconds of meeting me. Fortunately, as Tom had indirectly warned me of this by sending me a link to another teacher's blog, I saw what he was trying to do. I instantly stopped him and made him sit down. Man, I hate kids.

6) Had a night out in Kanazawa Hakkei (where I work) with Emma (work mate), Alex (her boyfriend) and Don (housemate). Went to a cool bar called Honey Style, although we have renamed it the Honey and Jon in honour of the cool American barman there. He is a music producer - you should all check out his stuff here. We missed the last train home, so had to crash at Kanazawa-Bunkho, which is one stop away at the flat of a guy called Geoff/Jeff, who is a friend of Emma/Alex. Was a good night but I got about 3 hours sleep in total and was working 10-6 the next day. I was so so so ill, it wasn't even fair.

7) Steve Irwin died. Happened on 4th September for anyone still unaware. Bit lame as he was a legend. Still - just one of those things I guess. I didn't even know Stingrays had barbs.

8) Have learnt how to say all the days of the week and months of the years and most colours in Japanese. Have been getting our (hot) staff members to test me on it.

9) Have filmed the inside of our flat but have not put it online yet. Though I should probably redo it as me and Don rearranged the lounge and it is loads better now. Just need to hook it up with some vodka etc and it will be amazing.

10) Dawn is out of hospital and within 48 hours came on a night out in Yokohama; crutches and all. I was most impressed with her hardcore dedication. We have also brought her housemate Bridgette (from New Zealand) into the fold. Gotta expand the empire. To that effect I am getting more numbers etc (good old Fortune Phone) to expand the group with.

11) Been listening to a lot of Oakenfold again. The Bunkka album is great.

12) I watched episode 1 of series 4 of Nip/Tuck. Glad to see the show still has the ability to surprise me. Crazy stuff and totally awesome.

13) My brother Nigel came to visit me. Well, he was only business in Tokyo, but he took an extra day to come to Yokohama to hang out. It was most excellent and in his short time here he saw more stuff than I have in a month. Still, it was great and the milky bars were on him.

14) I have taken many great pictures and have a load of stuff my brother took when he was here - will post them up soon.


There are probably other things but I can't think what they are so that will have to do for now. Please excuse the shoddy grammar and spelling through out as I can't be bothered to even try and do it properly.


The Tales of Fortune Phone #1

4 comments

Pardon the pun, but Fortune Phone works like a charm. I can't be bothered to go into details but it seems Dawn was right about it's wonderous abilities; ably demonstrated as they were with the assistance of a distinctly lovely barmaid in some club I was in last night.

I will be putting it to the test much more often in future.


About me

  • I'm Andrew
  • From Lincoln, United Kingdom
  • I graduated from the University of Hull, where I studied Economics. I decided to go to Japan for a year to teach English and this blog is to chronicle my adventures.
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