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Day 8: It’s Gon’ Rain!

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reminds me of ghostbustersThis blog would have been more menacing if I would have actually written it yesterday, but I was far too busy being lazy. On day 8 of my short journey back here to Japan, Tuesday, all the TV stations were showing weather maps and semi-freaking out. Why is that? Why because there were 3 typhoons heading to Japan. Two of these, numbers 8 and 9 (I think), were heading towards Okinawa on the southern part of the island chain, but big bad number 7 had the possibility of slamming right into the middle of Honshu, the main island where Tokyo and yours truly are at. Winds were reported as being pretty strong, but this was while it was over the ocean, so chances are if and when it did hit land, it would be nothing more than a rain shower. It did, however, make the sky a really weird red-ish color around sunset. Actually I don’t know if the typhoon and the sunset color are even related, but they at least happened on the same day.

Click on the image to the left to see the full picture. That color is pretty close to what I actually saw outside of my hotel window.

As much as I hate Roppongi, I headed there last night to get dinner with Sunny since she works there in fancy-schmancy Roppongi Hills. I realized that I don’t hate Roppongi so much as long as I’m in the normal part of town and just avoid the club and bar area, where as we all know there are only 3 types of people: hookers, foreigners, and foreign hookers. But I didn’t go there so it was bearable. Met under the giant metal spider, which only in Japan would be a normal meeting place. Found this Chinese restaurant nearby that was actually run by Chinese people, including a guy who had a super mullet going. Good lord, the hair around here is horrible. But anyway, it was one of my first trips to Roppongi where I didn’t curse under my breath the entire time.

I woke up Wednesday morning around 6AM; I’m not sure why, but I think it was because there was so much noise outside. It wasn’t a typhoon, but there was a pretty good rainstorm going on, and that combined with some heavy winds were enough to wake me up briefly. I stumbled to the window, looked at the rain, probably muttered something to myself like “oh it’s raining,” went to take a leak and then went back to bed. So much for the big bad typhoon. It rained on and off, but I think that’s pretty much it for the devastating storm that had all the TV stations giving weather updates every 10 minutes. Maybe Okinawa will get hit with the other ones.

Random updates

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Last week we had a meeting for the start of IES SIG groups, basically little clubs for various interests like sports, Japanese language, culture, etc. Clubs so the IES kids and Japanese students can hang out. I joined the biggest one, Movies, and became leader of it. Then, I didn’t realize that the leaders of each of the SIGs were automatically candidates for IES Student Council President. Well, that was the case, and I am now the President. Haha, funny funny.

On Monday, we were off for 老人の日 (Roujin no Hi), or “Be nice to old people day.” So what did I do? Went to the movies. Japanese movies are ridiculously expensive. 1 ticket is 1800 yen, or around $16. Student Discount is a little bit less. Me, Seth, and Bryan went to see Naruto the Movie. Mii showed up a little late, so we stubbed her in. She didn’t know this at first. I guess Japanese kids aren’t big on sneaking into movies. After that, we decided that we paid so much money, we wanted to see more than 1 movie. Luckily, when we bought our tickets, they give you a schedule of the movies playing that week. Makes it easy to figure out which movie to sneak into next. So, I watched about 20 minutes of Biohazard 2 (Resident Evil 2), then moved to watch the Dekaranger/Kamen Rider Blade double feature. Good times. Went to Outback for dinner.

Tuesday was just classes as usual, no biggie.

Wednesday, went to Harajuku to buy a man-purse, since every guy in this country has one. It’s actually just a black canvas bag with Kishidan on it. Then, me and Ari went to a restaurant that had for 1000 yen all you can eat pasta, pizza, pancakes, and hip hop. When I ever get around to putting up pictures, I will have to show the sign from this place. Then, we went to Ebisu to see the Sapporo Beer Museum. Horrible museum really, it’s just an excuse for people to try (after paying for) different kinds of Sapporo and Yebisu beer.

At night, went with Ari, Ahn-tuan, Dan, and Adam to Shinjuku. Went to 2 huge music stores, then walked around Kabukicho (the shady yakuza/triad-run area). Before we finally made it to Kabukicho, however, thanks to my awesome map-reading skills, we found where the Shinjuku gay district is. Definitely some weird stuff going on there. And also a gay park, where I guess the gay folk do their business. We were out of there as soon as we realized where we had gone.

Randomness for the rest of the night, primarily walking around aimlessly in Shibuya. Met up with Dave Heston from high school, and his friend from Germany. We walked around a lot, finally ended up in Roppongi at the famous Gas Panic (the locals call it GasPa) club. Let me make this short and sweet: ROPPONGI SUCKS. It is the dirtiest area I have seen in Japan, hilighted by the hordes of refugees/immigrants from Europe, Africa and the really poor parts of Asia. They are either in Roppongi to be hookers, to pick up Japanese guys who don’t know any better, and/or to go to dirty, crowded clubs like Gas Panic. Ah well, at least I know not to go back to Roppongi. Also note that since we were in Roppongi so late, I couldn’t even leave until 5AM. So I was trapped there for hours longer than I would have liked.

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