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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.

Typhoon was pretty much a washout (oh man was that a horrible joke?). Sure there was a lot of wind and rain, but not the huge typhoon of destruction, at least not here in the Chiba and Tokyo area (down south got hit pretty hard though). I fell asleep around 9:30 since I was so tired. Woke up briefly around 11 or 12 to talk to my folks who called, and the rain had tamed down. Rip off.

Trains were a bit of a mess this morning, on account of the typhoon stuff. I guess some lines were still down, and the wind and rain that was still hanging around did some trouble I suppose. Was late for Japanese class (wow big surprise, but Hosoi-sensei never cares). Could have made it only 15 minutes late or so if I were in more of a rush. And by “more of a rush”, I mean not taking a morning coffee break at Starbucks near the IES Center. Man I hope no IES staff or teachers read this… Hahaha. Anyways, I had my “late note” from the station, and they were nice enough to not write the time on it, so: instant excuse. Musashino Line was a pain in the butt anyway, I think it was totally handicapped. Apparently that, Keio, and Tozai are all “weak” train lines. Hey great, all the lines between my dorm and school. I guess it’s convenient if you feel like grabbing a cafe mocha before class.

I hear rumors of another typhoon coming soon, who knows. This year is really odd for some reason with typhoons, what a lucky time for me to be here. Hopefully it won’t interfere with the IES trip to Nagano on Wednesday. Yes, I’m taking a vacation. And on the agenda, a “ninja theme park” and much more awaits.

Here comes #23

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Yep, another typhoon is about to hit my part of Japan it looks like. And according to Shin-san, it’s 4 times bigger than the last one. I beleive it; walking back from work, I was completely soaked, even with my giant umbrella….

My life: garbage, anime, typhoons

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I’m always saying how random and strange life in Japan is for me, and I think today was the perfect example of this. Bear with me, as I walk through my day…

Woke up, had breakfast here at the dorm. Breakfast was a potato and green bean stew, followed by toast with chocolate sauce on it. Then I got ready to head out to school. Today, instead of class, my Jissen Nihongo (Japanese) class went on a field trip of sorts. And that trip was to the Chiba Clean Energy factory, a type of trash and recycle dump. It took a train, a bus, and a 15 minute talk in the rain to get there. Once there, a tour was led by an animated character in blue named Noa. Yes, there was a video to introduce us to the place, and in various spots in the factory you press a button and watch another video or hologram with Noa. Oh what fun, just like if I were in 1st grade in the year 2040.

On the way back from the garbage center, I stopped by Tsutaya to drop off the DVDs I rented last night (the making of the Masked Rider Blade movie, and a Kishidan DVD). I also stopped by Vive de France, a bakery, and had lunch. Lunch today was a cold hotdog with cheese and mayonnaise on it (didn’t know about the mayo til it was too late), and a calzone. Not great, not bad.

After that fun, had my one other class, which was Anime. I found out that Professor Aoyagi is apparently more famous than he leads on, and there was some point in the 90’s when he was a sort of “expert” on Japanese idols (the young girls who are everywhere, usually wearing almost nothing). As an expert on the subject, doing “research” on these young girls (sounds like Jiraiya), he was featured on TV shows and in magazines. He showed us slides as proof. Pretty interesting. Also during class I was filling out postcard contest entries so I can win a Suica Penguin pillow. More on that in a future entry.

After that, went to MotoYawata to pick up my alien registration card. I now have an official Japanese form of ID! Nice! After that, on my way to the station, ate a tai-yaki (a fish shaped waffle filled with red beans). The old lady who worked the stand kicked her husband, who was apparently sleeping on the ground, when she had to move to get to the taiyaki. Yeah kind of weird, some old man laying on the ground inside their stand.

After that, had coffee with Super Sayokon near Funabashi station. That place is a lot bigger than I expected, although I’m pretty sure I’d been to that station a few times when I first came to Japan in high school. They also have a koban (police box) that looked like a giant white pill bottle.

Now I’m home, it’s really cold outside, and apparently we are looking at another typhoon coming tonight. Man I hope it comes and cancels the train lines tomorrow, cause I really don’t want to go teach at Takanawadai High school. And I now realize that today wasn’t as weird as it seemed as I was going through it. Ah well, I’m going to post it anyway.

Thanks for wasting my time!

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I was supposed to be at Takanawadai High School, where I work, at 9AM this morning to help with the school festival’s English speech contest. I woke up at 7, miraculously, since my alarm was set to “weekdays” (I always forget that). I made it out the door, although running a little bit late. It takes about 45 minutes to get out to where the school is at. I transfer about 3/4 of the way at Nihombashi to get on a different train line for the last leg of the trip. I decided to call my supervisor at the school, to let them know I’d be about 15 minutes late.

How kind of them to let me know ahead of time that the festival was CANCELLED because of the typhoon expected to come. Great, I wake up early on a Saturday, tired as hell, make my way 30 minutes towards Tokyo, only to find out that it was for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. “Oh, I didn’t have your phone number, so couldn’t call you earlier.” Granted, it was cancelled at 6AM, but if I would have known, then I would have slept until about 1PM. And I KNOW I gave her my number before.

It was just raining, so I went to Akihabara via Daimon station. Had a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin for breakfast. It tasted really good. Haven’t had one of those since I lived in Forest last spring, I believe. Anyways, wasted some time, came home, and bummed around all day. The typhoon-ish weather was nuts: lots of wind and rain. I don’t think we ever actually got THE typhoon. Just a bad storm.

I called Renee (my supervisor) tonight at 8 to see if she knew whether or not I’d have to go in tomorrow. She doesn’t know yet. If they don’t let me know by 7AM, I’m not going in. Hopefully it’s cancelled, I don’t want to go in early tomorrow. Either way, I have to be at the Edo Tokyo Museum by 1PM for a class “field trip.”

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It looks like it’s a typhoon today or something outside.

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