Archive for November, 2014

November 26, 2004 – America F**K Yeah!

After work, I watched a downloaded version of “Team America: World Police” with my roommates. Team America is a new movie from the South Park guys filled with over the top satire about America’s role in the world. It was also done completely with puppets, including the sex scenes. Think nude Ken bumping into nude Barbie.

The movie was hilarious and incredibly offensive. I think we will all be singing the theme song “America F**K YEAH!” around the apartment for a while.

(2014 Note) For the record – I don’t know how a downloaded copy of this movie got onto one of my roommate’s computer. I am going to assume that it was paid for legally. Downloading movies for free is bad, and you should never ever ever do it. Never. Not even once. Nope, don’t do it.26

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November 24, 2004 – Christmas Shopping in Asakusa


After crashing at Hello House last night, I went Christmas shopping in Asakusa with Lux and Zoe. Christmas shopping is pretty easy when living in Japan because basically everything is a unique Christmas present. I ended up spending too much money, but I got nearly all of my shopping done. Also, the stores wrapped everything nicely for me too. The street leading up to the temple in Asakusa is a great place for souvenir and gift shopping.

We ate lunch in a really cool Chinese restaurant near the temple. I had ramen loaded with seafood. Yum!

I ended up having way too much stuff to get back to Numazu with by myself. I packed as much as I could, and left the rest at Hello House to pick up before I left the country.

(2014 Update) I found out about a month later that having the gifts wrapped was not a smart idea. Stay tuned!

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November 23, 2004 – Visiting Hello House

Today I got a late start and then went to Kawasaki to hang out with Lux and Zoe.

Not much had changed in Hello House in the month I have been away. I updated them on stories of my new city, and Lux filled us in on stories about her friend Fritz. She was always talking about Fritz – Fritz this and Fritz that. Other than tales of Fritz, Lux was getting ready to move back to Canada. Her recent trip home reminded her that she liked living in Canada better. This caused a bit of tension with her boss, who had just promoted her.

We went out to Gyukaku and watched horror movies in the evening. I ended up crashing on Lux’s floor in Hello House instead of returning home. I don’t think anyone ever completely cuts ties with Hello House.

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November 21, 2004 – A surprised donkey

Bikkuri Donkey

I swapped the day off and hung out with the Penpal. We watched movies in my room and then went out for dinner at a restaurant called Bikkuri Donkey. The name literally translates to “suprised donkey”. No, they do not serve donkey meat.

The restaurant is famous for it’s hamburger steak, which is simply a ground beef patty served with various sauces and side dishes. It’s good, reasonably priced, and there is a self service drink bar. In addition, the menu has English and pictures, which makes it very foreigner friendly.

After dinner we spent some time at Seiyu playing on the walking escalator to the roof parking lot.

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November 20, 2004 – Raspy

I have a bit of a cold, so my voice was pretty raspy by the end of the day.

I studied Japanese on my break at work. I have been trying my best to study for about an hour each day. There is already some improvement in my language skills. Yay studying!

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November 19, 2004 – Halo 2

Palmer bought Halo 2 for his X-Box today. He, Azeroth and I spent the whole evening playing it, only stopping for a snack and beer run at the 7-11 across the street. Life is good.

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November 17, 2004 – Shopping in Kawasaki

My alien registration card (aka gaijin card) was set to expire, so I returned to the immigration office in Kawasaki city to get it renewed. Since I am getting quite good at navigating the immigration office, the whole experience went pretty well. I do have to go to Numazu City hall to update my address.

While in the area, I went to the Yodobashi camera near Kawasaki station and bought myself a really cool new toy. It is an up-scan converter called XRGB-2 plus. It allows me to connect all kinds of devices to a computer monitor.

My room in Numazu is small and kind of awkward shaped. I no longer have room for both a TV and a computer monitor. The upscan converter will let me connect my PS2, VCR, and computer to my computer monitor, and sends the sound out through my stereo. It’s pretty cool!

On the way home there were some delays on Tokaido line for reasons that I couldn’t understand from the announcements. The line was stopped and I ended up getting home an hour and a half later than expected on a VERY crowded train.

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November 16, 2004 – Nothing

No swimming

Play Swim Danger

I did a whole lot of nothing today, and enjoyed every minute of it.


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November 15, 2004 – I have a bike!

Freshness Burger Lunch Set

Today I went to the nearby travel agency with a pile of cash and paid for my plane ticket. It is still strange for me to make large purchases with cash. I am always surprised by the lack of businesses who accept credit cards for payment.

After the travel agent I tried out a Japanese burger chain called “Freshness Burger“. As you would expect from the name, the ingredients are very fresh. Unfortunately like other Japanese burger restaurants, the burgers are simply too small.

I hung out at home for the rest of the afternoon, and The Penpal came over to visit when she was done work. We spent a few hours together, and then I walked her home from my apartment. It takes about 20-25 minutes to walk from Ooka City Plaza to The Penpal’s house. We walked by a printing company, a school, a rice paddy, and several small businesses along a narrow road.

At the house, her parents offered me the use of The Penpal’s old bicycle. The bike is a few years old and is no longer in use, but they cleaned it up for me and bought a basket and a light. Since Numazu does not have the population density to support a subway system like the Greater Tokyo area, having a bicycle will give me a lot of freedom to get around. I am very excited!

Before I left, The Penpal and I reviewed the directions on how to get back to my apartment. Her mother made sure to tell me to watch out for cars, pedestrians, narrow sidewalks, trains, and not to get lost. She also asked that I send a message to The Penpal to let her know that I got home safely. It sounded like exactly the same kinds of things my own mother would say.

Mothers of the world really aren’t all that different 🙂

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November 14, 2004 – Hurting

I am hurting today from the party last night. Fortunately my streak of not having a single NOVA kids class since moving to Mishima NOVA continues. A kids class today would NOT have been enjoyable.

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