Archive for January, 2015

January 31, 2005 – Fugu restaurant sign

Fugu me!

Fugu me!

After being around sick co-workers and students, I am finally catching the cold that is going around. Nothing else interesting to report, so here is a random picture of a restaurant that serves Fugu.

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January 25, 2005 – Exploring Numazu

A bridge over the Kano river

A bridge over the Kano river

I have been living in Numazu for almost 3 months. It seemed like a good time to get out of the house and explore the city on my bicycle. My first stop was city hall to finally update my address with the government. City Hall is not terribly easy to navigate for someone who can’t read Japanese well. I spent a few minutes walking aimlessly checking out my options at different windows and offices, and generally looking confused. Eventually an English speaking civil servant approached me and directed me to the right place.

Senbon is a rocky beach

Senbon is a rocky beach

After a successfully completing my mission at City Hall, I took a long, meandering bike ride around the city. I went by the busy port area and then along Senbonhama beach, named after the thousands of trees along the shore. The beach itself is windy and full of rocks, so it’s not a “beach party” kind of place. It is very popular with windsurfers and kiteboarders.

Temple in Numazu, Japan

Temple in Numazu, Japan

Numazu itself covers a huge area that used to be a number of smaller towns. However, the main city part of Numazu is fairly compact, and it’s easy for me to get almost anywhere by bicycle. After a nice long ride, I ended up returning home and getting ready for an evening with The Penpal.

The Penpal and I went out for dinner (now our usual activity), and I showed her a few episodes of South Park. She laughed hard at the anime stylings of “Good Times with Weapons” and the catchy theme song for “Sexual Harassment Panda”. But seriously, who doesn’t think Sexual Harassment Panda is funny?

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January 23, 2005 – Everyone has colds

All my co-workers have colds! This means that it’s only a matter of time before I get one too.

Thanks to the close proximity with other teachers and students, it’s very easy for colds to spread quickly. If I was smart, I would probably eat better, get lots of sleep, and lay off the beer and karaoke for a while.

IF I was smart…

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January 22, 2005 – First busy day

Today was my first really busy day at Mishima NOVA since I transferred in November. It reminded me of a typical day at Kawasaki NOVA.

The teacher’s room at Mishima NOVA is tiny, narrow, and chaotic. There are 6 chairs in a space barely big enough for 5, and we had 8 teachers working today. It is not a good place for claustrophobic people.

After work I met up with Azeroth and Palmer at Ryuu, which has now become our regular izakaya. There is nothing like beer and sushi after a busy day at work!

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January 18, 2005 – Computer upgrades

Today was a day off. Instead of being completely lazy and unproductive (as usual), I decided to give my computer some upgrades with parts that I salvaged from my computer in Canada. By the end of the process, I had a slightly better computer with a big improvement on my graphics card. It’s never going to be a serious gaming machine, but it runs better than it did before.

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January 17, 2005 – Izakaya

After work I made yet another visit to the new izakaya “Ryuu” with some co-workers. We got 2 free orders! Ryuu is quickly becoming the popular after work beer spot for teachers, likely because it is really cheap.

There was no karaoke afterwards for a change.

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January 16, 2005 – MGS3 in Japanese

MGS3

After work I went to Seiyu to buy Metal Gear Solid 3 for my PS2. I had been thinking about buying it for a few days, but all of the games are locked up in a display case. To buy anything, you need to get one of the staff to unlock the case and get the game for you.

I asked The Penpal how to ask for the game correctly in Japanese, and practiced diligently before going to the store. The purchase went off without a problem, and I happily returned home with my new game.

When I bought MGS2 I was pleasantly surprised to find that the game was playable in English or Japanese. I assumed that would also be the case for MGS3. I was wrong. The version that I bought was playable in Japanese with Japanese subtitles only. The story is set during the cold war, and includes lots of talk about politics, nuclear arms treaties, and patriotism. All of those topics are far, far beyond my Japanese skill level. I can play the game, but I can’t understand 90% of the story. Even so, the game is still pretty freaking great.

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