Archive for category Azeroth

June 24, 2017 – BooFooWoo

Tonight I went out for drinks with my old roommate Azeroth, who is now once again living in Numazu.

Azeroth and I lived together from 2004-2006 when I was teaching in the Numazu area. I visited him on my subsequent trips to Japan, including a fun night out a few years ago not too far from the broken nuclear reactor. This time no major travel was required – his new condo is about a 15 minute walk from The Penpal’s house.

We met outside his new condo and caught up on life as we walked towards the Nakamise area south of Numazu station. Nakamise is a covered shopping area which was home to my old NOVA branch. The area is full of stores, restaurants, and more importantly, izakayas. Our first stop was a place known for their good selection of grilled meat on sticks. We were joined by Klaxman and one of our former students, and enjoyed some drinks and izakaya food.

Klaxmax and the student called it a night at a sensible time. Azeroth and I dropped them off at the station, charged up with an energy drink, and then went back in search of another beverage or two.

One of the best parts about being friends with Azeroth is that he takes the time to scout every drinking establishment in the area. As we were walking, he listed off our many options and their merits. Truly he has missed his calling as an alcohol tour guide.

Deciding to avoid any chains, Azeroth led us down a narrow alley that I would have normally passed right by. At the end was a door with a picture of a pig’s head and a sign which read “BooFooWoo”. Unless I am missing something, there is literally nothing about the name and picture on the door that would give you any hint that you’re at a bar.

As soon as we entered, Azeroth was greeted like a regular and we were shown past the narrow pathway between sunken tables towards prime seating at the bar. After placing our order, the bartender brought over the karaoke machine that was being passed around. I did a pretty decent version of Ziggy Stardust while Azeroth busted out the Red Hot Chili Peppers. We both got some cheers and applause from the rest of the bar, and made sure to return the favour when they sang.

BooFooWoo is exactly the right kind of place for some low key drinks and karaoke with friends. We ended up having a few more drinks and performing a duet of Come and Get Your Love before calling it a night.

As I walked (stumbled) the long walk back towards The Penpal’s house I realized how much I missed nights out like tonight from my teaching days. Being a parent cuts down the time to go out with friends and getting older makes recovery the next day even harder. I’m happy I got a chance to get out this evening and hope I get another chance before leaving.

Epilogue: I’m pretty sure the Penpal’s father was still awake when I got home. Not sure if he was was worried that I would get lost or just wanted to see how late I came home.

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June 17, 2006 – A ticket home

Today was the first day of my short paid holiday! I made good use of my time by spending most of the day with The Penpal.

During the day, we went to the nearby travel agent to inquire about a plane ticket back to Canada in November. I have pretty much decided that I’m going in November, although I haven’t given any notice yet. My thought was that plane tickets are usually cheaper in advance, but the travel agent said that they weren’t currently selling tickets six months into the future. I’ll try again in a few months.

After the travel agent we had lunch together and spent the afternoon playing Final Fantasy 3 (aka Final Fantasy 6) on my computer by using a SNES emulator. I’m happy that we can both enjoy hanging out and playing games together.

** As someone who currently lives with a retired game programmer who made his living from video games, I do appreciate the fact that software piracy is a bad thing for creators. However, since I actually own a physical copy of this game (it’s stuck in a box in Canada) I don’t have any moral issues about playing it on an emulator in Japan.

In the evening after The Penpal left, I watched yet another terrible MST3K movie with my roommates. Tonight’s debacle was The Master Ninja, an American TV show that was edited together into a movie. It goes to show that adding ninjas doesn’t automatically make something good. However, beer always helps.

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June 14, 2006 – Wrestling vs. World Cup

FIFA World Cup continues, much to the delight of most of my coworkers. My roommates (both Americans) and I decided to give World Cup another try after suffering through an incredibly boring England vs. Paraguay game the other night. Tonight’s game was Spain vs. Ukraine, which we did our best to watch until we learned that there was Japanese women’s wrestling on another channel. Not just any women’s wrestling: hardcore women’s wrestling!

Finding this new program led us to a choice:

  • Continue to watch 22 men mostly standing still pass a ball to each other while the crowd sang football songs
  • Watch two terrifying Japanese women stab each other in the head with forks and then beat up the ref who tried to stop them

It was an easy choice. Wrestling > World Cup

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May 18, 2006 – Guys night in

Tonight was a guys night in with Azeroth and Super Dave. After work we stopped by Don Quijote for snacks and drinks. DonKi is just down the street from our apartment, which is convenient because it’s very easy to overshop at a store that sells everything.

Upon returning home we drank beer, ate toaster oven pizza and pepperoni / cheese wedge sandwiches while watching Trailer Park Boys. There is something really international about watching Trailer Park Boys (a low budget Canadian show) in Japan with an American and an Australian.

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May 17, 2006 – Stadium Arcadium

stadium

It was another rainy day in Numazu today. I worked early shift and had plans to see The Penpal after work. Due to the rain we decided to hang out near Numazu station so she could take the train home after.

While waiting, I checked out the music store in Numazu station and was pleasantly surprised to find that there was a new Red Hot Chili Peppers album; Stadium Arcadium. There are a few bands where I will buy new albums without hearing anything first – RHCP is on that list. The cool thing about buying CDs in Japan is that they usually come with extra songs or Japanese translations of the lyrics. The last Weezer CD I bought had both, but Stadium Arcadium only came with translated lyrics.

The Penpal and I hung out in the station area for a while before I walked home in the rain. Later when my roommates returned home we all watched Mystery Science Theater 3000. This is something that always seems like a good idea, but has probably contributed to as much brain damage as the beer I have been drinking. Seriously, those movies are BAD.

(Author’s note) I don’t remember which MST3K movie we watched, but I have a suspicion that it was Fire Maidens of Outer Space. I must have repressed that memory.

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April 20, 2006 – Trailer Park Boys

I am proud to say that I have hooked an Australian and an American on a Canadian TV show that we all watched while living in Japan.

Trailer Park Boys is just that funny!

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March 24, 2006 – Clean enough

After several days of intense apartment cleaning (and occasional beer drinking), Azeroth and I believe the apartment is ready for a NOVA inspection before our new roommate moves in. Windows and surfaces are clean, clutter was removed, the kitchen looked inviting, the horrible forest of mold was gone from the bathroom, and Azeroth had finished moving from his room across the hall to the large tatami mat room off the living room.

Was our cleaning job perfect? Not at all. But it was good enough and we had no desire to spend any more time on it.

I briefly considered moving from my oddly shaped bedroom into Azeroth’s old room, which was larger and not oddly shaped. There were a few reasons why I ended up staying where I was. The first reason was lack of time; with my parents coming tomorrow for two weeks, I didn’t have the necessary time to move all of my stuff into Azeroth’s old room and then clean up my empty room before the new roommate arrived.

The second reason was the previous state of Azeroth’s room. Don’t get me wrong, Azeroth is a good friend and a fun roommate, but his room was filthy. I actually found what appeared to be black mold on the wall when I was helping him move. To be fair, it could have also been food sauce of some kind. Knowing what the room looked (and smelled) like when we started cleaning was not a great incentive for moving.

Finally, even though my current room is oddly and inconveniently shaped, I’ve spent over a year getting it the way I like it. It’s comfortable and familiar, and I don’t feel like I am missing out too badly by staying put.

Bring on the apartment inspector!

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