Posts Tagged internet cafe

August 25, 2004 – First USB memory stick

Today is hopefully my last day at the internet cafe. I am downloading some drivers to make the ethernet card in my new computer work. Once that is done, I will be able to subscribe to a service provider and have internet in my room at Hello House.

I have also upgraded my file transfer system. Instead of the box of 3.5″ floppy discs, I am now using a USB memory stick. It is about the size of a keychain and can store 128mb, compared to the 14.4mb that my entire box of floppies can hold. My USB key cost 3500 yen at Yodobashi camera. Technology rules!

Also, congratulations to Jamie and Jessica on their engagement!

(2014 Update) Yes, technology has changed a lot in the past 10 years. I just checked Yodobashi Camera‘s website. They are selling Buffalo 8GB memory sticks for about 800 yen. For the record, that’s about 64 times the storage space for less than a quarter of the price. And I was excited about upgrading from my box of floppies…

I didn’t end up getting an internet connection at Hello House. I would have needed to borrow a native Japanese speaker to help with the paperwork, and since I had requested a transfer I was not sure how much longer I would be in Kawasaki.

For those keeping track, Jamie and Jessica have been happily married for just over 9 years now and are proud parents.

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March 23, 2004 – Trapped in the internet cafe

I can`t escape the internet cafe! HELP ME!!! I just came here to check my email and Homestar Runner, but now I have been here for 2 hours straight. Stupid entertaining internet.

The music is really terrible today. For the first hour and a half it was religious choir music. From there it changed to really a really repetitive DJ remix of rap songs mixed with the A-Team theme song. The music is annoying, but there is something entertaining about hearing the word “bitches” played over and over in English while surfing the net in Japan.

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January 26, 2004 – Bad music day at the internet cafe

There is some seriously terrible music on at the internet cafe today. Normally the cafe is playing Red Hot Chili Peppers (good!), Aerosmith (okay), Britney Spears (not great), or Backstreet Boys (bad). Today’s music sounds like it was created by someone who got fired from making Nintendo Entertainment System game music, took a lot of bad drugs, listened to Nada Surf and the Grease soundtrack on repeat, and then somehow got a record deal.

I would rather see a boy band live than to listen to any more of this crap!

(2014 update)

Man I wish that Soundhound existed when this happened. I really want to know who was responsible for the music.

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October 13, 2003 – Canadian Thanksgiving in Japan


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Well, its Thanksgiving in Canada today, and some sort of holiday here. But did I get any turkey???

It rained like crazy this afternoon. When the rain finally stopped, the water in the street was close to 30cm deep! I got some good pics which I will get around to posting when I can. The drainage in my neighbourhood leaves a little to be desired.

I was bored this evening so I headed to downtown Kawasaki to my usual internet cafe. Some scary lady was trying to hit me up for cash outside the front door. I just played the “gomenasai” (sorry) card and tried to walk away. She kept asking, saying something about her being a “kawaii onna” (cute woman). I respectfully disagree. I hope she is gone when I leave. I have to stop going to downtown Kawasaki at night.

Update from a few days later:

Well, the crazy lady was gone when I left, but the underground mall that I normally walk through was closed. So I had to navigate downtown Kawasaki at night and find my way to the station. I caught the last train with minutes to spare!

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September 25, 2003 – Hz is important for alarm clocks


Original Post

Woke up and started waiting for my luggage. I called home with the phone card that Nova gave to all new instructors. After my luggage arrived, I had a long awaited shower, and found that my shampoo had exploded in my bag. After some cleanup, I was shown to the nearest internet cafe by Lux from Kitchener. Ariel Diner is a cool place to surf the net – just order food or drink and surf almost all you want.
After that, I asked Lux for help with some shopping. We went to the 99 yen store and Daiei Depaato. I bought a small stereo and some food.
In the evening, the plan was for all the Canadians from the train the previous day to meet up and go for drinks. My landlord Seiko gave me a map to the apartment we were meeting at, and some tips on places to avoid (hostess bars). After a half hour train ride and some time searching around I found the apartment. Well, I was the only one to show up because nobody else got the nice map I did. So I hung out with two Canadians and an Aussie. On the way home there were three schoolboys arguing over who had to sit next to the gaijin on the train. I was nice and pretended I didn`t hear them or understand. Everyone else is very nice here.

2013 Notes

The alarm clock I brought from Canada was set for 60Hz electricity. How this works is the clock counts 60 power cycles and then advances time by 1 second. Japan electricity is 50Hz, so my clock was slow. I wanted to wake up at 7:30 to wait for my bags, but actually woke up closer to 10:00.

When I told Seiko that I was going to meet up with other teachers and go to a bar she got very worried. The area where the other teachers lived was slightly seedy, and most of the places in the area were hostess bars. I am sure that many unsuspecting teachers have ended up in a bar where suddenly beautiful women are pouring their drinks and they end up with a huge bill at the end of the night.

The three high school students arguing over who had to sit next to the gaijin was my first, but not my last experience where people openly treated me differently because I was not Japanese. I learned that many people didn’t expect the gaijins to understand Japanese, and it is usually pretty fun to surprise them.

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