Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Stuff and things

It’s been another few weeks, and I finally have a few more stories to tell.

Last weekend I paid two visits to a city called Fujieda. I was there visiting Jordan, one of the other Peppy Kids teachers. The first night I got there and he showed me his new place where he will be living with his wife Rie. What a nice place: two floors, tonnes of space, and a very traditional and lovely design. Sufficed to say I was quite impressed. We hung out there for a while and I met a few of his friends before we ventured over to the local watering hole. Now, I am not normally given to drink. In fact, it is a rare occasion indeed when I can stomach enough alcohol, especially beer, to feel any affects. Not this night. And those are the nights when it happens; when the beer doesn’t taste so bad and I can choke it down without cringing. Here in Japan they have what I suppose would be considered a quart back home, something a little larger than a normal bottle of beer. We were drinking a brand called Yebisu, which isn’t too bad, and by the time I left to get the train home our table was full of empty bottles. Have you ever had that experience? One of those nights when for no apparent reason people just heed the hedonistic call? I found out the next day that one of Jordan’s friends, a bartender, and normally accustomed to drinking, had drunk so much he was sick. I’m glad I never let myself get to that point, but I was stumbling a bit as I left the bar.

That night I had met a few of Jordan’s friends, including the intoxicated fellow I just mentioned, who happens to be the owner of the bar. I also met another buddy who designs flyers for the bar for some of their events. Through some conversation during the evening I found out that they were planning a Halloween party for the end of the month. I had told Jordan some time earlier that I was a DJ, and he mentioned to me that another friend of ours, also a Peppy teacher, Brad had been asked to play at this party, and Jordan suggested I should as well. Of course I was immediately excited at the prospect, but unfortunately I didn’t bring any of my vinyl, it being ridiculously expensive a notion. Having some foresight I had however copied many of my records onto my computer, and so my plan is to bring my laptop and “DJ” using it as well as I can. Here’s hoping. I also suggested making up some small, business card sized flyers just to pass out to people so that we could ensure a good turnout. Having made the suggestion, I was also given the opportunity to design the flyers myself, which I have done, and although they are very simple, I am happy with the way they turned out.

The next day Jordan and I had arranged to meet up again and go to the beach for some surfing. Unfortunately our ride, in the form of his drunken companion, could not accommodate us on account of still being incapacitated by the time we wanted to leave in the early afternoon. This meant that we had to take the bus, which we did, but it also meant having to truck those massive boards along with us, which wasn’t necessarily as fun. Once we got to the beach, there really wasn’t much surfing to be had. The waves were fairly quiet and docile, and personally I’ve only been surfing two or three times. I sat in the water for a while, hoping to catch some easy swells, but not really ever getting up. Jordan, however, is an avid surfer, and stayed in the water for some time after I had given up. When I have a good block of time to spare I will put up a bunch more of the pictures I’ve taken in recent weeks, including shots from the beach. So although surfing didn’t really happen, I was glad to get to the beach for what will probably be the last time this season.

The week passed as it normally does, teaching the kids, having fun, doing lots of reading. Then this weekend I paid a visit to Mishima, which is a nice city about two hours away by local train. The purpose of my visit was to see Brit, a friend and recent arrival from Toronto, who is here to, yep… you guessed it… teach English. I had met her just before Christian left at his going-away party, them living in the same neighborhood and having been friends for some time. She isn’t working for the same company, but seems to be having a good go of it all the same. I was impressed with Mishima. It wasn’t anywhere near as large as Hamamatsu, but anything bigger than Fukuroi is a welcome escape for me. She had to work during the day on Monday, so I was left to wander around by myself. I paced one of the main streets, found a great music store and busied myself in there for some time before heading back to her apartment to make sure I was back with the key before she was finished work. Brit is an avid chef, and was keen on trying to make tempura, and although she was somewhat disheartened by fellow employees who told her that it was a difficult enterprise, she managed to pull it off quite nicely. We had shrimp, carrots, potatoes, squash and lotus root. Mmm. I had faith in her all along after Christian had told me that she was quite a good cook. After all, this is the girl who wants to start her own chocolate shop! So we had a nice visit, and it’s just good to have another friend relatively close by that I can see from time to time.

There’s not much else to report at this time. I’m still very much on the path of discovering more and more about what is going on around us and behind our backs. The more I learn, the more I hope that people are waking up and devoting some time and energy into questioning their lives, the way they are living, and what they are being force-fed by the powers that be. Don’t be complacent! Before I go, I thought I would leave you with a good example. I’ve already shared this with a few people, but it deserves some more word of mouth. If you have a chance please check out:


It is well worth it. Take or leave the information however you will, for it is up to you to believe or disbelieve: I am a fervent advocate of skepticism. Some of this material will seem completely hokey because the subject it addresses has been treated as a hoax for so long. Give it an honest appraisal before you choose to dismiss it entirely, and if you do end up believing it has some merit, please spread the word, because this is the only way we are ever going to promote change.

Much love to all.