Saturday, May 28, 2005

What about you kiddies...

I made it to big ol'Tokyo, only getting in one fight with an old man at that (it was, of course, over luggage; isn't it always over luggage). And just what is Tokyo in my eyes? Tokyo is fifteen percent shopping centers, fifteen percent dirty old men and seventy percent train. While exploring the pidgeon bred streets around my hotel the other day I actually did come upon what could be healthily dubbed "dirty old man street". And any person whom walks its pathways would not doubt the name for a second. It was covered with dirty old men, drinking dirty old beers and laughing dirty old laughs while scratching themselves in dirty old places. Albeit there were dirty old women too; but they were clearly only there for the dirty old men to oogle at. Dirty old man street is filled with dirty old man shops selling dirty old man clothes; every peice of which is plaid and comes in a shirt and pants set. There is a permanent smeel of tabacco and tooth decay...or maybe it was urine. There were even dirty old men sleeping in dirty old sleeping bags on the dirty old streets. Whoa I zipped out of there right fast.

And back to my hotel. My hotel is drenched in foreigners. They're everywhere. There's nothing more creepier than a foreigner in Japan. Truth yes, I am in fact a foreigner in Japan but still...I'll admit I tend to cross to the other side of the street when I see a gaijin walking my way. I mean come on, what the fuck is a foreigner doing in Japan? You know it's gotta be something shady. So there must be a lot of shaddy things going on in this hotel. Actually if you go to the hotel's website it has a warning stating that said place may not be appropriate for children under fourteen. Shady.

Tokyo, I've done nothing. Perhaps I've partook in endless searches for gifts for loved ones; but that takes such time! So I haven't really been to any of the fantastic places, i.e. Mt. Fuji sama, that fine Tokyo has to offer. Well that is if you don't count old man street.

Actually the other day I pulled my testicles up and gave a call to an old friend of mine whom recently moved to Tokyo. We wined and dined and contemplated the dramatic philosophy behind Miss Congeniality. I tried to explain to him, in Japanese, that just because I thought Sandra Bullock was pretty did not necessarily mean I wanted to screw her. Apparently it's all the same word in Japanese. Today he took me to Asakusa (or something like that) with a giant pagoda *pyuew* stickin' write up in the air next to an oh so fancy temple. The pagoda, naturally, was a product of the seventies. I spent the day dropping things; which ended with the grand upsetting of our lunch pizza. Once again I have let gravity take hold of my food stuffs and once again the Japanese have repaid me with free food(recall the great coffee spill at Starbucks some last month ago). I'm gonna miss getting free stuff because I'm fatastically foreign.

After it all I scopped out this spankin' university I want to attend next year. It's about the siz of a baby's rattle and yet I managed to get myself all mixed up while triing to find the ingeniusly named "Building number three". Somehow I ended up in the underground parking garage and it's a miracle I wasn't eaten by subterranean cannibles.
What luck.

Tommorow I shupatsu, and !bam! land in Seatle, a flash-in-the-pan thirteen hours later. I know I'm excited for the non-stop plane fun I've got lined up. What about you kiddies...

Sunday, May 22, 2005

I'm gonna be so lost...

After a years usage on foreign software, my blog settings have finally switched themselves entirely over to the other side that is Japanese. What does this mean for my future? When I return to the homeland not a word I will be able to read. And what poised timing my blog has, completely converting itself just one week before I return. Sometimes I think, when I'm not looking, my blog makes fun of me behind my back. It keeps me awake at night.

I have, officially, entered my last week in Japan. Thursday I shove off for the sunny shores of Tokyo where I will proceed to longe around like so many dead bluejays smeared across a car windsheild. Before, long before, I had graduerous ideas of wasting my youth away in the apple pie of clubs and bars that cools on Tokyo's window sill; but the past two weeks have just been too much for pie. All I want to do is sip water through a bendy straw.

With good-bye parties, packing (which is a lie because I haven't packed yet) and general farwell gifts for all I've lost time for those simple things like sleep and sipping water through a bendy straw. So I'm quite determined that Tokyo will be just this indistinguishable blur in my memory. But then next is Seattle, and who knows what kinda shit I could do there!

During the final week in a foreign country, the first foreign country, a year long first foreign country with inaccessible toilets, I find myself enthrauled in deep contemplation over this and that; generally meaning I spend most of my time staring off into space while not packing and probably eating donuts. I've consumed a lot of donuts lately. Not wanting to stock up my fridge with food that I don't have time to eat, also a lie because my fridge was never properly stocked except for two weeks in October, I've resorted to eating out everyday. And for some reason all my resorts resort to Mister Donuts; where, for inexplicable reasons, I eat nothing but donuts. And awe at my ability to loose weight during such expanses.

But Japan was more than donuts wasn't it? As my last blog in the land of the rising sun and blured out genitals I feel like I should have something deep, you know really deep, to say about my...awesome experiences here. You know, something like 'eat peas with honey becuase they stick to the knife that way' or 'tax refund forms here'. And I do, actually, have lots to say. But I'm quite certain it would simply bore you all, and that's the last thing I want to do. Besides we should be focusing on the future. The future baby, the land of our grandchildren.

So where are my grandchildren living? Well after the ambiguous outing in Tokyo I bear a twelve hour flight to return to my loving friends and a family in Seattle. I have a pair of fairly nice sized breasts waiting for me at the airport ready to suck me in with their welcome home love. Japan doesn't have cleavage. If you have cleavage you're shot immediately. In Seattle I will travail for who knows how long, dabbling in this and that and soaking up American culture once again, while crying into my pillow every night for the sweet cuppable breasts of Japan. I plan it to be a very rough transition during which I will lose my faith in Santa Claus.

Then I return to the real hometown where the real family leaves in a real house with two trees and a dog. There I'll kick stones across the street, reminise about the old days with my long forgotten friends, and cry into my pillow every night for blah blah blah. Then comes the end of month the sixth whence I shove off to boyscout camp to affect those young at heart with my...'gay influence'. After that who knows...by which I mean I'll go back to college. Hooplah.

OH but back to Japan, isn't there more I want to write about. More stuff I want to eagerly conveye to the threesome out there that lives on my every word (and I know you do, no use being shy). I'm sure I'll conveye said memories in somehow; lord knows I've got enough naked hotspring stories to go around the table. I'll find some literary skillful means, as I have been so obvious graced with said power, to sneak them into later enteries. Probably powerfully envoking the flashback method.

So here I go, back to the homeland. Back to a country and culture that has advanced three hundred and sixty-five days without me. Back to old friends whom have made new friends and have had new experiences, all of which don't involve me. Back to cars on the right and periods on the left. ugh, I'm gonna be so lost...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Should food meant to be choked on not be given to the starving...

As I enter my last week of school in Japan I am systematically flooded with farwell parties to the point that they have become a broad contemplation of my inner psyche. The true purpouse of a farwell party, I'm assuming, is something to portray to the leavie that those being leaved appreciated said leavers previous existence. It's nice. And despite the monatany and 長々speeches I often get wrapped in, and most always can never understand; I really do appreciate those done with said description in mind. But it seems in Japan that farwell parties tend to be more of a formality than anything else; more something they can use to stay at par with other people so they don't become 'those who didith not the departure garthering'. From this I've discovered a missplaced farwell party can be really weird.

Let's try some 'this porridge is too hot' contrastations...first school I really left was 伊達 middle school. My last day at said school was just like every other day; with an ending just as climactic. No speeches, no good lucks, and no 'we'll miss you'. Cold? Not in the least. Actaully it was exactly what I had expected because I never formed a fine and nifty relationship with the rabbit mass of teachers that inhabited such a large school. If there was some sort of departure ceremony I would feel fairly out of place and would probably open my speech with 'who are you people'. Having attended very few in the homeland I'm not exactly an expert on what it's like there, but in Japan farwell parties always include a speech from the farwellie. Lately all my speeches have tended to be connected with food.

However at another school I had formed quite a bond with the students and gun toating teacher and was most pleased when they hurdled their goodbye ceremony at me. While they weren't exactly words of wisdom, I had no difficulty mustering up a speech to bring back old memories about ditching class to read the English at Mister Donuts. Both the non-existent farwell party and the one that actually went seemed very natural and left me with a fine aftertaste for which I could devour the steak of departure.

However my second to last school applied the social situation at 伊達 with the farwell gradure of the other school. The result...a very awkward Thomas looking as if he'd been hit with a sociological frying pan. This school, previously known as the Sunshine Factory, a reference to the utter lack of pleasing faces and joyous voices, was my most hated school. Each morning I was not greated with polished 'good morning's but rather two syllable grunts that I'm sure were meant to be something but lost their effort halfway. This did not upset me entirly other then the fact that I just didn't like going there. I figured all the teachers did despise me. And I despised them. It was our system. Having never heard an encouraging word from them or the students (i.e. won't you eat lunch with us, do let's teach english together, it's nice to meet you) imagine my surprise when all the students gathered in the hall to sing me a rather impressive Japanese song with a meaning I'm sure I missed but must have dealt with leaving in one way or another. These people, whom had given my icey reactions and generally unhappy glances for the past six months, suddenly came rushing up to me and telling me how much they were going to miss me and 'oh won't you eat lunch with us' and 'It's a shame we can't teach English together anymore' and 'it was so nice knowing you'.

Shock.

I had to give a speech to the teachers whom had despised me so and made no attempts to engage me at all; it was supposed to be a happy memory from the school...It seriously consisted of "Thank you very much...good bye". Nothing else. What else could I say? And when walking int he hall the English teacher told me that the students had been practicing their song everyday after school for a month (and it showed) just for me. They were hoping I'd cry...Shock.

So why convey all this? These situations have lead me to my latest contemplation; which is more important, action or intent. While the action of the choir in the hallway was fairly spectacular it still felt cold because they had never made any sort of atempt to communate with me before. Which leads me to wonder if they are really doing it for me or merely because they wanted to raise their status in my mind. Because they want me to think they are the best school. After all if they really did like and appreciate me as much as they proclaimed that sad sad Tuesday afternoon, then they would have been more friendly to me in the past. However just because of that does it mean that all their hard work was for nothing?

This leads to all sorts of card game contemplations; is intent to murder the same as murder, or is it worse? Is shooting a cat for the purpouse of ending its life worse than shooting a cat for no reason at all? If I give my ex-wife's son a toy to make him like me more than her, does that ruin the toy? Should food meant to be choked on not be given to the starving...