Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Ryokan for 8 part II .... cut

Okies suffice to say Quentin had his film cut. I am not going to put people through the torture of reading part II... its all dialogue and no fun. Suffice to say the memory lives on in the 8 of us and to anyone else its just not as funny.

So lets review my year its been awhile since i updated and alot has happened. As i trawl through my photos i will have a think about the best memories of the last few months of 2005.

Ok one of my highlight was the Mikkabi elementary school camp. This was a weekend where i got to supervise 3 9-10 year olds.


This here is me and my first two students Ayumu (back) and Kousuke (front)... Kousuke was like super genius kid.

We made a crazy pumpkin as the theme of the camp was Christmas, Halloween and Thanksgiving rolled into one!

We had to go out and find all the crap first to stick on it.

I think i took control abit but come on it invloved a knife and super glue....


This is the offending article... it had a broom and everything and a hat. We unfotunetly didnt win any prizes... but when one of those was ugliest pumpkin, we werent too upset.

We had a so called turkey dinner which had everyones hopes up but unfotunetly it was not what we expected. Yes there was turkey but nothing else dammit... no potatoes, no carrots. It was cold spagetti and japanese Mizo soup. Never believe the Japanese when they tell you are going to have anything related to home cooking. We also got sucked by a English breakfast at another school camp which turned out to be a waffle, a potato korroke in a bun and a piece of french toast. Talk about being naive.


This is me posing in costume with the pirate and the evil man from scream... guess what i am... i bet you cant guess?!

The one amasing thing about the whole camp apart from the kids was the scenery the place was stunning. I saw a beautiful sunrise as we were woken at about 6.15 in the morning after I had to sleep in the same room as 8 young terrors.

I had a great time and it made going back to work much harder. I enjoyed the students and think i would have loved to work with elementary school children instead of the ages I am working with now. I think it will influnce my decision if i decide to do some teaching in China i think i would have to choose young children or adults. I lack the patience for rebellious 15 to 18 year olds.

So farewell to you Mikkabi and hope you enjoyed seeing one sunrise from the east. I will try and update on a continuous basis from now and see if we can get up to date.

Talk to you soon my lovely readers, hope you enjoyed this one mum see i am doing something enjoyable not involving drinking!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Ryokan for 8 please! Part I

DISCLAIMER: A ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn. Where you are given clothes on arrival, bath naked in the hot baths (called onsen) and are given all manner of seafood for both dinner and breakfast.



Well i had the final part of my birthday and i have to say i think its the best weekend i have had in Japan and maybe ever.

The crew...

Ryan Birthday boy I: his ability to laugh at everything only minorly funny and lead a group of foreigners round a seaside town prove invaluable. He continues to have puppies when people question his directions but at least both the blackship and the cable car existed!
Quote: "Come on guys... they are picking us up at 4.30!!!!!"

"cane me cane me, bite me bite me...." the most classic drinking game as long as lawrence can clap in time.

Kieran Birthday boy II: No fear of bathing naked even with the girls present, makes this funny EEjit a welcome asset to the birthday troupe. Constantly asking me where the black ship was, was not FUNNY though....

Quote: "Ryan's having a baby over it!"

"ohhhh a cup of coffee, this is the best coffee i have had in Japan!"

Andy The butt of most jokes: Being the target of humour and taking it so well makes this londoner stick out from the crowd. He almost brought tears to my eyes when he stuffed a sea snail down his throat and almost gagged it back up. Spilling drink in the middle of a supermarket was also another fine moment.

Quote: "Why didn't i get any of these emails?!?!"

"Whats wrong with my hair... stop taking the p*ss!"

Lawrence The moaning buddy: His inability to clap at a regular pace made a mockery of the rude drinking games whilst also making everyone else choke on their alcohol. I appreciate the moan with Lawrence segments of the trip...

Quote: No quotation marks but whats that lawrence? did i just hear you say you hate work???

"Aww man..."


Maia party animal: Nothing ceases to amaze me about this girl. Whatever obstacles are in the way give her some alcohol and off she goes...
Quote: "Guys!!!! Like just f*ck it, lets go to shizuoka"
"Guys!!! Look they have an alcohol vending machine... i mean like guys!!!"

Delleur.. she French or what?: Laura the liverpuddlian. Her an maia are a double act, just dont ask her about lost keys or spilling coffee down her front. She acts like a mean ass but she was in the navy so maybe she learnt to protect her bottom from those scurvy sailors.
Quote: "No no no no... zero tolerance mate."
" I dont like heights mate...."

Susie from BristaAl! Or should we call her Suji?: Her dirty giggle and bristol slurr (she talks pretty posh really) are enough to bring a fully inebriated man to his knees (wasnt hard tho was it!). Polishing off wine is her forte and i dont believe her for a second when she says "after this weekend i am giving up alcohol for 2 weeks."

Quote: "Dirty Beetch..."

"I am only going to bring one bottle of wine..." take a look at the pic and decide for yourself.

Sofia the perceptive: She knows exactly what i am thinking especially when it comes to my sighing and moaning (well doesnt take a genius to realise its about work but she is still good!). An infectious laugh combined with a sense of humour make for a brilliant final companion.

Quote : "Stupid kids... i just hate them" Its alright Sofia only another 9 months of them!


God its taken me so long just to do this i think i will make a part I and part II just like quentin.

So look out for the next episode of Ryokan for 8... coming soon to a movie theatre near you.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Bloggers block...

Thats right... i have been suffering from a severe case of bloggers block!
Its a little known disorder that effects one in a million.

Reasons include:
Inability to find anything interesting to say.
Insufficient time due to work load.
Stress overiding enjoyment.
Suddenly having the net to be able to talk to people at home.

But thank heavens its now over so you can all enjoy a little walk with Ryan.

Guess what it was my birthday on the 1st of November.
I am pleased to say alot of people remembered. Even got some cards which brought a tear to my eye.

So parties have begun... we all went to a neighbouring city for a knees up. and yes thats exactly what happened to me. Accident prone as ever (i recently have bust my little finger, got exzema from chalk which made my hands itch and peel) i feel on my knee and hurt it pretty bad so i am stumbling round like a cripple.

But all in all the party was great, had music supplied by me, Mari and Joss (plus albert, andy and aroop, who played a lesser music role) so everyone had a good boogie. Tomorrow i have a ryokan to look forward too. A ryokan is a traditional inn, with outside hot baths and traiditonal japanese food. So should be a great experience for me and the gang. I will update with pictures after.

My school recently had there culture and sports day... Very interesting... culture day was impressive with classrooms transformed into mountaineering or art exhibitions. Also children set up food stalls and sold things like bbq chicken or cakes. I had a good time wandering round and even had to arm wrestle ex-professional rugby player (a teacher at school). When they told me who it was i couldnt believe it, he beat me easy then went on to beat the school sports teacher i never stood a chance.

Sports day was even better... some of the races were amusing. In the UK we do an olympics style event that maybe takes half a day. Here in Numazu techinical high school there sports day goes on for a whole day. There races included a 21 person race ... where funnily enough 21 people had there legs tied together.
A class skipping event.. take one big rope and a class of 40 all jumping it together and you get the picture.
Mission impossible.... it was stupid and took ages.. but invloved them dressing up, pulling a plastic bag from a rope with their teeth and getting flour on there faces.
A strange relay... invloved getting a hemp sack over your head as fast as possible and then having to crawl through a green net held down by other students.. (this one was very funny because the said students were told to hold it down hard by one of the teachers so much so it took some students 5 minutes to get through..)
And some more normal events where i breathed a sigh of relief.

What does need mentioning is that every division of my school made a huge mural on boards that were put together these were very impressive... they could win an award from the department with the best 'arch' as they called them. My second favourite won but i think its because they chose 2 very famous japanese paintings and morphed them together... which probably was more professional and liked by the older members of staff.

They also had to parade military style to a brass band and have chants to a big drum. I have never seen anything like it and probably never will again. Truely a one off experience.. The thought or lack of it that went into the event was astounding. Good show.

Well thats enough Numazu antics for one sitting.
Ryan

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Climbing the Japanese Alps

Ok so long time no post. This is a direct result of being very busy with work. However instead of getting more stressed out this week I have decided that a bit of time out would help matters.

A lot has occurred since I last posted and really I should put up photos to help me explain everything. I will do that as soon as I get my laptop and Internet set up.

Anyway this weekend was jam-packed and I think it would be better to bullet point:
a) Went to James` (cousin) work party and met his boss.
b) Then we took a train to Nagano prefecture in the mountains.
c) We went hiking in Kamikochi, which was absolutely fantastic. Climbed over a huge mountain and paid ridiculous dosh for a cup of coffee at the lodge there.
d) We bathed in a naked spa with nothing to protect us other than a tiny towel. Added to which the pervading smell was of egg!
e) We ate in a restaurant called café moustache!!!
f) We got discounted prices in an amazing hotel because we were chatty to the tourist information ladies.
g) Slept a ton on the public transport.
h) Lastly we saw the final of the sumo, lots of slapping and nappy grabbing involved. All in all a brilliant weekend.

So that wraps up last weekend but I should also give a small mention to the planned quiet one in Numazu two weeks ago.

Trying to be healthy I enroll at the gym on Saturday in the attempt to relax and get a little bit of exercise. As I am trying to fill out all the forms another foreigner walks up and starts doing the same thing. Turns out Jason, a new assistant language teacher, has only been in Numazu for 2 weeks. I was having a hard time at work and he had been very isolated at home. So starts the busy day when I get invited to his welcome party, which is being co-organized by a teacher at my school. I end up meeting a member of congress and lots of other important members of Numazu city. We then met up with Emily (who I had gone to Tokyo with the weekend before) and did Karaoke and went to my first club here. The highlight of the club was at some point during the evening the curtains opened and two people in scream costumes started dancing in the crowd. Very bizarre and only dimly remembered but all the same very funny. So turns out I didn’t get home to gone 4.

I wake up at 12 with a knock on the door. I stumble down the stairs and find one of my teachers there. Damn I had completely forgot about going to his house for a bbq. Well that’s a lie I didn’t forget I just thought he was picking me up at 4-5pm as he had said. His whole family turns up to his house and we sit outside with plenty of food. Was a brilliant evening until the spiders decided to attack. I was supposed to be staying in their `cottage` but it was surrounded by jungle. In his attempt to clean and air the place he had unwittingly left the window open. This was there entrance. So he leaves me in the two-roomed house with the ants on the floor that I am currently killing with death spray. All of a sudden I see something evil on the wall. I kid you not there was a spider bigger than my outstretched hand. I try to spray the thing with little effect and it runs behind a wardrobe. I kick the wooden box and to my horror two of the damn things run out. Shouting `OH MY GOD` my teacher runs back in to ask what the matter is and sees the two spiders. All the while laughing we both try and kill the things. One dies and the other is just slowed down. This is the point when I plead if I can stay in their house. To which more laughing issues from him and a small nod of assent.

To this day they make me cringe and I am surprised I slept at all. I did learn one thing though and that is that in Japanese the word for Spider `Kumo` also means cloud. How the hell this ever came to be I don’t know. Clouds don’t look anything like an eight-legged beast of the netherworld!!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The longest post in history!!!

Right then… Another weekend down and some more scandal to blog.

The Old Art shop.
Well for those who don’t know I like to do a bit of art every now and then. So to further my ambition of one day being a rich artist I had been looking for somewhere to buy materials. I was having no luck until after work I decided to a take a bike ride to go see the old park a little ways from my house. The grounds were nestled on the ocean and I cycled through the very lovely park for about an hour. Deeming this trip not long enough I decided to follow the coast round and go into the dockside of town. (On the way I stopped at a jolly Shinto shrine and was promptly eaten alive by spiders, mosquitos and huge ants that seem to guard every infernal place)

After traveling through the docks that smell badly of fish, no surprise there though. I came into the bottom of town… Merrily riding my bike I saw a large old style roman statue in a window… Getting off my bike I laugh with joy as inside is oil paints and canvas boards galore. Even further into the small old shop is an ageing Japanese man smoking a cigarette. He lets me potter round for a bit as I am acting like a complete gaijin (i.e. foreigner). Then I start asking him how much stuff is… he speaks no English and my Japanese is terrible but somehow I manage to converse with him. After picking up tons of stuff I head over to the desk to pay for it all. He then sees my small board and says excitedly that he has okii ones. However, after me making several large bicycle gestures he laughs and nods his head. Mid way through paying he starts questioning me in old form Japanese and I am like eh? Yet again somehow we manage. He then looks at what I have bought and runs off back to the paint brushes and pulls me out another one putting it in my hand saying “service”. He then notices I don’t have a solvent pot so he pulls one from his own and wraps it up. I thank him generously and leave feeling pretty good. It makes you think god if everyone was like that the world would be a great place to live in. Wooo at last finished my feel good story of the day. On to some more drinking antics.

Karaoke Anonymous
The Fuji crew and Maia came to Numazu for a bite to eat. What started off as a simple izakaya meal ended in much pain for me and for my bike. Japan has no pubs so to drink you have to stay in an eating taverna style place. This is a fine concept seeing as eating and drinking at the same time means you stay relatively more sober than you would if you were just drinking. We were thinking of leaving and the age old question came up. What shall we do now? Well I won:t keep you in the dark long. Me and Maia love Karaoke and maybe should even attend K.A. (Karaoke Anonymous). So off we trudged to the cheap place by the station for an hours worth of singing fun. Unfortunately for Maia who was then screaming to do I all night we all had work the next day. They all left and I decided I wanted another drink so headed to the local gaijin bar for a beer (these places are like pubs just don:t open that early). My friend Yosuke was there and I had a good chat with the barman. The Time went fast and before I knew it I ha to leave to get back too. It was at this time I decided my bike needed a name. So what better than Focker. So there I was chanting to my bike come on you focker get me home. No quicker did these words leave my lips when all of a sudden I rode into a chain that had been pulled across the road I always ride out of. I had no time to think, off I was flung into the roadside my bike crippled at the chain. I felt like a jocky whose horse refuses to jump a hurdle. My bike had dismounted me. I felt ashamed and weary, and even a bit bruised (well that’s because I was!). I got back on to find my wheel slightly buckled but thankfully still ridable and with a desire to rename my bike forthwidth to something much more grand. I decided on Alfred and to this day he has struggled forth on his limping wheel.

The Typhoon and the drunken Irish.
The weekend couldn’ come quickly enough for I had agreed to go visit Kieran in Gotemba. The day before had been my first real typhoon. It was amazing. After a meal with some Numazu ALTs I walked home in it and by god did I get wet. I was soaked to the shirt and when I slumped into my front door I wondered if I was actually safer outside due to the banging and moaning of my house in the wind. However, I dried off slowly and soon after collapsed onto my bed while the galeforce winds destroyed trees and land in their wake. When I met Kieran at the train station I realize he had had a worse night than me. He recounted a drinks list longer than my arm and made me realize the Irish really do have no control (I realize I am a big hypocrite when I say that but still: THE IRISH!). He showed me round the pretty place that is Gotemba (replace pretty with small and infested with Marines and you get a better idea of what it was like). No but seriously we had a nice meal with his friends there but then I realized Gotemba has no drink all you can karaoke so it was an early night (relatively anyway).

The 4 hour walk to no where.
In the morning we still felt like crap but the day was young and the sun was strong. So in our naïve way we decided a walk to the peace park will be in order. That alone was 30 minutes away and the park itself was huge. Basically the gardens are full of Buddhist shrines, spires and truly was very impressive. We lit incense, hit large bells and drums. What we both thought was strange is that when we got to the carpark to leave the Japanese tourists were taking photos not of the huge buddhas but of the vending machines!!!!! “oh mina how was the peace park?” “ it was sugoi!!!, they had iced coffee in the machine look I have a picture!!!!”, “Wow, a picture of a vending machine let me see!!!!! SUGOI!!!! SUGOI DESU NE!!!!!!”

Not content with the walk that we had already completed a forest road at the back of the park looked enticing and a barrier across it made it even more so!!! We walked and walked and walked and walked. I ran into a web that actually broke with a pinging noise… we saw beetles the colour of the Australian flag and saw one lone Japanese man with a scary looking dog. What finally stopped us walking further were trees that had fallen across the road due to the typhoon and the realization that we had to walk all the way back down the road and the rest of the way back to Gotemba. My feet were not happy and blisters were my consequence.

All night Karaoke (I know I said I would give it up but its just too hard).
That’s right we all headed to Numazu for a big party… Korean food, drinking and the inevitable for me Karaoke. Some of the others went to a club with some middle-aged men who then also got stung by the club because the said men left without paying. You may think hey how did they get stung well it seems Japan has a kind of group mentality that even in a club you pay for your bill as a group at the end!!!! This meant the club goers payed a ton more money than us karaoke lot but I think we equally had fun. I have a few more songs under my belt for my enkai so I am happy. Can do a mean rendition of all night long by lionel richie and breathe by nirvana!!! Who would have thought. What wasn:t fun was getting back to my house at 6 in the morning and being greeted by what could be some of my students near my house all smoking. But I figure if they dob me in they aren:t allowed to smoke anyway so who will be in more trouble!!!! It might even give me street cred for being an all nighter!!! The only problem is that trying to remember their names or faces compared to them remembering mine is totally in their favour.

Beach Party in Atami.
Well after saying we would arrive in Atami at 2pm we didn:t even get up till 1pm. There was no hope of keeping to the time schedule. We arrived after the worst train journey ever. The train swung from side to side and was almost 45 degrees at one station. Me and Kieran actually were cacking our pants that the train was going to crash. So we were both damn happy when it pulled up at the station and we both hobbled to the loo to clean up the mess (only joking sorry!). Well Atami was full of us gaijin… loads of people had turned up but unfortunately I was not in a very chatty mood. Was very tired and a bit hung over but a swim and being taught some new acrobatic moves helped. In atami they have these floating platforms out in the water and they provide endless hours of fun. So doing flips and backward somersaults off them makes the time fly by and gives you nice bruises from the flops you inevitably do. So chit chat insued and the fireworks did not dissappont. We watched them lying on the beach and considering they are free shows you couldn:t ask for better. I have seen so many fireworks in the last month but they never get old. Its kind of like the dreaded K..ara….o…. no I can:t say it!!!!

Right well I realize you have all just read a novel but this thing is just as much for me as it is for you. Also I know mum and dad will read it even if it is boring as hell!!!!

Until next week and I am sure I will have done less although I am going to Tokyo to see my cousin James so I may be lying. I also probably have my work night out so that could provide more word count. This makes my 3rd year project seem like a piece of cake!!!!

Keep your emails up I enjoy reading them and never replying!!!!Ryan

Monday, August 22, 2005

Feeling like a drowned rat!

Wow where to begin… although schools are on summer holidays here they have kept me damn busy! Lets start by looking back at my oh so wonderful teacher training in Kakegawa. As the school pays for travel on business trips what better way to get to my destination than traveling on the fastest moving train system in the world. The shinkansen is an experience to behold, a trip that normally takes 2 hours by normal train is halved, the seats turn so you can face forwards or backwards dependent on mood and finally it just looks so damn cool! After arriving at the green mess of a building that is the asunoro education facility me, Kieran, Maia and the others all sat down in one huge room where we could all reestablish or disestablish the friendships we built up in Tokyo (although we are all in shizuoka prefecture, the prefecture is huge so its pretty hard to see everyone).

The Wednesday to Friday flew by with seminars on how to teach in my low level school and even a tea ceremony. Most people in my seminars were great and it was really good to catch up with everyone. The drinking at night was fun too but the pace was so remote there was only one conbini, which was a 20minute walk away. The walk entailed dodging spider webs and flying cockroaches but the nice cold beer was a good reward at the end. I also experienced my first onsen experience there. Which basically means naked bathing. You shower and scrub yourself on the outside of the baths and then step in to the scalding hot water whilst happily having chats with the other people… after 10 minutes of being boiled alive you leave and maybe have a cold shower before you put your clothes back on and get wet again because you sweat so much. The joys of Japan.

The training finished to whoops of joy as the food was terrible; there is only so much stodgy rice you can eat before you seriously consider eating your own arm. Luckily there was a night out planned in shizuoka. The mysterious business like cards were handed out to frowns of where the hell is this. Thankfully for us we had our guide in the form of the ajet representative Judy. With Babs offering to put us up, we had the stage set for a wicked night. The night started off good where we went to a pretty high-class sushi restaurant, which from the outside looked like a seedy yakuza hostess bar! After that we headed to the Bar where it was being held, however the place was so small we all drank outside on the street. Even so after the sake and matcha tea and some helpings of tequila I was having a great time. This led into a decision karaoke or club? Sadly we decided on club and on arrival found that like the bar the club was the size of a postbox. On the positive side we got to play our own music. My karaoke addiction was fulfilled as after a long party we all headed to a place to sing our hearts out. It was good for all of 30 minutes until Mr. I want to sing 3 Japanese songs in a row got on everyone’s goat. Drink has the unfortunate effect of a) making people sing flat and b) making them confident. Taking the latter me and Laura decided to cancel the dude’s songs and voted that we were to have no more Japanese anime songs. I wouldn’t have minded if he could actually hold a note but wailing cat isn’t 20 peoples cup of tea. Four of us headed back to our beds after discovering gyoza (which are maybe the best after drinking snack). Thinking the others were already asleep we crept in (you hopefully realize when I say creep in I mean we were laughing and walking into everything that was around). Thankfully the others were still awake and so belly laughing and eating dolmio flavoured Pringles ensued into the morning. (It was about 5 or 6 o’clock by the way!!!)

Write I better wrap this up a little bit more quickly. I just have to say the mishima festival was brilliant. They had traditional dancing which I tried to copy very badly, taiko drumming which was hypnotic and finally a Shinto shrine giving out fortune cards. I got one and was told excitedly by my supervisor that I had the best luck for the future. Got my fingers crossed its right because so far I am having a wicked time.

The new week ended on another high as I was sent to summer camp in Susono. About 12 ALTs were present most of them were my friends already; we each had 4 students under our wing. We ran activities and just generally improved their English through educational games. The kids were amazing and a shout goes out to Nomuras all stars (our team name). The funniest part of the summer camp was that we had an enkai every night. Waka sensei had gone overboard and bought tons of alcohol and food. The first night stayed restrained and I had a good conversation with matsumoto sensei who teaches world history. Yes I did the unthinkable and talked about the war!!!! The second evening was funny for two reasons. The fireworks in Japan are just not the same. Sparklers here are like flares so imagine 50 kids running round with flaming torches waving and chucking bombs that explode up into the air. Thankfully no one was hurt but I was having damn palpitations with the chaos. At the final enkai we played circle of death, which is an ominous sounding drinking game. Suffice to say the night went by in a blur of me talking in Japanese for 30 minutes about god knows what, downing whiskey, and for some reason continuously losing at some of the rhyming games. I awoke to a stinking headache and me and Kieran somehow missed breakfast even though we had 4 alarms set. Lunch was curry, which didn’t go down too well, and the train journey went down even worse.

Really sorry guys this just goes on and on don’t it?! Anyways last part now stay with me just a bit longer. I slept at home for a few hours and then got a call from Laura… damn I agreed to go to hamamatsu for a beach party so I got up ate some horrible food and took a 2 hour journey to Iwata. Thankfully a bed was prepared for me and whilst some people were drinking in the lounge I was in an out of consciousness, dribbling and sometimes making random outbursts just like on Father Ted.

The next day we headed into Hama that is bloody nice compared to Numazu. We met up with some hama Jets had some food and then got a Taxi down to the beach where the party was. We were dropped off in blackness with the strange feeling that the taxi driver was having a laugh. We eventually found the torches and music which signaled the P.A.R.T.Y. Was not what I was expecting but ended up being amazing. It was a small camper van, which sold beer and basically travels round Hama and sets itself up on the street. Loads of foreigners turned up, Jets and randomers some of whom were one side of being sane, I will leave you to guess which side. Once again the party went by in a blur of drinking dancing, being chucked into the sand, night swimming, a lightnining storm, dancing in the torrential rain… ending at around 6am. This is the longest party I have ever been to and was so much fun though I was feeling really worse for wear later that day.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Waku Waku WHAT!?!?!

Wow have I been busy or what. So my second week in Japan has been frantic. Work is going smoothly with hiccups due to my own self inflicted hang overs. My supervisor has been great and has been taking me on cultural excursions and shopping. I have started to cook for myself finally which is great seeing as I was spending a ton of money on eating out the whole time.

Early last week I had an email about a certain festival asking whether I would be willing to dance with some other Alts and help out a Japanese team competing. Seeing as I had nothing else to do off I went to training in a place called shimoto-gari. It was already hot so an hour and a half later after dancing to some song that we had to shout genki too and waku waku I was considerably tired. Undetered I signed up to perform it on the Saturday evening.

In its way stood an organized shizuoka Jet night out the day before. Little did I know what was to transpire. I got to the meal with a friend who I had been drinking with earlier and was pleased to find there were tons of people. The food was naff and I had already eaten at this so called garlic restaurant the other night with my supervisor. The bonus was that it was all you can drink. So became a personal mission to make my moneys worth. After 2 hours of this behaviour we all headed to the local speak EZ bar where I got to meet up with a few people I had already met. I think they were slightly overwhelmed with us with some of my friends taking it upon themselves to go behind the bar and fiddle with the music. (I think they were told to not do it again tho!!). I got matt one of the barmen to show us to the karaoke that I had been to a couple of evenings before. Once again there was the rule of all you can drink so about 8 of us were in the Karaoke booth with people leaving every now and then. In my warped mind I thought we were only there for a few hours but turns out that when the final few of us left we were greeted by the morning sun. Yes that’s right the day of the waku waku dance I was in karaoke till 5am in the morning. So much fun in all but less fun that I coulnd:t remember where I had left my bike nor the drunken ride home (which I later found out is pretty illegal to ride your bike whilst drunk!).

So where am I, yes after a sleep until 12am I get up wolf down some breakfast feel sick for a bit thenget a few more hours sleep. (I had to be at Waku waku festival by 5pm). Luckily I make it just in time but am feeling sorely worse for wear. Thank god I was met by a few others who had badly misbehaved, and been in the Karaoke all evening. We all consoled each other after finding out what our costumes look like and the amount of people who will be watching us swing round a huge hula hoop to music. Surveying some of the other teams revealed some real hard cases. A group of cheerleading girls on uni cycles, a large group of workers with the kanji for kill on their shirts and us in our bright yellow hawaian ponchos. The time table of dancing was crippling with 6 minutes followed by 4 * 12 minute sessions, then add 2 final 18 minute. It was great fun tho and we all rejoiced once it was over and kinda were sad that we woulnd:t get to do it again. Thankfully we won 2nd best costume and also 2nd best dance!!!!! But to know this we had to endure the most annoying commentator who spoke in the most excited and high pitched voice you can imagine. However she pailed in comparison to the women I had to sit opposite during the after dance celebration. I think she was the most annoying women I have ever met who I actually wanted to kill. Her worst habit was talking to us Alt with a mouth full of food. But in such away that she would lean over to you and basically spit the food out all over you!!!!!

Enough Japanese was the moral of the story so the next day some of us headed to Atami matsuri where I decided I would speak no Japanese all day. We all went swimming and then had an awful meal. However manami showed up later so we all watched the brilliant fireworks display. Seriously the fireworks here just out do anything I have ever seen. They have so many types and effects. Like ones that look like fireflies or a cosmos exploding.

So anyway I am guessing this is overload for some of you suffice to say I had a busy weekend and was a bit tired and tetchy at work on Monday, feel fine today tho! Going to Kakegawa teacher training tomorrow so that will probably be my next main update.

Hope to hear from some of you soon. I realize some of you are leading boring lives but that’s no reason not to send me a hello from the UK!!!!!

Ry