Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Another action packed day.

Woke up, ate, went to school with my brother. Sounds like a blast! School wasn't especially eventful, we had a health exam, and by that I don't mean a test, but everyone in the school went to the nurse's office. That was also pretty dull. But, some fun things did happen. I had calligraphy, and the calligraphy set that I ordered came, which is neat, I used an English to Chinese character dictionary that my teacher showed me to translate my name into chinese characters, but none of my friends could read it. After school, I went to Ikebukuro, and got my summer uniform, which is the short leave shirts, but I dont have a sweater vest, which is kind of a bummer. After taht, not really wanting to go home, as both my brothers had clubs today, I wondered around for a while. I found a bike shop, and looked at wheels, I will be able to commute to school soon, and my wheels are old. This shop sold Surlys which was kinda fun to see. After that I wandered over to Zoshigaya, which is a famous cemetary. Natsume Soseki is buried there, but after about 45 minutes of walking the rows, I couldnt find it, so I started to head home. The only time it rained today was when I was on the subway, which was lucky for me. When I got home, my little brother (just turned 13) tought be how to play Shogi, which is Japanese chess. It is super cool, and much more interesting that what I knew as chess. I won my first game ever! Here is the thing with the keyboards. They are fairly similar to standard keyboards, butg I have to deal with all the special Japanese keys, and the puncuation marks are in different places. Also, the space bar is really short, so I commonly hit this button that switches between the various alphabets (actually syllaberies, but English is an alphabet, so that is the one I used) which causes something weird to happen and for me to repeat words words, causes me to repeat words.

or something like that


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Oh yeah.

I have just about given up joining the soccer team. On saturday, I stopped by to watch again, and again, a group of kids came over and started talking again. The same 'translator' was there, and it was the same kind of thing as last time. One of the kids whispers something into the ear of the translator, and they both start laughing. This is bad, I think to myself. And again, in almost flawless English, this kid says to me "So, what color is your dick hair?" I laughed. A lot. I guess with blonde head hair and blonde facial hair, it might make some sense, but I just told him that his English was very good, and that he shouldn't use it for things like that. Then I left.


Man, Japanese keyboards are funky.

This and that.

I saw a great thing on the train yesterday, I little boy was drinking from a soda bottle (called PET bottles in Japan) and when he was done, his mom tried to wipe his mouth with a napkin, but he kept fighting her off. He dodged the napkin about twice, and wiped his face all over her jacket. I did everything I could to keep myself from laughing. Oh yeah, this is my first post from my new host. The family is super nice, and moving out was kind of sad. It wook a lot of work to pack all my stuff up, and then the goodbye was kind of sad. It was also sad to see all my hard packing work go to waste when I then emptied everything in my new house. I will post a picture as soon as I take one. This new house is about 10 kilometers from school, as opposed to 30 from the last one, and this one was a bunch of kids, so it is fun. I have my own room, and it is cute, a tatami room, and we just got back from the store for buying me a desk so that I can study, not that I do much organized studying. But of course, I am still plugging away on my kanji, and living in Japan in itself is studying. I think I will sit at the desk and read. I bought Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass in Japanese, as I love them both in English, and have started Alice. I could have purchased some Moomin books, as, for some reason (probably having to do with the cute stuffed animals), Moomin is very famous in Japan.
That is about all I can think of right now.


Oh yeah, what is internal medicine? The dad is a doctor, and does internal medicine, but I have forgotten what that is.

ps. To Miri, Naomi, and anyother Japanese students out there. How would you describe purikura?

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Today, tomorrow, and a little of last night.

I am moving tomorrow. I will be moving to my classmates house, and according to WYS, it will be for rest of the time I am in the country. I think that I am glad about that. In someways I am bummed that I won't get to talk with Japanese grandparents, but I suppose living with a kid at my school has some advantages. Because of the short moving notice, I spent all of last night, and will spend some time tonight, packing. I am spacially challenged, as well as I have a bunch of new stuff, so it might be tricky. Last night, coming home, outside of the station, I ran into my host brother, who I had not seen for over a week. We said a quick long-time-no-see and then he had to run off with some friends. Well, I ran into him again today outside of the internet cafe and we chatted for sometime. I thanked him a lot for what he did the last two months, and we traded phone numbers, and I told him that if he ever wanted help with English, he should call me. It is a pity that the main thing I will miss about this family is the one I saw the least. I got a goodbye and good luck hug, and then he had to go. That is about all the news, I will send my new families address to my parents as soon as I get it.


Friday, May 26, 2006

An action packed day in the life of me.

So, today was pretty dull. Classes were mostly going over the exams (the reason for my bad scores is of course that they were all written in Japanese) and I played soccer at lunch. Those kids are strong. I played keeper for a while, and got nice and cut up on the astroturf field. I thought my wrist was broken for a while, because the kid kicked the ball so hard. After school there was a kanji test, but it was a huge one, not the little kind that I was used to. All of the other kids in my class took their own test, and I took my middleschool test. It wasnt too terrible, I dont think I did especially well, but that is becuase nobody told me that I have a test. Oh well. After the test, I was told by my teacher to call WYS. Apparently, I have another family who wants to take me in, which is kinda nice, and we are deciding where I will live next. The new family, would be for four months, so I was inclined to say that one, as well as the fact that if I went with my classmate, we would be gone a quarter of the two months that I lived there on the school field trip. The new family lives on the same train line as I am right now, but much closer in. My counselor said something funny to me on the phone. It went something like this: "Your last host family didnt have very many people, so you will like this next one." What he ment by this was that this new host family, has 8 people living in it! I feel kinda weird, because I am afraid that I will be really big in a house that already has all those people. At least I wont be lonely. After school, as I was walking to the station, I watched the soccer team practice. I stood at the entrance to the field, and after a minute, a couple of the kids came running over to me and starting talking. We had a nice chat, about not anything in particular, one of the kids was having all of his friends ask him questions in Japanese and then he would translate them into English, even though I wanted to speak in Japanese, he wanted to practice his English, so I said ok. His English was pretty damn good. I was actually rather surprised in the conversation, I didnt get asked if I had a girlfriend (the answer is still no), but one of the kids said something in Japanese that I didnt catch, and they all laughed. The translator looks and me with a straight face and says in perfect English "Do you have a big dick?" The immaturity of the Japanese is rather astonishing. When I was hanging out with my friends in Ikebukoro a couple days ago, they were obsessing over stuffed Disney characters. weird stuff. Another interesting cultural thing, that I also experienced today, has to do with Koreans. There are roughly a million ethnic Koreans living in Japan. I wont go into any of the politics, as I really dont know enough about it, but the Tokyo Korean School is very close to my school. They use the same station. I was getting on the train to come home, and, as usual, the train was pretty packed. I was standing rather close to a bunch of middleschool girls from the Korean school. As I usually do on the trains, I was doing a little bit of eavesdropping, just to see (well, actually hear) if I could understand anything. They were mostly speaking in Japanese, with the occaisonal Korean, but then, again completely out of the blue, one of the girls says, and kind of loudly, "shit". I burst out laughing and probably scared them all. I told them, in Japanese, that shit wasnt a very useful word, and that they should try to avoid using it. They looked at me funny for the rest of the trip. Thats about all for now, I am looking forward to dinner.


ps. Chris, how should I go about explaining purikura to everyone?
also, Miri and Naomi, nice to hear from you, I am having some trouble with my cellphone, but will see if I can send you some mail.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

this and that.

exam week is over. sort of. the exams are over, but i still have school this friday and satuday. exams were pretty terrible, but at least they got me out of school early. after school today, I met my new host mother. my host brother is a classmate of mine, and a very nice kid. they live about 6 or so miles from school, so i will be riding (i hope) as soon as i move in, which is in about a week or so. their house is very cute, and i will take pictures when i next go. in other news, I have stopped wearing my annoying day retainer, and now only do the night one. I swear i really do have a modelling gig, but it got moved back to the 4th of june, becasue Anya kept fogetting to call the people, but this means that I can ride at the track, which will be really nice. It rained like hell yesterday, which was really really nice, because it is hot, and we have huge lightning and thunder. how the hell are you supposed to take a picture of lightning? there was some really sweet looking lightning yesterday. you know your school has a good soccer program when a graduate of your school (i think 97 or 98) is a starting midfielder for the japanese national team at the world cup. they have a big banner commemorating him at the school. not much else is new. congrats to all the seniors back in portland who are done with school.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

just a quick note

for those who care, i am predicting this for July
1) Ivan Basso
2) Jan Ullrich
3) Alexandre Valverde
but Valverde and the Illes Bareas guys have the best uniforms.

does anyone know where one can watch the tour in Japan?


Monday, May 22, 2006

the in hopefully immortal words of the other exchage student, Chris...

..."after a knowledge of Japanese, a cellphone is the most useful thing you can have"
you something like that. but is it ever true. today i went to school, forgot that we had exams today, and was thus very surprised when I got there. the only one i had today was physics, and the japanese was too difficult. i can do that kind of physics, but i didnt really know what it was asking, so that kinda but a wrench in my plans. since there were only 2 exams today (im not taking the other class, ancient japanese) we were done at 10:30. what was i supposed to do? well, i hung out with some friends some my class whose gender you can probably guess. one of them was the one I usually walk with, and the easily one of the friendliest people I have met since I got here. we went again to Ikebukuro, and they we had lunch, and then went to sunshine city. the emphasis here is on city, becasue it is all underground or in a very large building. we went into some weird amusement park type place where we went to a haunted house, did purikura, and then went to gyoza town. after that we went to ice cream town, which is all inside sunshine city. that place is nuts. after that, we left, and then went to karaoke. that was terrifying, yet strangely fun. i need to learn to sing, but not really, becasue none of them can sing either. it was priceless hearing this girl sign " er, is for the way you rook, at me..." oh man, that was fun. one the way back to the station and waiting for their train (different directions, but i am a gentleman like that), one of them made fun of the other one and is trying to hook the two of us. considering that I walk with her to the station fairly often and think that she is gorgeous, im not really complaining.


Sunday, May 21, 2006

newsnewsnews, and lots of it

oh boy, do i have a lot to post. I just got back from the orientation, which was really fun. after school on saturday, I hoped a train down to the Olympic Youth Center (i had packed some clothes) and met up with WYS. I was talking with Chris, who is the other American exchange student through WYS. what are teh odds that they is a japanese cheerleading convention going on at the same time as we having our orientation? well, there was. that was fun. I met the students who were going abroad in August or so, and they are all fun. We had a fairly boring time up until when the orientation program ended. then the fun began. Chris and I went off to look for the cheerleaders, but came up short in the end, which wasnt terrible because of the other fun things that happened. We ended up chilling with the outbound students, which was probably what we were supposed to do. that or sleep. and sleep i did not.
we ate some stuff and took pictures and shared purikura, and all sorts of fun things, and then as it got later and later we started to thin out. In the end, I was talking with 3 or 4 of the female exchange students (is this the right usage dad?) and we just chatted for a while. I dont really know what time that was, but after a while, we decided to go to bed. We were all in the lounge at the end of the hall, and I walked with them to there room, which was right across from mine. I stood in teh doorway and wished them goodnight, and as i was about to leave one of them asked me an english question. so, I started to explain. then i explained some other english things, and after a little while, they told me to come in and sit, as having the door open the whole time was letting the cool night air out. oh yeah, it is pretty warm here in Tokyo. so I came in, and i basically started teaching at around 2 in the morning. I explained all sorts of things (one of them asked why we pet cows and eat beef, but pet chickens and eat chickens, for which I could only explain the cows to beef thing, and pulled the rest completely out of my ass, but they believed me, and thought that I was a genius, and so they started calling me Piitaa sensei, which kinda means peter the teacher. oh, the cows to beef, as well as sheep on the roof but mutton on the table has to do with the rich french who lived in england around the year 1000 (i think that is right) and the poor farmers. the poor farmers, who saw the animals live, used teh english words, but the rich french, who saw the animals on their plates, used the french words, and over the centuries, they have adapted into the modern words we have now. what i made up had to do with the possiblility that chickens might not have been native to one country or the other, so the other people adapted that word. ( also pulled a explaination of nickname out of my ass at breakfast this morning. i said taht nick in itself was a 'nickname' and that it might have been the first.)
After that, we kept talking, and I would occaisonally teach them something, and we were all getting a little tired, but it was super fun, so we didnt do anything. About 4:30 in the morning, we looked outside and saw that it was getting light out, so we decided to go for a walk. we walked around the campus to work of some steam, and see if the cold air would wake us up a little. we came back to the room and one of the girls said something along the lines of that she had forgotten to finish the orientation work book, so she started working on that. i walked over to her, sitting on her bed, and asked if she needed help with it. so, I was a teacher once more. I sat down at the foot of the bed, and helped her. by this point, one of the group had gone back to her room (usually two, sometimes 4, this was a 2) and one of the other girls had fallen asleep on the other bed. We worked for a bit longer, and everyone else in teh room (four total, one asleep, one other girl, the girl i was helping, and me) and we were all pretty tired. I kept sorta nodding off, but that was beacsue I had been up for close to 24 hours, and they were all like "its ok, you can sleep", and I was like, thanks, but dont we have to be up 7? well, the next thing I remember was waking up about 6:30 in the morning lying in bed next to this girl (and by that I mean, I was asleep at the foot, and she at the head, or something like that.) most fun I have had since I came to japan. then, this morning, we finished off the orientation, took the obligatory photos, exchange emails and phonenumbers and cellphone addresses
and speaking of cellphones, I bought one with my counselour after teh orientation. The phone that I had first looked at at the Vodafone store was 10,500 yen (about 100 bucks), but we went to the local friendly neighborhood 7-11, and got it for 7140, which gave me enough money to also by a 3000 yen prepaid card, which I would have needed anyway, but this was basically with teh phone, enough money to fax the application off to vodafone, and also enough for some ice cream while we waited. my phone isnt the coolest phone on the planet, but it is in japanese, which is good for me. it is also bright yellow, which is really cool. it can take pictures, send emails and such, music, someother cool things, I am still trying to figure it all out.

much love


Friday, May 19, 2006

Apology, and then some fun stuff

I would like to apologize for the tone of the recent post in which I swear a lot more that I would have liked to. I thought that a blog was the place to put all things good and bad, but for the sake of my readers, I will try to keep this one to only the good.
Interesting article in the NYTimes that can be found here:
And have I been to one? where else do you think I go since my family doesnt have a computer? I can post more about that later, but since I am hungry, I think I will order from the kitchen here at my super cafe!
Today, Tomorrow, and the next day (friday, saturday, and sunday) is the orientation. becasue I have school on saturday I cant make in today (friday), but will go after school on saturday, and stay the night. on sunday, after the orientation, I will get my cellphone with my counselor, and then go watch the final stage of the Tour of Japan which takes place in downtown Tokyo. I wanna meet the Fidea team!!!!

hope this post was better then the angry one


Thursday, May 18, 2006

At least I can laught about this

the hand on top is mine, and the one below belongs to a friend in my class.
The japanese are incredibly immature, take for example, this picture. We played a modified version of the game horse at break today. We played rock-paper-scissors, and if you lost, the winner got to write one letter of the chosen word on the losers hand. Ken Ishida (but since it is japan, everyone calls him Ishida) chose his favorite word in the entire english language: pubic. THis is the word that I corrected the pronounciation of from teh dictionary, because it pronounced it like the first three letters would suggest pub(a place where you get a drink) and then ic. As you can see, I won the game. one of my other friends wanted to play with his favorite word (im not going to say what it is) but we didnt have time.
man, that was fun


caution: swear words ahead

I am pissed. According to my teacher, my next homestay will be with a classmate. this is nice because i will have a friend my age, but this one is, apparently, also for 2 months. as i understood, WYS couldnt find another family for me, so they had to resort to asking the school, and they are finding kids in my class who will take me for two months. WTF!!!!! what the hell am I stuck doing this stupid fucking two months thing. none of the the other exchange students have to move around like this. it is absolutely ridicolous. why the hell cant my damn program find a stupid family for me to live with. two months is not nearly enough time to get teh family feeling going, so they shouldnt be calling it the 'host family'. I am hella pissed about that. i am probably going to get a call tonight from him and ask about what is up with all that, because having to change every two months is not going to be good for my health, both mental and physical. why the hell cant they find a damn family!?!?!?!? this is just dumb. straight up bullshit.

WYS okayed the cellphone thing, so now I can get one, which means I probably wont be so lonely anymore. whoopdydoo, i still have to deal with this fucking home problem.

goddamn it



Tuesday, May 16, 2006


just a little thing, but i saw the best looking female I have seen since i got here today. we were on the train, and a couple minutes before my stop, I had the guts to tell her that I liked her earrings, though that wasnt all that was really really amazing about her. we talked for the rest of train ride, and she and i get off at the same stop! hot shit! she is a hair stylist in Harajuku, which is where the Bopeep women are, and she goes to a stylist school in Kokubunji. She had really sweet shoes, really sweet earrings, a shirt of amazing color, and a cool hair cut. speaking of hair, my modelling gig is on the 28th, not the 21st. i will tell you more about it when i know some more. so here is what happened. when i was chillin with the other exchange students in Roppongi, the errand that we ran was to a salon. Anya, who had the appointment there, told us to wait outside for a minute. she went in, and came back a couple minutes later telling us that it might take a minute, and that we should come in too. so, I was the next one in the door, and as soon as i walked in teh door, everybody in teh place goes quite. they all stared at me, or more properly, my hair. my lucious blond hair which has been teh object of a lot of stares (a group of middle school girls walked up to me once and said in very broken english "hair...touch" i think that is the only time someone was asked to怀play with my hair) so, we all were in the salon, and the guy at the counter asked if I would model too. how cool is that. I will just be an extra, but i hope that I atleast get a hair cut out of it. can you say saving 60 bucks?

I bought some purple pants yesterday. Im talking with WYS tonight about a cellphone.


Sunday, May 14, 2006


was fun. I met a bunch of the other exchange students, but the ones who had been here for a while, so we could, and did, speak in japanese. 2 germans, 1 mexican, and issei, for a very short time. We went to Roppongi, chilled for a bit, ran an errand, then went to shibuya and chilled some more. came home and took my host mom out to dinner for mothers day. Happy Mothers Day to all of my mothers out there, and all mothers in general.

whats this i hear about me having a modelling gig next weekend at a fancy salon in Roppongi?


Saturday, May 13, 2006


i am a coward. sorta. on the walk to the station, i always walk really slowly, so that i get home a little later, as well as i can talk with as many people as possible. today, it was raining, and as sorta a joke, i didnt get out my umbrella so that if a cute girl asked, i could walk with her. unfortunately, on this walk, and when a girl who i like caught up to me, and asked if i had an umbrella, i didnt have the guts to lie and say i didnt have one, so i just said that i didnt need one, and now i think i caught a cold. shucks. i will know about my host family sometime the end of next week i hope, and on monday of next week, i talk with WYS about getting a cellphone. i asked politely about the bike thing, and they said it was too far, but when i get my new family, i can ride from there. speaking of riding, i think i will brave teh wet Tokyo streets and go for a ride. or rock climb. or eat, i cant remember if i have eaten anything today.

oh well


Friday, May 12, 2006


apparently, my exchange program thinks it is too dangerous to ride my bike to school, so i cant. WTF!!!! didnt i bring my bike with me all 5000 miles across the pacific ocean so that i could commute. what a crock of shit. i am going to call them today, and give them a piece of my mind, ask about my new host family, and see if i can get a cellphone, so that i can talk with my friends, as i pretty damn lonely at my current house. pissed. i have started reading a book called foreign studies by endo shusaku, who is a famous japanese author, and it is about japanese studying abroad in france, and i can relate to a lot of the things i have seen so far. speaking of reading, i am really pissed off at Mr. Halpern, because I STILL havent heard anything from him, but i am working on a very serious and not derogotory email to him. ill give him a taste of his own damn medicine. pity i liked him so much, becasue he sure is being a dick.

i am lonely, and i have absolutely no intention of returning to the united states.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

this and that

i got permission to ride my bike to school today. i actually got permission to not wear my uniform when i show up at school, but i have to get a bike pass for the bike parking place. i will double check with the exchange program sometime. speaking of wys, i dont have a new host family yet, and i really want a cellphone so that i can talk to people, as the phone at my house broke. i had a fun experience on teh train today. there were some high school girls standing infront of me, and they were drinking these little tiny paper cups of coffee. one of them had finished hers, and had folded the cup up and placed it under her elbow. unfortunately, some of the coffee was left and spilled on her uniform jacket, and she didnt notice. so, i final told her, and they both were really surprised that i spoke japanese (no shit, more on that in a sec) after that, we had a nice chat for about 10 minutes then the got off the train. however, at their station, it wasnt just the got off the train and left, they waited for the train to leave as they were waving to me. speaking of girls, there are too damn many good looking girls in this country. grrrrrr.
right, so more on the surprised i spoke to japanese. i am the target of racial prejudice, but i am the only one who knows it. whenever i speak to a strange (such as the time on the train, or when i ask for directions) they answer me in english, and i have to tell them they should speak in japanese. its as if they dont think that a person like me can understand japanese. it is just a little thing, but it really bugs me.

it is pretty early and i really dont want to go home, i think i will wonder around, maybe see if i can buy some of there really cool looking pants i have seen recently. they are purple. how cool would that be?


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

speaking english

So, I told my friends that I sometimes call home at lunch, and that if any of them wanted to speak english, they should come with me, and I would have them talk to one of my friends. Well, they were all too scared, but today, I dragged a couple classmates to a phone, and they talked. Not all of them wanted to talk, so they played rock-paper-scissors, and the loser talked first. Bad at english my ass. ok, well, so maybe they arent perfect, but I would say (and Im sure Sarah S. would too) that they english is pretty decent. The first kid was pretty decent, and then after that, I made teh other 4 of them talk. It was mostly short introductions, and somevery basic questions, but it was good practice for them. Afterwords, they all said it was fun and interesting. i did something right!!!! I think that from now on, about once a week, I will take the kids down to the phone, and have them practice with my friends. it was fun.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006


heh. i hate the english language. Did you know that the word english comes from the 9th century? King Egbert of Angland (land of the Angles) did something and his people all spoke the language Anglisc, which has morphed into English. Or something like that. I started to read the book about languages that the guy gave me. It is called The Miracle of Language, by Richard lederer, or something like that. I kinda like it. oh yeah, back to hating english. so, I teach english from 8 to 8:30 everymorning in homeroom. today, I was correcting the worksheet, and was talking about apostrophe 's' and when not to use it. I think I got it all mixed up, and so I ran down to the english louge, and asked. boy, i hate english. i got it right in my context, but not always in general was what i said write. I went to an english bookstore today. It is in teh same area as Waseda, where I met Hidetoshi. It was fun. I bought a book my the famous japanese author Endo Shusake called Foreign Studies. I hope it gives me some interesting things to think about. I also got and english to japanese slang dictionary. I didnt even know some of those english slang words existed. oh well, it was fun.

this teaching thing is kinda fun.


Tall white guy salute!

I dont like talking to foreigners. however, I couldnt help but start a conversation with a fellow over 6 footer with blond hair and blue eyes. I asked him if he had been in japan for a while, and then if he has gotten used to being tall, white, blond, and blue eyed in japan. luckily, he has, which gives some hope for me, but we did come to the conclusion that i had it worse, as I was a school kid. Nice guy, we talked for about 30 minutes, he lives kinda near me, and he is from Luxemburg. thats all i learned. most other white foreigners make me feel dirty.


Monday, May 08, 2006


I talked with some of the english teachers at Teikyo today. by that I mean the english teachers who are native speakers. I spoke to one who was a lot of help, he lent me a book and has tons more all about languages. Right now, I am thinking about spending the next 10 years riding about the world stopping for a while here and there and teaching english, while learning how to teach that native language, and by doing so, I can come up with good ways to teach foreign languages. sounds fun to me.

im gonna go eat something



I am pissed. I really cant wait until I get a new host family. Sure I am used to the area, have made some friends with my various neighbors, shops, and such, but I am pissed at my family. I really like my brother for the whole 5 minutes a week that I see him, but my host mom is driving me crazy. My mom sent me a package before my birthday, and on the 30th of april, the post office delivered it. no one was home, so they places a message of nondelivery in the mail box. But, my mom never checks the mail box, so I didnt find that the box had arrived until the 7th of may. thanks mom, both, though for different reasons. well, now i have my new tires and tubes, thanks molly. other pissed thing. my mom is always complaining about money, so I was wondering why she has an exchange student. well, i found out, and well damn if it doesnt piss me off. she does this annoying thing of ruining a perfectly good japanese sentence by throwing in an english word. here is an example:
the word for to put in is hairu, but she says in suru. suru means to do.
the word for to go is iku, but she says go suru.
I finally asked why she did that. she said that she wanted to practice her english. I asked her kindly if she would speak in japanese only. she said no, she wanted to practice her english, that was why she took an exchange student. WHAT THE FUCK! the whole purpose of an exchange student is for the student to learn the foreign language. my program is always discouraging using english, and here my host mother is wanting to practice her english. that pisses me off. I almost lost my temper when she said taht, but realized that I still have a couple weeks with them, and dont want to have to make my own food and stuff for that time, so I just left the room slowly.

also, sorry about the capitalized f-word, but it is the best word for that situation.


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Ghibli Museum

I went to the Ghibli Museum today. not actually in it, but I walked around it, and sat and read in teh park. I will try to get tickets, but they are super hard to get. Dash, July's tickets arent on sale yet, which is a good thing for us. It was fun, I whittled the day away walking, and did very little studying over golden week, which is not a good thing. I hope I can make up a good excuse/convince my teachers that I was studying over golden week, as any time outside is time studying for me. Man, i am not a big fan of kanji. sure they are fun to look at, and calligraphy is super awesome, but do there have to be so damn many of them? For lack for a reason, I will blame Jiying for all the problems I have with chinese characters. sorry about the lame post, I dont want to go home, and didnt do much since my last post. I almost bought a pocket dictionary, but it turned out to be like 30 bucks. the reason, it was the doraemon edition. It was exactly the same as the normal edition, but had pictures of doraemon everywhere. Doraemon is awesome. I cant really explain him to anyone, so I recommend you look here:
by the way, i love wikipedia.
and that korean girl, pity the series is over. and man, i am way better looking than the main guy who she ends up marrying. and grandpa, the japanese girl are all beautiful. or, most of them anyway.

man i want a girlfriend


Saturday, May 06, 2006

Picking up chicks.

Today makes me laugh. I opted not to go to Dennys and instead ate some Japanese breakfast food (pretty damn tasty) and then went to the konbini. konbini is the japanese word for convience store, and they are everywhere. I bought a liter of apple juice and a kitkat bar and went and sat in the park. I started to drink the apple juice and wonder what I want to do today, when along comes a decent looking girl and sits on the next bench over. I toke no real notice of this for some time, as I was pretty wrapped up in my apple juice. not really thinking of anything, I kinda look over and see a bunch of pidgeons. I ask the girl in japanese, what the japanese word for that kind of bird it. She answers, and I reach into my bag to get my notebook and write it down. She asks me if i am an exchange student, I say yes, yaddayadda, the usual questions. she too was an exchange student in highschool, whe went to Brisbane. Anyway, we just talked for some time, and she moves to the same bench as me, and we keep talking. A little while later, her phone rings, and she says she is going to meet a friend of hers, and asks if I would like to come along. Of course, I say yes, and off we go. We walked to her house, where we mounted some junkie japanese bikes and rode off. we rode through several very cool pretty parks, ate at a sushi-go-round that was actually really really damn good, and much cheaper than anything in the states, and rode some more, we found quite possibly the coolest playground ever. then we met Joji, who is a middle school friend of hers, and he is super cool. They are both college students, she is 22, and i think he is 23. We explored the campus of a japanese university (Hitosubashi university) and that was fun, then we had Taiyaki, which are tasty. They are traditionally sweet bean paste baked into waffle tasty like things shaped like fish. They are hella tasty. Then he left Joji, and Mikiko and I rode back. We rode past some super cool historically things very close to where we live (we live fairly near each other) and there I was thinking that that place was boring. I took a bunch of pictures, and that "ask a giraffe" one. It is a restaurant/cafe type place, but pricy so we didnt eat there. Then we rode home.
So, the best way to meet chicks is to ask them what a word is in their native language. Or at least that worked for me. Once.
Dash- I enjoyed Wrong about Japan enough, but it was way to rushed, and I wish he has talked a lot more about the cultural aspects like he did with Totaro. Oh yeah, the Ghibli museum is pretty close to my house. Send me your current flight stuff, and I will see if i can get tickets.


First sunburn of the year

chilled with an old friend yesterday. It was the last day of golden week, and everything was super packed, but we did some of the cool things. We went to Asakusa and saw some cool stuff, a lot of which is actually reproductions, as the stupid americans bombed the hell out of that area destroying a lot of historical temples and such in WW2. Then we went to Ueno park. that was a blast. has some greentea softserve, that stuff is rockin. saw this guy who I had just read about in a magazine. he is a musician, but he rides everywhere on his bike, and so he made these instruments that fold up and can be fitted easily to his bike. He also rides for the bike team in japan that I have thought about joining. Hidetoshi and I went to teh zoo, and it was super hella crowded. I saw a classmate from school, which I think is interesting, becasue I only know about 50 people in the country, and so the odds of seeing someone you know are going to be pretty small. the zoo was kinda funny. one time admission is 600 yen, which is about 5 bucks. an annual pass is 2400 yen, or 20 bucks. isnt one time admission to the oregon zoo like 20 bucks? i dont know, I hadnt been to a zoo in years, but the ueno zoo was really cool, and then we went home. and i got a sunburn. suck. just a little bit on teh arms, but it is still a pain. my arms are still sore from rock climbling like 4 days ago, and my whole body is sore becasue it is 9:30 and i havnt eaten anything yet. I really craze a western breakfast. I am thinking about heading over to the Dennys near the station, but cant really decide. dont know what I will do today, probably something japanese, and hope to get some time to study the old kanji. I have read some of the books that I brought along. I finished the T.R. Reid book called "Confucius lives Next Door". I really liked that, even if I see some big differences between his experiences and mine. I also finished the Peter Carey book "Wrong about Japan" I enjoyed this one much less, as it seemed to me that it was incredibly rushed, and they was this really big thing that I didnt like. He and his son say that they wont see any "real Japan", by which they mean they wont go to any temples or museums, but they stay in a ryokan, and manga, which is the subject of the book, and from reading the book it seems to me that they dont realize this, is a huge part of "real Japan". Well, I really should be analying the books for Halp instead, but the weather is too nice to waste the day with all my energy focused on that. I do like Kokoro though. If any of you get the chance to read it, I highly recommend it. It is by Natsume Soseki, and I actually picked up a copy of it in Japanese, but it is super difficult.

gonna go eat something.


Friday, May 05, 2006


couple bum things
1) it is hot outside
2) I got the CDs made yesterday, but the movies werent on them. the movies were pretty dull anyway, but at least the pictures are 3 meg a piece.
3) i renewed my trainpass a day early and by doing so I lost use of it for the day, which means I will have to spend the 3 bucks to get into tokyo, but at least once I get there I am meeting Hidetoshi, who is an old friend, and we will show me what is cool.
4) they were out of orange juice at teh drink dispenser at the internet cafe
5) this one is kinda funny too. 2 days ago, I was walking home and was around my mansion (thats the english translation of the word) when I saw 2 girls playing badminton. I was going that direction anyway, so I kept walking. they saw me and started to walk the other way. I kept going in my direction, which was right where they were, they kept walking away. then, I took the stairs back to my house. yesterday, I went outside and saw a nice old woman who lives downstairs from me playing with her granddaughter and these two girls, I went down and said hello to the woman, who introduced me to all of them. I now have a bunch of new friends who live in my mansion. here is the bum thing. they said we had sort of met yesterday, they were teh girls playing badminton, and I said oh yes i remember, they said they had kept walking away and asked if I was scary. yes (sobs). apparently, you dont get alot of foreigners in this part of the city.
6) last bum, then I will go meet hidetoshi. I was at teh park yesterday watching this little girl learn how to ride a bike. her mother would push her for someways and then let go, but the girl was having trouble. I went down and said that they needed to raise the seat a little bit so that the stronger muscles could pedal, as she was having trouble getting pedalling. they raised the seat and not to much later, the little girl succedded in riding. I cant believe I forgot to take a picture. bummer. I went down and congratulated her, and of course she was extatic, and said thankyouthankyouthankyouetc, as did the rest of her family, but they heartwarming part, was when she and her parents bowed as they siad thankyou. i cant believe I forgot to take a picture. her little brother was riding his trainwheels happily around the park, and was also saying thankyou, probably just because the rest of the family was too. I CANT BELIEVE I FORGOT TO TAKE A PICTURE. grrrrrr.

enough bum things, they weather is great, if hot


Thursday, May 04, 2006


why is it so strange that a foreigner living in a foreign country speaks that countries language, but not strange at all that natives of that country speak foreign languages? someone will say hello or something to me, and when I respond in Japanese, they look at my very strange or laugh. i wonder how long (if ever) it will take me to get used to the fact that I will never fit in here.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

plans for the future

wow, my 5th post this morning, and it isnt even 9:30. so plans for the future

I have decided (changed my mind again) that I think I would like to be a language teacher. As this is my second to Asia, and this is 6th country, I am having a greater and greater desire to travel more and more, and especially to learn the languages. I occaisionally watch these language programs on TV, where you have japanese trying to speak foreign languages (bere ist de toirretta?) I have seen english, spanish, german, french, and russian so far. there is also a kids show where this guy visits italy. but my favorite foreign language program is a show whose name I still dont know, but I am absolutely in love with it. actually I am in love with the main character, because she is as good looking as Zhang Jiyi, and I didnt think that was possible. It is a "kankokugo dorama" which means a korean drama, and it is all in korean, but has japanese subtitles, so as my japanese reading gets better, I can pick up little bits of korean. The korean high school is very close to teikyo, and so I regularly see korean kids on teh train, and have actually spoken to one, and spoke in korean. They all of course speak perfect japanese, so we started in english, then went to japanese, and ended in korean. that was fun. so, my plans for the future are something along the lines of traveling the world and learning a bunch of languages, and then starting a language school, where all of the languages are in a variety of languages. sound ok?
could someone find out if you need a teaching license to start a preschool, because if you dont, I dont have to finish highschool, and can start traveling the world sooner. rad!

"everytime I take the train im hastled for a ticket,
everytime Im battin cricket first ball takes a wicket"? austrailian hiphop rocks my socks


I want to get married.

I want to marry this bag. This bag belongs to one of the girls who was dancing in the park last weekend.

the full text that wraps around the bottom reads:

"Swimmer shopping bad is very cute and ecorogy, you have better taken me wherever you go" all caps, and no, I dont get it either. the large text reads "very very long cat!"

I am madly in love


This post is for Roger Geller, and the bikes of Portland

By now, most of you should have seen the great new bike signs going up around Portland which have destination distance and time on them. The picture at left is not of them. Ian Hoyer and I helped the city put them up, and we had a blast. but I get to japan and I see these signs. The calorie thing I belive is for walkers, and I thought these signs were pretty sweet. Destination, distance and calories burned? maybe something to think about for the next batch of signs with all the weight freaks in the states? I dunno, I really like the ones in Portland.

could someone forward this post/link to blog to jonathan at bikeportland, I keep forgetting to send it to him.


Golden Week

It is Golden Week here in Japan, which is the week chock full of holidays which means no school which means I am bored which means I finally have some time to catch up on some posting. Then I will go do something exciting when it gets later in the day.
Japan is without a doubt the land of juxaposition. I took some pictures at Yasukuni of a little old house with a woman dressed for a tea ceremony (I didnt get to watch. suck!) and in the background is this enormous building.
I met with my counselor yesterday, we talked about all sorts of stuff, he asked alot about how I was doing, he kept apologizing about the whole family situation, we siad I will have a new family in a couple weeks, and can move in with them sometime next month, something about the first one being a kind of transition family. I dunno, it was kinda boring. While we were chatting on the 8th floor of this building in Tokyo, an earthquake hit!!!!!!! wheeeeeeee! it was a 4 on the ricther scale, which was pretty fun. hmm, whatelse. i didnt ask him about a cellphone (they original told us 6 months, but my host families phone broke, so mabye sooner), I dont really care, but I think it would be nice to have one as everyone is asking if I have one. I missed my favorite TV show because we talked for like 90 minutes, more on the show in a minute.

fun picture #1 : see above
this is a picture I took outside, of all places, a bike shop. the text at the bottom of the sign says
"Finest your life with Honey or BICYCLE"
can you say Cervelo r3?


dear students of lincoln high school

there was recently an article about me in the Cardinal Times, and there was a link to the blog. if you are visiting the blog because of the article, please post a quick comment as to how the article looks. i am interested in readship of both the blog and the newspaper.
for those of you who dont go to lincoln, you can find the article (sans picture of me eating japan on a map) on the web at www.cardinaltimes.com click on the "news" link, and scroll down abit. its pretty accurate, except the languages got a bit mixed up.


Monday, May 01, 2006

outside of school.

i still havent joined a club. i was taking a walk by my house and watched some kids dancing in the park, i watched for a while and then tried to emulate them while hiding in the bushes, but when i couldnt do this one step, i went up and asked them how to do it. that was awkward. so i am practicing some dancing, but it is hard. the kids were boys and girls from highschool, college, and beyond. i also found a little rock gym by my house, and by gym i mean that they have walls and walls of bouldering, but nothing over about 15-20 feet high. i might go everyonce in a while if i feel like it. thats about it


Id love to go out with you, one quick question, whats your name?

now, (un?)fortunately, this conversation hasnt happened yet. but i was on the train with some girls from school today, and one of them said in japanese that i was pretty. i said in japanese thank you, and asked if she was telling the truth. she said that i was pretty in english. i again said thanks and thought to myself for a little bit. "cool, thats really awesome. now, i could tell her i think she is pretty back, and that might be fun, but wait. i dont even know her name!" that is often the case. i think i know the last name of everyone in my class now, plus a couple first names, but we dont use those. however, if you are in the international course, you use the first name, so I know a bunch of kids first names from the international course. this whole name thing is getting me down, becasue everyone knows my name, but noones tells me theres, unless we are hanging out or i ask, which for some reason is super awkward.

in the end, I told her in japanese that she was pretty.

damn, everyone in this stupid country is pretty