pictures i owe you from the marathon

30 08 2008
Pictures from my trip to Tokyo for the 2008 Tokyo Marathon.  Did I write about how I ran that?  Well, I did.




pictures i owe you from winter

30 08 2008

I’m trying to rectify my lack of posting by posting copious amounts of pictures.

Here’s the first in a series of many.





irony?

6 08 2008

Talk about ironic (at least I think it is…I know how much Alanis Morisette is criticized for her imprecise linguistic skills).  Now that I’ve finally got my Japanese drivers’ license, my car doesn’t work.

This is after using two days of paid vacation to take trips to the driving center four hours away; license translations and translation mistakes; freaking out about the practical test, which was actually explained step by step by the proctor (step by step like “you turn your blinker at this spot…be sure to check your blind spot…make sure there are no children under your car before you start”—talk about practical!), oh, and not being able to drive for three weeks.

If it’s not some sort of cruel irony, it still sucks.  I just wanted to use a bigger word.





stuck

20 03 2008

For some reason, I’ve come to Japan and turned into the dumbest driver on Earth.  In the States, I had a flawless record, and while technically that’s still the case (the police have yet to officially get involved), I have managed one-up even last weekend’s antics.

Yesterday while driving in Tomakomai, I tried to follow what looked like a short cut on the most accurate map in Japan.  Not accurate enough.  I found myself driving around some random industrial park trying to make my way back to a highway.  I don’t know why I didn’t just turn around.  Part of me wanted to prove that the map wasn’t all that bad and that somehow, somewhere, these gravel roads next to unused train tracks would reconnect to the highway whose bridge I could see in the not-too-far distance.  Well, it didn’t.  The only thing I found was a pile of snow.

It was a bit deeper than I thought.  No matter how much I dug out from under my tires, or how hard I ran my engine, there was no removing my car from this mini-mountain of snow.  Quickly getting over any sense of pride I had, I called my supervisor who warned me it would be an expensive, difficult endeavor to get my car out.  Not wanting to spend any money, while he looked up phone numbers, I went exploring this industrial park on a Sunday to find it appropriately desolate, except for three men shootin’ the breeze.

Three men shootin’ the breeze at a TRUCK company!  A truck company which sold TOW trucks.  So, for 0 yen and 0 cases of beer, these two men dragged my car off of its little mountain and I went merrily along my way.  I think they were excited to having something to do on an otherwise uneventful Sunday in a deserted industrial park, and I was glad to not to give up my first-born son or be stuck in the middle of nowhere forever.

It’s a good thing I’ve been practicing Japanese, or I’d have no car, no children and no composure.





english teacher?

17 03 2008

I was working on a lesson plan, and I just typed “Engrish.”

Yikes.





car trouble

10 03 2008

My birthday is Wednesday, so I went to Sapporo to celebrate my (and three other JETs’) birthdays the only way we know how. Drinking a lot. Whoop. (I read somewhere that awhile ago someone invented a punctuation mark to denote sarcasm, but it never caught on—maybe it was the unfortunate title of “interrobang.”) Come midnight, I got a call from my supervisor saying the Sapporo police were about to tow my car for parking illegally. Expecting to have to bribe the cops to get my car back, I saved money on a cab and sprinted out of this bar and ran (RAN!) through all of Susukino and its giant crowds of tourists, drunkos and hookers, over the river (through the woods?) to my friend’s house where I dug out a roughly car-sized parking space from crusty ice-snow, breaking a shovel in the process, so I could relocate my car, which had no cops even nearby. I returned to the bar, had one more drink and called it quits for the night, saving energy so the next day I wouldn’t die on the slopes.

Do you think I died? Read on!





many posts at once

11 01 2008

POST ADDED 4/13

This basically serves as an explanation of the posts from the last few weeks. You are not crazy. If you checked here between December 18th and today, there were no new posts. But! (there’s always a but.) I was writing, just with intermittent internet and editing time, so the posts have been posted with the dates edited to reflect when they were written (starting with December 26th). So. If this is the newest post you see, there are several older ones which are also new, and probably (not) worth reading.

Enjoy! (or don’t)