Nothing can compare to the macho dance, but it's been a fun couple of days.
Last Friday, in honor of my English/Japanese training with Yamamori (山森) which generally revolves around cats, I gave her a children's book in English about cats. It was hilarious. She was bright red and couldn't stop laughing which drew the entire group over who also started cracking up. Best Â¥500 I spent all summer. I also told her in my mangled Japanese that the train smelled like the inside of a fat man's pants. I thing my sole purpose at Takenaka (竹中) is entertainment.
After a quick lunch with Shoko, I went to the YKK showroom for windows and doors with Shoko, Hiraoka, Hadaka, some woman, and some other guy. We were picked up by some guys that, despite the lack of tattoos and presence of a neck, could have been yakuza. These were some serious window salesmen. Of course there was an abundance of deep bows and business card exchange, and me standing around awkwardly. It was actually pretty interesting. They had a lot of demos to show the water tightness and sound proofing abilities of their products. They didn't seem to like my question about whether or not mold tended to grow in the integrated vent system. If you don't like it, don't ask if anyone has a question.
We then went to a model apartment which made me realize that while the outsides of the buildings tend to be hideous (repetitive tile, heavy concrete, due to climate and earthquakes) the insides are actually quite nice. They use really high quality fixtures and create some pretty nice spaces. It was funny though because they had the Jay Leno style stick on nightscape to make you think it was a real apartment. There was also a hilarious video to try and sell people on the apartments, located in the bustling town of Nishinomiya. In the video we see a very excited woman buy a candle at MUJI and then go to a restaurant and show her turtle neck wearing, leather jacket clad, Ken Watanabe-esque husband who in turn becomes very excited. We only see the apartment for about 4 seconds.
Afterwards, we all (minus Shoko) went to dinner which was a 497 dish, 352 beer, chain smoking meal. The Japanese don't care at all that I don't drink. They continue to ask you to hang out and just keep the oolong flowing. It's refreshing when compared to the over testeronized American that can't comprehend a simple preference and will literally stop talking to you. Following this we went bowling where I fell on my first frame and hit my knee really hard. It still hurts. I ended up getting decent score and we all had a joyous time.
It's been raining for five days which is nice because it's cooled things down, but it really limits the walking around potential. On Saturday I went to Kyoto for the Gion Festival. It was sunny when I left Kobe, but poured in Kyoto and was generally dreary. But I still had fun, plus the rain covered up my sweat marks. Sunday I explored Sannomiya, also in the rain. It was then, after seeing all the cool kids (ages 8-12) with Nintendo DS that I decided, I too, needed one. Especially the new DS Lite. Ok, Japanese people are crazy. I went to about 10 shops before I found one. I went to Yodobashi Camera in Umeda on Monday (national holiday) which was a MAD HOUSE as usual. But they had a ton and I got one and it's awesome. Maybe I can play wirelessly with some kid on a train someday. Anyway, Sunday night I had an English lesson with Kumi which degraded into me explaining why “Calpis” is funny. She also told me that all Americans have guns, so I drew an awesome picture of my grandma with a bunch of guns. I woke up early on Monday to go to a temple complex in Himeji, only to be greeted by a massive downpour. So then I thought I would go to the ninja museum in Ueno-Iga which is only about 40 miles away. Too bad it takes 3-5 trains, 2-3 hours, and $40-60 (depending on your exact route). Not worth it. I'll try the temple this weekend, assuming it doesn't rain again.
On Tuesday I did almost nothing at work. Again I'm finished, but Hiraoka is never around to go over it with me, so I've just been fooling around with weird lighting techniques in Max. I don't know whether it's my bad influence or if she's always been like this, but 山森 is such a slacker some days. I think she did about 12 minutes of work on Tuesday. Mostly she was playing with Google Earth, looking up Hard Gay, and Muffy. I didn't help when I started showing her pictures of National Parks. She said she wants to die in Hawaii. So Jon, now you have another tourist attraction for you home, dead Japanese people. I had lunch at Chinatsu's with Kumi. This lesson was even more worthless. Whenever Chinatsu is around she is the translator and no one learns anything haha. Although they tried to put make up on me the whole time (I got glitterized) and was told that on Sunday I am going to get done up like Glay. Chinatsu gave us free toro (fatty tuna) which is the expensive part. It was $20 worth (probably 2 ounces total) and was OISHI!
Doraemon is a dork.