Friday, July 28, 2006

See you on the dark side of the moon

Hi all. As of this Sunday, I'll be making my big move to Kasukabe. As exciting as that is, it does have one major drawback: I'll be without Internet access for the next 2-3 weeks :(
So, if I don't update this blog or respond to emails in a timely fashion you'll know why.

Yay! Kasukabe! Boo! No Internet! But... YAY! KASUKABE!
A la prochaine...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The man in Japan

Ladies and gentleman, meet one of the coolest dudes in Japan: Mr. Norihiro Nouyama. In the 2 years that I have gotten to know Nori, he's never ceased to amaze me. His ability to melt faces with his superior shredding on his doubleneck bass/guitar are well-known. The man's passion for music is so fierce, I don't think I've met another person quite so driven towards rockin' (other than the old Basement Boys maybe...). Although he always says that he hates coming to karaoke, and that it sounds "fake", you can see by the look on his face in this picture from our karaoke session the other night that he loves to rock wherever he is and whatever he is doing. You are my hero dude, seriously.

The YA-JET massive

Its the end of an era. Two years ago when I arrived in Yashio, 2 other dudes arrived at the same time. Keith Kelly (center) and Kerry Harding (left) were the other fresh meat to arrive in Japan in August 2004. Over the past 2 years, these guys have become good friends of mine, and we have unofficially been referred to as the YA-JET (Yashio JETs) massive. As of July 30th, Keith will be returning to his home in the UK (Sheffield). Kerry, who is from New Zealand, will be moving to the same city as me, but he will live further down the Isasaki line near Ichinowari station. These are two pretty righteous dudes, and it is a shame that the massive is being split up, but who knows, it could be reunited some day in another country... Ya-kun, Dai-kun, its been a blast. Safe travels.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Small world

I was watching some "Japanese" TV last night, when I happened upon a language instruction show. I've always been surprised by the number of language-learning programs that appear on NHK, and this time it was a show on the French language. Curious, I checked it out. After about 30 seconds of watching, I thought to myself, "Wow, that girl on this show looks awfully familar..." Sure enough, it was a girl that I went to school with in Brandon! I remember her because we took the same French courses at Uni, and I remember her saying she'd been to Paris (that night's show being set in Paris). Can't remember her name for the life of me though... Meghan? Melanie? Marie? Something with an M anyway. Not sure where the program was actually produced or if she is in Japan at all, but I still found it strange that a girl I knew from a small university of 3000 students in Manitoba could appear on my television 3 years later in Japan. Weirdness...

Monday, July 24, 2006

Sayonara Yashio

Well, on Sunday, July 30th, I'll officially move away from Yashio, the city that I've called home for the past 2 years. I'm moving on to greener pastures (literally, lots of rice paddies near the new place) to a city called Kasukabe. While my new city will definetely be a more metropolitan place, I am already getting a little bit nostalgic about Yashio. It was the place that I used as my base for exploring the intense city of Tokyo. It's also the place where I experienced my first earthquake (on the first night in the place, mind), ran around outside in my first typhoon, met some of the coolest people in the world, played some super-fun gigs, and the place where I've hosted family and friends on their adventures with me in Japan.

It'll be a bittersweet farewell, as many of the good friends I've made here in Yashio are also returning to their respective countries. Others will stay on in Yashio and work for a different organization. Still others have lived and worked in Yashio for their whole lives, and will never leave. Luckily, Kasukabe is only about 40 minutes away, so I'll still be able to come back and visit friends, go to my favorite izakaya (restaurant), and see old students.

In the roughly 700-odd days that I've lived in Yashio, I've changed so much. I was having a discussion with a friend the other night about this, and we both agrees that it is hard to remember what we were like before we came to Japan. I'd never been on a subway, been in a building higher than 30 stories, never been immersed in a foreign culture. I was totally green. Two years later, and I've never felt more independant. Now if I could just buckle down and really start to study some Japanese! I'll always remeber Yashio and never forget what it has meant to me.

The move is on!

Hey hey! Nothing like starting a new blog 2 years after moving to Japan eh? Better late than never... I just completed my second year in Japan, and am in the process of changing cities to begin my third year.

I've been having an amazing time here in Japan, and I will attempt to keep you a bit better informed into what I'm up to, crazy things that have happened, and the mundane aspects of daily life in Japan.

Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu!