Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bye bye beardy

Well, for the first time since around 2001, I am without any facial hair. What do you think? Better or worse? Do I need to grow that thing ASAP or stick it out as is? You tell me.

Long time no speaky

Hi all!
Sorry it`s been so long since I`ve posted here, been pretty busy lately. Well, the beautiful fall days are over, and I`ve had to resort to the old kerosene heater to keep my apartment warm again. For anyone who doesn`t really know, it seems that most buildings in Japan are not given any insulation when they are built, making them almost unbearably cold in the winter. Given, I am used to the -30C winters of Manitoba, so you would think the relatively mild zero degree winters of Tokyo should be no problem...well, think again! I challenge any Canadian tough-guy to come here and say that Japan isn`t a cold place. You can still enjoy things outside, as there is rarely any snow, but the problem lies in the fact that it is almost the same temperature inside as it is outside. Central heating? Forget about it! As I said, the main heat source in buildings are smelly kerosene heaters, and the concept of "heat-retention" doesn`t exist here. So, for the next 3 or 4 months I`ll be shivering. Good times!

Natsumi and I finalized our winter vacation plans as well. We`ll bejetting off to Shanghai, China on December 21st. I am super excited about that, and I would like to really have a good poke around. I even started learning some basic Mandarin for the trip. Ni hao ma (How are you?) lol. We`ve also planned an English teacher`s Xmas party for December 16th. We`re doing a gift-exchange, and will likely be pretty merry. Natsumi and I will return to Japan on December 30th, so we will be in Tokyo for New Year`s. Not too sure what we will get up to as of yet, but we had tossed the idea around of going to a temple and bringing in the new year in the traditional Japanese style. I think this would be quite fun, as last year I was at a packed nightclub and could use a change of pace this year.

Also, this Saturday I`ll be going to see Eric Clapton at Saitama Super Arena. My good friend Nori was comped a pair of great tickets from his employer, and he asked me to go along. Lucky me! Should be a great show. I`ll post a report and link to any pics that I take from the show as well. The following day there is an art exhibition in Tokyo that I will go to with Natsumi and her sister which should be interesting as well.

It's been crazily dry here lately too. Seems everyone is down with some sort of flu, cough, cold, or sore throat, and I am no exception. The way that most Japanese deal with the problem is just to wear a small mask to protect from spreading/catching germs. Although personally I don't think they do all that much, I gave it a shot the other day. Here's the pic:

Keep checking the My Pics link to see if I have added anything new recently. Hope all is well for everyone at home. Miss you all. It is hardest being away from home around this time of year, but the fact that I don`t have to join the Xmas shopping rush makes it a bit easier! Ciao!