happy new year and all that.
Especially to those nice people in Japan (... that's you, Atsushi) who made a point of asking me why I hadn't been updating.
I could offer some lamo excuses, like, "Sorry, Jessica has been visiting" or "I've been saving up some awesome stories for one huuuge mindblowingly amazing escapade of Japananigans" but really... I've just been being a lazy ass.
Anyway, we're going to run through a few highs and a lot of hilarious "lows".
Crazy incident-evening #1: Christmas Dinner
Christmas, as you may or may not know, is actually celebrated in Japan. By "celebrated", I mean that Christmas here happens in all of its consumeristic, neon riddled, soul draining depravity, and they skip the whole family, good cheer and fellowship parts. (I won't go anywhere near describing the murderous-death-penalty-cheering-for-not-teaching-evolution-until-the-college-level-and-then-only-with-a-stern-parental-warning-crazy the religious right of the deep south of the US would go about how much "Christ" there is in Christmas here, but hey... this is JAPAN after all... There are pockets of Christianity here, but so far it has mostly mainifested itself in really eager J-Jehovah's Witnesses knock, knock knocking at my door....)
Anyway What we have here is a bunch of Japanese girls trading their trademark short kilts for fur lined short skirts. And then a lot of them stand outside their stores and holler "-RE-Kris-mas-soo" really loudly at all the passerby. Its freaking awesome.
They also have lots of neon lights. LOTS of neon lights. Anyway... Christmas and New Years here are kind of reversed, actually. Christmas is a time to paint the town red and white with your girlfriend/boyfriend/sex friends (fuckbuddyism is rather socially expected here, and well beyond the college years into the marriage years, from what I hear... but more on that later). New Years, on the other hand, is a time that Japanese people spend in the home with their families. So, basically, if you're a foreigner here, you're rather expected to get drunk at both Christmas and at New Years.
Then again, if you know the Merry family that I come from, then you know that this isn't really a departure from the annual standard. (except that...well...this year I don't get to see Granny get boozed and make some offhanded remark that makes 90% of the table bust a gut and 10% of the family shocked and appalled. ... Man do I miss those dinners.... )
To continue this wondrous monologue, we'll flash sideways to December 25th, which is not actually a state holiday here, but happened to be a weekend, much to the delight of we small, loyal cogs in the large and honourable engrishizing machine that is my sweet company.
Christmas dinner took place in the the apartment of my dear friend Sophie Sensei, who happens to live in an apartment complex owned by the company and thus packed with teachers. As you may or may not know, Japanese kitchens generally consist of a burner and a toaster oven. (The "Pearl Villa", the mould encrusted cesspit of an apartment that I a) call home and b) am moving out of next month, may be indeed mould encrusted, but also happens to have TWO burners, a toaster oven, a small oven AND a microwave, is basically considered to be a restaurant-volume kitchen by J-Standards)
This problem was well and happily surmounted by combining the resources of five kitchens to produce a singly reasonably good facsimilie of a North American style turkey-themed christmas dinner-saster.
But you, dear reader, will have to tune in later this week for more stories, because I have class in ten minutes. heh. heh heh heh.
At least I whet your appetite, and made this blog soooo much less ridiculously empty.
Coming next week:
-The Craziest Place On Earth!
-The Angriest Video Staff Ever!
-Cannonballing a Japanese Hot Spring!
-Lots and Lots of Bad English!
Ok that is all. Remember to tune in next week, same Brent Time, Same Brent Channel!