Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Open The Pod Bay Doors, HAL

Watched "2001 Seconds", which is the film "2001: A Space Odyssey" with the boring bits removed and a new soundtrack added. It's very, very good. You too can watch it, just download it from 2001 seconds - the Swith Edit

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sexy Beijing

Found a professional video podcast from China called "Sexy Beijing" while aimlessly wondering around Youtube. It's rather light, but still worth watching. Just search Youtube or check out the website: www.sexybeijing.tv

I'm still crazy about China and Chinese culture. Once my Japanese is better I'll start learning Mandarin properly. If I can get the cash together I will spend a month in Beijing studying Mandarin at a language school.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ups And Downs

Walked up and down Takao-san twice today as part of my training for climbing Fuji-san later this year. Takao-san is a very small mountain, just 600 metres tall. Fuji-san is about 3700 metres tall, so I must do a lot of training. Going up the second time I spotted this tiny shrine.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Keepin' It Real In Da Tokyo Hood

Went for a walk in my 'hood. Found my local telephone exchange. W00t. Spotted some other cool things including this roadside shrine. I also found a very tempting storm drain...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Just Walk Away

During one of my classes today a student was very disrespectful. Although she was actually expressing the opinion of another student, it still pissed me off. I will probably quit the class or at least make them feel bad. I feel very lucky to know that I can essentially just walk away from any class I don't like and still be able to just find some more students and get enough money to live on.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Full On Sunday

Got up at 7am to help old people clear up the cherry blossom in the streets around my town. Networking is very important here as most things are based on personal relationships. That is what I was telling myself as I sleepily wondered around my neighborhood with a witch's broom and a rubbish bag full of blossom.

At 10am I queued up to get free trees. Every year since 1975 free trees are given out by the Tokyu train company to people living on Tokyu train lines. The idea is that this will make the areas along the train lines nicer, so more people will live along the lines and use the trains. I got a peach tree and a grape vine! Sometime Japan is just too damn cool.

In the afternoon I went to a "Tea Salon" event. It was organized by an international association in a nearby city. It was embarrassing, silly, childish and fun, just like many events in Japan. I met a couple of cool people, and the event was free, so I guess it was worthwhile.

On the way home I bought a couple of dumbbells to use for Crossfit training. I plan to do dumbbell thrusters, which are very evil, but also very effective for improving your fitness. I will blog my results...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Wink Or Swim

Swimming in Japan is very strange. In most public Japanese public swimming pools, half of the people walk up and down the pool instead of swimming. At the end of each hour, everyone has to get out for a rest.

I went swimming at a school swimming pool near my house. The staff seemed really pleased to have a non-Japanese customer. One of the lifeguards rushed up to me as I entered the pool, and asked where I was from. When I told him I was English, he got very excited and started talking about Mr David Beckham, a British footballer. I tried to explain that football was the opium of the people etc, but I'm not sure I was able to fully get my point across.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Fallen Cherry Blossom, Strange Party And Film Editing

At 8 am I met up with some old people to sweep up the fallen cherry blossom. After an hour, we had some tea and I was formally introduced to the others. In Japan it is common for old people to be fit and active until they die. I don't think it has anything to do with genetics, it's just that Japanese people have a very healthy diet and lifestyle.

At 11 am some of my students came over for a party. It was rather strange. We ate cold squid and spoke in a mixture of Japanese and English.

At 2 pm my good friend Ando-san arrived. Ando-san is going to edit my film. She has had 10 years experience working in TV. Although TV sucks, needless to say, Ando-san rocks. In the evening we went for ramen.