ben griffiths
an insight into the mind of a genius

Posts Tagged ‘bochi bochi’

Weekend, right?

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

Yes, it’s the weekend but i’m sitting here, home at 1:30am - why you ask?

Well, I was supposed to be out with Seiko tonite (as well as last night) - but she now sleeping in the frontroom. She’s been doing manic sleeping recently, like just 3 or 4 hours a day, and is wondering why she’s tired?!?

Tonite I’m a bit annoyed though, she had work this morning from 4am-midday, then was supposed to come home and sleep so we could go out tonite, but instead went out with some friends, coming back at 5pm, which of course come 8, there was no way she was awake enough….

I think I need to make an effort to start hanging out with some new people, as I can’t rely on her for everything. Shortest case, I only have 14 weekends left, I don’t need to be wasting them like this.

To comfort myself, I went to the supermarket and bought a box of Coco Pops :) (£3 though for a tiny box!) - and instead of wasting all the night, I thought I should finish writing up the events of last week….

Then, I reckon, I’ll slip back into rant mode and start grumbling again…

Anyway, where was I - ah yes, part three - the last week of Nesa and up to now…. hmmm… we probably did a few things during the week, but alas I can’t remember - I do know about the weekend though - so let me begin.

Oh no wait, i wanted to post this picture up…. taken on a packed train :)

Anyway, back to the weekend! :D
Friday, Nesa had gone to Hakone for the day - which I suspected would tire her out, and indeed it did - this left just me and Seiko to go to Roppongi together (or at least meet her there).

In usual me fashion, I was also hideously late and in real danger of missing the train, which meant I had to run all the way to Sangenjaya, meaning by the time I got on the train, I was sweating quite badly …. YUK! I hadn’t forgotten however to fill a plastic bottle with vodka, so at Aoyama Ichome station, I bought an orange juice to top it up…. quality :D
Not wanting to break tradition, first stop was Hub (hooray for Hub) however we only stayed for a single drink as Seiko was quite hungry, so we soon left and made our way to Jonathans (wow it’s been a long time since I went there) where we stayed for an hour or so.

Walking back down the Roppongi strip, it suddenly dawned on us, how we just did the same things over and over (same places each week), however not really liking any of the other clubs caused a certain issue here… haha….

Instead of clubbing therefore, we decided to do a bit of shopping (yes, at 3am in the morning) and headed into the large Donkihote stop where we just browsed random bits and pieces until there was nothing left to see.

On the way out however, we spotted a sign for the newly opened top floor “Cosplay” department, so jumped in the lift to the 7th floor. Cosplay if you haven’t guessed is an abbreviation for “Costume Play”, and on stepping out the lift, we were greeted with the sight of hundreds of different costumes - schoolgirls, nurses, cheerleaders, policewomen - pretty much anything (including “Sexy Gymnast Costume” lol…) - oh to have a j-girlfriend … ;)
Not to be left out, they also had a section for men, though I think it served more as a comedy section rather than a serious “sexy” dept…

Finally, the clock struck 5am, which meant that “Maxim” was open, so we scuttled away over the road to our (my? ;)) favourite club, meaning i could finally get a good dance in… hurrah!

The night was not so much different from usual as far as the music went, except today we had the typical “extremely drunk ugly” man, trying his hand with everyone in the place. He started on Seiko at first, but after explaining she was my girlfriend (which he wouldnt believe until we had kissed…) - he finally left, only to start trying it on with our friend (who we don’t even know the name of :eek:) - by now i had used my “Boyfriend” card, so I was unable to help out too much here…

Luckily, he soon got tired of the constant rejection, so went off to try his luck with someone else. You know, I really don’t understand people like that - how they can possibly think they are going to get somewhere… and then to just ignore rejection… man, people like that give us guys a bad name… :p
We left around 7:30 or so and headed off to the local “Subway” to get some breakfast, before finally hitting the train home… and … sleeeeeep :) zzzzz

Saturday and first off was a meeting with Toshi and his friend for us all to eat in Shibuya. Things started off ok, we decided to go to the mexican place - though arriving there, there was a 30 minute wait - so it was off to find somewhere else.

45 minutes later, we still hadn’t found somewhere (doh!) - until finally we found an izakaya style place. Problem was, both Nesa and I were very hungry and we just knew the food would be small - which indeed it was, ah well, there’s always First Kitchen ;)
One thing that must be mentioned was what occured at the end of the meal. We all got up to leave, but the staff then informed us that we still had one dish to come (infact it had just arrived) - A YakiSobaOmelette (imagine yakisoba covered with an omelette) - by now everyone had got to the door (Except me, nesa and toshi) - but me and nesa decided it was a shame to waste it, toshi therefore went to tell the others what was going on.

We realised the implications of time here, so had to take drastic action. Splitting into two equal halves, we then devoured the whole thing in under 3 bites each :eek: I must say, I’m quite impressed with our achievement there, and indeed Toshi couldn’t believe it when he got back from telling the others (all of a minute or so at most) to find us all done…. haha….

(Dammit, I’ve just gone and made another bowl of Coco Pops, thats my third this evening, soon they will all be gone :eek:)


It was then that the split occured, everyone departed leaving just me and Nesa to do the night alone… first stop therefore, Sunkus (convenience store) to buy a 2 litre bottle of orange juice and a 785ml bottle of vodka. Finding an “out the way” seating area, we then proceded to mix up (and mix *very* well) a vodka and orange, before (ultimately) drinking all of it :)
That done, we were ready for our final (or so we thought) destination of the night, a very welcome return to “Atom” - hurrah! Nesa’s last night out clubbing in Tokyo had to go with a bang.

As we didn’t have a flyer, entry this time was 3000yen (with one drink), though at the payment counter, Nesa expertly negotiated an extra one each (go Nesa! yay!) - and finally, we were back in paradise.

It was exactly as before, just a massive club full of the most gorgeous girls you can ever imagine. I would have taken a photo, but cameras had already been removed at the door (what a stupid rule) - and although i had managed to keep mine on me, i was now scared to use it incase we got thrown out.

The music this time was better than before, with it actually getting quite hard at one point - and it was safe to say, Nesa and I had a f*&king awesome time…. so good, we didn’t want to leave - but the fact it was about 1000 degrees and my hair was starting to flop badly, meant it was time to go :) hehe… I’ll return again once my hair is cut, haha…

Last stop of the night (after returning to our drinking point from the night before to retrieve the not-quite-finished bottle of vodka - i know, really pikey , but I DON’T CARE… haha) was “Little Spoon” to grab a morning curry, with extra hamburger, cheese and croque potato… :D
Sunday, for me at least was long lie in day, though Nesa got up around 11 or so :eek: to go and meet her friend Brandon.

We therefore arranged to meet at about 7:30 at Shimokitazawa to go for the “Final Meal” - again back at Bochi Bochi. It also gave me a chance to meet up with Brandon, a cool guy, and a friend of Nesa’s who works for Nokia. Shimpei turned up as well, making the circle complete.


After “Bochi Bochi” - we then headed for “Dot”, Shimpei’s favourite bar (haha .. NOT! though I don;t know why) - where we stayed for an hour and a half or so, in which time Shimpei complained about pretty much everything on the planet. I think dad would get on well with him ;) :p
Finally, tiredness was too much for Nesa, so we made the treck home. Unfortunately this meant we didn’t have time for karaoke, nor did we remember to do the obligatory japanese Photo-Me booths…. doh!

(Jumping forward a night —>)

Come 7:30am or so and it was time for Nesa to go. She didn’t even say goodbye (pah! her excuse was something about letting me sleep) - but luckily I had not bothered to go to bed, so once I heard the door go I ran out after her :)
And then she was gone, my English speaking household sharing member had departed, oh how I cried…. :D
Thus brings us to the start of last week, during which was just pretty much work and not a lot else. I need to save a bit of cash ready for Kyoto on Thursday, so I guess it’s not such a bad thing.

Tomorrow is the “new work staff” party, which will probably be a quiet affair, so I might liven things up a bit, by getting wasted first …. :) lol… welcome indeed… haha…

So phew, there you have it, up to date - I appreciate it’s not the most exciting read, but I just needed to get everything down. Once again, I promise not to fall so far behind again - which I am sure I will break sooner or later, but hey, at least you got photos! :)
I have a few other bits and pieces to add, though I’ll do these another time, it’s now 3:30, which means I have been typing this (on and off) for 2 hours - I DON’T WANT TO WRITE ANYMORE !!! pah! :p

Memory loss

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

Well it’s got to the point, the blog is so far behind, that catching it all up has pretty much become an impossibility. I’ve decided therefore to cut my loses and start again from now.. otherwise, it would just slip and slip, and become not much use to anyone.

So, lets do a real quick summary of the weeks gone past…

The first weekend after Kyoto was also Yumi’s last night in Tokyo, so we went out to a new “all you can drink” place in Shimokitazawa. To cut a long story short, Shiho got absolutely wasted (she never drinks, remember!) and at one point it looked like we were going to have to take her home…. however, she pulled through and made it out to the Karaoke afterwards :)
So there you have it, bye bye Yumi - we shall miss you :p

The next weekend, it was decided that we would head out on Friday to Roppongi. After the usual “Hub” starter drinks, we headed to “Hideout” where we stayed until about 5am when it was decided we should check out “i-Louge” over the road (which had now changed it’s name to “Maxim”).

Entrance was 1000yen, however once inside and realising it actually played decent music (it was actually pretty banging, w00t!) - plus the fact you got a free drink, it didn’t seem so bad.

Seiko had now done a usual and got pretty smashed (so was propping up the bar) leaving me on my own to jump around manicly to the very good music. After a while, I was joined by a group of girls and, I guess due to the influx of alcohol inside me, suddenly had the confidence to start talking to them (in Japanese…. duh!) - I can’t remember the girl’s name, but she was originally from Thailand, spoke no English, but really liked the club.

I stayed talking with her for about an hour and a half, before, situations over at the bar meant I had to intervene. Seiko had managed to find herself not one, but TWO guys, who were intent on dragging her off home with them :eek: - I know she might have wanted this, but the fact she seemed to keep passing out on the bar and being propped back up by them, kinda suggested she didn’t know what she wanted!!!

A swift intervention later (which rather bizarely involved me shouting out “they are bad men, they are bad men” - which they could of course hear) and we had Seiko on the way home. Rather worryingly, not 10 minutes after we had left, I mentioned to Seiko that “you really need to be careful”, to which she replied “Why? What happened??” :eek: She wouldn’t believe me at all until I told her to check in her pocket where the guy’s phone number had been put!!

We got back to Wakabayashi station at about 9am (after taking a strange detour through a graveyard - much to the amusement of the gardener) when suddenly Seiko shouts out “Ah, I have work now!! I have to catch this train…” - and off she went!?!?!

Needless to say, we didn’t go out on Saturday night! :)
Monday after, Vanessa arrived - so we did the official “welcome to Japan” evening out, by taking her to Bochi Bochi (any excuse ;)) - she then left for Kyoto on the Tuesday, returning on the Saturday.

Friday night was Ryoko’s birthday, so once I had finished work, I headed off to Roppongi to meet up with her, seiko, shiho and toshi. No prizes for guessing our first point of call ;)
We did find this strange drunk guy though …. :D

Final stop was club “Vanilla”, a swanky place just up the road. It was a bit of fun and games at first though….

Clubs and bars here don’t have cloakrooms, but just lockers. This is generally a good idea, until you have a massive club, with no where near enough lockers to cater for everyone. So picture the scene, Saturday night in a really hot club with loads of coats and bags, but no lockers.

We stand around for a bit, before deciding this just isn’t going to work and we’re better off just holding on to everything, until suddenly a group of people standing around the lockers leave and suddenly some locker keys are glistening in the club light…..

Going on instinct, we charge for the lockers and not a moment too soon before suddenly all hell breaks lose and a huge crowd of people start rushing towards us. It was total carnage with everyone pushing a shoving everyone out the way to try and secure their locker!!! :eek:
Once all sorted, we headed to the R’n'B room, which had nice comfy sofas - where we actually just sat until the end of the night just chatting and having a good laugh :)

Once the club had come to an end, we headed to the Turkish restaurant to get some kebabs (and a bottle of wine ;)) - before, at about 8am or so, heading back home to get some rest in ready for the night ahead… (and Vanessa’s return…)

Helen Arrives

Monday, April 10th, 2006

Wow, now I *really* am behind… two weeks to catch up on. I was debating on whether or not to just let it all slip, but figured I’ll want to look back over this, so should get as much down as possible. I’ll admit though, I’m going to skip some bits as 1) it would take me too long to fill in everything and 2) I’ve started to forget it already anyhow :eek:
Ok, so we were off to the station to meet Helen. Usually such a simple task, you arrange to meet, you go there, you can’t find them - you call them. Well, this being Japan and all and with the “no import” phone situations, this wasn’t going to happen. (Indeed the lack of a cellphone cased a number of problems later on during the week). Luckily Helen called me from a payphone, and I was able to advise her to go to South Exit. Again, this wasn’t quite as simple as it seemed, however I trusted her judgement and was sure she would be able to make it there :)
I wandered around S. Exit a bit until finally we met up. Admittedly it’s usually harder to find her, but with her being the same height as the Japanese, it was still a bit of a chore. Infact, she found me, I was just aimlessly looking around … haha….

First stop was back to mine for a shower (not together, obviously) so we headed on the train back. On getting off at Setagaya Daita and facing the walk back, it quickly obvious her suitcase was made for… well someone her size :) To pull it on it’s wheels I litterally had to stoop - and with the weight it was, there was no way to carry the thing. Needless to say, getting home took a little while ….

So finally after getting back, the plan was for the quick shower and then to head out. However maybe things god delayed somewhat or so, as we actually finally managed to get out the house at about 3 :eek: - this didn’t really give me time to do much, so we went to Shibuya, got some lunch in the local Matsuya then hung out in Starbucks until I had to head off to work, leaving Helen to make her way to Shinagawa to meet her school trip chums.

Work turned into a nice day due to the cancellation of some of my lessons! This meant I was able to work on my “Realia Project” - so I sat in the reception happily cutting out magazine articles when suddenly, in walks Helen! It seemes that the flight had finally taken it’s toll on her and she couldn’t stay awake…. It was left to me then to tentativly ask my manager if she would be allowed to sleep in a hidden section of the sales area, to which he reluctantly agreed - so off she trotted to the seating area, slouched down over a table and promply fell asleep! :)
3 hours later, when my shift finished, it was time to get the stragler out of the building and head off to meet Seiko, Shiho and Toshi to go to “Bochi Bochi” for Helen’s first proper Japanese meal (a miso soup at matsuya doesn’t count!) We were then later joined by Shimpei, before heading off to “Trouble Peach” to have some after meal drinks :) Yumi then turned up too, so the circle of friends meeting was complete. Everything ended at about 3am or so, when it was agreed we would meet up with Shimpei the next day to go around Asakusa.

Wednesday morning and despite attemping to get up early to meet Shimpei, we didn’t quite make it and he left without us :eek: - all wasn’t too bad however, as it gave us a bit longer to get ready and head there by ourselves. Once there, we simply gave him a call and he came to meet us. We spent a nice couple of hours looking around and had a very nice lunch, before I had to head to work - but not before Seiko and Shiho had turned up, to whisk Helen away to Odaiba.

After work, I headed to Shibuya to meet up with the girls (by which time the heavens had opened) before we headed to Sangenjaya to get some food and a drink. Unfortunately, it seemed Helens Jetlag hadn’t been jetlag at all, but the start of a very nasty cold - which was now properly starting to rear it’s head. We therefore didn’t stay too late as she was feeling a bit poorly :( awww… :D
Thursday was the day we had to go to Shinjuku to buy our bus tickets for Kyoto, however first early morning impressions were not looking too good. Helen was in a terrible state, the cold was really starting to take over and we weren’t sure if going was really gonna be such a good idea. We therefore left off buying the tickets then, but leaving the bus details with Helen, so if she felt better - all she had to do was go to the station and get the tickets.

Mark from Nova was also leaving, so after work was a “get together” drinking session - I knew I had to be careful here as to not stay too late and miss the bus (if we were going) so tried not to get too comfy. At about 10pm or so (I think) I got a call from Helen to say it was on, and that the bus left at 11:20. It was decided I should leave at about 10:30, which I almost did (about 10:35) - however I had neglected to get any money out, so now had to run around Shimo looking for a cash machine (which I didn’t actually find) - I did however have enough money for a train ticket, so gave up and got the train to Shinjuku (arriving very late… :eek: ).

Due to my lateness, there was now no time either to find an ATM, so we headed directly to the bus station to find our carriage to freedom… (or something like that :)). Upon getting on, there was one thing that immediately stuck out (well for me anyway)… the height of the ceilings!! They must have been about 5′7″ at most :eek: this became even more amusing when it was time to go to the toilet, the thing was only small and it took a lot of manouvering just to be able to climb in the thing in the first place… haha…

What was cool though was that NO ONE else was on the buses ground floor (it was a double decker) - this meant we basically had the whole bus to ourselves :D In the end, this turned out to be a godsend as the seats weren’t so big and trying to have slept on just one would have been quite impossible.

So the journey started out and Helen had began to worry about where we would stay (bless) - I therefore decided to mail Haruka and see if she could suggest anywhere. After about two minutes a reply came - “No problem, you can stay in my room!”. Awesome! To confirm this, I decided to take the plunge and try calling her (all in Japanese…) - and by jove, I did it :) We arranged everything over the phone (in Jap) with her even suggesting she would come to the bus garage at 7am to collect us!!! Things were definately looking up!

That then just left me the task of trying to get to sleep, which was now going to be difficult as I was quite exciting and not really ready for bed… however, after an hour or two of playing Tetris, common sense prevailed and, stretching over 3 seats, I was finally able to nod off :D

I like living!

Wednesday, March 8th, 2006

So where are we up to, ah yes, the Thursday night. Due to Mark and Jimmy either starting late, or not working Friday at all, Thursday night seems to be “the weekend”. This time, after work, we managed to drag Kate along to a very cosy French restaurant just around the corner from work.

The purpose was pretty obvious, the work crew wanted once again to order a cheese platter. I however, had eaten a block of cheddar for lunch, so decided against it. Instead, I ordered the leg of lamb, which I must say, was absolutely delicious! It wasn’t cheap at £8 (but I am now living right) - but was a huge slab of pure meat, with a few potatoes added for good measure.

This was then all washed down with a few bottles of wine, which we all “swooshed” expertly, under the instruction of Josh.

Whilst it was a nice place and everything, the conversation once again turned to books and movies, of which i knew nothing, so was starting to feel a little left out and wondering if I should go. Decided against this in the end though as figured as the night went on, there must be one topic that will pop up that I knew about (where’s Helen when you need her!)

Before leaving, the guys all indulged in a glass of Port (which I really couldn’t afford, no matter how much I wanted to “live”) - which I had never had before and was actually very nice. I think next time, I might save up especially :)
Anyhow, after here, it was decided to go to ASSO to grab a coffee before the last train, however, horror! On arriving there, we found it closed. Not really wanting to end the night just yet, it was suggested we head to another coffee bar on the other side of the tracks - however, yup, this was closed to.

“Ah heck to it, let’s just go to another bar instead” was the suggestion, and seeing as it seemed like a pretty good one, was thus accepted. So a few minutes later, we found ourself in a “carribean” style bar, where a most fantastic drink was discovered!!! I think it was called Rum and Cow, which basically equated to: Dark rum, Milk, Sugar and Butter - all heated up. It was fantastic, though perhaps more a bed time drink :) I have been raving to Seiko about it, so I need to go and buy some rum to make it here.

By now, the conversation had turned more to something I was able to talk about, so was having a much better time - until about 2am, when the bar closed - not quite wanting to let anything finish, it was decided ANOTHER bar should be visited! lol…

First however, was the obligatory “man fight” outside the bar, with Jimmy setting onto Josh. All was going quite well, until I got a bit too close and a (badly?) aimed kick (at full force I might add) from Josh hit me square in the knackers :eek: - haha, it hurt quite a bit, but i couldn’t stop laughing, I really wish someone had filmed it - all I could picture was just You’ve Been Framed or something and how much I laugh at that, so it seemed only right to laugh at my self.

To his credit, Josh did offer to take a “retaliation kick”, but it really wasn’t so much of an issue :)
So finally, we headed on to the next bar (though minus Mark now, who had to depart) which was a small affair, full of the locals. After talking aimlessly for about 30 minutes, the young girl opposite and her friend (who later turned out to be her music teacher) started to strike up conversation. This was great for Josh, who understands quite a bit, however this left me kinda blank. To compensate for my seemingly stupidity, after every question I tried to look as clueless as possible, which always brought the girl out with a “kawaii!!” (cute) - well, better to get something out of the situation :)
I think it was about 4:30 when I finally left, though not before taking this incredibly gay looking photo of Josh, which I am sure he is very proud of ! lol…


Friday was just a usual work affair, I had decided not to go out and just stay home to conserve energy so I would be ready for Seiko’s birthday on Saturday……

Saturday comes!

Though not officially her birthday (it’s tomorrow) - she had chosen this weekend to hold her celebrations.

5:45 and first stop the newly opened Icebar in Roppongi, which was housed in a pretty impressive building…


So an Icebar? Let me explain… well it’s quite simple really…. just, everything is made of ice!!

Be it the glasses….


The tables….


And even the walls….


Even more amusing, due to the extreme temperatures inside (well obviously everything had to be kept below 0) - you had to wear a “cape” type thing along with a pair of mittens (this also allowed you to sit on the ice chairs without getting you bum wet!)…

Aren’t we all a happy bunch :)

The Icebar was £17 in total, which included one drink. I think good for a one time experience, but I doubt I would make it a regular. For a start, it was freezing (well duh!) and after about 30 minutes the gloves seemed to lose their effectiveness. It makes me wonder about the market they have though, as all of us felt the same - so I wonder how long it will actually last …. (there were about 10 people in there with us…)

The Icebar done, it was off up to our all time favourite “Hub” in Roppongi, where Seiko had booked the back section - very posh :) When we got there, to our delight, happy hour was running, which meant all drinks were half price for the next hour or so.

I think it’s safe to say me and Toshi certainly made the most of this, ordering in two at a time, drinking one at the bar and then ordering some more…. lol…. well, you need to make the most of a good offer right?

For veteran readers that saw my cake before, this was nothing compared to the ABSOLUTELY ENOURMOUS example that was produced for Seiko, I don’t think the photos do it justice, but this thing was massive. To carry it there in the first place required two people and I dread to think how much it had cost…. see for yourself…


I don’t think it was all eaten in the end, though Toshi did do his best… ;)

Come 10:30pm or so, it was once again time to move on, with Muse being the end target, though not before stopping off at a Hawaiian bar called “Be Sun” - where ever more alcohol was consumed (and judging by the colour of Seiko, it seemed she was nearing her limit ;))


I even picked up this rather fetching flower (though not as good as the christmas tree I had at christmas :D)


With the colour of Seiko now fast changing, it was figured now would be a good time to get her to Muse before she completely passed out …..


So onto Muse it was…. I could drag this story out, but really, there is no need. I will give the following key bits of information, and you can work the rest out for yourselves….

Arriving in Muse, Seiko ordered a white wine…. followed by a red wine….

Can you guess yet? ;)
Hehe… yup, you guessed it, 30 minutes later or so, it was the obligatory “carry Seiko home walk” - provided by your fine young gentlemen Ben and Shimpei!! hurrah!


Of course, before we actually took her home, we had to go for another meal (!) - so to the Ramen shop (where Seiko fell asleep in the bowl…. I wish I had taken a photo of that, classic) - after which, the taxi was called and we were all whisked home, arriving back at around 3am - one of our earliest nights out ever!!

Sunday was the usual uneventful “sleep in late” and do nothing all day, until the evening when Seiko returned so we watched “Totero” - another anime made by the same guy that did “Howl’s Castle”. Again, it was a great movie, though perhaps slightly bemusing as subtitles were coming up, even if the characters weren’t actually saying anything?!?! At first it seemed maybe this was to “catch up” - but it soon became apparent, that extra dialogue was just being added! (For example, it would a quiet scene, with no one saying anything, yet various words would spring up in the autotext). It also got a bit confusing when they starting talking about “Sprites” until about 20 minutes in, when obviously the translator realised his mistake and changed it to “Spirits”! haha…

After work on Monday, I was in quite a good mood, so gave Seiko a call to see if she had already eaten. Fortunately, she hadn’t, so we decided to go to Bochi Bochi (the okonomiaki place down the road), also meeting up with Shimpei (who would arrive later on). I’ll try and get some photos next time I go, but for now, peruse the website, it should help explain it a bit better.

About an hour after we had started eating, Shiho also arrived, so we ordered again (the exact same, Pork and Cabbage, followed by the BochiBochi Okonomiyaki) - which I think amused the waitress somewhat. So it’s safe to say, by the end of the night (2am), I was quite full and had drunk a substancial amount of Umeshu (that has got to be THE best drink in the world).

It’s so nice to be able to live :)
So anything else? Well, tonight Vanessa from work is leaving, so we are going out for her farewell party. I’ll take the camera along and hopefully get some good shots (you will also be able to see who I work with too), Yumi is also going to be back in Tokyo (woot!) so will be coming along too.

Better get to the post office to pay my health insurance now (only 4 months late :eek:) - then off to work early to study for my next training session…. will do my best to update this tomorrow and not let it get so far behind again in the future….

To you my friends, goodnight :)

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 25th, 2005

Well, it would be - except of course here we have no christmas, however, wanting to get into the christmas spirit and all - here are the first photos of my christmas …


I would say those antlers are quite fetching, no?

So how was my christmas night then? Well, a mixed bag really - i shall explain, however, first my dear friends I will give you one very important piece of advice ….. NEVER STUFF YOURSELF COMPLETELY FULL AND THEN GO DRINKING….

So, here’s how it happened…. ;)
Saturday day time was the usual no food affair (and indeed staying in bed until about 7pm!!! :eek: ) - however this time Seiko wasn’t going to come home first (we were going to meet in Shibuya). To get myself into the christmas, it seemed like some red wine + vodka was in order, along with a bit of a mix session.

In fact, I’m quite pleased with myself, even totally wasted, I was still mixing quite well (and I know this as I recorded it ;)) until about 10:30 when it was time to meet up with Seiko to get some food, so off to the station I went.

Arriving at Sangenjaya however, the train wasn’t for 10 minutes or so - and not wanting to sit around doing nothing (I was feeling quite impatient) - I decided to make the almost ritual trip to McDonalds to purchase a Big Mac and Chips.

Of course, this was very nice - but I was now kinda full - though I had promised I would eat with Seiko, so eat again I must (I threw away the bag when she wasn’t looking) - we therefore headed off to the curry shop. Again, another fatal mistake was made - due to my drunkeness, I was almost sure that one curry wouldn’t be enough, so ordered some chicken tikka to go with it….

20 minutes later and we were both so full (me even more so, for obvious reasons) and Christmas was fast approaching (it was now 11:45) so we had to scurry off to find somewhere. This is easier said than done, because as you know, I don’t particuarly like Shibuya for nights out, so there was quite a bit of bumbling around until we chose a direction.

Now though, it was 11:55 and we really weren’t going to make it into anywhere in time - so drastic action had to be taken……. can you guess…… ?

Yup, the nearest department store ;) (well we figured it would be playing christmas music and would have some trees on display!!) - hence the photos of us both wearing christmas hats (we didn’t buy them, just took the photos :D)

So that done, and our “Happy Christmas’” said, it was time to actually find something to do. Now last time we were here, we tried to go to @tom (read: Atom) however it closed at 2 - though I really wanted some good music, so we decided we would give it a go….

And am I glad we did….

FINALLY - a club in Tokyo that plays my music (well as near to it as I am going to get), all drinks are 500yen (£2.50), holds 1500 people (and fills it) AND…. AND…. AND… THERE ARE NO FOREIGNERS!!!! - yes people, there is a heaven and it’s name is Atom :D
Ok as far as clubs go, UK ones kick it’s ass - though (and I really don’t want to annoy anyone here ;)) - @tom does have one regaining feature - a special “gallery” thats basically a raised platform along the side of the club - women only …. UK clubs might kick JClubs for music + fun, but the women…. :eek:
And no, before anyone asks - I didn’t take any photos :p
So all is well and good for the first hour or so, but this full feeling really isn’t shifting so we decide to go and explore the rest of the club. It’s 3 floors in total, with a “Trance Cave” at the bottom and an R’n'B/Hip Hop room up top with a huge TV showing endless “Viva La Bam” — SUGOI-YO! There were also a load of tables up here, so we decided to sit for a bit….

Unfortunately though, all was still not good - and realised I was going to throw up at any moment (and not wanting to do it in a club … i can imagine the looks i would have got - “drunk gaijin throwing up”) we had to make a quick exit (about 3am)…

I would also like to point out for the record I was not drunk, mearly very full…. so jumping around hadn’t been a good idea :o

So that was the end of the night - we got home by Taxi, which suprisingly was only 2000yen (£10) - this is great, as Seiko loved the club too, it’s cheaper than Roppongi AND we can get a Taxi back after….. HAPPY CHRISTMAS INDEED ;) :D
So, what else has been going on then…. hmmm….

Wednesday was my last day of Japanese School (which was sad, I’m really liking going there now) and doesn’t start back until the 10th of Jan. I also got my test result back - 82.4% (or was it 84.2% - not sure) - which means I passed :) I’ve now got a great opportunity to fully catch up until the restart, not too much to do now - and stuff is certainly coming a lot more naturally.

Thursday I started work at 6:40 - so was able to spend the rest of the day working on a new project. Without getting too nerdy, I’ve now just started renting a new webserver in Germany. It’s purpose to provide backup DNS and also keep a copy of all databases held on the main server. After the unfortunate incident with the FCCUK forum (ie, they lost it) - we don’t want to take any chances.

This new server (AO - it means Blue) runs Linux (Debian) - but I have never used Linux before, so it’s also going to be a great learning tool for me. Funny story, it was setup for me on Thursday morning and I managed to lock myself out of it by Thursday afternoon :eek: :) Luckily the guy I’m renting it off seems to be a great bloke, and reinstalled it for me for no charge.

So I’m not going to make that mistake again - infact - now it is happily up and running and doing it’s job :) Never will there be a mail outage again, hurrah!

Thursday night after work, some of the chaps were going out for a quick drink, so I joined them. Due to the time I started work, I hadn’t eaten (planned to after) - so decided alcohol wouldn’t be a good idea so had coffee instead. Or at least I did for the first two, then thinking “what the hell” - had a glass of white wine (just to fit in and all ;) lol) This didn’t seem to be a problem until i got home (maybe an hour later) - when suddenly - WHAM!! Yup, ONE glass of wine and suddenly i was battered… not even slightly either, this was full on wasted…. it was pretty obvious why, i hadn’t eaten all day so it had just gone straight to my head. To rectify this situation therefore, I cooked some yaki soba (and returned to slight sanity!) - not before having some fun with the new knife…

You won’t believe how sharp this thing is, you just push it on chicken and it cuts straight through it !!! Seiko had cut her finger on it earlier in the day, so was warning me to be very careful with it…. of course, after hearing such a thing, what is the first thing you do …. hehe… yes, the exact opposite - walking into their room and holding it against my neck had them screaming and hiding under the bed covers…. lol…. what fun… :D
So onto Friday, which has to be one of the best days at work I have ever had:

First lesson - No show, giving me a load of time to plan for lesson 2

Second lesson - Probably the most fun lesson I have ever given, we were doing restaurant complaints - and by the end of it, everyone was just laughing so much :D
Lesson Three - Voice: And just a single woman (as in, just her…) who had been to England so was very happy to talk about it. As with all these lessons, it soon gets around to me complaining about Japanese food and how much better it is in the UK. We therefore had a 30 minute or so conversation on food you can get in England and what I will be eating in a month :D - I was so hungry by the end of it !

Lesson Four - After the success of Lesson 2, it seemed a good idea to do it again. And again, it worked out brilliantly - especially as one of the guys seemed to have so many complaints :) Great Fun!

Lesson Five - Last lesson of the day and another voice. This time, just one (high level) guy in there. My first question - “So what is your job?”; Answer “Web Designer” :D w00t! And there began an hour conversation on programming and the internet - it was just like talking with a friend :) We got into the idea about design and hosting combined, so possibly we might be able to sort something out (he designs and I host) - either way, I think he’s going to be an interesting person to get to know :)
Finally (and now in a really good mood) - it was time to leave and as we had some money (as i hadnt eaten the day before :eek: ) - Yumi and I had planned to go to an okonomiyaki restaurant (these places are getting popular!) - as the stupid ATM wouldn’t give me any money (on a public holiday they don’t unless it’s your own bank) - we had to go back to mine to get some cash, before onto the restaurant.

This is the same place I always go, so I won’t bother to explain it all again, however there was a slight difference… this time we were joined by Santa and a seemingly pissed off rudolf ;)

After a few hours in here (and a few drinks) it was time to go - after paying a modest 4000yen (£20) bill - we both got up and went down the stairs to the exit… well, at least, that’s how it should have happened. It seemed however that suddenly the alcohol just decided to hit Yumi, who had gone from 0 to wasted in like 3 seconds. I’m not talking Seiko drunk either, this was full on out of it :D hahahaha… It therefore wasn’t practical to walk back, so a train ride was in order. I can’t even begin to count how many bad looks I got on that train (with Yumi seemingly passed out) - I’m sure everyone was thinking - “look at the gaijin, just taking advantage of that poor girl”…. but oh well, i get that every weekend with Seiko anyway :D
I did get her home (eventually) - and it must have been the funniest journey ever - she was basically sleeping as we walked (well, she was being half carried) - but kept making random noises in a really cute voice. Sooooo sweet :) haha….

I still can’t believe how drunk she got though, I don’t think we had loads (maybe 3 drinks tops) - though still better than my effort the other night … lol…

So here we go, back to today - so whats happening. Well, in an hour or so Seiko will come back and we are going to meet some of my work friends for drinks. Then Seiko, Shiho, Toshi, Yumi and I are all going for dinner somewhere - not sure where exactly yet - though KFC is traditional christmas food…. (really!)