Back finally….

Wow, so xanga has been offline for almost an entire week…. arrrgghhh!! But its good to be back and no longer frustratedly hunching over the keyboard hitting the “F5″ key to see if it would be back up this second…!
Well, I finally got fed up with the stupid no-brake-no-gear-having grocery getter granny bike that my predecessor left me, so I went off Thursday to “get sorted with a proper bike” as these crazy members of the commonwealth say. And what a bike it is. 24 glorious gears, double suspension (both front and rear shocks!!), heavy duty brakes that won`t let me down in the clutch, and of course, since this is japan, a nice cutesy bell appropriate for a 12 year old girl.
My bicycle is also inexplicably branded “Panasonic – The King of Bicycles” down the side tube. And here you thought they only made stereos and such!!! However, this was better than the other choices, which included bicycles apparently manufactured under licence from such disparate companies as “Chevy”, “Mobile 76″, “Converse” and perhaps most puzzlingly, a truely vicious-looking mountain bike emblazoned with “Pocket Monsters” (Pokemon) down the main titanium tube.
Needless to say, my brand new bike wasn`t cheap, but I was satisfied that it was money well spent insofar as that now I could actually get places without dying in a horrible out-of-control-skid into traffic..!
But as we all know, nothing in my life is ever that simple… <–(kids, this is what your english teacher was talking about when he/she taught you about “foreshadowing”)
Now, it was raining Thursday night as I headed out of the store with my brand new shiny Panasonic bike. This should have dissuaded me from joyriding all over a city who`s layout I barely know, but it didn`t. So off I headed down some main drag, down, down towards what I vaugely thought was the South, in search of a Tsutaya or someplace to rent some more CDs… (cuz` I needs ma` beats, ya` see…)
I got to Tsutaya. I got some CDs. I headed back home. Total time on my brand new bike at this point…? : 39 minutes.
I am about one block from my house when it happens. You see, in America, we generally have two types of surfaces for roads and sidewalks – roads are made of asphalt and sidewalks are made of concrete. This is not the case in Japan, where within a 20 meter radius it is possible to find a veritable cornicopia of roads and sidewalks made of such disparate materials as tile, cement brick, wooden slats, bizarre bumpy yellow tiles (ostensibly for the blind), metal grates, steel sheets, linolium, broken glass, jagged concrete chunks, gravel and my personal favorite, bathroom tiles.
Why this little laundry list of japanese sidewalk-building materials? Well, because it just so happens that at this particular juncture aproximately 1 block from my house, two things happen. One is that the the sidewalk suddenly cants to a 45 degree angle dumping straight into the street. Two is that it suddenly switches from cement brick to bathroom tiles.
These things deserve particular note as when it`s raining, slanted surfaces made of bathroom tiles become extremely slippery….!!! And so, 39 minutes into riding my brand new shiney Panasonic bike, I wipe out in grandiose style – backpack flying one way, CDs flinging out in slow motion, cell phone skittering away, twirling on the sidewalk, me, ass over teakettle catching major revolving air before landing hard on my back, one foot tangled up in a park bench (it was truely spectacular!) and my brand new shiney bike flying into the street, in front of oncoming traffic.
Now while my first thought should have been something like “Gee, I wonder if my head has suffered any permanent trauma from hitting the sidewalk like that” it was instead “Oh my god i better get my bike out of the street!” So in perhaps the most unceremonious manner possible, I, dazed and confused, covered in mud, missing a shoe and soaked through and through, roll over and start crawling on my hands and knees into the street (into oncoming traffic!) to retreive my shiney new purchase.
Anyway, I manage to miraculously avoid getting hit or run over, and i sort of half-crawling, half-limping, drag my bike through the rain and muck back on to the sidewalk, where I crawl around on my hands and knees trying to retrieve all my possesions from the various puddles where they lay. At this point, I look up to see the sort of shocked/bemused face of an old japanese man in front of a nearby shop, and beyond him, a foxy japanese bird busting the L.Vuitton and the Christian Dior, sort of peering out from beneath her umbrella, both of which must have seen the entire affair. Not certain of how to save face since I`ve just wiped out in a grand fashion worthy of Tony Hawk, and am currently crawling around in the mud trying to see if my cell phone still works, I just sort of stand up, and give them a nod (and to the girl, a psuedo-manly “What`s up” though it was sort of just a squeak since it felt like I just broke my ribs) then limp off, walking my bike.
So dies the myth of the mysterious and “cool” gaijin. *sigh*
So what else is new? I had another one of the much vaunted “business trips” this week, a two day exercise in boredom, wherein I learned nothing, contributed even less, and was made noteworthy only for the incredible amounts of partying that capped off every night. God bless the sweet soul who invented the beer vending machine, and then put them next to every soda machine in this country!! ;)
At one point, the lot of rowdy gaijin got so bad that we got kicked out of the lobby. So someone, I don`t remember who, shouts “Party up in my room”! So off we go, tromping down the halls, probably waking all the other tenants up along the way, to this dudes room.
Now, the way the accomodations worked in this place, 4 people share a room, with beds laid out one beside the other, with the only privacy being the seperate toilet/shower room. So we bust into the place to find a guy, lets call him “Tom” (not his real name!) laying on his bed, shirt off (Tom is pretty built and proud of it, so its not unusual to see him without his shirt, and a disturbing amount of the time running his hands over his pecs or something…) looking extremely pissed and shouting some very unpleasant things at the lot of us along the lines of “f-k ya`ll, get the hell out!!”
Well, trying to stop an encroaching mass of drunken foreigners in search of more drinkage and partyage is sort of like taking on some stampeding water buffalo with a super soaker. (bizzare analogy, yes, I know). So we ignore Tom, and get our party on, as it were.
A while later, I run into a friend and in the course of drunken conversation, i happen to inquire if he knows why Tom is pissed. To which he (the friend) breaks into hysterical laughter, and in between gasps for air, manages to convey that Tom had confided in him that moments before everyone broke into the room, he had been having a little “Tom time” if you know what I mean. (you may commence squeamish squirming now). Perhaps mere moments before the grand finale, he heard us fumbling with the door knob, and had barely enough time to replace the lower half of his clothing before we all tumbled in.
Now, there are many comments to be made on this situation, but allow me just to leave it at this: if you`re going to wank – and there`s nothing wrong with that, for the love of god, don`t do it out in the open in an unlocked hotel room you share with four other people…!
*wanders off to sanitize himself since up until that point he had been sitting on the bed which Tom was laying on initially*
And now a little bit of humor for those of you who can read Japanese. As many of you may, or may not know, here in Japan, virtually all CDs come with a lyric book, even those which normally don`t have them in America (for karaoke). Desperate for thugz-style beats in ma` crib, I borrowed 2Pac`s “Until the End of Time” from Tsutaya the other day. I was absentmindedly flipping through the lyrics booklet when I came upon two set of lyrics for the song “Why you turn on Me” – one english, the other translated (or perhaps more accurately: paraphrased…?)
English
I`m turning this shit ole switcheroo,
Ass bitch made motherfuckers just
Because Outlawz ni**a Westside
I kept it real, thought it would
Come to this used to have love for me,
Why you turning on why me Westside
How you do it boy
and then the Japanese… interpretation
“ú–{Œê
‚±‚Ì‹È‚ð’j‚ðƒ}ƒU�[ƒtƒ@ƒbƒJ�[‚É‚µ‚¿‚Ü‚¤�«ˆ«‚̃rƒbƒ`‚É•ù‚°‚邺
ƒAƒEƒgƒ�ƒEƒY‚̃jƒK�[˜A’†‚ƃEƒFƒXƒgƒTƒCƒh‚Ì’‡ŠÔ‚ƈê��‚É�A
‰´‚Í�̂©‚ç— •\‚È‚­�s“®‚µ‚Ä‚«‚½‚ñ‚¾
‚¢‚‚©‚Í‚±‚¤‚¢‚¤“ú‚ª—ˆ‚é‚Á‚Ä‚±‚Æ‚ð’m‚Á‚Ä‚½‚©‚ç‚È
ˆÈ‘O‚͉´‚Ɉ¤�î‚ðŽ�‚Á‚Ä�ڂµ‚Ä‚­‚ê‚Ä‚½‚¨‘O‚ª�A
‚Ç‚¤‚µ‚Ä�¡‚É‚È‚Á‚ĉ´‚ÉŽ•Œü‚©‚Á‚Ä‚­‚ê‚Ì‚³
ƒEƒFƒXƒgƒTƒCƒh‚Ì‚¨‘O‚ç‚È‚ç�A‚±‚ñ‚ÈŽž‚Ç‚¤‚·‚é�H
it just all seems so polite, when you put it that way, doesn`t it…? *laughs* But how can you go wrong when “ass bitch” gets translated as “�«ˆ«‚̃rƒbƒ`” (lit. “bad natured bitch”)..?
Ah well, then again, maybe it`s just me. Okay, I`ve rambled on for long enough. Time to go! Thanks for reading so far!
Now listening to: “Nelly – Welcome to Nellyville”
(“Welcome to Nellyville / where all newborns get a half-a-mill’ / sons, get the tan DeVille / soon as they can reach the wheel / and daughters, get diamonds the size of their age”) 4:11 am

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