Daily Archives: Jan. 19th, 09

911, Sumo & the Drunk Bus

Last weekend was our first time really going out to party in Tokyo. True, we’ve been here for a couple of weekends, but we were so jetlagged out the first week there was no way we were making it out. I think we made up for it sufficiently.

Friday: After a lame class on Japan Law, we hooked up with some students and went out for Japanese fast food, basically rice bowls topped with anything from taco meat to curry. It was cheap but it wasn’t yummy. Afterward, we met up at an English pub for drinks. The place was alright but most importantly had semi-decently priced drinks. Pretty important here because our area of town is kind of pricey when it comes to that sort of thing. On suggestion of one of the crazier students in the group, we headed over to this club called 911 to dance a bit. That spot was suuuuuuuuper crowded but the music was good.

Yo, Japanese people are pretty damned reserved during the day but at night… whoa! They’re crazy. They were dancing around all nutso (think white people dancing) but definitely enjoying themselves. It’s really interesting how even the most straight-laced looking people get totally wild at the club. I danced with like 3 suited up business men, one even took off his tie and wrapped it around my neck, freaky styles! There was this one guy we dubbed RainbowCoat who stuck close to our group all night long. He was dancing around in his puffy rainbow jacket, putting his head on the girls’ shoulders,  seemingly trying to get as close to our boobs as possible. You ain’t slick, RainbowCoat! There was a decent amount of foreigners in there as well but not too many. I think I burned 17 nose hairs due to the one African dude (sorry my dark continent peeps) who obviously has a cultural aversion to deodorant. Altogether, that night was alright. Once the music devolved into a techno nightmare, we got out of there and headed home. Click for Saturday, Sumo & more

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Filed under Say Cheese!, Tokyo Tales, travel

Run DC

100_0036I’m kind of bummed that I’m not going to be able to hang out with EVERYone at the inauguration in DC this week. I keep seeing all kinds of talk about the events so far this past weekend and the events to come all on Twitter and via all the blogs that I check out. True, I’m over here in Tokyo and you’re probably thinking I have a million other things to do, but really, who wouldn’t want to be in DC right now? Ok, probably people who live in DC but you know what I mean. Election night, when the results came in, we were already talking about being in DC. The next day, hotels were already booked solid and people were scamming on tickets. Truthfully, I don’t think I’ve ever even known when an inauguration was taking place, let alone tried to plan to attend one! This is clearly a major historical event and who wouldn’t want to say “I was there when…” twenty years from now?

I was thinking it’d be cool to spend the day in Obama, Japan but that’s hours away from Tokyo. Sike. There’s an event going on in Shibuya with a group of folks meeting up to watch a recorded version of the President’s speech, but I’ll be in class at that time (skip day?). Thankfully, you all keep me informed with your blogs and tweets so I’m sure I’ll get the entire rundown even before I want it (you should see how hard it is to NOT hear about sports scores or tv plots before we get a chance to watch it over here!).

I hope you all have a great time and, most of all, keep it classy. I was so happy with the way things went down on Election Day. I hope that we can carry over that same sense of pride and celebration without turning the event into Freaknik ’09, knowwhati’msayin?


Filed under Routine Ramblings

A note on bathrooms:

This deserves to be told. Japanese toilets are a strange breed, folks. The toilet in our apartment is pretty run of the mill, close to an American toilet. Elsewhere, however, you can find one of two toilets: The squat toilet or the electronic toilet.

The squat toilet is basically a porcelain hole in the floor. Your job is to straddle the thing and squat down, sort of like you’re peeing outside, and let ‘er go. There’s a bar you can grab onto if you need it. I haven’t personally used a squat toilet. The public restrooms we go into usually have two types of toilets and I opt for an actual stool instead of risking getting piss on my boots. HR inadvertently stumbled into one and was disgusted. Apparently everyone’s not as good with their aim and there was pee and nastiness all around the toilet. :(

As another option, you can get the electronic toilets. They’re pretty freaky because they look normal but they’re plugged in. The seats are heated. Freakishly heated. Hot. You’d think it’d be a good idea because that ceramic bowl can get pretty chilly. Still, it’s not so good because I think that heat warms up the funk. I haven’t been to a pleasant smelling bathroom here at all. Not once (with the exception of the one in our apt).

The electric toilets usually have a sensor where it flushes itself, but you can operate other kinds of flushes if you want.

There are also bidet options in case you want some of that cold toilet water sprayed up your wahoo. The funniest thing I saw though was yesterday at the Sumo tournament restroom. Each stall had a little box that played a fake flushing sound. WHY in the world would you need to simulate a flush while in the bathroom? Of course I had to press it. I pressed it twice. HR and HL said it’d be a good idea if you wanted to mask the sound of you using the bathroom, but I figure you can just flush the actual toilet right? I guess these Japanese are so into conserving water, they’d rather give you a fake flushing sound than to have you flush for real!

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Filed under Tokyo Tales, travel, Uncategorized