Man, I’ve been busy.
And I’m only about to get busier.
November is coming soon, and that means so is Nanowrimo. Because a lot of my energy is going to go into my fifth Nanowrimo novel, I will not be writing any blog entries in November, unless they are about Nanowrimo. So you’ll probably get this:
OMG I’M 4000 WORDS BEHINDDDD FML FML FML.
So this is probably the last entry you’ll get for a while. Early in December, I will write about what happened in November (since I’ll be going to Kyoto in November with my school, I’ll have something to write about, but no time to write it).
So. Let’s make it a good one!
Also, one full of summary, probably.
Tateyama International Exchange Society Welcome Party—October 12th
The TIES had a welcome party for the ALTs and CIRs in the Minamiboso and Tateyama area. It was a potluck and there was a gift exchange, and I kind of forgot about both.
Luckily for me, though, Ebony called Kim and said that we should all just make some chocolate and bring that together. So we got together at Ebony’s house for the event and melted chocolate and put it into Halloween molds. Haha!
I had to scrounge around my house for a present, though. I didn’t really have anything to give away… so I picked out a pin from UCSC and put that in a bag. I figured since it’s funky and from CA, it would do. :)
We had a lot of trouble finding the place, and Mike never found it (but his phone also broke), so he didn’t show up. Kim joked that we should make him feel bad about it and tell him that there were all these really hot girls that were really into cars.
It was a nice little dinner. The very old man running it really wanted it to go his way—he kept interrupting everyone’s conversations to do little ceremonial things. He also got very very drunk.
In Japan, when someone wants to refill your drink, you are absolutely supposed to let them. If your drink is full and they offer to refill it, you have to take a sip and let them refill it. It is very rude to refuse.
But I really wasn’t in the mood to be coerced into drinking more. He kept trying to get Kim and Ebony to drink, even though they had driven there. I thought that was rude. He also spilled sake all over Melissa when he was pouring her a drink, because he couldn’t take “no more” for an answer. So I wasn’t in the mood to humor him. Whenever he tried to refill my drink, I told him no.
Besides that, though, he was friendly, and the dinner was okay. The other people there were very nice. I think we were mostly there because they wanted to talk to English speakers, and none of the Tateyama ALTs were… invited. It was a little weird.
It ended rather early in the night, and Melissa, Ebony, Kim, and I felt a little restless (at least, I did, because it was kind of boring, and it was nighttime), so we went to karaoke. I sang until I lost my voice. XD
Man… I’m having problems at night. I really want to go out and do stuff. But there ain’t nothing to do. (Well, actually, there’s plenty to do, but no one else wants to walk on the beach at night.)
Tateyama—31st Nanso Satomi Festival—October 13th
Ebony told me that this is Tateyama’s biggest matsuri, and that she’d missed out on it last year and really regretted it. Unfortunately, it was a busy day for everyone, and Ebony was going out with a friend (possibly on a date, she wasn’t sure), so I had to go alone. I texted Masato, and we met up for a while, but he had a tennis date later in the day, so he left early.
While we were walking, we ran into some of his high school students, and one of them flashed him the “girlfriend” sign. *sigh* Seriously? It is still—and will always be—weird that guys and girls can’t just be friends in Japan. (Damn repressed society…)
Anyway, I mostly walked around by myself and ate festival food. The costumes were all really pretty, and there were mikoshi. Then there was an epic reenactment of a battle! It reminded me of a Civil War Reenactment, which reminded me of Mary. I miss you, Mary!
I can’t post all of the pictures here—because I took so many!—but here’s a few. The rest are on Facebook.
Pizza & Beer & a Horror Film
Near the end of the festival, I wandered over to Tsutaya again to look at more DVDs, and Victor called me to invite me to pizza. Jeff’s birthday had been earlier that week, and we had planned to meet at Pizza Indy’s (which is a great stone-oven, wood-burning little pizza place in Chikura), but we got the time mixed up, so it was cancelled. I drove to Chikura to meet with Victor, Jeff, and Mike for pizza. I was a little late, but it worked out just fine.
Afterwards, we headed to Victor’s house to play video games and drink. We all drove in separate cars, and I didn’t know how to get to Victor’s house, so I followed Mike to get there.
Mike took this totally crazy way with a lot of curves. It took a really long time, and I kept wondering where exactly he was leading me. Sometimes he would take the curves really fast too—playing with his car—and I thought I was going to lose him, but he always slowed down so I could catch up. It was surprisingly thoughtful of him. (I have actually been a little concerned about the lack of chivalry shown by the American men here so far.)
We eventually arrived at Victor’s house. Jeff left early, because he didn’t want to drink and sleep over at Victor’s house, and Victor’s Japanese friend Nori came over. We watched Mike struggle with Borderlands 2 (a video game that looked pretty fun), drank some beers, took a trip to Seven Eleven, and tried to watch Rush Hour 2 (2001).
It was actually pretty funny—our attempts to watch it, I mean. Victor apparently has never illegally streamed anything, because I had to direct him to 1channel, and when we got there, he was surprised by all the options and pop-ups.
Victor: “This seems highly illegal.”
Me: “Um… Yes. Duh.”
Victor: “This is totally sketch.”
Me: “BECAUSE IT’S ILLEGAL.”
And then they all thought I was some sort of illegal-downloading rebel or something. Which I’m not. >> I just stream…
Anyway, the Rush Hour 2 videos didn’t work very well, and since Victor isn’t used to streaming illegal videos (apparently), he just gave up and decided to try a different movie. We decided on Battle Royale (2000), a Japanese horror film that I think is really great. It was a better option anyway, since Nori doesn’t know enough English to understand Rush Hour 2 (especially with Chris Tucker’s voice). We watched about ¾ of it until our Seven Eleven run, and then when we came back, the video had stopped working.
So instead we listened to music (mostly Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Roots and some awful hip hop that they thought was hilarious) and drank some more, and then Mike and I fell asleep first. XD
Dragnet Fishing—October 14th
The next morning (see, I told you I was busy), I went to a dragnet fishing event with Kim. She had to go, and none of the other ALTs said they wanted to go, so she was really glad I was coming along.
It was raining, though, so the fishing part was cancelled. So I’ll never know what “dragnet fishing” is—though it sounds like you just drag a net. Obvious name is obvious.
After the fishing part, they had a BBQ, so we just skipped to that. The food was really good—some squid, some veggies (delicious BBQ’d onions!), yakisoba (fried noodles), and some marinated chicken. There was also some raw fish cut up, offered with wasabi and soy sauce. I tried some of that, and it was really good! Everything smelled awesome and it was delicious.
There were some tourists from China there, because they were being showed around by the City Hall people, but that meant that there weren’t a lot of people for us to talk to. I still had a good time, though, because—hey—fire. And rain. Two of my favorite things.
And also food. Three of my favorite things.
It was rainy, but I thought the weather was actually really nice. I was wearing shorts, but I wasn’t cold. We walked down to the beach with the Chinese tourists and took a picture with them, and then I went down to the water and waded a little. I felt like a little kid, and I think the tourists were laughing at me.
After the BBQ, Kim and I went to some secondhand stores, because I wanted to look for Halloween costume pieces. Kim said that she didn’t like secondhand stores, but she came with me anyway. I didn’t find anything for my Halloween costume, but Kim found something—a rotating bookshelf! She has really needed a bookshelf, and this one was perfect. It didn’t take up much space, it was a nice color (white and blue), and it would fit all of her manga perfectly. Haha!
So she was the only one to buy something that day.
To be continued… because this entry is already way too long.
Also, I’m too lazy and tired to do a Cast of Characters. Just look at the page up top.