October 26, 2004

The Big Move... Again

As of tomorrow (Tuesday October 26th... or the evening of Monday the 25th for those in America) Karen and I will be without internet access for hopefully no more than two weeks.

In the past few years, I have moved my belongings from home to dorm room(multiple times), dorm room to home(multiple times), home to apartment, apartment to home, home to different apartment, apartment to Seattle, Seattle to home, home to Seattle, Seattle to Osaka, and now Osaka to Osaka. It feels like I have done this way too many times, and I'm hoping that this will be the last move for at least a little while.

Our previous move involved a long period of time without internet. However, now that we're a bit more familiar with the way this crazy country works, I'm hoping that time will be cut in half and we will be back online soon.

Until then, I will be anxiously searching for broadcasts of the Red Sox game on every TV in every train station, bar, or neighbors window I come across.

Pictures of the new place and town will be posted ASAP. See you in 2 weeks! (I hope)

GO SOX!!!!!!

Posted by jed at 04:55 AM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2004

We Still Believe

Fenway in May

We're watching here in Japan, it's your year fella's! Go Sox!!

Posted by jed at 12:30 AM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2004

Paper Airplanes

Just as expected, the typhoon made a direct hit on Osaka today, rendering us indoors and preventing us from doing any early moving. As a result, we remained confined to a room of television and internet all day, wasting the final hours of the weekend in a bored yet wonderful state. It was during this time, however, that I stumbled upon a very strange Japanese program. I knew the moment I saw it that I must share, but also realized that what I was seeing could not be put into words. So, I took a picture of the television:

Paper Airplanes.jpg

What you are seeing are two teams: red and green. At this stage in the game, the green team is on offense, and the red on defense. The point of this game, from what I could determine, is to throw a paper airplane in a similar fasion to that of a football. Both teams have three players; the offensive team has two players with nets in which to 'receive' the paper airplane once thrown, while the defensive team is given gigantic fans to use as wind devices and throw the paper airplane off it's course. You can see here that the red team did a good job on defense, as green players and their nets are nowhere near the soaring airplane. However, the first 'play' I witnessed was the red team getting an easy 'touchdown' off of one easy 'pass.'

All in all it was pretty interesting for the three minutes it had my attention. Yet I can't help but wonder, why do they need all that padding and protection?

Cheers!

Posted by jed at 08:52 PM | Comments (2)

Typhoonery

Today, someone decided that Karen and I would be the stars of a new sitcom called-

"How can we make life difficult for Karen and Jed?" (The fact that our names are also Karen and Jed is purely coincidental.) Let me explain...

Part 1:
As I mentioned before, we are in the process of moving from our tiny little apartment in the middle of nowhere, to a much nicer place on the port of Osaka; complete with a view of the huge ferris wheel, a nice ocean breeze, and a much shorter commute to some of our good friends and work. Today being our Saturday, we planned to meet our new landlord to sign the papers and get things started. Since he's a nice guy, he told us we could start moving our stuff in today, even though we won't officially move in until next Tuesday.

Anywhooo, long story... longer... we woke up this morning excited and filled with energy to begin phase one of our subway move. However, what we didn't plan for, was the 23rd typhoon of the year heading directly for Osaka.

Now, we both like exciting weather like this, and have been eager in the past to accept these storms with an open arm, allowing it to enter our lives and provide a certain level of entertainment. But, in the past, most typhoons have missed Osaka, just grazing us, and lasting for a few hours at most.

Today, the typhoon has decided to finally pay us a visit, on one of only two days we have to move our stuff. To say it simply, we got soaked. After two arm breaking trips to the subway stop nearest our current apartment (a 15 minute walk), taking a relaxing shower was one of the most ironic things I could have done (and I did).

Not only that, but I found out moments ago that the typhoon is still a considerable distance to the south, which means the high wind and rain we had today will not only be here again tomorrow, but will likely be much stronger, cancelling our final free day to move before next week.

Part B:
So we finished our day of saturation, and celebrated by stopping at one of our favorite resturants near work; an okonomiyaki place that has a few chain stores around the city. We finished our meal happy, ready to return home and enjoy our Saturday night, when the unthinkable happened.

(The following paragraph is necessary background information)
When we first arrived in Japan and started wandering around our neighborhood, we took notice of a huge construction, spanning at least one full NY City block. We speculated as to what it could be; a baseball stadium, a mall, a prison... we had no idea. It was only recently discovered that it was to be, in fact, a mall. However, in Japan, malls are mostly clothes and fancy shops that I, a horrible shopper to begin with, would never have any interest in.

(Background information complete)
So, when we exited the subway station in preparation for our 15 minute walk home in the rain, we noticed a lot of people, bright lights, and much activity happening in the mall. We had seen signs saying it was to open on the 28th, but apparently they decided to let people in a little earlier. Stupidly, we decided to go take a look.

One of the main reasons we wanted to move was because the area here is pretty dull. There are no good resturants, no grocery stores... literally nothing at all. I can't tell you how many convenience store egg salad and ham sandwhiches I've eaten for dinner in the past four months, simply because we have no other option. That said, upon walking into the new mall, I was almost floored by what I saw. There is only one word which can describe this place-

Mammoth.

It's not just a grocery store, it's a mega grocery store. It's not just a mall, it's a mega mall. It's not just a resturant, it's every possible resturant you can think of. Four stories of everything we could have ever wanted, placed directly on our pathway to work. In all honestly, it could not be more convenient, as the sidewalk we ride down every morning is no less than 30 feet from the front door. To give you an idea, this place is so nice, that the entire mall is carpeted, wall to wall.

Oh, and did I mention the Starbucks? The Starbucks that is also 30 feet from the sidewalk we ride down everyday? Sure, there are 70 Starbucks in Osaka, but none of them are five minutes from where I live(d).

I plan to go back to this stupid mall in the next few days and take pictures to show just how big this place is. There is an Eddie Bour, Tower Records, a good bookstore, Body Shop, and a Fugetsu- which is the okonomiyaki place we love so much. Yup, that's right, add one more kick to the face.

But, we are both very optimistic, and look at this as a good way to save money; not to mention we'll be getting away from the hundreds of people that invaded our small little neighborhood. Plus, it's our little secret. The people we work with live nowhere near this place, and we are probably the only ones who know it exists. Besides, who needs a mall with everything imaginable in their backyard? We moved to Japan to experience Japanese culture, not to walk through malls, right?

...right?

Posted by jed at 12:25 AM | Comments (1)

October 08, 2004

Slacker

Sorry for the lack of updates lately, but a lot has been going on which has prevented me from adequate internet time. I'll try to sum up as best as possible what's been going on in the last couple of weeks.

First:

For those who don't know, Karen and I are moving. Currently, we live in housing provided by our company. It's a nice little place, but quite a distance from work. Also, they charge a rather large amount of money to live here, so now that we're settled in this upside down country we decided to remedy the situation. As of October 28th we'll be living right by the port, and the gigantic ferris wheel you have seen on some of the pictures (the ferris wheel in mention is the Tempozan. This is not the red one, but the other one... yes, there are lot's of ferris wheel's here) Anyway, it's a very nice place which will allow for a shorter commute, a little more space at a little less price, and a fantastic view of the ferris wheel everyday (we basically live right underneath the thing, it's pretty neat). Not to mention the nice ocean breeze, as well as the fact that we'll be very close to other people we work with- including Rob and Lisa, for those that know them, who also are moving in mid October.

Second:

Karen's computer crashed. If you've wondered why she's been ignoring you on instant messenger, it's because she doesn't like you. If, on the other hand, you've wondered why she was using my screen name, it's because her computer has bitten then dust, so to speak, and I've been working to bring it back to life. I got it working yesterday, but it crashed again today. Hopefully it will work again so she won't have to use my computer anymo...uh, I mean, so she can get back to the life of unlimited internet that the rest of us enjoy so much. (Disclaimer: the comment about Karen ignoring you is only opinion. In the case of hurt feelings, please complain to Chuck and he will handle the situation.)

Third:

I got an Xbox. I can go into detail why it's so cool, but I might get myself into trouble. Instead, I'll just say that it's.. "'Chip' to be square"... mwa ha haha

Anyway, those reasons along with work have prevented me from sitting down and writing anything worth talking about. Until recently, the move wasn't definite as the decision was made just two days ago. That left me with the Xbox and a crashed computer to blab about, which didn't seem exciting enough to share, let alone read about.

I know what you're saying... "It wasn't interesting then, and it's not interesting now."

To that, I can only say one thing...

"touche (insert name here), touche."


Cheers!

Posted by jed at 07:14 PM | Comments (2)