Saturday, December 23

A list of things I've done in Thailand so far.

No real time to blog, so here's the quickest, laziest blog entry ever.

  • Saw the recling budha.
  • Got a Thai massage.
  • Saw the palace and all that stuff.
  • Ate some Thai food.
  • Ate some more Thai food.
  • Took a Thai cooking class.
  • Ate some more Thai food.
  • Got a lap-dance from a 45 year old woman.
  • Got chatted up by a transgender male.
  • Rode a tuk-tuk.
  • Went to a house club.
  • Visited the night market.

Bring on day three. Off to Khao Sok. Pictures and stuff will follow my return to Japan.

Tuesday, December 19

Bon Enkai

Bon Enkai was last week sometime. It was fun.

Made a video, its worth a watch just for the music in my opinion, the music is fun and used without persmission of the artist.

Monday, December 18

A Blog For Marion Who Believes My Blogs A Too Long, Well Maz! Is This Short Enough For Ya? Wel.... Is It? Is It!


Woke up.

Got a call from Angela, she told me a lot of things I liked hearing.

Still felt hung-over from the night before and Patrick called round to tell me he was feeling bad too.

Talked to Angela for maybe 2 hours before she asked if calling my Skype number was the same price as a local call, I didn’t know.

After talking to Angela I let my duvet tee-pee subside and made a cuppa.

Called Marion, got no answer. Marion called back.

I met Marion for coffee. Had coffee, it tasted coffee-like.

Long way up

Climbed a climbing wall we found. I got half way up but Marion scaled it.

she kissed me like I was her pet dog, there was a lot of nose and no cupping

Went south to Kagoshima. Went to a Christmas party, played pass the parcel and my prize was a kiss from Marion, she kissed me like I was her pet dog, there was a lot of nose and no cupping.

Got drunk and had sex with a JET in the back of her car, afterwards I seriously considered learning to drive.

Woke up with a hang-over, didn’t talk for the whole morning.

Left Kagoshima, saw a bunch of bikers, lets call them a gang, a biker gang.

Talked about my blog with Marion, she thinks it’s too long, I agreed.

Got home, gave Marion some cucumbers, I think she appreciated the gift.

Ate some crab at a neighbour's house and went to bed early. I was knackered.

Lumpy Cabbage Soup


Have you ever bought a cabbage from your Agricutural High School students and then realised you didn't know any ways to make cabbage tasty, and the cabbage you have is bigger than your own head? No...? Just me then.

Here is how I dealt with it:
  • One cube of chicken stock
  • Half a head of cabbage
  • Two big ol' cloves of garlic
  • A cucumber
  • Masala
  • Peas
  • Miso soup mix
  1. Get a pot, some oil, fry your chopped up garlic. At the same time finely chop your cabbage and slice your cucumber. Put your peas to boil in a seperate pot.
  2. When the garlic is all but a burnt husk dump your cucumber and cabbage on top, add more oil. Wait until the peas are half cooked and add the peas to the mix with the enough water to cover the ingridients. Crumble your stock cube and add a lump of miso and stir it up. Whack some of that Masala in there too.
  3. Wait.
  4. Wait.
  5. Wait for 30 minutes or so.
  6. Serve and wait some more for it to cool. If your soup isn't very liquidy, is very lump and the peas are hard and chewy you've got what I've got.
Looks like a mess but taste damn good.



No one is likeable in this film. Matt Dillon exudes a certain cool but ultimately his character isn’t heroic or inspiring and whilst his troubles are darkly comic enough to keep the audience amused I felt that I was always waiting for something to happen and finding myself disappointed that this is really a film about non-events and non-entities.

Little Miss Sunshine

Films about dysfunctional families that star Steve Martin are rubbish and not just in retrospect, they have always been terrible, save The Jerk… maybe. However films about dysfunctional families that co-star Steve Carrel are genius. This film is so thick with character, pathos, humour and then finally satire. Underneath it all there’s a lesson about life. This is truly a wonderful film.

Trallageda Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Will Ferrel does absurd so well that you could easily believe that the genre of comedy this film and Anchor Man belong were invented by him alone. Nights takes ridiculous and amps it up a notch. Will plays the idiot savant again; this time he is the number one racer in the redneck filled Nascar circuit until a gay French F1 racer comes to steal his throne. Before Will can face his nemesis he needs to face some demons of his own and burry something from the past, standard story with great comedy.


A horror movie set in a college, the main protagonist is a pretty and clever but fragile young girl… sound familiar? People start to die on campus, something sinister is stalking the campus. The good thing about this film is that it doesn’t go for the obvious jump scares, in one scene the cat in the cupboard scare is subverted in a disturbing way. The scariest thing about this film is the way it comments upon a society which is becoming more and more reliant on technology and virtual communities, slightly cyber-xenophobic, but a fun no-brainer none the less.

Casino Royale

The opening credits were gorgeous looking but had no Bondness about them. The opening scene was violent, bloody and harrowing. The first action scene was fantastic with some amazing stunts and although later action scenes came close to it none surpassed it. And Bond his self is finally multi-dimensional, displaying more than just a cool exterior. His heroics fuelled by egotism and arrogance, this is a Bond who I can believe in. Great film!

Thursday, December 14


I was thinking about bento boxes today. I ordered a 500 yen box for lunch and was pleasantly surprised that it was a lot better than the 400 yen box I usually settle for or the salad and slice of pizza I walk to the shop for.

I was told, I can’t remember by whom, that bento’s are supposed to be eaten in a certain order. If eaten in the correct way you will feel healthier and your digestion will feel/work better.

So I wikipedia’d bento boxes and had a look for the correct order to eat the bento. The answer wasn’t there unfortunately however I found a link to a great blog about bento boxes and discovered that the IBM Thinkpad was based upon the design of a bento box.

Its odd where the inspiration for certain things comes from. On Tuesday for example I was at an International Seminar, which is a fancy way of saying I was teaching English to 1st year kids at an event held in another part of town.

One of the tasks the kids had to complete was to think of another fantastical use for a normal household item. I brought in three normal household items for the kids in my group to imagine into new things. I brought an ironing board, a cork-screw and a shamoji (しゃもじ is a paddle used to scoop rice from a rice cooker).

flying machine or an electronic pet, all conveyed in self-deprecating mimenot my student

The kids in my group found it hard to think of any fantastical uses for the items I had brought in, but did manage many mundane uses, like turning the ironing board into a chopping board, or using the shamoji as a shoe-horn. I threw out some ridiculous suggestions like using the corkscrew as a flying machine or turning it into an electronic pet, all my ideas were conveyed in self-deprecating mime FYI.

Eventually we decided, by way of democratic vote, that the shamoji should become a table tennis paddle and we would market the paddle as one you could never lose with. We then made a slogan for the product:

“Everyone is strong and beautiful.”
And then we made a skit for a commercial to sell the product. We then performed the skit in front of a captivated audience and finished to rapturous applause.

Although the idea of turning a paddle for rice into a paddle for ping-pong is a bit humdrum, the work that followed was great, the advertisement making part was totally fun and the slogan is so out there it couldn’t fail to stay in your head. So, yeah, it’s odd where we find inspiration.

Tuesday, December 12

Poetry: Verisimiltude

The truth
The undeniable fact
The writing ‘twixt the lines
Repeated for thoroughness
On the bottom of the page
The one thing alluded to
But never said
So obvious it stares you down
Stare back!
Don’t flinch!
It’s only the truth
Fear not as its’ keys jangle
It will set you. . .

The fact however
Is that your liberator
Had a firm grip
Upon those keys
For the term of your sentence

I wrote this poem with my left hand after being told it may tap into some creative well or something, I'll let you be the judge.

Sunday, December 10

Taiko Today

Well, after todays very negative morning blog entry it was great to then go out and spend a whole day watching some great Taiko!

I knew we had a performance today but wasn't aware that it was for a competition. All the Taiko teams from all over Miyazaki were in attendance and everyone had a great time playing and watching the performances.

I screwed up, about four times, but fortunately Kodama Sensei done the Monket Dance Distraction and no one seemed to notice me fumbling the beats. I'm sure they will notice it one the DVD though, I will post the performance as soon as I've ripped the DVD and edited it.

In the mean time here is another groups performance, I've not seen this footage and can't be bothered to quality check it, its 10:30pm, time for bed, been a long but fun day.

Tornado in London, Shitstorm in Saito

Apparently there was a tornado in London recently.


No one I know was affected by it, which is good.

On Monday at work when the 5th hundred person tells me that the weather in England is colder than it is here (which isn't true), I can tell them that there was a Tornado in London, which will be far more interesting than just replying "Oh yes, it gets very cold" and "Oh yes, it rains a lot".

The weather today is fine with no sign of rain, just in case you was at all interested.

they relaxed almost completely save their motor-mouths and gossip-lobes

Although last night, I've been reliably informed, certain JETs bitched up a storm at an event called Bitch & Stitch. Bitch & Stitch was a knitting party, if you could imagine such a thing, a bunch a women and my neighbour meeting up to knit scarves and relax. From what I gather they relaxed almost completely save their motor-mouths and gossip-lobes.

The topics of coversation were pretty much the same as always and focused on two people in particular. I got this news by proxy by the way so I can not be sure of what was said or if the conversation only only extended to two people. The fact that certain people were in attendance and I was not leads me to wonder whether my name crossed anyones lips that night...?

Friday, December 8

Fuk U Ok A: Japanese Learning Proficency Test

Saturday morning… hung-over.

So I’ve decided that I’m not taking the test. I don’t feel it will be a positive experience that I will take anything from except confirmation of what I already know to be true and that is that I’m not very good at Japanese. I’ve not been motivated to rise to the challenge of the JLPT and this is odd as I came over here for the challenges, but this one challenge I feel won’t benefit me at this moment in time.

My lack of Japanese language skill is a huge problem, bigger than I would have previously admitted. It was recently brought to my attention that I express no gratitude to the people who help me at taiko practice, it wasn’t put in that nice a way but the point was the same. When I was accused my rebuttal was that I didn’t even know the word for gratitude in the language, I had simply assumed that my diligence and commitment would convey gratitude enough.
So this is one motivation to learn more Japanese, but my main motivation is that I really need to socialise with people who aren’t JETs.

The ability of some people to make a mountain out of a molehill, to harbour ill will or bad feelings and lose sense of perspective... is like a circus act of negativity

I try, and fail abysmally, to not be critical of people, to accept them on face value and be aware that everyone is flawed. Other JETs however are very intolerant to flawed personalities, which would be fine in its self if this simply led to them giving each other a wide berth. However, it too often leads to one JET being very vocal about their grievance about another JET in some cases so much so it seems that a slur campaign is being run against them.

The ability of some people to make a mountain out of a molehill (しんしょうぼうだい)、to harbour ill will or bad feelings and lose sense of perspective all at the same time is like a circus act of negativity, imagine someone juggling whilst riding a unicycle over a tightrope, stressful right?

But as for the test? I’m in the big city and I should be having fun.

Saturday afternoon, dinner with Evania.


Evania points out that quitting is just like failing. I think to myself that quitting is a lot easier than failing. She talks to me about not taking the test and says a few things to encourage me and I decide to take the test. At this moment its resolute in my mind, I’m taking the test! Which means there will be no wild parties tonight for me, early to bed… alone.

Saturday night, far too sober.

I hate being spoken down to! Someone, he will remain nameless for the moment seems to think it appropriate to speak to me like I’m his fucking hired hand. The cheek of the fucking goon! This encounter only makes me want to learn Japanese more so I can shake these absolute losers.

I remain furious for the rest of the evening, so much so I cannot sleep. I attempt to watch a movie at Evania’s and just as it gets interesting, I’m out like a light.

Sunday morning, alarm ringing, I’ve not had enough sleep.

Test morning! Need to be at the centre by such and such a time, need to get out of here now! Nothing goes smoothly, can’t repack my bag, can’t get the shower to run with hot water, can’t figure out how to lock the front door of Evania’s place! I get to the station, get on a train, get to Tenjin, get on the street, look for the bus centre… not a clue, ask for directions, directions given in Japanese, not a clue. Finally find the place! The bus station is on the third floor of a building, weird. Buy a ticket, look at the time, test begins in 10 minutes, trip on the bus lasts 30 minutes, I’ve missed the test, but I’m not bothered.

missed the test on a heavy comedown with no regrets

It occurs to me later that if I had stuck to my original plan I could have gone and partied with Evania and her friends and I would have missed the test on a heavy comedown with no regrets, now I regret spending Saturday night half watching TV.

Fish Poem

Fish with mouth agape
Giving it the sideways stare
Black beady eyes
Holding my gaze
A dark, disturbing glare

I stare right back
It doesn’t acquiesce
Just looks at me defiantly
And I look back silently
Until I protest
And devour its head violently

Wednesday, December 6

Phrases for Taiko Tonight

Boring Blog Entry Alert!!

Tonight at Taiko I will endeavour to use the following phrases.

- "Please show me one more time"
もういちどう みせて ください
mouichidou misete kudasai

-Thank you for your teaching me.
おしえて くれて ありがとうございました
oshiete kurete arigatou gozaimashita

- "Is this right/correct?"
これは ただしい ですか?
kore wa tadashii desu ka

- "I think I have it"
わかる ように なった と おもいます
wakaru youni natta to omoimasu

I'm looking forward to using the last one in particular.

Here is a video of the tune:

Monday, December 4

99 Problems

If you got girl trouble
I feel bad for you son
But, I got 99 problems
And a bitch ain’t one!
There’s so much drama in the Mi –Ya – Zak- ki it’s kind of hard being a Stephen W A L R –O N D, but some how some way I keep coming up with funky new tricks like every single day!

Just thought I would open this entry with some of my lyrical wizardry, I hope you dig it homeboy/girl.

So, Stephen, why the Jay-Z quote? And what is this drama? Let me answer that in a long drawn out protracted manner.

The drama ain’t mine, it’s about three girls, and in America they call girls bitches, a pseudonym (bitch being the name women assume when they become the authors of their own drama) which is oft very apt.

So if the drama ain’t yours then why are you bugging boo? Well another great question, lets analyse the human psyche and see if the answers lay within.

when they feel insecure in a relationship or a situation they take a cowards way out and desperately find a scapegoat

People are insecure, cowardly, desperate and needy. And sometimes when they feel insecure in a relationship or a situation they take a cowards way out and desperately find a scapegoat that they need to explain their abnormal behaviour.

I’ve become said scapegoat, a role I would happily play if I knew that it would lead to the resolution of their insecurity in the final act. Yet I don’t think that is where this drama is going, like I said, these problems aren’t mine. I don’t own them and I can’t solve ‘em either.

we all know the pretence of ignorance is not bliss

But as long as I remain the focus of these women’s vitriol, spite and polemic rhetoric they can happily ignore the problems they have. Well, not happily, as we all know the pretence of ignorance is not bliss.

My conclusion? I don’t have one but let me just say that I won’t waste another moment being shocked or disappointed by these peoples behaviour, if I only expect the worst from them I can only ever be pleasantly surprised.

This blog entry was brought to you by the letters J & Z, the colour Green and Ebonics … phool!

Thursday, November 30

Laugh? I almost cried!!

I went to a Junior High School today to play games and be quized about culture, history, life, sports & entertainment of England.

However in most cases I was just playing games and have a giggle with the kids. They're great fun at that age, and these kids had really good English skills.

Now a bit of background on the whole event.
Doctor Who, Captain Black Beard, Mince Pie and Dreadlocks

So I was informed that the I would be giving four different presentations in six different classes. The presentations were going to be about food, culture, life & history and sports & entertainment. So I decided to write my presentation about Doctor Who, Captain Black Beard, Mince Pie and Dreadlocks (and what the different things they represent in British Culture).

all I needed to do is turn up and be entetained by the liveliest youngsters ever!

I didn't finish any of them, but fortunately I didn't have to, all I needed to do is turn up and be entetained by the liveliest youngsters ever! For the sake of it I've appended my speeches and presentation materials to the bottom of this post.

The picture below is of the gifts I recieved for turn up and helping up. The nuts are gorgeous, the sweets got sent to a friend with a child, the tea is lovely and calming, and the Christmas card is made with an Oragami Tree inside.

So, not the most exciting post in the world but, I had to get this day down on server else I may forget it ever happened.


Dreadlocks (ドレッドヘア ) in British Culture

Can you tell me what these people have in common?

[show pictures, the them guess, probably met with silence]

Their hair. They all have the same hairstyle. (Can anyone tell me what that hairstyle is called?)

Today I would like to talk about Dreadlocks and how they fit into British Culture.

My name is Stephen. I’m from England in the United Kingdom. [Show Map]

I’m from London and my dad is from Barbados and my Mum is from South America.

My mum and dad do not have dreadlocks. My dreadlocks are not a sign of my religion.

Many people from different religions wear their hair in different ways [Show pictures].

Can you identify the religions from their hair styles?

Dreadlocks are often associated with Rastafarianism.

But their history outdates Rastafarians.

The first accounts of dreadlocks are over 1000 years old.

There is evidence of dreadlocks in Egypt as there are mummies with dreadlocks.

Dreadlocks are a part of many different cultures history including the Mexican Aztecs, the Greek, the Christians, the Germans and the Vikings.

When do you think Dreadlocks became popular in England?

Let me give you a clue [play Bob Marley]. Do you recognise this song?

Dreadlocks became popular in Britain and all over the world in the 1970s when Bob Marley release his album and became very popular.

At the time Dreadlocks meant Rastafarianism. But now they mean many things… can you tell me what you think dreadlocks mean today? What sort of person wears dreadlocks?

For me Dreadlocks represent individualism. It allows me to show that I’m laidback, creative and fun-loving.

Sometimes it is a political

Dr. Who

Doctor Who is a fictional character made for the BBC and British Television.

The show was made in 1963, and it was shown until 1989.

Since then it has been relaunched and is now very successful.

Doctor Who is the longest running Science Fiction show in the world. It has had more episodes that Star Trek.

Doctor Who has become British Popular Culture and Cult Viewing.

The show is a mix of history, science fiction and horror.

The Doctor is an Alien, but he is always very British in character. He travels in an old Police Box called The Tardis. The Tardis is much bigger inside than it is outside and contains all sorts of machines.

Doctor Who can also regenerate after a near death experience. Each time he regenerates he changes form and personality.

But each Doctor Who believes in the power of goodness, love and humanity.

In the end The Doctor defeats his enemies without using violence but by using reason.

Some of the enemies he encounters are terrifying and as a child they really scared me.

There are the Daleks who want to exterminate all other races including humans.

And then there are the Cybermen, the Cybermen take out the human brain and place it into a metal shell. They believe that humans are better without emotions.

[Who Music]

[Who Clip]


*Please remember the inteded audience was 12 and 13 year olds.

Tuesday, November 28

"You're quiet, is anything wrong?"

That question is one of my bugbears.

It just annoys me that the immediate assumption made when someone doesn't talk to you is that they're in a mood, or something is wrong.

I have little to no interest in what you're talking about

How about any of these for an explaination:

  • My internal dialouge is wittier and more charming than you.
  • You're mumbling and I can't be bothered saying 'excuse me?' again.
  • You talk so fast its near impossible to get a word in edge-ways.
  • You've not once asked me a question or tried to include me in the conversation, and this hasn't bothered me because...
  • I have little to no interest in what you're talking about, I'm not going to pretend otherwise.
Anyway... here is a poem, sort of on topic (not that I've established a topic, just had a moan really).

Open Book

Imagine if you will
If it doesn’t scare you to
Imagine how you'd feel
If your voice abandoned you

Imagine for a moment
Take the time to think
If you no longer made a sound
You could only lip sink

Imagine the everyday trials
Mundane becomes so hard
Imagine what things you may need
Those dreams you’ll have to disregard

Some people only communicate with words
Your gestures, your tones go without note
Each word is processed and farmed
Each sentence understood as if wrote

Imagine you met someone like this
Your voice still unreturned
She asks you for a frank answer
You shrug and nod in return

Imagine how vexing for her
When she finds everyday
She would ask something of you
You would respond in a similar way

Imagine this peculiar pairing
One person reliant on their hearing
The other communicates
With the expression he’s wearing

So many things go unsaid
Oft reliant on other types of talk instead
A curl of a lip a tip of the head
The things kept secret and put to bed

Every glance, every smile
Every pause and intonation
Every intake of breath
Has a simple inclination

Every time I speak to you
I speak with more than just words
I speak with actions unnoticed
Like words unheard

And anytime I speak with you
You should take note how I act
‘Cos not every word I utter will
Reveal what is fact

And if the truth is hard to find
Maybe you need to learn how to look
Cos’ although my words aren’t clear as ink
I’m still an open book

Monday, November 27

Saito Seeing: The Illustrated Novel

Adventures in Saito

Please Postcard with Care

The short version is: skipped out on school as I knew no one would notice, went to Takanabe Art Museum, saw some impressive paintings produced by some arduous technique by a rather lovely looking lady, bought postcards, got home, postcards still in bag, skip to Sunday, rains like a motherfucker, I get soaked and so does content of bag, postcards are useless.

So this gallery is an ode to the postcards which will never be recieved.

ジユデイ。オング倩玉 2

ジユデイ。オング倩玉 4

ジユデイ。オング倩玉 3

ジユデイ。オング倩玉 1

Thursday, November 23


It’s time for a drastic change. Since I’ve come to Japan I’ve over-eaten, or made no effort to eat well, I’ve eaten far too much junk food at far too many festivals. Fruit has gone ignored for far too long, the beans, lentils and other things that became a staple at university are now a distant memory.

obese, not a nice thing to be, I can tell you

Thirty-point-five-four-two is my body mass index, which means I’m officially obese. Wow, that's hard to read, obese, not a nice thing to be, I can tell you. Before coming here I was overweight, if my height hasn’t changed then I had a BMI which sat me bang centre of overweight.

Bang in the middle of overweight isn’t too far from normal. So my target is to have a BMI of 25 or less. As my students would say ‘Challenge! Fight!’

So what changes first?

☛ Bentos! They need to go, there’s nothing good in them, everything is fried or pickled, that cannot be good.
☛ More fruit. I need to reintroduce the orange, the apple and the banana into my daily routine.
☛ More exercise. I can’t spend all my time in front of the computer, and not having a gym in my town is no excuse.

So from this morning, Thanks Giving Day, I’m going to sort it out. Get stricter and start eating some apples instead of just sitting in front of one. Get some exercise in, instead of just watching Sydney Bristow doing some.

Tuesday, November 21

Out of site out of mind...

Rather here with this mentatlity than there with that.

I’ve lost your number
I’ve lost that link
I saw the email
but accidentally deleted it
I think

My numbers changed
Did I not say
Oops, yeah,
You can catch me on this one
By the way

I meant to write
I lost your address
I was getting round to it
But must confess
Out of sight out of mind
And I couldn’t care less

Saturday, November 18

My Celestine Prophecy

Read the first 25 pages of The Celestine Prophecy last night and then, as I do when I read, started drifting into a day dream which culminated in an actual dream (I went to sleep).

So, so far, from what I gather, there is a manuscript and it predicts that we, the human race, will come to a better understanding about coincidence and the other worldliness of fate.

It started me a-thinking about all the people who have come in and out of my life and how they have changed the course of it in small or significant ways. Which led me to think about all the negative people in my life, those who’s energy or actions had rubbed me up the wrong way.

paths I took reluctantly which led me to things which were better, worse, different

Whilst encountering troubles with these individuals they seemed so massive, but in retrospect they were simply paths I took reluctantly which led me to things which were better, worse, different. Ultimately, my path led here to Japan and I should be grateful for that. I am grateful.

So where did all this deep thinking lead me? Well I realised that people come and go from your life, I used to call the people who seemingly made little impact walk-ons, or bit-parts, but now I understand that there’s no such thing, life is a rich tapestry and every thread is needed to hold it together.

Now that I’ve realised this I can stop reading the book, which is good, because 25 pages in and I can’t see it getting much better. Maybe I will persist… can't see it happening though.

Wednesday, November 15

You see a lot of odd things in ol'Japan. Off the top of my head I can recall Yakuza in large four by fours with loud hailers on the top shouting about being proud of Japan, men pissing almost anywhere they choose, lonely looking women by roadsides drinking gin, over-sized t-shirts with foot high words claiming the Japanese person adorning is "BLACK AND PROUD".

Well this morning I saw an old woman, maybe about 80 years of age, sit down on the curb of a deserted street, pull a harmonica out of her bag and start to play. No audience, no percievable reason. She just played. And I didn't even flinch.

Suddenly that sort of thing isn't wonderful, strange, noteworthy? Have I become that jaded? Perhaps everything seems so foreign here that even the moments that should be standout or odd are just lost amongst a crowd of strange. Things which should be amusing become bemusing and I don't even lift a shoulder to shrug it off anymore.

If an English 80 year old woman had enough of her mental faculties intact to even know which orrifice to place a harmonica on, it would be celebrated on local news. If the same woman took to playing songs to the grass on empty roads then she would be national news.

Seeing this lady should have been my 'plastic bag in the wind' moment, an affirmation of life, joy and the romance that can't be better conveyed than with the strains of notes and melodies of music.

Sunday, November 12

Warning: Contains Spoilers

You’re taking the fun
Out of everything
Making me run
When I dont want to think
You're taking the fun
Out of everything
I don't want to think at all
There's no other way
There's no other way….

Things nearly all got a bit serious. Before I left for Sunny Miyazaki I was thinking about my career, about coming back home and settling down with, you know… ‘the one’.

Wow, what the fuck was all that about huh?

Let’s break it down:

First and foremost, there is no ‘the one’, unless you’re watching a Wachowski film or an old Kung-Fu movie, ‘the one’ can be substituted by any of these phrases

☛ The one that you settled for
☛ The one that didn’t reject when you should have and now you’re too scared to reject
☛ The one you’re used to
☛ The one you managed to get the timing right with, you were both single and traveling at the same velocity at the same time

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m still a romantic; the charms of Fukuoka haven’t worn thin yet. I just understand something about romance now, its selfish and it’s fleeting.

Now those are two negative parts of a wonderful experience but they are part of it nonetheless.

This in mind I wondered when my romance with Japan would end and how. I’ve met some people who have made Japan their lives, totally letting them selves be enveloped in the culture and differences. Now I speak from experience when I tell you that that is no easy fete. It takes determination and unrelenting enthusiasm. To hand yourself over so completely to a place and way that is so foreign take to you takes love.

There is certainly a shelf life for this place and the people I encounter here, so I guess I will have to try and enjoy every moment until that fateful day comes when I no longer love life in Japan.

Saturday, November 11

The Shame

Just opened my front door with a face mask on.

This isn't the run up to some great punch line, it's the truth.

After having a particularly arduous shave I sometimes use this post shave treatment cream that is applied as a mask. Today's shave was a bitch, it was a three stroker in some areas and four in others. So, the post shave cream comes out and is applied and I go about my chores.

I finish tidying and sit down to make a video using some sound I accquired on Thursday and the pictures from the Saga Balloon Festival. Then... (dramatic pause) the doorbell rings. So, I don't know who it is but I guess that it may be someone going to the party tonight or one of my neighbours, so I go to answer.

Wait a moment, need to put some clothes on, can't answer the door naked. It's ok to sit around the house naked at 3pm but not to answer the door naked. I hastily put jeans on and a dirty T-shirt and rush to the door.

It's no one important, it's two salesmen and they don't speak English. We chat, I try to maintain eye contact so no one notices my flies are unbuttoned but its hard to keep eye contact with two people at once.

Eventually they bow, bow again, bow one more time and leave. I get back to working on the video with a nagging feeling that I've forgotten something... never mind, it will come to me.

Half hour later I see myself in the mirror and my face is two different colours. Fuck!

Thursday, November 9


A certain smug know it all with a penchant for telling me what to do is making me feel, well, none to smug.

This is an old poem, but I wanted to pull it out in honour of said know-a-lot.

There’s a reason I don’t rise
To the fight
There’s reason I don’t retaliate
When I might
Have reason too
I’m not seasoned too
I sit back, relax and
See what you do
Because hatred and violence can only
Lead one way
And I’m not ready to take
That path today
You’re not worth it man
You think you’re worth it man
You talk trash to me but
You’re far from perfect man
In the game of life you’re
Never dealt the perfect hand

Wednesday, November 8

Strange Bite

Yet another ugly fat reddish bump on my ankle. These damn bugs can’t get enough of me. It doesn’t matter if I drink garlic for a week or not, I still end up with more bites over me than the night before.

And they itch!! And they sting! Why is it that they itch? Is it poison, or an allergic reaction? Why do they swell up so large too?

Also why do they call insect bites, bites? Correct me if I’m wrong but insects don’t have teeth right? Lucky them, teeth are a pain in the… mouth. My teeth for instance have caused me jip since I was born.

First they started to fall out, have I told you about that? I was 3 maybe 4 and one day my teeth which I went through a hell of a lot of pain growing just started getting loose, then after playing with them for a while they fell out. I grew new ones and was compensated by The Tooth Fairy PLC, but still, what a palaver.

So I had invasive surgery that left me with metal braces attached

Then my new teeth grew with a gap between the front two, which according to everyone I needed to correct. So I had invasive surgery that left me with metal braces attached to my teeth. Each month the frame of these braces were tightened until my middle teeth met. You would think that torture was enough but straight away I was given a hard piece of plastic to wear whilst sleeping.

This fucking thing, this uncomfortable piece of shit cut my gums and the roof of my mouth and collected pools of saliva between my mouth and its plastic. Couple this with the fact that it kept my teeth in an uncomfortable position and you can see why it got lost one day… oops.

Now? Well now, my teeth, where do I start? When I came to Japan I was surprised by how many people have terrible teeth. There really are a lot of them and the Japanese don’t seem to mind it. Conversely, the American JETs here all have perfect teeth, its really important to them.

So I have these monster teeth at one end of the scale and monstrously perfect teeth at the other end and all the while my teeth have begun to shift. I couldn’t tell you why but my bite doesn’t feel the same as it did, it doesn’t feel comfortable, it feels strange and that worries me, because I do not know the Japanese for dentist, I don’t want to wear an adult brace and if my teeth fall out again… fuck, that would suck (and so would I mostly).

Picture of a Postcard

It's cold!

I just wanted to mention first and foremost that it is no longer postcard sending weather, the breeze isn't cool, it's lethal, the sunshines but doesn't heat me anymore and the palm trees seem very much at odds with what feels like inhumane cold.

Plus theres no central heating in Japan... slight oversight I think.

Well despite the horrid climate change I will not change my postcard sending habits. On last count I had sent over 5 gazillion postcards (mainly to people who can't even bring themselves to send a fucking email my way, hohum).

Find below a gallery of the cards.

Pensive Girl


Proud Girl

Comforted Girl

Glum Girl

This final photo is the message on the reverse side of the Bonzai postcard... conventional messages just don't cut it with me.

My Message

Monday, November 6


"Anticipation has a habit to set you up for disappointment in evening entertainment but..."

Fukuoka was fucking ace and I loved every moment of it. From the flight there to the bus trip home I had a marvellous time and wouldn’t swap it for a million Halloween parties, no matter how many Lara Crofts were there.

So how should I retell this, how would other bloggers impart their experiences? Chronologically? Seems a bit dull, most important facts first? Alphabetically? I’m not sure. I don’t think that I could tell it with enough verve to justly convey the fun I had on this trip.

So instead let me just tell you how I came away feeling. We’re going to need bullet points, lots of them.

My pity isn’t spared easily, but now my cup runneth over with it. I feel sorry for all the sad saps that get so giddy when they see a foreigner and can’t maintain a semblance of cool long enough not to make a twat out of their selves. But more than that now I kind of pity myself. Not only am I not having a great time in a cool city but I’m also so easy to fault when I’m compared to one person in particular.

Evania and Bape Buddies

So I met a girl name Evania, cool name right? This girl was FUN, yes she was F U N with capitals. She was friendly, no nonsense, open, she managed to hold a conversation and my interest without talking about herself constantly or talking poorly of others. She was impressive.
Seems to me that when I’m not talking about my own problems these days I’m highlighting someone else’s… god I’m doing now! How did I become that guy.
I love the city. I love its music. Its lights. Its food. Its life. Its women and men. I love the night and the fact that it holds so many possibilities, I love the fact that nothing is certain and nothing really sleeps. I fucking love cities.
Marika (Miracle-Ka), you were legendary! I want it to be known and not let it go unsaid: You rocked my world… ta.
Emptied my pockets on a few items…

My Baby Milo's

Of late I’ve become something other than myself, so ready to appease people at the expense of myself. There was no need to feel that way all weekend. If I want to be quiet, I will, entertain yourself. If I want to be outspoken, deal with, its my opinion you should be inspired by the fact that I’m brave enough to have some.

So in a nutshell, my weekend was like a coming of age movie with copious amounts of alcohol fuelled life-learning… and balloons.
4 Balloons

Fuk U Ok A

Just arrived in Fukouka and thought I would Blog about it so far.

It’s cool.

I’ve made it fromthe Airport to my hotel without as much as a long gaze let alone a jaw dropping to the ground and eyes coming out on stalks. Oh yes sir there are no staring Norberts in the city, and if I find one then they must be a tourist too.

I actually feel like I’m doing something in Japan and not just Saito-seeing. Not that I have anything against Saito, it’s just that it is small and I oft yearn for the city… so here I am, armed with enthusiasm and a few Japanese phrases: Eigo Daijoubu Desuka, is English ok (the suggestion being that you can’t speak Japanesse)?

Ok, quick shower and then I’m out for the night.

But where to? Now I’m kind of wishing I did some research on Fukuoka instead of just blogging. Hohum.

More on Fukuoka coming soon... in the meantime check out the Flickr Page.

Thursday, November 2

Two Poems about My Week

In lieu of a real post, here is some poetry.


Culture Day

It’s Culture Day tomorrow
And I should be here preparing
But instead I look out the window
And looking becomes staring

Then I drift in my own thoughts
With no fear of what tomorrow brings
Until I catch a look at the clock
And reality bites and stings

I have to stop my procrastination
Need to rewrite my speech about my nation
I have things that I want to impart
But have trouble thinking where to start

So instead of just putting pen to pad
I stop and gaze outside instead
And whilst caught up with
The thoughts in my own head
I lose an hour and gain some dread

Looking Good

I find if I suck in my cheeks
And turn my head to the side
The man in the mirror
Looks back at me with pride

Oh, sometimes in a certain light
And if I suck my stomach in
With my abs tensed nice and tight
I actually look quite thin

Then there are times I don’t groom my hair
But leave it wild and rough
I find it adds some character
But wonder if it adds enough

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