Monday, 26 October 2015


As I sit here and write this tiny weeny non-consequential anecdote, I would like to set the scene. I am trying the Lululun 7 day face mask. Only 300yen from a combini, I figured WHY NOT? You are supposed to do one a day for 7 days and then get transformed into a beautiful lady. How exciting. Let the transformation....BEGIN. The first stage of beauty transformation is looking like a serial killer:


I spent the weekend in Mito, Ibaraki, catching up with old chums and attending the annual Drunken Duck Halloween partay. I re-used my old costume from two years ago. Here's the only picture I have of me in my costume from Saturday night. It's a screen shot I took from a snapchat I just watched of me and Yukiko:

I found a picture of me and Yuk's in our costumes from two years ago, (Halloween 2013) in the same place (Robbie's flat) getting ready for the same party wearing the same thing:

Well, now that that's all cleared up, lets get on with my crappy story:

So when I came back to my Sakura House share house late last night, Sunday night, I was ready to crash. But as I got in, I instantly noticed an annoying noise coming from upstairs. A banging noise. What is that? Seriously? Is it a sex noise? No, the rhythm is too slow and it just isn't. Is there a broken machine or something? I walked out of my room and followed it down the hall. You can hear it everywhere in my apartment. Surely my housemates can hear it too? Suddenly, the shy Chinese guy called Teddy, with whom I've only had two very brief conversations with came out of his room and I caught him on the way to.... I don't know? the bathroom? Anyway, our third conversation went like this:

"Teddy, can you hear that noise?" (I point upwards).


"Isn't that annoying you?"


"How long has it been going on for? I just got back."

"The last 3 nights.. for hours at a time."

"What?! That's insane. Have you complained to Sakura House?"


"Did you think to do anything about it?"


"What do you think it is?"

"A dripping tap"

"OK, well, I'm going to investigate."

I walk all the way up the stairs (we are on floor 1 of 4), I follow the sound upwards. I can actually hear it everywhere. This is crazy. Is there a broken washing machine or something? 

I almost retreat, but that sound it very annoying. I knock on the door of the flat above us. A very nice guy opens the door. He's holding a small ball and a telephone. 

"Hi there, I'm from the flat downstairs, there's a noise I've just noticed, and it might be coming from up here, I was wondering if you can hear it, or know what it is." (I demonstrate with knocking on the door).

His instant response is "Oh, I'm sorry, that's probably coming from me. I've been talking on the phone a lot, and have gotten into the habit of bouncing this ball at the same time. It's probably this."

"yea, I think that's what it is."


I don't think this story is very interesting. But I just enjoy how incredibly passive my housemates are. The guy who was bouncing the ball, was very kind, understanding and friendly. We sort of just laughed it off, and he knew not to do it again, I didn't have to really ask much further. I told him I was relieved that it was coming from him, rather than some broken plumbing or a machine, as that would have been something less easy to deal with. I can't help but visualize Teddy, sitting in his room and having this loud bouncing sound coming from upstairs and just tolerating it, trying not to get super pissed off or going crazy. When I went down for breakfast this morning, I told a couple of my housemates the same story.
"oh, yea I heard that noise too..." One said.

oh really, well .....WHY DIDN'T YOU THINK TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT??  seriously?
Sometimes I just don't get people. Is it me? Am I too fussy?? Or are people too passive? Is it me? Do I get too easily irritated? Maybe don't answer that one. 

Thursday, 22 October 2015

birfday tingz

Disclaimer: this is a really cheesy post. If you want something that won't make you gag then please skip ahead. However, if you've just watched a bunch of videos of cute puppies on YouTube, or are going through a inspirational life quote poster phase, then maybe this is your cup of tea.


I was invited on an impromptu trip to Tokyo Disney Sea for my birthday. I have to say, when weighing it up against the possibility of spending all day in a stinky old Japanese class, the decision was a no-brainer.

Although I had only met Nell and Audrey a few times before, it was amazingly sweet and thoughtful of them to invite me along for the day. Spanks guys. It was really fun and definitely made it a great birthday.

In the evening I had booked a big table at the Kill Bill restaurant in Roppongi. I invited a large group of random people along. Being in Ibaraki for two years, I had a pretty solid group of friends. During that time, I made a lot of trips down to Tokyo and other parts of Japan. Whilst travelling, I met a lot of different people who live in and around Tokyo. With the beauty of the internet, it has been easy to keep random-encounter people in your life. Some of the people who turned up, I had only met once or twice before and was a bit nervous as to how things would play out. However, I'm not sure if it was the umeshuu or what, but I really think it was a great night. There was a really friendly vibe, especially because a lot of the people there had also moved to Tokyo recently and I think were in the head-space to meet new people too. 

I was really dreading having my birthday after just moving to Tokyo. It's a new city, and I feel hardly settled. Combining that with not knowing where to go, where's fun, or who to hang out with. I was a little concerned that all these factors would lead to a lonely, disappointing celebration.

However, this might have been one of my best birthdays ever!

I've not even been in Tokyo for a whole month, but I'm feeling really positive about this choice. HOORAY LIFE CHOICES. It's so scary to move somewhere new, but sometimes you just have to go with your gut.

And then we get into the super cheese-ball stuff:

I might soon be eating my words. You can't anticipate what's going to happen, and you never know if a choice was right or wrong until after you've made it. A lot of people told me I wouldn't get a job here, that its hard, I wouldn't find anything in Tokyo, I would be lonely. A lot of haters and pessimists. I'm not sure that when you read these things, or get told them, its because people are reflecting on their own experiences, or if they are trying to warn you that things won't be as easy as you might think. I don't know, but I think sometimes you just have to go for it.

ハニーゴールド Beauteen

I think I did a pretty good job of replicating the picture on the box.

Beauteen hair dyes...around 500 yen from most Japanese drug stores. (£3). Not bad when you compare it to the price of going to an actually hairdresser.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

A day of emotion toil

Yesterday. (Well, OK, it wasn't yesterday, It was a couple of weeks ago now, but I wrote this the day after and forget to finish it until now...)

Was the first day of orientation at the language college I have enrolled in. Yes, I enrolled to do an intensive Japanese language course. I want to improve. I am sick of self-studying. I need pressure, competition, classmates and a teacher to explains things.

This was my plan. Pay attention to the use of was, as things have taken a drastic turn.  Enroll at an intensive Japanese college. Study for as long as one year (depending on financial stability - was I going to find a good enough part time job to see me through it and manage to find a good job at the end?). Of course I have saved, and have had help from the parentals. But, it was going to be a year of budgeting. Tokyo is a very expensive place. I actually think I would have struggled hard. Once you've gotten used to earning a decent amount not to have to count pennies, going back to the ways of a cheap student lifestyle is very difficult.

 For the first day at orientation, I knew it was important to show up early. Be there 9am please.

No problem, I timed it perfectly. I knew the place was a short walk from the station, so gave myself more than enough time. However, when I got to Iidabashi station at 8.30, with my crappy hand drawn map, I ended up getting horribly lost. I ended up wondering around Iidabashi for over an hour. Eventually due to stress and exhaustion from jet-lag, I had a break down. I began to weep. weeping turned to full on crying. By the time I found the place and got into the building I was in a horrible emotional state. What a great first impression.

This was followed by a 2 hour long placement test, which of course didn't go so hot. Because, who the hell is good at sitting an exam straight after having a dramatic break down?

When I finished, and went home, I realised the next very important thing I had to do was to register at my local town hall. So, I went to the one in Shinjuku, a busy, horrible place. I had to take a number ticket, fill in a form, bring a bunch of important documents and endure the clinical environment of the waiting area. When my number was eventually called after a 45 minute wait, I got to the front, gave the guy everything I had. He immediately looked at my address and told me I had gone to the wrong place. I was supposed to go to the Shibuya town hall, not the one in Shinjuku.  Great thanks. What time does the place in Shibuya close? 5. What time was it by that point? 3:45. I grabbed everything and ran.

No one has ever done the trip between the two town halls in as a quick a time. I'm going to mention that by this point, it was raining heavily. I ran through the rain, onto the Yamanote line, to Shibuya, down a few roads and got there just after 4. Awesome. I just about managed to register my address and residence status and even sign up for national medical insurance just before 5.

I got home, finally. Exhausted from a day of getting lost, running around, taking an exam and being drenched by the rain. I sat in front of my computer contemplating a nice hot shower. I opened my email, and found out I got the dream job I thought I had blown the interview for just two days before.

I screamed "oh my god" over and over to myself for a couple of minutes. Suddenly all the days drama and nonsense had evaporated. Nothing mattered anymore because everything was about to change. All my expectations, everything I prepared for, all my budgeting and plans. What a palaver.