Sunday, 18 June 2017


Check me out, I live life to the full. I do wacky sport adventures on the weekend and subscribe to #YOLO life choices.

I went canyoning with Joe. We booked the trip through this company.

Look at how comfortable I feel having water fly up my nose:

Yay! zip lining:

There I go baby:

Face first into trouble:

Posing with trees is cool:

Before and after being pulled into the water by the fun-loving instructor:

Safety first everybody:

I came home and made a kiwi-banana smoothie. So tiredddd.

Truth be told, Karl Blau was the real hero of the day:

Yea, the video is a bit whatever, but the song is super smooth. Oh what? You wanted something more "authentic", ok, try this 1971 version by Link Wray:

Sunday, 21 May 2017

RoBro: the continuous celebration

When Eurovision strikes, here in the land of the rising pun, it can only mean one thing. Robbie's birthday - a time of beer and emotion.

Let's recap:

Robbie turns 29 (2015): Taking it easy on what was possibly a weekday night, Zara, Vince and Robbie are watching TV at Robbie's apartment in Mito, Ibaraki (would anything worthwhile mentioning really take place anywhere else?).

Midnight is dawning - at this point in T minus 10 minutes. A rush of excitement struck and we decided his turning of age would be recognized and appreciated damn it! We ran out the house - and to the dodgy darts bar at the bottom of the building. We quickly tried to negotiate with the staff a last-minute birthday shots and celebration arrangement. The cold bastards refused to let us enter without high entrance fees for measly scraps- essentially a disappointing result.

With wild desperation for celebration and only a few minutes till crunch time we refused to give up! There's a shisha bar across the highway, but could we make it in time? - we ran, now with only 5 minutes to go.

To say we had a pleasant surprise upon arrival is an understatement. We were welcomed with open arms, as though they had sensed we were coming. They treated us to shots - and even a birthday cake on the house - all in time for the strike of midnight - an awesome birthday and a polaroid that captured the feel of the night:

Robbie turns 30 (2016): A big party at the Drunken Duck (Mito, Ibaraki) - everyone was there and fun times were had all round! We put together a photo album with pictures and messages from different friends from over the years - lovely stuff - extra points for making the birthday boy cry.

The night was very messy and as things went on - well, I don't think I can write about what went on. It was memorable. Balls were dropped.

The great thing about Ibaraki gaijins is that just when you think you've seen someone at their messiest, most incapacitated or chaotic, they are always able to pleasently - or quite shockingly- surprise you.

Unfortunately the disposable cameras filled up way too early in the night:

In context, I had been dumped the weekend before - so wasn't in the best place. I took the train up from Tokyo on the Friday night after work. As Sunday morning rolled round, following the party, I woke up in sorry-looking hungover state on a futon on Robbie's apartment floor, alongside many others who had needed a place to crash. We were in bits and piece from the night before. I knew I would have to return to my sad Tokyo reality, but instead of heading off early and being responsible, I decided to stay to watch Eurovision in my PJ's as we opened some of the bottles of birthday bubbly.

As evening drew, I accompanied Robbie back to the Duck to recover lost items and we got sucked into a live music event taking place. We also enjoyed more birthday champagne courtesty of the wonderful pub owner.

Eventually... after drowning enough of my misery in good old memories-ville Ibrarocky - I took the worst train journey of my life back - I will not describe it here - but let's just say that this train ride defined my overall state at that point in time. I was the epitome of a heartbroken fool.

Robbie turns 31 (2017): We made it thusfar. Robbie and Josh had a joint birthday blow out at a swanky-as-hell restaurant in Roppongi. Swanky in the most gaijin sense of the word. We all dressed in our swanky outfits and smoked swanky cigars with swanky cocktails (and by cocktails I mean beer, and by cigars I mean no cigars because seriously, who actually smokes cigars?).

What a wonderful start to an (of course) messy following few days:

Swanky aaaand charming humans

Unfortunately, Robbie was the one who had just been dumped this time round. Yes, I will admit that in my now domesticated state I left early to snooze in the arms of my beautiful man-man. The others enjoyed a wild one courtesy of whoever's wallet was found in the middle of the street in Shibuya (YES it was finders fee - obviously the wallet with all the important cards were handed responsibly into the police geeez). I met with the boys the next day in Yoyogi park at a Thai food festival. WOW what a state they were all in.

Robbie, wearing a hat he found on the floor, poking people with an umbrella he may or may not have stolen from a small child and drinking beer from the empty vessel of a coconut shell, naturally, was on top form. Depending on what your idea of that may be.

Robbie, Juan and South African Chris joined me in my game of dodgeball that evening. Robbie instantly threw his arm out. Chris was exhausted and Juan got blisters on his feet. All in all they had a good time. We went for some drinks and okonomiyaki afterwards. I had to leave, but was able to celebrate robbies birthday in my own "zescobar" way at home. Juan and Robbie, with no work on Monday, decided to stay in Tokyo for a second night out.

On Monday, messaging from my desk, sober and tired, I inquired about their evening.
I received this response from Juan: "I woke at a bus station at 7 am and lost my shoes" Good to know.

One thing's for sure, I'm looking forward to next year.

Oh, here's all the Eurovision winners:

2015- Sweden:

2016 - Ukraine:

2017 - Portugal:

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Niijima Island: 2017 Edition

On Monday morning, after having spent Golden Week cycling an old rusty mamachari bicycle up and down the green hills of Niijima island, I found myself quickly developing an appreciation for the light and fully-functional road bike that I use for my daily commute.

Despite the insane weather last year, we risked spending another golden week camping on this infamous Izu island. It paid off. Not a single drop of rain, and only one windy night- which I managed to sleep through in its entirety (nice work ear plugs!). Thankfully, others with great cameras and the ability to use them were present, and so, quite selfishly (and of course without permission) I have shared some of them here.

Sleeping on the overnight ferry from Tokyo to the island:

 Ibaraki crew 2017:
 The iskand of Niijima:




 Niijima is covered with beautiful statues:

With my ukelele sensei Taku:

Bonfire on the beach on the last night: 

The campsite at night:

Josh illegally selling coronas on the ferry back:

Till next year Niijima x

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The new Ghost in the Shell film is a disappointment

Hello Blog,

It's been busy. We finished all the last bits and pieces of moving in together, we even threw a house party which was nice - until police came and shut it down. The only thing left is to sell a kotatsu on Craigslist and (as was discovered last night being the first warm night in 2017), get a summer duvet. Geez how boiling.

I am now cycling to work due to the close proximity - something I am very grateful for. I am also learning to cook, and all-in-all becoming a boring domesticated human. I've even stopped clubbing on the most part - largely due to being stuck in Otsuka - nowhere near the flashy lights and bars of Shibuya or Shimokitazawa where I was previously located. Really, go to bed early or stay out all night to catch first train, spend loads of money and be tired for the whole next week? I've realised the pleasure that comes with being sensible and a new found love for sleep. Extra points go to being in bed by 11pm.

My new position at work has moved me into a new building in a new office on a new project. After the initial excitement, I'm back to a comfortable docile state of existence - minus any office dramas HOORAY!

Basically, things have reached a point where I more or less qualify as an actual adult now. All the boxes are ticked. My skin, however, is rebelling to make a point that I should be living out the rest of my youth with crazy wild excitement - that's why I've started getting aggressive acne that doesn't seem to be disappearing.

Oh well, I should probably just enjoy the current state of smooth-sailing, who knows what none-sense might be around the corner?

Thoughts on the new Gorillaz track?:


After coming second place at poker:

I then took Matt up to Ibaraki for the first time to enjoy country side life.

Ibaraki home boys:

We drank umeshu for 1 straight hour. We were drunk on sugar and alcohol and frolicked about the gardens of Mito. Oh what joy!

Monday, 27 February 2017

The Conversation

We almost unpacked everything, and our home ...finally looks like a home.

I think we can all agree that having a spray toilet is the best feature.

In other news Matt has published an article for an online news source called The Conversation. He felt inspired to do so after the editor gave a talk at our university.

And, to top it all off, my latest musical obsession:

Can't wait to see these guys at Fuji Rock this year!!

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Making the move

Moving requires a lot of back and forth. The trips between Shimokitazawa and Otsuka are getting a little tedious and expensive... but we've established team Zescobar with a check list; the most invincible tool for organisation and getting shit done. Taking the world one checked off item at a out Japan. The excitement is outweighing the exhaustion and I have the pleasure of overlapping house contracts... without the extra payment.

Day in the life:

I've been selling various things through good old Craigslist. Good bye my antique kimono holder, bed and iron  (ok, not so bothered about that last one).

New position at work that will let me focus on a new project and actively study Japanese. Wahey!

I want to throw a party once the move is done. My dad will then visit after that, then my mum and hopefully my siblings too. I'll probably need to go home in November for weddings. Busy busy busy. Always thinking of the short term, mid term and long term plans. It's only February. Time is moving slow, but life changes are coming quick.

And to top it all off:
That FUJI Rock 2017 line up . Woof.

The line up is a DREAM. Apart from one stinking act: Lorde.  Here's a Lorde parody to deal with that stink hole entry:

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Moving forward

January isn't yet over, but already so much change has occurred to significantly shape 2017. 

Matt and I have decided to take a step forward into the terrifying world of adulthood. From April, when the contract for my Shimokitazawa share house room expires, I will move into Matt's beautiful wooden house in Ikebukuro. My commute to work will be halved, saving me an extra hour every day, my rent will be cheaper, my food will be more delicious (as I will be living with a talented chef) and, most importantly, I will be living with one of the most inspiring and wonderful people I have ever met. 

When we got to know each other last summer, we discussed his dream of working in science communication, and the importance of this field. In November, he started the application process to work as a science communicator at Miraikan, or 未来館, the National museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Odaiba, Tokyo. Now, I am so happy to say that he will be able to realise this dream, as he found out on Friday that he got the job! YAY! 

To celebrate, we stayed up Friday night to cook a massive lemon drizzle cake (OMG YUM, we used yuzu instead of lemon) and we also went to the museum the following day:

We took a tour around the museum riding on Honda's UNI-CUBs:

We checked out some optical illusions

I finally know what the back of my head looks like:

Headache creation artwork:

The most interesting thing about this optical illusion, was trying to understand how it was an optical illusion:

What is it like in the International Space Station? The museum has a replica Space Habitation Module to find out:

Conclusion: I do not want to be an astronaut. The toilet alone is enough to put you off.

That massive globe:

Matt outside the museum of his future employment:

And some sneaky okonomiyaki. Yes, I asked for mine without meat because I'm still doing this vegetarian thing for January. It's getting annoying:

Afterwards we went to see Anchorsong play at the Batica in Ebisu. What a talented creature:

I'm excited about this year. Now that I've got all my silly life-dramas in order and have established a stable situation with a wonderful support network (well, Matt and I have decided to look after each-other), I can finally put effort into working hard. I want to focus on my job, and finally, without any interruptions, start taking Japanese learning seriously. I need to tackle it.