Date: September 3, 2000

Right now I'm feeling: pretty good

Right now I'm listening to: Utada Hikaru


Utada Hikaru -- Wait and See

I believe this legend in J-Pop is now attending university in New York. Bummer that she won't make any more music til she graduates.

Last night I dreamt: that I was a member of the x-men cast. Not a specific character from the movie that I know, I must have been a supporting character. My name was Jason Something-or-other. It was the premiere of our movie and the entire cast showed up for the screening, which strangely enough, took place at my old university in one of the small theatres in the fine-arts village. Don't remember too much from this dream except there was a lot of media there (of course) and that Rogue had a major crush on me and was hanging on my every word (and my arm) for the entire dream.

Link of the Day: Lesa's page. This specific link tells about one of the absolutely k-a-r-a-z-y things that many Japanese people do every day. We call it the "Radio Exercise". It has a Japanese name, but ... what the hell, I can't remember it. Anyway, check out the pics, weird wild stuff.

FBC

The acronym is spoken with a respectful tone by foreigners; with a mix of longing and awe. It is for this mecca of foreign foods that is known as the Foreign Buyer's Club that I and two of my neighbors set out today.

FBC resides in Kobe, which is about an hour and a half away from Wakayama by car, which is what we took. Martin has a car, which is both a boon and a curse for the English teacher in Japan. A boon for the obvious reason that it makes traveling to places that are isolated from train routes possible. Go anywhere you want, whenever you want and limited only by the traffic (which at times can be terrible). A curse because of the cost. Shakken is an exorbitant yearly fee that must be paid to keep the car registered. Gas prices are high. But worst of all are the tolls. At every city entrance and in-between there are toll booths. To get to Kobe and back again cost us nearly 60 dollars US in tolls. It was faster than taking trains, that's for sure, and getting all that food we bought food back by the train would have been impossible.

Three guys on the road. Kind of a mixed up group coming from fields of all sorts from physics and philosopy to music to media studies. Brought to this far eastern country to teach English to the unwashed masses.
As you might expect from three such diverse and theoretical academic backgrounds, the conversation in the vehicle was quite animated. Topics brought up for discussion were poked and prodded; examined and scrutinized with witty arguments and well-informed opinions:

J: Baseball sucks.
G: What?? And you call yourself an American?
M: Guys standing around for hours scratching themselves and spitting.
G: Now, GOLF. There's a sport for you.
J: I can't believe you just said that. Golf ranks below fishing!! What a goddam pussy sport!
M: I like cricket.
J: Any sport involving hitting a ball off the groundů
G: OK. What about polo?
J: Yeah, ok. That's a real sport.
M: Are you guys crazy?? Give me a break! POLO??

Anyway, you get the idea.

After we bashed every sport we knew of, the two of them broke out in duets; singing old, out-dated and forgotten songs I didn't know at all because I was listening to Mozart, Bach and Beethoven in JHS and HS when most of my other friends were listening to normal music (and now I like J-Popů oh the twisted paths we walk).

So, we wander around Kobe for quite some time and it's starts to rain. We're looking for a Wendy's, you see. There was one here when we attended the renewer's conference last year, right below our hotel, but as how the buildings are all so high, it's difficult to see the enormous hotel. (It's really hard to find a decent burger in Japan... the closest you can get to a decent burger in Wakayama is either to barbecue it yourself or go to McD's, if you call that a decent burger).

I made an offhand comment about how we might have to call it quits for Wendy's and got aghast looks and stuttering proclamations of my insanity from Glen and Martin in the front seats. Food means quite a bit to those two, it seems. So we finally find Wendy's and wolf down our lunch and then head over to the FBC. It was much smaller than I thought, but they did have some stuff I was craving. Hot dogs, brownie mix, pancake mix, there were some books there too, but I usually get all my books online.

It was a nice trip, but next time I think I'll just mail-order my stuff.

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