Sunday, August 28, 2005

butt love

Banking in this country is the pits. After attempts to get my money from 4 different convenience stores all failed, I wondered if I really should be trying to get a beer and a feed? I called my co-worker for help in the temporary finance department - she knows when to not answer the phone! As I climb the stairs into Kulcha, I'm starting to pray and luckily Nikki cashed me up. Over nachos and Heinekens, it's always better to watch the All Blacks beat the Safros than Australia losing in the cricket. Especially when the bar is half full of Kiwi colleagues!

All Blacks doin' the HakaAfter the game, it was time to ramp up the Saturday night action. Besides, the low ceiling and crowd of smokers in the bar were killing the oxygen loving folk. It was time to escape to a dance floor. Marcia, another Kiwi co-worker, and a rather drunk Kyoko joined us for the boogy underground in Jamaica. It's amazing how many times you discover hidden places literally under your nose in this Japan - the shop selling climbing gear is right on top of it! At first, the music is great and the dancing quite ballistic. Nikki and I started chugging down bottled water to continue sweating away on the dance floor. The funky lesbians got in the middle of us all and enjoyed some extra hips grinding. Then the music didn't really change beat at all and quickly became mundane. The air, well, I don't think you can call it air. More like a sea of grey. Stage left!

A sandwich to tie us over for a little longer, and of course there's a scene outside Mac bar. Too many familiar faces and a near brawl brewing, we climbed into the bar to avoid the trouble... We had a laugh and a beer when we met Wes inside as we'd both agreed that we weren't going out tonight. The crowd waxes and wanes but the music is always great. The atmosphere was pretty good except when one of the guys started to lose control, a broken glass, but Sam managed to diffuse the situation. In a drunken state, he didn't really like rejections from the guys he approached. More dancing, with women... and a smile of survival.

Then the hunger really kicked in. A pizza from the only place serving food at 5:30am and the dawn breaks for another beautiful day in Hiroshima.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

flower fire

That's how fireworks translates in Japanese, hanabi. What better place to see fireworks than at 1 of Japan's 3 famous views (the Itsukushima shrine on Miyajima island). Dozens of my students warned me: the crowd gathering is huge. I wasn't about to let that stop me though. After all, it was my day off work. Check out a few photos I took on the night.

On the day, Wes and I met up after I bought a sun hat. For some stupid reason we both drank half-a-litre of orange juice on the train to the port. This made the ferry ride feel more choppy than usual.

Sitting in the shade, we knocked back a couple of Kirin beers which helped prepare Wes to face the girls. After finding them down on the beach we joined their little picnic with my new straw mat, adding yet another mat to the horizon.

lanterns by the Daiganji TempleYukata clad girls and boys dotted the building crowd throughout the afternoon. Just over an hour before kick-off time, I received a call from Yuko and convinced her to come to the show. Swimming against the tidal onslaught of arrivals to the Miyajima ferry port, I began to realise how popular this event really is.

Using back streets and in dim light, a stop at a street vendor on the way to buy more beer, and we found our camp just in time for the start. Sorry folks but words and photos simply cannot describe the awesome feeling of the fireworks sound wave pounding you while in great company at the shore of a truly fantastic island. Yuko introduced me to a momijimanju, a maple leaf shaped little cake treat, "Yum", before we joined the massive throng of people waiting for return ferries.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

revenge of the Teva tan

Dancing with strangers and friends the night before, at the Mac bar. Only after Carlos had one-by-one driven each group of women out of the bar, including the last draw, the prostitutes, did I enquire to his fruitless efforts. There were bets being put on the single digit number of minutes before the next group would escape him into the balmy night. I was enticed at the last minute to buy a ticket, Yoshimi mentioned the Sun Dance was where they were headed.

Wes called me during my brief sleep, "Time to get up if you want to go to the Sun Dance. You bought a ticket last night, remember?" On the ferry down to the island, last night's bartender was behind dark sunglasses promising us a beach full of bikini clad women. Full points to the bartender, promise upheld.
jet skis and bikinisWorking on the sun tan, swimming in the shallows and sucking up to any jet-ski owner/driver for a ride, without a doubt 100% of these girls are hot - literally. Definitely cranking the mercury well past 30 and a smile on our dials, to boot.

volleyball compThe beer was flowin', the food was edible, the sun was cookin' and the music was pumpin'. I must admit I was rather oblivious to the volleyball competition that was held all afternoon. Slapping on sunscreen, sleeping under a shade tent, relaxing and floating in an inflated ring occupied a fair amount of the afternoon. Later, dancing to the stage bands and other amusing performances. Somehow Wes and I managed to score a lift back into town afterwards. Not a bad way to spend a day off work really...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

my lucky shot

my lucky shot
my lucky shot,
originally uploaded by vfowler.
So what does one do in the boring heat of a humid summer? When you're worried your air-con might collapse due to over-use, try the more industrial version at the pub. One less air-conditioner running is also friendlier to our environment!

While you're there, you may as well enjoy the time and shoot some pool (which always sounds funny with a Japanese pronounciation).

Happy Birthday to Emi. I hope you had a great day and enjoyed celebrating in the pub with us. I hope you like the Deep Forest Music Detected CD present.