Ok so everyone I’ve talked to besides Raphael says that he’s crazy and you’re not someone’s girlfriend after you go on a date. Thanks, Raphael.
This weekend was awesome. I’ll have to break it up for you.
Went to Yokohama with guesthousemates and a few of their friends. Lin, Stephane, Rana, Nozomi, and some more Japanese people. Yokohama is the biggest Chinatown in East Asia (outside of China obviously) so Lin found a great deal on all-you-can-eat Chinese food at ¥2100 a person. It was sooooo delicious. I only had a salad that day because I woke up at like 7am and I knew I’d be a bitch by 1pm if I didn’t eat. We sat down at around 3pm and omg so much food. I was so happy. Here are some pictures.
After that we walked around Chinatown a bit more and Lin kept trying to get me to wear those pretty Chinese dresses but I think it’s really weird when white people try to wear traditional Asian clothes. When our groups split up I was with Rana, Nozomi, Ayami, and two of Nozomi’s friends whose names I can’t remember. I made friends Ayami and asked her to teach me how to talk like a girl in Japanese because most of my Japanese friends are guys. She said we should hang out (!!). Japanese people are so friendly, I love it.
Our group of six went to a pelicula? to take pictures. I didn’t know what a pelicula was, even though I heard the word before, so I thought, “Well this could either be a photobooth or a strip club.” I was leaning toward strip club based on the giggles of my companions but it ended up being a photobooth. That’s right, I’m in Japan.
By the way, this shit is so complicated. There are so many options for taking different types of pictures and once you’re done then you have to pick the ones you like and you have to draw on them and give your email and name and then print it and send it and scan it on your phone and I was really overwhelmed even with Nozomi and Ayami helping me. Rana is an artist so she was really good at decorating the pictures but my version sucked. Oh well, cutesy photobooth pics were never my thing.
After that we took the train home and I was sooo tired after eating so much. I sat next to Rana after we split up with the non-guesthouse people and I felt like singing so I started singing to her and telling her how I can remember lyrics in languages I don’t speak but I can’t remember useful words in the languages I do speak! And that’s when it occurred to me. I’m a parrot.
Yes, a parrot. I can mimic people amazingly well. I sound just like the train announcer lady when she says, 「閉まるドアにご注意下さい。」But I fail spectacularly at producing anything original. I’m not creative in any way whatsoever. And I can’t remember vocabulary for the life of me. My brain is great at figuring out and reproducing patterns. That’s why I can sound like Alicia Keys or Rod from Avenue Q. But if I have to improvise? Or create something? Nope. Blank slate.
We get back to the guest house and suddenly I need to dance. Everyone is tired after eating so much food and some people are already ready for bed, but I ask them anyway if they want to go clubbing. Since Raphael didn’t go to Yokohama he’s totally up for it, but he doesn’t want to spend money. Stephane is like “maybe,” and Lin already took a bath. And Rana is falling asleep. No, screw that. I grab an outfit for Rana and put on my club outfit and do my makeup really quick. Drag Rana to the store so that the cold wakes her up, buy a bottle of Pocari Sweat and a bottle of vodka and some Sapporo Black (I’m trying the five different dark beers that they sell here in Japan). Go back, Stephane is trying to locate a cheap club in Shinjuku (lol oxymoron) and Lin is ready in five minutes. I don’t know how I managed it but somehow I got people to party with me! People never come to my parties! Man, Japan is awesome.
Anyway our first club was a dud, so after walking around for an hour in my nude pumps we found a place that’s ¥1000 for girls and ¥3000 for guys with two drink tickets. It’s dead. Oh well, we’re just here to dance, and everyone dances because we’re awesome. And then it gets busy around 2am, Raphael’s trying to get me to approach guys, I’m refusing because that doesn’t work. (This is going to sound really weird but) if I have to approach a guy for him to talk to me, he probably couldn’t handle my craziness anyway. I need to go to Roppongi next time.
Also I learned that tequila and ginger ale go really well together. That’s gonna be my new jam once I’m out of vodka and pocari sweat. Haha.
Also! They played Big Bang! And Gangnam Style but they’re playing that back in the US too probably. I need to learn all the dances.
I don’t even get tired until around 4:30 and only then because I had to stop dancing because my toes are probably broken. The trains start up at 5:00 so we left and went back home. I took a shower to scrape off my makeup and set my alarm for 11:00am and slept.
I wake up at 12:10. Crap.
Yamato-san at the guest house is an older guy whose wife is in Thailand. He worked at a Japanese language school until it shut down and then came back to Japan to get his teaching license. In his Japanese teaching class he has a friend named Taira who’s about 25, and Yamato-san introduced him to me through email. I’m supposed to meet Taira at 12:30.
In email him quickly saying I overslept and can we meet at 1:00? He says yes and I quickly do a decent amount of makeup to hide my sleepy face (I’m not hungover but probably really dehydrated). Luckily I had an outfit in mind and we’re meeting in Iidabashi but I leave the guest house at 12:45. Shit shit shit.
I get to Iidabashi station at 12:58 and to get from the Tozai line to the west entrance of the JR line is frickin far. I cut through the JR area and play dumb American to the station attendant so he’ll take off the charge. Then I wait.
I already used up all my roaming but I should probably check my email. Sorry mom, I’ll pay the cell phone bill. He’s there by the ticket machines and I see him and we hajimemashite. He’s cuter up close.
Is this a date? Whatever, I get to practice my Japanese. He says my Japanese is good but I think Japanese people just say that to people who can speak Japanese better than they can speak English. The bar is set pretty low.
He isn’t quite sure where we should eat but I’m not dying of hunger so we walk around a bit. Since it’s Sunday a lot of the restaurants are closed but we find an okonomiyaki place and since I love food I’m excited to try it. Oh man, so good. It’s hard to eat but after the Chinese food Saturday I’ve learned to use any tools I have at my disposal. Om. Nom.
I wanna go back and eat it again.
Anyway he says I’m good at using chopsticks (some of my friends said that Saturday too) and I’m kind of afraid to tell him it’s because all my American friends are Asian American. But that’s why. I’ve had practice.
Yeah I think people’s expectations of Americans are pretty low here.
After okonomiyaki he wanted to check out a temple nearby since I haven’t been to one but the line was crazy! And it was windy and cold so we found a café and sat and talked. Wow my writing quality is seriously detioriating here.
I started to nerd out about linguistics and I didn’t bring my notebook so I couldn’t demonstrate the cool nerdy phonology things I was talking about. Sad. Next time I’ll have to bring one.
We also talked about how I need to make female Japanese friends so I can learn to talk like a girl. I told him that in college I’d be wearing exactly what he was wearing (jeans, purple hoodie, leather jacket) with converse and ride my bike to class. I kind of miss dressing like that actually. He said that I looked really feminine and my clothes suited me but I told him I was just copying the girls I see in Tokyo. Cause I am.
When we said goodbye I didn’t even think to give him a hug but then he looked like he wanted one and I was like, awww. But after what Raphael said I don’t want to be too forward with anyone. So no hug.
I totally don’t know how to flirt in Japanese. Maybe I should ask him to teach me. I might see him again next week. And he said I can ask him any questions about Japanese if I’m confused on language stuff. I told him I’d correct his English too if he wants. I’m so spoiled by Keisuke’s amazing English.
After that I went home and ate my ¥98 apple that I’m supposed to be rationing. Then I went to sleep around 6:30pm.
I woke up at 2:00am. Awesome. Reddited for a billion hours and then Skyped with mom and dad at around 7:30? Since nobody was in the living room. I also messaged Keisuke that I want to see him and he told me he’s off work at 7:00pm.
I went back to sleep again, woke up at 2:00pm-ish. Reddited some more, in denial that I need to take a shower. Finally left the guest house at 6:18pm to get to Taneike-Sannou. I tried asking the station attendant if he knew where an Excelsior Caffe was nearby and he wasn’t helpful at all, but his coworker knew and sort of shouted it to me from the back room. Of course I didn’t understand a word he said and I didn’t think to ask the original station guy to repeat it so I kind of just said I’d call my friend and slinked away.
After standing for a few minutes directly in front of a map I finally noticed that the café I’m looking for is on 1F. Now I just need to find 1F. I think I’m on 2B or something so I go up the escalator and hope I’m on the right track. I see another sign that says something something 1F and after waffling for a minute or so I just go up that one. Excelsior Caffe, right there. And I can see Keisuke working at the counter! It’s 6:58pm.
I go in and he’s happy to see me! I missed him so much. He asks if I want anything but I don’t think Japanese barista friends can give you free stuff like American barista friends can so I tell him that I’m gonna wait until he gets off.
I study my JLPT N4 kanji until he gets off and I’m surprised how much of it I know. Two weeks ago it wouldn’t have been this easy. Weird how brains work.
I ask him what he’s in the mood for and we’re both indecisive so I told him how I haven’t had ramen yet since coming to Japan. He can’t believe it and so he looks up on his phone for a good place nearby. I’m mostly talking in English and he’s mostly responding in Japanese but it makes me so happy that he can understand me when I’m talking normally (aka ridiculously fast). I hate repeating myself, but I’ll get over it as a teacher hopefully.
The ramen was awesome. It had real kobe beef! I love food.
Afterwards we went and got tiramisu at a café while he told me about Italy. It was a group tour for Japanese people and apparently the food sucked so he skipped a bunch of meals to eat at restaurants by himself. I’d be so pissed if I were in Italy on a tour and the food sucked. What’s the point of even going?
Man I love Keisuke so much. It’s so fun to teach him English. I wish I had 20 Keisukes as my students. Everyone else can suck it.