Harro! Welcome Japon! When you go back the Amerika?

Here we go! first post from Tokyo, Japan. My new home. its been a dream of mine to live here so lets see how it goes and hopefully i don't spend all my money in 1 month. I will study japanese for a year starting in January.

I made a series of bad choices starting with drinking too much the night before in beijing, taking the local train from the airport to the city thus making it too late for me to take the subway to my friends house forcing me to take a $60 cab ride across town(not from the airport, just cross town!). At least i was able to get this beauty. if you have ever seen anime or manga you have probably seen characters with snot always coming out of their nose. I didn't know that it was based on reality! this guy was like this the whole 15 min i was waiting. he had excellent viscosity.

the next day at the guesthouse office. a guesthouse is a bunch of furnished single rooms in a building or house so you share the bathroom and shower with a bunch of people, but its good cuz its furnished and you can just move in the same day. I found one at Komazawa Daigaku. There are a bunch of foreigners here, which is basically what it is for of course. i will stay here for a month and try to find a more permanate place after i get my head on straight. anyway i sure i will post about this issue again, recylcling/garbage sorting. The Japanese are super strict about it. they even made me watch a garbage sorting/recycling video at the guesthouse office! along with giving me lots of papers about sorting the garbage properly, and there are signs all over the house too. i have read on other blogs about old ladies yelling at people who don't do it properly.

My friend Ai, who visited in beijing a few weeks ago that i met in korea 8 yrs ago. she has a kind of intense talking style. she was not happy that this guy's knowledge of wireless routers was inadequate.

at tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet) at this place.

free pickled delights. you can also eat as much "salad" and rice as you want. which is good cuz i was worried that japanese meal portions will leave me hungry but its nice to know that at lots of place its like this. anyway Ai says i will get used to eating japanese size portions, and i believe her.

Stayed at my buddy Shintaro's house the first night. Japan is like ...Brittan i think? drive on the other side of the road and the driver is on the right side.

grocery store. there were a lot different bags of 3 slices of bread. 3! they are really big slices though. im sure i will learn later on how such a ridiculous thing is actually the better way to do things. i also saw half bacon, and mini spam. there are no american sized jars of spaghetti sauce either. looks like across the board portions in japan are smaller at the grocery store.

remebmer that bright red suitcase adventure i went on? well i actually made it to japan! and i had to go to the actual cargo area to get it! i had to go to 3 different offices, and sign a millions papers and wait a long time. took about 5 hrs total including to and from the airport. but at least everyone in japan was helpful and pleasant and accommodating.

i could take pics all day long of people's fashion. even a lot of old guys dress like they are in their 20s here. and even some guys that don't look that "high fashion" still are trying to work it. this guy was like 40 but substituted his boring normal nike laces with skull laces!

is this a pet mini bus by my guesthouse?

One Night in Beijing

One Night in Beijing, a song that is sung in ktv a lot. it gets intense, as did my last night in Beijing. here we go.

one night in beijing and what do i go and do? drink asparagus juice. another installation of jason trying chinese drinks. left to right 1. star fruit juice, super sweet and gross. 2. hey song sasparilla, kindof like cream soda, its ok. 3. Asparagus juice, what was i thinking? i would love to say it was so super gross but actually it only had a slight asparagus tinge, but its a super sugary drink which is gross so i only took a few swigs. i bet if we grew up being told that asparagus juice was awesome instead of coca cola we wouldn't even know.

everyone is carrying bags of this around these days. its moon festival time again in china. my poll has concluded that no one really like moon cakes, its just tradition so they buy and give. i think moon cakes are good though. these are for my buddies in Japan

good bye china daily newspaper that i painted probably 40 illlustration backgrounds on. and goodbye green plastic folder that i only intended to use as a makeshift palette once but ended up using in the whole 16 months. You will soon be replaced by the japanese equivalents.

nana from lanzhou china, anita from spain, and leo from chengde china

wang wei from beijing, sophie from shanghai/newyork, and zizzo from beijing.

one last ktv session.

this is where it all went bad. We ordered a bottle of johnny black. i was flying to tokyo the next day, what was i thinking? I wasn't thinking cuz i was already snookered. the bad part isn't even getting toe'd in the balls. you could basically circle this whole picture with white chalk and mark it as bad.

i would have missed my flight if ryan had'nt called me. i awoke still drunk and feeling like #@%@#. i had to smash the last remaining things in bags, suitcases and on my head. i wore 3 hats for all of monday. I had to end up paying 700 ($90) rmb extra cuz my suitcase was over weight but i got away with murder with my backpack, carry on little suitcase, and totebag, (and not 1 but 3 hats hahahah suckers!). My backpack alone was overweight cuz it had my laptop, power adapters and super heavy dubble harddrive monster harddrive.

i wanted to die the whole day. see the sun? i hate it. i was so hung over i couldn't even sleep.

Japanese people. they tied colorful little scarfs on every piece of luggage. Japanese people.

More Random Pics from Angel

Ryan, Angel and J-roc at the arcade. i am so intense and so cool

again. if you are about to write a comment about how i am so intense and so cool, please do not. i already know as i stated above.

angel's goodbye party. 16 second exposure with my cellphone. sleepy angel

1 of 2 times i skated in Beijing. the 2nd time was a bigger failure.

pic from angel's lomo cam. what is going on here? is this guy my bizzaro double?

me and ryan seeing angel off at the airport.

painting on the floor of Qi Jia Yuan dipolomatic compound in sept.

more lomo. goodbye beijing bike. goodbye beijing.

Finally feeling the Commie burn - Getting out of Commieland

Kind of like a week of going away events.

Wang Wei, Zizzo, and Leo.  Gangster.  i guess one of the benefits of living in commie land is you can buy cuban cigars.

rode my bike farrr, past the 5th ring road, past wudaokou to the sprawling Beijing Sports University to find some martial arts supply stores.  I found 1.  they had mostly wushu crap.  I was looking for some new "kung fu" pants like the ones i got in New york but they only had silky silky wushu pants.  i wanted to find these quasi shoe/sock things that the sifu at the san da school i saw wore but they didn't have those either.

silky tai chi outfits too and weirdo weapons

a sword maker on premise!

is he responsible for these gross euro/12 yr old boy fantasy swords too?  wish i would have gone to this area when i first came to beijing cuz i could have bought a heavy bag cheap and other cool stuff.

it is the 60th anniversary of the founding of the PRC, basically of communism in China.  in 1949 Mao and his boys founded the PRC.  october 1st is the day.  that is why me and a lot of other foreigners visas expire on oct 1st.  but i don't care cuz i get to move to japan!  anyway there is supposed to be a display of 50 or so new weapons systems in the big parade on the 1st.  I have not felt the ominous communism that you think you will feel when you come here until the last couple weeks here.  last weekend i stayed home because no one was going out because roadways were closed down in the southeastern section of beijing for parade practice, effectively stopping nightlife.  businesses also were forced to close, people were not allowed to look out their windows.  kite flying, pigeon flying, and even balloons are banned until oct 8th.  there are police or army guys at all big intersections and also wandering around.  i've seen police cars come into my apartment complex.  they also have mobilized their huge volunteer force which is basically senior citizens that don't have anything better to do but pin one of those red arm bands to their shirt arm and sit on short stools on the sidewalk and talk trash with their buddies.  What better way to get people to work for free though than play on humans weakness to feel like they are watching out and reporting bad activities by making them extra special volunteers and giving them red arm bands?  what are they looking out for?  They have also stepped up the subway "security"  now there are like 5 guys there to try and make you xray your bag.  and recently they started making people have a swig of their water in their water bottles i guess to make sure its not alchohol or liquid nitrogen or soemthing?  anyway this happened to me today and it is annoying and stupid so i bulldozed through 5 pairs of arms and then the last guy chased after me and i pushed him away and said some not nice things and went to the train.  i probably should'nt do that again in hind sight.  anyway i feel eneasy here now, as a foreigner because it feels like the whole city is on the look out trying to rat anyone out or make your life difficult.  fighter jets in the sky, constant helicopters in the distance.  these lights are in my apartment complex and are to celebrate the 60th anniversaary of the PRC.  i guess they did a really good job with their propaganda cuz all these people seem to have no grudges.  there are even two big propaganda movies out now "Tiananmen" and "the founding of a republic"  that several people i have met said they are going to see.  It still amazes me that people don't hate Mao. 

in the part a big gathering around guys playing old time commie songs, all the old folks sang along and were getting really into it.  this is probably the old people feeling nostalgic for the commie times that Angel is always talking about.  nationalism is a scary thing.

Moon festival time.  you know that festival where you are supposed to eat moon cakes.  well i guess no one really likes moon cakes.  i mean i still see people carrying expensive boxes of them everyday now but i've asked around and no one really like them, but its traditional so they still buy them.  Zizzo says lots of people just eat these river crabs now as part of the seasonal festivities.  expensive, but not as expensive as the hairy crabs but those are not from rivers.  Zizzo brought too for us to eat at lunch the other day.

no tools required.  just bite on the semi hard exoskeleton in key places and you can crack the shell off.  not a lot of meat, messy, and a lot of work.  little little claws.  it was good though the little morsels i could get.

time for a rant, its been a while.   Moving from China has been a huge pain.  First of all the post office will not mail any cds, dvds, scissors, liquids, paint, batteries.  i have a lot of all of these, so everytime i would take a box to mail out they would hand me back all of this stuff and say in a stone face we won't send this.  They say you need a reciept for all media.  even all my burned data back up cds.  not resonable.  steam coming out ears, pressure rising.  They also must rifle through everything, and i don't mean poke around, they will take eveything out, look through every book, open every little box or container, shake everything, and then jam it in their own box!  i spent a long time putting the stuff in these box so they wouldn't get broken and then these post office idiots manhandle my stuff and slam it back in another box that is too small.  they also put those plastic cinch ties around everybox.  It took me 4 hrs to send 3 boxes.  this is because chinese people do not wait in line.  they cut all the time.  almost as bad as cutting is the squeezing in the side of the window and asking questions to worker.  every post office is horrible understaffed, i dont get it cuz every other business in china is over staffed.  i was so p!ssed.  everyone stop asking this one guy questions while he is doing super important things like inputing shipping numbers and f'ing wait your turn!!!!!  I yelled at one lady and she stopped trying to shover her box in front of mine for about 2 min and then went at it again.  I had to go back yesterday to mail 1 more box and they kept saying they won't send the box i need something, these old hags behind me kept pointing to their chinese id cards and freaking out and having bug eyes, i wanted to punch everyone out so bad.  obviously i'm not chinese you stupid hag so i don't have a mother loving chinese id card!  Now all of the sudden you have to have your passport to mail anything just because of this 60th anniversary sh!t.  feeling the commie burn.  I guess that is how the gov reminds people who's the boss.  old hags were pointing to some computer print out sign on the wall probably about having your chinese id card with you all the time.

condom machine i just noticed on the side of the hutong bathroom by lake xi hai.  "Please use condom for preventing the dreaded sexually tremsitted diseases and AIDS." 

long story short, a going away party was had, fun was had, rain, rain in the early am, singing in the rain performed.  thats a wrap.

another crazy super inconvenient adventure in trying to move out of china.  China eastern only allows 1 suitcase at 44 lbs/20kg.  wat the f!  44 lbs is nothing.  you can't even fill a suitcase all the way and not go over.  that means i had to send my other suitcase as unaccompanied baggage.  at least that is wat i thought i was doing.  many phone calls to many places resulted in me finally getting someone that spoke english at this cargo company.  i guess they are not part of china eastern airlines at all, they are a private cargo company.  i dont really know whats going on.  first i call the lady that can speaks englishe's cell phone and she says no one is working at the office today cuz its saturday.  first of all what the F! this is the biggest airport in the world and there is no one that can speak english at the office and then it isn't even open on saturday?  she says she will meet me and take me to the place where i need to take my suitcase finally.  meet me and take me there?  wat is she talking about.  the taxi drops me off on the highway!  he kept insisting that is where she said to drop me.  so there i am in the middle of nowhere, not near the airport terminals at all with my bright red suitcase waiting for this lady.  after 15 min of being on the phone with her they finally found me in this shady crappy van.  so shady that im waiting by the highway, then get in a shady unmarked van.  i get in and we go to the actual f;ing cargo loading docks.  turns out my suitcase is gonna be sent as cargo under the plane.  i saw a bunch of boxes labeled "semiconductors".  that means my suitcase is gonna be smashed to bits.  at this point i dont have a choice though.  the usual emptying everything out of my carefully and efficiently packed suitcase and inspecting everything happened.  at this point i am a properly sociallized good little chinese citizen and take all their abuse and don't mind at all that all my undies are laying on the floor.  suitcase is wrapped in plastic and then blasted to the moon.

these pics are not good representations of wat is going on around.  tons of cargo and forklifts everywhere.  wat the f is wrong with Beiing's airport?  i had to take a van ride to the actually loading dock to get my suitcase sent!  then i had to take another van ride to the "office"  which happend to be in someones apartment.  wat the heck, its not even at the airport.  then a car ride to the customs office.  no normal mortal ever goes here cuz you are not filling out waybill forms for cargo!  what an awesome place that customs office was.  i paid the little cargo company guy $170 and took a cab from the middle of nowhere back to my house. 4 more hours gone.

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Deb and Sal - Sal's Lost Photos

Finally got these final fotos from Salih.  They are all from their final day in China.  We went to Da Tong in Shanxi provice, a 4+ hr drive away from Beijing, or was it 6?  anyway its the place with the many buddah carvings and the hanging temple, but you've already seen that so i am not including more of those.

the unflappable Mr. Pei (our driver)

the unflappable toll gate attendant

lots of china looks like this

this is the dirtiest town i have ever seen, probably because it is literally made out of dirt.  it's funny though some of them had sattelite dishes.

deb and sal's celebrity status met it's high at the hanging temple

this guy is saying get your mongoloid face out of the frame to me, and look debbie is holding hands with her chinese girlfriend.

nice shot sal.  this guy is doing what we should have been doing.  smelling the roses.

more dirt/cave dwellings.  Mr. Pei said that people lived in here during WWII to avoid bombs and stuff.  He said people still live in there now.

further down the road looks like some swankier dirt housing with non dirt doors.

the chow chow hair that is not uncommon here.  chow chow as in those orange colored dogs that are popular with chinese people, that look exactly like this girls head.  it could be confused with tina turner hair.

me and d's fav icecream.  its come kind of grapy stuff around "icecream" then coated with ice.

many dumb poses were taken everywhere. 

this one is high concept.  running paint ran down the side of this stone seat so its supposed to be like i shat myself.  You might not get it now but give it a few years and you will realize how arthouse i am.

delicious Xin Jiang province food made to look yummier with sal's magic lens.

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