Japan ’08

Japan Closing Advice

Japan Closing Advice

Random Observation/Comment #103: It’s hard to say goodbye, but I guess I never left – I guess I never have to.  I’ve been reliving the memories for the past 2 ½ months and it’s been the most enjoyable moments in my life.  Every morning in front of my laptop on the LIRR, I am in my writing zone with the...

Making ice cream while hung over

Making ice cream while hung over

Random Observation/Comment #102: When the “schedule” is set, you’re not allowed to make any impromptu changes.  Even if you drink until 4AM the night before, you still must wake up at 8AM to attend a frozen-yogurt-making activity.  Almost everyone I know would have slept in (which would be convincing enough to follow guilt-free), but every single drunken mess I saw...

The story of a bottle of jager and rum – it ends with their sacrifice

The story of a bottle of jager and rum – it ends with their sacrifice

Random Observation/Comment #101: As the alcohol content in these little Japanese people’s blood stream increases, so does the frequency of slurred Jap-English phrases.  I had no idea what they were saying, but it was fun trying to figure it out.  Even if I did understand, I waited for them to draw a picture or make funny gestures for my own...

Paragliding is aight

Paragliding is aight

Random Observation/Comment #99: Who the hell doesn’t want to fly?  I’m a little afraid of heights, but I would still love to be able to make that party entrance.  I mean, it’s not as classy as entering a party in your own mansion with three beautiful ballet dancers around your arms after being released from a private chopper, but I...

We definitely won the bar crawl

We definitely won the bar crawl

Random Observation/Comment #94: Are there really losers in a bar crawl?  Properly, are you even likely to finish?  I was having a good time just walking around with inebriated strangers, and picking their brains about traveling and career paths.  Everyone has such an interesting story and outlook on life.  Some of them I pity, while others I envy – this...

Brazilians know how to eat

Brazilians know how to eat

Random Observation/Comment #93: Brazilians know how to eat their beef.  This hypothesis was confirmed when I met a Brazilian family Upstate that buys their own cow from a farm, and owns three freezers to keep her fresh for 6 months of eating.  When the mother said, “I went to a farm to buy the meat in this soup,” I thought...

Oh how I’ve missed you, Osaka

Oh how I’ve missed you, Osaka

Random Observation/Comment #91: It had only been 3 weeks of traveling with no idea where to sleep and full-unplanned days, but this was enough time for me to be thankful for a comfortable bed and a reliable place to keep my belongings.  I long for such adventures, but I don’t know if this excitement is what I really I truly...

JICA… nice

JICA… nice

Random Observation/Comment #90: I don’t usually act very stressed or concerned about anything, but that’s usually because everything goes according to a set of expected outcomes.  In my mind, there are plans for every little thing that shouldn’t even be relevant.  I’m not a big fan of surprises.  It’s most probably a control issue or a desire for security and...

The day of The Climb

The day of The Climb

that’s the best picture I could get in a movie theater Random Observation/Comment #85: The movie theater in Shinjuku is gi-normous and literally has a stage with curtains.  It had fancy, soft, red seats made for a Broadway show.  I probably just picked a nice theater in the area, but I was still very impressed. After checking out of the...

Mt. Fuji – you leave me confused

Mt. Fuji – you leave me confused

Random Observation/Comment #84: Don’t wear shorts when you’re climbing any mountain.  It’s freakin’, ridiculously cold up there at night.  The guide books do not lie, and you are not superman. I’ll keep the first entry of Mt. Fuji as a general overview of my impressions of the climb, an insight on what to expect, and a few suggestions for future...

Keio Plaza Hotel – Now that’s what I’m talking about

Keio Plaza Hotel – Now that’s what I’m talking about

Such a fancy pants hotel… Random Observation/Comment #83: There are some problems you can just throw money at to make better.  Today was just one of those problems. Due to the extremely shitty day Chris and I were having, we decided to go to the nearest JR station and ask for hotel bookings.  The JR Company and local hotels have...

The Night Sky – Oh! How I’ve missed the stars

The Night Sky – Oh! How I’ve missed the stars

Random Observation/Comment #70: The city’s (of course, there is only one “the city”) light pollution had made my star gazing hobbies impossible to fulfill.  Osaka had a similar problem, but Nagasaki on top of a large mountain, was a little more forgiving.  Not a cloud in the sky – not a worry in the world.  I loved every second.  I...

Nagasaki Memorial: “My G-d. What have we done?”

Nagasaki Memorial: “My G-d. What have we done?”

Random Observation/Comment #68: I’ve never been given such a dirty look from an old man in my life.  He stared me down as if I were the one who pressed the button or even the one who made the decision.  A dark cloud hovered above me the entire day, and my shoulders slumped with my hands dug deep into my...

Zushi beach with a night of karaoke

Zushi beach with a night of karaoke

Random Observation/Comment #60: I’ve missed the entire beach season back at home.Japanese beaches (depending on what accent you say it in) just aren’t the same.Please at least give me a small wave (to the water and the girls). For some reason, when I think of Japan, I don’t particularly think of beaches.I think of mountains, hiking, temples, sushi, and seaweed,...

Optimizing time

Optimizing time

I still can’t believe I’m leaving in 3 days after being here for close to 3 months.  There aren’t words to express this feeling of sadness for leaving, yet a conflicting level of happiness for returning to where I call my home.  Japan has burrowed, setup living quarters, and ordered extraneous furniture in my heart.  I will never forget these...

Tuna Maki roll… please?

Tuna Maki roll… please?

Random Observation/Comment #49: Why didn’t I record a video of her talking? Ask Chris – it’s the cutest thing in the world.Picture a kitty wearing a panda suit, trying to play a small piano and then multiply the cuteness factor by 3.Eric, she’s even cuter than May – I know, it’s scary. I woke up at 3PM still feeling a...

Arima Onsen: Please take me back, Spa World

Arima Onsen: Please take me back, Spa World

Random Observation/Comment #47: Sometimes I am just a little creepsterish when it comes to taking pictures. I’ve stopped being mindful about these things, and I just secretly snap shots of random people wearing interesting clothes or in front of monuments as if I had known them for a long time. The night before, we went to my going-away party in...

Kobe Holiday Stroll – the ropeway ride of 100 pictures

Kobe Holiday Stroll – the ropeway ride of 100 pictures

Random Observation/Comment #43: Strange customs are being developed every day.I have urges to start odd routines, like fold my receipts into origami butterflies, or eat every kind of onigiri flavor available at the Family Mart for breakfast. I woke fully prepared to face a Monday morning of posting entries, checking email, fooling around with facebook, watching Colbert report, and avoiding...

Oh the Zoo! I feel like I’m six years-old

Oh the Zoo! I feel like I’m six years-old

Random Observation/Comment #40: I refuse to wash my hands from the so called “clean water” spouting from the top of the toilet.I don’t trust that shyt (no pun intended). This visit to the zoo would mark a momentous occasion of being the first time: a) going with a camera and b) having the knowledge of all the existing animals.It must...

Kyoto again: Kiyomizu Temple is a must-see

Kyoto again: Kiyomizu Temple is a must-see

Kiyomizudera is beautiful Random Observation/Comment #34: Pachinko and slot places are freakin’ loud.I think the objective of the gambling machine is to deafen the user and then mesmerize them with random videogame screenshots as they feed in more cash. People are way too enthusiastic and awake at 7AM on a Saturday morning.All the old people have already started their routine...

Nara: Those deer will eat your hand

Nara: Those deer will eat your hand

Random Observation/Comment #29: Deer make a lovely addition to the scenery pictures.They don’t care if you take a picture (or do anything for that matter) as long as you give them food.The deer and I have much in common. Because of my biased opinion of deer, Nara has won its own special trophy out of all of the places I’ve...

Minoh: Where did all the monkeys go?

Minoh: Where did all the monkeys go?

Random Observation/Comment #22: Why is it that they awkwardly stretch out their “gozaimasssssssuuuuuu” with such an inflection? I understand it’s emphasizing the more formal mannered portion of the speech, but doesn’t it get annoying? Maybe they’re just practicing their singing voice. I’m starting to think that getting lost is more fun than knowing: a) where you’re going, b) how you’ll...

Why would you pay to live in a morgue?

Why would you pay to live in a morgue?

Random Observation/Comment #12: I’m not allowed to try on shirts at some of the stores.It’s probably because Americans sweat blood, violence, and motor oil, while Japanese tend to sweat haikus and flower arrangements. The Capsule Hotel: I’ve heard so many horror stories, which is why I feared for my life in the beginning.However, the place that I stayed near Dotonbori...

Goodbye NY; Hello Osaka

Goodbye NY; Hello Osaka

I feel like I went about the whole study abroad thing the wrong.  Instead of going my Sophmore or Junior year like normal students, I’m going between my Senior and Masters.  I guess it’s not so bad.  I spent the other summers exploring potential careers in finance and programming startup companies.  They were definitely worth the early insight on that...