Saturday, March 24, 2007

Best. Day. EVAR.

Ok, so ever had one of those days where something wakes you up earlier than expected, and you roll outta bed the wrong way after being up late. You then proceed to be late, barely miss the train, among a variety of other assorted mishaps. A day that just doesnt go your way.

Well today, my day, has been, and still is, probably... the complete opposite of that kind of day

The best. day. ever.

I'll actually start my recollection on this unbelievable adventure with, yesterday. Where all my troubles seemed so far awa-ahem. Anyways yesterday: Hanami. One of the things I've enjoyed most about my year in Japan is the fact that I get to experience a full year of all four seasons. And being a big fan of Japanese culture, I'm much enjoying my many opportunities of various events and other such traditions for the seasons. It's now the dawn of spring. And the symbol of spring in Japan, is the cherry blossom, or beautifully named: Sakura. Every spring in Japan, starting in March down in Kyushu, and running through May up into Hokkaido, the entire country turns a shade of pink, as cherry trees bloom, sweeping across the nation. These captivating gorgeous trees unfortunately only last for a few days (5 at best maybe) before the flowers wilt, and the tree is done blooming. But in that period where they are in full bloom, there is the awesome event: Hanami.

The kanji for Hanami are 'flower' and 'look/watch' which is a good choice cause, thats what it is (they don't just pick these kanji at random ya know :P). Flower watching, a bit... well perhaps not too exciting at first thought, but you probably wouldn't really call it 'flower watching' at first glance yourself if you were to ever participate. It's more like... "Hey, the sakura trees are blooming, lets go party underneath them!" Yea... thats a pretty good description.

Well theres actually a history behind the tradition of Hanami. Sakura (cherry blossom) is actually kind of a symbol of Japan. Back in the day, when people knew not much about the science of the world and such, to them, Sakura kind of represented another good year of harvest, a sign that throughout the year and in the coming harvest season, there would be plenty of food. (That is kinda what most people lived for back then, rice, heh) So in honoring or appeasing the forces that give good harvest, the people would feast and drink, an all around extremely fun occasion, every spring. Think of it kind of like... the Japanese Thanksgiving I guess. Oh, also please don't associate 'partying' with the American sense of 'partying.' I've mentioned in my blog about Japanese Nomikai before, but a party here is very different than in America. Alcohol, yes, most definately yes. However the biggest difference is that, well for one people are more responsible, but also that people eat, and eat a lot when they drink, thereby lessening the effects of the alcohol and such. They also don't drink nearly as much cause well... they can't. They're small.

Hah.

Anyways, after Hanami we went to good ol karaoke for a couple hours, and that was alot of fun. Sang my heart out like I always do ^^ And after karaoke, we went to Shakey's and had some delicious pizza. Pizza in Japan is another topic I'll have to cover some day when I have the time. Lets just leave it at: It's different. Aaand after Shakey's, we came back home to Azalea, and further partied some more in the lounge. Talked to/drank with this rather... overbearing Korean guy yesterday, but he did give me this super sweet bandanna from his Kendo club or something. One of those super rare items I'll never find anywhere else. I can't even buy this thing. All in all... pretty much partying for 12 hours yesterday (Hanami started around 1, 1:30 pm). So... yesterday was also a good day.

But, not as good as today. No, not even 12 hours of partying can top the day I'm having.

So shall we start from the beginning? Well as I've just explained, I was up rather late, and... had a bit to drink. So I slept really well, and wanted to sleep for a rather long time. Unfortunately though, I was awoken around 8:30. Oh come on, how can that be the start of this 'amazing day' that you speak of? How? Well, I didn't mind much after finding out that it was my parents, trying to get ahold of me to find out what they want to send with the Grelk's from America as they're coming to Tokyo this week. In other words, I was awoken to deciding what I'm getting form home. From America. From my mother country of the food I grew up with. And what am I getting? You guessed it: Cheese. 6 pounds of cheese. Oh glorious cheese. I'm also getting some cereal, ranch dressing (can't find ranch dressing over here for some reason), a pair of shoes (my feet were big even in America), and a few other things. Much looking forward to my goodies coming in the next couple days ^_^

As well, amongst talking to my parents for the 1st time in a couple months which was really nice, (not typing, actual talking), I mentioned that my camera had broken. It's actually been broken for a couple months :'( Again, whats up with the sad stuff on this amazing day? Well that then lead to it being decided that... they're sending me a new camera. Hooray! I giddily await for my 12x zoom camera to get here. Yes!

After that, my door bell rings. Twice. I figured it was my neighbor, but it rang twice... So I check it out to find someone has a package for me. A package? I wasn't expecting a package... (No, my food etc from the states couldnt have gotten here that fast, nor could my new camera) Upon closer inspection of the 'package' this older gentlemen was carrying, I noticed it looked more like... a case. A case for... an instrument... a TRUMPET! A week or so ago, I finally got in contact with my... contact in Japan for borrowing a trumpet. I'm not sure if you've heard of it, but the music store company, White House of Music's creator/retired owner Mr. Rodger White is a member of Beautiful Savior in Waukesha where my mom is the organist, and a good friend. He's helped us out at BSL a number of times, really nice guy. Well turns out he has a contact in Tokyo at the American University here, who is actually, a trumpet player, as well as the band director. A quick email before I left revealed that I can in fact borrow a trumpet from him while I'm in Tokyo. I finally contacted him last week, and it was just delivered today. Hooray!

And my day just gets better from here.

Oh, I also succeeded in making a perfect folded omelet for brunch this morning, that was good.

So on to getting better, even better than a perfectly made folded omelet even. Well I've been in the market for a DS lately, however in Japan it is literally IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND ONE. This thing has been out for over a year (the newer redesigned nicer DS Lite) and its STILL sold out. Seriously, unbelievable how you cannot find this thing anywhere. Well the reason for that is that, unlike in the states, they market the DS to all ages. It's not just a hand-held game system, they've also written a variety of other non-gaming software. Probably the most popular would be the 'Kanji game.' So in Japan you spend, what, avg of an hour ever day on the train? Imagine being able to whip out this little DS and practice kanji for an hour a day when you would be doing nothing anyways ^_^ They also have other games like... a stock market game, and theres also like, cook books and some other interesting software. Anyways, impossible to find, always sold out, everywhere.

Well we have a place called Yamada Denki here in Heiwadai. It's kind of like... Best Buy x10, with a supermarket and dept store. This place is amazing, and its Japan tech too, so its just fun to BE there. Well the advantage of Heiwadai is that we're... well, the boonies compared to Tokyo (and we're definately not, but thats how insane Tokyo is). In other words, theres not nearly as much traffic out here than in the busier places in Tokyo. So my best bet is to just check by there every once in awhile and get lucky. Well I've gone a few times, and no luck. The interesting thing about trying to get a DS is that, its still so unbelievably popular, that even some of the store workers are sick of people asking for it. Now, this is Japan. No body's ever not polite. Never. Like, its insane. This place is so polite and clean, working at McDonald's has become a descent respectable job. Well the DS has apparently hurt that a bit, cause for the first time ever, when I asked about the DS at a Bic Camera in Ikebukuro, well she wasn't rude, she just wasn't... more polite than any human person should ever possibly be: the normal level at which most Japanese people are at a store. She was actually quite frank with me. I asked if they had any, and I quickly got a "No, we don't" response. So I was curious if she knew when they might be getting some. To which I received a quick "No, we don't know." Not even a sorry... wow, whats the world coming to.... haha

Well I went to Yamada Denki a few days ago, asked about a DS (my new plan of attack was to ask not if they have any, but if they HAD any that day to get an idea of when they might get some). Well I didn't even have to ask her about if or when they usually get them, because she, on her own accord and MUCH to my surprise, then looked at a sheet and informed me that Saturday evening they should be getting a shipment. No kidding, Saturday evening hmm... Are you aware of what day it is today...? Its Saturday... Evening, right now. I went to Yamada Denki, and... they had one. One last one. And much to my dismay, the LAST DS, was the exact color I had wanted... sigh... the pits, really.

I HAVE A DS NOW!!!!!!!!!! YES!!! AND ITS A COLOR, THAT YOU CANT GET IN THE STATES!! BAHAHAHA

Ahem.

Success!! A DS Lite! And the color I wanted even!! It's like... did that really happen? And ya wanna know else? My day gets EVEN BETTER from here on out. Oh please (cut down a tree with a herring?) How can anything top something like finding a DS in Japan were... THERE ARE NONE.

How? Two words: Girl Friend

My girl friend has been in Australia for about a month studying abroad in Brisbane. She comes home, tonight. In fact, she should be here, well any minute now. From which we will finally be reunited after an entire month! Yes, it can get better than food from the states, a new camera, talking to my parents, making the perfect omelet, getting a trumpet, catching the new train again, miraculously finding a DS in the color I wanted, catching Asashoryu on the current Sumo tournament on TV, and watching a program (right... now) currently covering some of the places I went to in Hokkaido just 1 month ago.

Yes, today, is definately, one of the Best Days Ever.

EVAR! >_<

PS: Thanks for the pics Yun ^_^

2 Comments:

Blogger rocksy said...

really liked the picz made me laugh. you really seem to like the DS i hurd they were going to bring out a new colure PURPLE!! you should get the pink one it would sut you lol!!

3/25/2007 3:07 AM  
Blogger Erik said...

first off, make shorter posts, i cant always devote 20 minutes to reading your stuff... secondly, that is a pretty sweet day

3/26/2007 12:39 AM  

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