Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Rag Doll...

We turned around and noticed that the door was open slightly and then realized that a thousand dollars worth of pedigree rag-doll cat had wandered out into the wilderness beyond the suburb of Timberlee in Upper-Hutt.

Torches, boots, jackets, a vaguely uncontrolled nauseous feeling, the hidden embarrassment of having to walk up and down a street in the middle of the night cooing and repeating the name “Gizmo” over and over again.

The sudden looming fear on seeing that an alley way backed into what could only be described as the New Zealand Bush, walking down the alleyway towards said bush and the relief of seeing two piercing blue eye’s reflecting the torchlight back at me.

Said pure-breed cat recognized me and promptly followed me home almost in the manner of a dog. Relief gave way to a long evening of ‘Yay we didn’t loose the expensive animals’ Euphoria, which resulted in people being un-fit to drive and a sleep on a couch covered in said pure-breed cats.

I’m back in Wellington and the site has a new banner accordingly, which has been a while in coming due to the current lack of a reliable network which, combined with an extreme dose of laziness has led to me not really updating this place for quite some time.

Now however, money is depleting, bank accounts set, boxes arrived, employment has been sought. Things are moving again. After two and a half weeks of, well, just being a rat bag really.

I turned 26.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Return to The Sleepy Isles

I knew I had arrived back in New Zealand when, on asking for a pen at the customs desk to correct a minor mistake on my entrance card, it was thrown, gruffly, at me by the lady on the other side of the counter. After tersely scanning my passport into the system she then cordially threw my important I.D. document back at me with the same disregard.

The first thought that ran through my mind was ‘Fuck! I should draw my Katana and slit this insolent whore’s throat for this outrage!’ Then I regained my composure and realized that I was a reasonably well off world traveler and she was a sullen native girl with a nasty case of the oral herpes.

I am back in the land of the huge pink man again. The time since my last posting has been something of a blur. Whirlwind emotions ranging from the high of being in the front four rows of the Daft Punk gig, the lows of losing my wallet two thirds of the way through same gig, the arduous process of getting my money out of the bank without my normal I.D., getting the paperwork to replace my Alien card and saying goodbye to all my friends and Fumiko and the mid sections of 20 hours of international travel.

Alright, it’s not like I’m flying to the states, but I am sleeping three hours behind everything here. In fact I’m sleeping between 12 to 13 hours a night.

Suffice to say that right now everything is looking pretty surreal. The currency has changed here for one thing. Everyone is enormous and Mt. Wellington supermarket made me remember that in Japan people take pride in their appearance even if they’re popping out down to the store for a six of beer.

I’m trying to ween myself off the “in Japan” range of conversation topics, but it’s pretty hard when it’s been a rather dominating factor in your life for two years. Bear with me.

New Zealand, it’s very clean down here, but for now it all feels askew, dislocated, a-drift. I can already feel that it’s going to take a while to get my bearings back.

I’ll do up a new banner for the page this afternoon too.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Live from Summer Sonic 06

Writing now at the free internet booth in the merch hall at summer sonic 06. Managed to work my way to front of the crowd yesterday for both DJ Shadow and was in the very ront for Massive Attack which was mind blowing. heading over now to check out Shonen Knife and the Cardigans, followed by the Deftones and then...

...Daft Punk

Monday, July 31, 2006

On the road again...

Leaving the apartment yesterday my heart imploded as me and my supervisor pulled off slowly down the driveway. I had my 32 kg’s of baggage and a small army of extra things that are going to be left or passed on to other people. Many of my adult education class students showed up to see me off, including little Haruka. Seeing them all waving goodbye with my clean and empty apartment behind them, with Aine, my neighbor of two years up on her balcony and taking it all in I suddenly realized I would probably never ever be there again.

It hit home then, that this chapter of my life is drawing to a close, that the long protracted goodbyes of the past couple of weeks had been leading up to this moment, me departure from Kashima.

The feeling was very similar to when I left my apartment in Wellington over two years ago. The way as the motion of the vehicle starts, when the liquid in your inner ear picks up the change in momentum, it’s like a detonating switch that triggers this small implosion in side. Implosion is a good term for the feeling I believe.

I sat with Kazeyama, my supervisor, who I’ve only really gotten to know recently in relative silence for at least a good half hour as I collected my thoughts and let the experience sink in a bit. It wasn’t an uncomfortable silence, it was more a quiet respectful ‘I know you’re there, but that must have been a bit hard so have some quiet time to digest it’ silence. Once we got into Saga city we started to chat about things, the conversation picked up by my pointing out Saga University hospital where I had my wisdom teeth removed. We chatted about stuff and it was only when we arrived at the apartment I realized that I hadn’t said a word of English over the entire car ride. Guess you can teach an old dog new clichés.

I don’t think new clichés are possible are they?

ANYWAY…if you could imagine the following sentence in your best possible Keith ‘Oh my god I’m old and drunk’ Richards voice…

I am now, my dear, a man of fuckin’ leisure…

Now I’ve set up base camp in Yamato-Niiji, just a few minutes bike ride away from a mega-mall the size of downtown Kashima. Last night I went out, took in some local bands at a gig in the city, had dinner, did a bit of karaoke.

Today I woke up, rode to the mall, ate some food and then really just played games on Sarah’s ps2 and watched movies up until now. Everyone else is at work.

The Japanese term for being unemployed is “mushyoku”

Last night someone asked if I was a teacher and I quite cheerily informed them of my new status.

Let the holidays begin, discard the serious pants of work and don the antic-pants! Antic-pants I say! And be quick about it

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A fixing...

This morning I 'fixed' the hole in my wall.

I placed the missing piece of wallpaper over the hole.

I then thumb-tacked a 100 yen photo frame over the offending wall mark.

I retrieved my long absent T.V. and video set from Mr. Gatewood the second to aid in the 'not a shifty bastard who you should charge repairs to' look.

This is a female Kabuto Mushi, Kabuto Mushi being the Japanese beetles with the large array of spikey horns. We found her on her back, outside the apartment yesterday. She was unable to roll over onto her legs and was stuck in the hot sun. Picked her up, documented her, and then placed her into a damp tree hollow on a neighbours property. I didn't think it was possible for a hefty bug to look cute, but she managed it in the bottom close up with her big eyes and fuzzy antennae.



Saturday, July 22, 2006

Just click play alright?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

It's all over...

It’s all over.

I just finished my final class as a teacher in Japan. All that’s left now is the drinking and the speeches. I took a final look over the rows of kids and paused for a second to fix the image in my mind, although I’m sure its ingrained there, just with different faces. It’s a mixed bag of emotions, some sadness, some excitement, some sense of relief that the process I’ve been planning (badly) for over the past few weeks is finally beginning.

At a leaving party last week I got given this drawing by Haruka, who I’ve been teaching since she was about five at eikaiwa classes. She’s now Seven and is one of the newest 1st grade students at one of the Elementary schools I teach at.

I think she got the beard done quite well, although it also looks suspiciously like Ryan McArthur for some reason too.

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