November 4 2000

Date: Sat, 4 Nov 2000

Subject: be gentle, it’s my first time at Karaoke…

He was actually enjoying karaoke. He didn’t think every one else in his group was enjoying his new found enjoyment of karaoke, but he didn’t care.

There was an electronic drum machine in the room, and he drummed as if his life depended on it. Not that he was drumming in time to the music, or that the noises that he had a choice of really fit into the whole scheme of things (gun shots and breaking glass), he didn’t care. He considered it small payback for all the inane work questions he was peppered with anytime any of the other JETS saw (Can I hit the kids? Are you in love with X? Two actual examples…) He felt like the small child, sitting on the cool kitchen floor, beating the crap out of pots and pans, oh yes, his own personal nirvana.

He drummed till the tears were coming and he couldn’t breathe because he was laughing so hard.

One of the English girls started throwing things at him, shouting above the drum din, “YOU ARE F’ing INSANE!” It was a good night, as had been the second person who made this pronouncement this very evening (the first one to realize this truth had been the 120 lbs “I like to pee everywhere” JET who had been a drunken rucksack on his back. It’s really tough to carry someone who is drunk, as they wiggle and act stupid, more so when it’s downhill). He took his job of looking out for his JETS very seriously. šŸ™‚

Yup, he even sang, thou, he didn’t need no stinking microphone. Kinda annoyed when “Aloha Oe” never played, but he figured it would wait till he went to karaoke next year (not a day sooner).

At karaoke here, you order food and drink. Thus the drinkers drank more and more and picked more insipid songs. About the time the “Macarena” and “Piano man” came on, it was into the third half hour, and definitely time to go home.

What started nine hours earlier, at a street festival with three other JETs and their respective friends and fiances, now had ballooned to 14 foreigners (many of them extremely drunk, hence I think that’s why they liked my drumming) ended. I left to come home, as it was nearly 0200, and I needed to come home and take a shower and get some sleep.

Ah yes, the shower…


Subject: the shower is not my friend.

It’s Saturday night. I haven’t run any water in my apartment since last Monday morning. Yes, that means no shower, no toilet, no dishes, no washing hands, no brushing of teeth.

I really stink at this point and my teeth are all fuzzy….

Let me explain. The plumbing in my apartment is messed up. It seems that it’s leaking on the people below me, so the landlords want it fixed. I had a discussion with the landlords visiting daughter this past Monday, her English is excellent, so we were able to communicate, a rarity in these parts.

She told me that the plumbing was very old, and that it required fixing, fixing as in pulling up the tiles in bathroom and what not. She said it would be done by Friday (that would have been yesterday). I can understand, and I’m really easy going, so I told her not a problem. Besides the workmen were working like madmen, and they were going to let me use the neighboring (empty) apartment for all my water needs.

Tuesday, no workmen.

Wednesday, no workmen.

Thursday, no workmen.

Friday, no workmen and a national holiday.

The apartment next store, pardon my French, is a shit hole. I don’t mean that in any sort of nice way. The toilet doesn’t flush on the first eight tries. The shower head doesn’t spray out water, rather it dribbles out water. So you end up washing your hair under the tap, hunched over like a Chinese acrobat, but the water has this bad habit of going from hot to cold, so you reflexive jerk your head up and implant it into the faucet (boy, I’ve used three months of swear words the past week…). The hot water doesn’t run into the bathroom sink. And the stupid light bulb blew out the first day (I’m too lazy to go and buy another one). This is the best thing thou. Seems that the toilet and shower are on the same sewer line. I know this because I have watched the drain in the bathroom floor overflow and create my own little toxic waste lake ON THE FLOOR OF MY BATHROOM! I wear slippers at all times in this bathroom. Only thing that touches the floor.

I am very upset. Bloody pissed, if you can handle the bathroom pun. I talked to my boss on Thursday, (I call him ‘da hamma!’), and he’s going to call the landlords on Monday and TALK. Would have done it Thursday, but I didn’t have the contract and he needed to check a point.

Oh yeah, seems that the landlords are saying I owe extra Y to pay for water (!), when I’m pretty sure they are supposed to include it, hence the contract checking.

Talked to my land lord Thursday, and I think he figured I was pissed. I kept smiling that “I’m going to rip off your head and use YOUR neck as a toilet” smile and it freaked him out. I also told him, using lots of arm gestures and the afor mentioned nasty smile, that this is not good and NEEDS TO BE FIXED. I’m not being “haole/American” about it, remember, I was “smiling” and I didn’t raise my voice, and I did bow and thank him. Which I think really confused him. “This kid is American, but he’s acting Japanese? WTF?”

I’ll let “da hamma!” get nasty in the local lingo. I’m just going to keep smiling….I think his head will make an excellent soccer ball… šŸ™‚

Guess he felt bad, as his wife called and left a message saying she would wash my clothes for me (hell no. No one touched my Garfield boxers!)

That’s the scoops. It’s getting messy. I don’t want to move, as I’ll loose my Y 90,000 “security deposit” and have to deal with the pain of moving.

I actually had to get up this early morning and pee. That took about ten minutes to find all the keys and the slippers and the light switches and what not. I think the neighbors are getting an eyeful of the hairy gaijin. They know what I wear for underwear.

The adventure continues……


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