Saturday, November 20, 2010

Which Direction Is Up Again?

You know I have been thinking about something recently. This has been a really tough year for me. I have had to deal with some really heavy, fucked up and silly shit which would be enough to drive a perfectly sane man to the crazy house. It has been one of those years when everything seem to happen at once. It has been a lot to deal with to say the least. So I have been thinking that it may be time for a change in direction a bit.

While I have no plans to leave Japan any time soon, I am reaching a level of stress which is starting to effect my mental well being. I have not felt this kind of high stress level many times in my life. It usually does not turn out well from past experiences. When I finally crack it is something no one should ever witness. I have done some pretty crazy things in the past in order to purge the shit of humanity from my sorry mortal soul. I know that if something like that happens in Japan I will end up in a world of shit from which I will never return. So what the hell is pushing the buttons of your lovable working class hero?

Well, aside from a lot of little things which have been building up there are two big things which are pushing me to the breaking point. Earlier this year my wife and I lost an unborn child due to medical reasons. The little one never really had a chance in this world. It was only forming in my wife`s body for about four weeks before her body rejected it. It got stuck in one of her tubes and almost killed her. I will ever forget looking down at the mass of blood and human tissue which was suppose to be my child. After the operation to save my wife`s life the doctor called me into a small room to explain what happened. After about 20 minutes of the doctor(Japanese doctors have a shitty bedside manner BTW) struggling to explain things to me, she offered to show me what was left of my child. She rolled a small metal operating table beside me and revealed my child to me. Viewing such a horrible and painful sight usually breaks the soul of most men. I just stared at it with a hard expression on my face. Not one tear came from my eyes as my mind tried to comprehend what I was looking at. It was as if time stopped. I could not hear or feel anything around me. It was one of the darkest experiences in my life. The after effects have been deep and extremely difficult for my wife and I. After several tests the doctor is not even sure if we will ever be able to have a child. I will never forget this experience as long as I live.

The other big thing which is pushing me to the limit is my day job. It is this job I depend on to provide for myself and my wife. I thought I knew what the term `fucked up SOB` meant but I really didn`t understand the term until working for my currently company going on three years now. I am pretty sure these people are capable of just about anything in the pursuit of money. Lack of humanity and ethics do not even start to describe what I have seen and experienced during my involvement with this company. It is the most cut-throat company I have ever worked for. They don`t give a flying fuck about anyone; not even each other. I have seen these people fuck each other over in order to save their own asses. They are vengeful and attack their own employees with the mind set `it is just business.` It has reached a point in which it is effecting me in very negative ways. If I ask for anything i.e. a paid day off, a decent work schedule in which I am not spread out all over fucking Japan, a little basic human respect, or requesting they don`t put me in abusive work environments they respond my making every situation worse or having to fight them to get even the basics done. I am starting to wonder how much longer I can put up with such people and such a company.

It is these two things which are effecting my mental health. The baby thing is just something which I will have to deal with for the rest of my life. The company thing is something which could be dealt with. If any of yall know of a decent paying teacher gig and you could get me a foot in the door let me know.

Friday, November 19, 2010

You Blog?! Why?

Truth be told most people I know in the `real world` do not blog. In fact. most of them have never even considered blogging. I only really know two people two actually blog. I good buddy from work Alex the Brit has his site to his site and encourage him to post more) and of course Mr. Billy `Tokyo` West who currently is not so active in the blogging world. People ask me all the time, `Why in the hell do you blog? It is kind of a waste of time.` I have always been able to answer this question pretty easily by saying,`I do it because it is fun for me. I like to write about things that I see and experience.` I really do feel that way about blogging in general. It is fun hobby which gives me the chance to share my little world with everyone out there in internet land. It has always been fun for me to be apart of something which anyone can do and be decently good at. It does not take a master level knowledge of internet code or marketing to have your own little blog.

Yet blogging is something a bit more bigger than just a fun hobby. Blogging is another form of spreading information. The internet is in its purest form is a giant library of information of just about every topic known to mankind. When anyone post a blog entry about any topic for any reason it just adds to the wealth of information in the net. Some blogs only add an opinion or an experience had by one lone person in the world. Yet,despite the weight of the content THAT lone blogger posting about something which seems unimportant to you or I will most likely be important to someone out there in the harsh world. It would only make sense to assume that every blog post carries with it important information worth sharing with billions of people.

For some folks blogging is more than just a hobby. There are folks making a shit load of cash just by blogging. They put a lot of time and effort selling ads on their site and getting paid sponsors. These kind of people pretty much live on the internet. Of course they do other stuff but majority of their day is spent doing something internet related. For a professional blogger it is more about making money than really sharing information. I don`t hate on these types of folks because if they got a damn good blog and lots of people check it out then go ahead and make some money off of it. Making serious cash doing something fun which requires very little hard labor is kind of a dream job.

So yeah, I blog because it is fun other people blog to score some cash. Both reasons for blogging is okay with me. It all comes to the spread of information in the end. If people want to hate on me then they really are wasting their time. Do you really want to be the person hating on someone`s hobby? At this point, when someone leaves a fucked up comment on my blog I just delete it and move on. I suggest everyone do the same thing. No one has to put up with assholes trying to leave a bag of shit on their front door.

Anyway, I am going to go ahead and end my `Why Blog` post before it becomes a long ass rant with little or no direction.

If you want check out my other blog; It is more of a political blog so if you are interested give it a look.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Youth Are Getting Brave These Days In Japan

The common Japanese you run into on the street will most likely shy away from talking to you if they do not know you. It could be said that it is a national habit for the Japanese to  leave most foreigners to their own devices. They, as a whole, get more friendly and open up a lot more after a few drinks. Besides having a few rounds, most Japanese will not just walk up to you and have direct contact. While this may be true in most situations the tide may be turning in the spirit of the Japanese youth. From my experience, I have seen a clear difference in the way younger Japanese(18-30) engage foreigners compared to their older counterparts.

The youth of Japan seen to be more forward and brash than the average Japanese Joe six pack. In most nations one would expect the youth to be forthcoming when interacting with people from other so-called tribes. Yet, in Japan the pressure to conform is so strong that one would think they are born wearing a suit and tie. The sharp contrast in posture taken towards foreigners is so clearly noticeable that it boggles the mind how they ever get to the point of being passively dismissive of foreigners.

The brash Japanese youth sometime surprise me with how forward they can be at times. Case in point, I went to the local supermarket last night to grab a few beers and a pack of smokes(yes I still smoke). Just across the road were two young street gals chatting loudly about something or the other. Of course I paid them very little mind and marched on into the store. When I came back out one of the gals came running up to me saying, `excuse me! excuse me! Give me tobacco please!` As she did this her friend slowly followed her like a pet follows a owner. I flashed a pack of smokes I just bought and both of their eyes lit up like firecrackers. I must have given them about six smokes total out of kindness and slight shock. As soon as they got what they wanted they almost walked off just as fast. One of the gals spoke to me using the little English she had found the time to master. They were cute but clearly rough from hanging out on the street all the time.

I see the same kids hanging out on the street down from my house all the time. This little event was the first time they had spoken to me. It is rare for any Japanese,even the homeless, to demand I give them something. The young kids obviously have little care to speak to foreigners when they want something bad enough. The only other time Japanese randomly speak to me is at Yoyogi park sometimes and when I go to a rockabilly show.

Have any of you ever had a random Japanese youth speak to you and/or make an out of the blue request?  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Sad Cafe Shibuya,Tokyo

I usually do not do restaurant reviews. There are so many blogs out there which focus on such things like places to eat and things to see that I really feel it has been over done. Yet, sometimes I find a cool unique spot in the Tokyo Metro area which deserves mention. The Sad Cafe in the Shibuya area is one of those places which deserves taking a little look at. I have been going to this place for a while. I usually hit it up about once a month on one of my infamous Tokyo walkabouts. My buddy Jack of Jack's Vintage fame first passed the word on to me about this place about a year ago. He promised me a good lunch for under 2,000 yen. Well, any damn place which offers a decent lunch which will not clog my heart for under 2,000 yen is worth checking out.

About a week later I was damn hungry and had some extra cash on me so I decided to give the place a go. It is located half way from Harajuku and the central Shibuya area. It is in a food court slash mini shopping building right after the Auddi building. If you are not looking for it you will most likely miss it. Any damn way, when you walk into the place you are treated by a full on semi-sleazy 1970's theme. The slight sleeze is toned down with an up beat attitude and motto,'I can't help myself. I want to diet but with the sad cafe right around the corner...' At least they are honest that the food is good but maybe the so good for your health. Truth be told the good is actually pretty tasty. There are two items on the menu I would suggest are worth giving a go. The curry lunch plate is damn tasty and sure enough under 2,000 yen even with a drink. Not bad for downtown metro standards. Although the all time best is a straight up classic American hotdog. Be aware that most hotdogs in Tokyo are pure fucking shit. For some reason Tokyo is not good at making a decent hotdog. Lucky enough Sad Cafe makes a proper hotdog. I really enjoy having a damn good hotdog with a glass of beer at Sad Cafe. They also have tacos which are pretty good but can be a bit dry sometimes.

Despite the food, I think the main reason I keep coming back to the Sad Cafe is the overall atmosphere. The vibe is laid back and cool to say the least. The staff are very friendly but pretty much stay out of your way. They don't really come around asking you if you want more food or drink. You can sit at your table for an hour or more in total peace. There is also usually some cool 70's rock and roll playing in the background for your listening pleasure. They got all kinds of interesting 70's era posters and items on the wall to check out while you day dream. For those of you who like to view the city street while you gobble down some grub there is a long seating area which overlooks a busy Tokyo street.

Overall, the Sad Cafe offers something for just about anyone who loves good classic American food and 70's American culture. Hell, if you want to have a group party the Sad Cafe can be rented out for the evening. Just talk to the manager on duty for details.

You can get a coupon from their website for 10% discount!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Some Folks Know Whats Up

In passing Japanese society looks like a very conformist button down group of people. Mid-day in Tokyo can be wall to wall suits and ties sometimes. There are so many social rules that box people into a certain lifestyle that few people break though the heavy cloud of authority. The average Japanese is going to do everything he/she can to fit in and not make waves. Despite this national fetish with conformity, some folks are able to see what is really going on. Truth in point is a student I ran across during a conversation period at school recently.

I walk into a larger than normal booth and two students stare back at me. One of them was an early 20`s something guy with a crazy stoner smile glued on his face. The other student was older, maybe in his early 60`s, hard noised and focused on something in his own mind.I really had no idea what to talk about with them so I simply asked them what they felt like saying. The old man quickly perked up and slapped a book on the table. He says to me, `you ever read this book?` The book was titled Confessions of an Economic Hitman. I read that book when it came out a few years ago and it only confirmed a lot of things a knew to be true. American is a modern Empire which takes control of other nations and uses them to get rich. What I did not expect was a old Japanese guy also being aware of such a fact and having the balls to talk about it with an American. The guy talked at length about such things as the NWO,9/11, and the Iran Contras. As interesting as it was, I could tell that the younger guy was hearing these things for the first time. It must have been one of the most interesting conversations I have ever had with anyone from Japan. The both of them asked each other questions about a variety of topics with me simply serving as a reference guide.

The experience got me thinking that maybe there are more people in Japan who are aware of what is really happening in the world than I thought. Though all the pressure to conform and `fit in` there may be a growing number of Japanese who are simply not buying the bull shit fed to them everyday. I wonder how many people are sitting at home at night researching things and trying to get to the truth of things around them? With the way the world is these days I am willing to bet there are more folks like that old man around.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ryan Vs. The Japanese Health Care System

By now all of yall know I really don`t like socialized health care. I have experienced it first hand and while there are some advantages, the negatives make it an overall raw deal. None the less, this is what I have to deal with in order to live in Japan. I pay for the National Heath Care insurance every month like a good little slave. Considering that I am paying for it as I might as well get something out of it from time to time. Well, my dearest wife has been nagging me to get a `health check` for about two months with the wonderful reason of, `You are 30 now so there is risk you might get sick and die.` While I really doubt my days are numbered at 30 the gal sees things very differently. To make her happy, and shut her up about it, I scheduled myself a trip to the hospital for a `health check.`

As you might have guessed, a `health check` in Japan is a bit different from what you would expect in the states. First of all, I had to go to a annex of the main hospital. That was a little odd but no biggie. When I finally got to the section I needed I felt like I had just walked into a mad house. There were gals in cute uniforms running around leading people to a variety of rooms for all the different tests to be carried out. There were people(mostly old as dirt) sitting in the waiting area looking at each other with uncomfortable expressions. The admins at the front desk were cold and all business. I thought about doing something funny in an attempt to get a smile out of them but they would most likely had none of it. They simply checked my paperwork, informed me of the price(26,000 yen! So much for socialized care), gave me a key to a locker so I could change, and told me to wait. Oddly enough the motherfuckers charged me for the damn medical outfit I had to change into for the `health check.` From the get go I felt like I was getting scammed!

After about 20 min. my name was called, correctly oddly, and the gauntlet began. Apparently, Japan must have a lack of general practice doctors because every section of the test required a different doctor. I personally thought it was a huge waste of money to have that many doctors to perform a simple health check. I must have got poked and prodded by at least 12 different so-called `specialist.` Socialized health care must be sucking the Japanese government dry. A general practice doctor could have almost done everything it took 12 doctors to do. Hell, it took three people to just take a blood sample, check my height and ask me a few basic lifestyle questions! The amount of people getting in on taking the Japanese government for a ride is amazing sometimes.

I would have not minded the scam happening right before my eyes so much if they had not been so damn out in the open about it. The whole ordeal went down along one long ass hallway with rows of small rooms on each side. In each room one small part of the `health check` was completed. In between checks you were ordered to set down on a kind of comfortable green sofa. Every Japanese I sat down next to stared at me harder than usual. It may have been the first time any of them saw a gaijin getting a health check. Such a fact would not be surprising considering most of the big employers of westerners do not offer a health care plan. The national coverage is a bit out of price range for your average gaijin to afford. It would have been nice to have a buddy with me because it was super awkward having a gang of old people wearing ugly green hospital gear staring at me with odd expressions glued on their faces.

To be fair, one of the bright moments was being lead to the next room by a cute early 20 something gal wearing a cute checked outfit. They had entire team of these gals assisting every single person to their next room. it was surreal to say the least. It was like being on some Japanese game show from hell, `Okay folks! Our next lucky player will take the liquid metal in your stomach/fun with X-rays challenge!`

Seriously, I am not joking about liquid metal being involved in the whole ordeal! At one point in the `health check` I went into a X-ray room. I have gotten plenty of X-rays in my life but nothing prepared me for a Japanese style X-ray. When I went into the X-ray room I was greeted by the muscular looking man holding a cup of scary looking thick liquid. He smiled and said to me. `Please drink this whole cup of Barium so I can check your stomach and intestines` My first reaction was of course, `What the fuck! I am not drinking that! We use Barium for rat poison in the states!` He did not care that Barium is rat poison and I ended up having to drink a whole cup of that shit!` After I forced myself to drink it he made me hold onto a rotating bed while he got a few live shots of my guts. I felt like pure shit the rest of the day. Matters were made worse by the fact that he also instructed to me take two very strong laxatives to get the Barium out of my system. I thought I would be strong and not shit my pants before making it home. Well, these were pretty strong laxatives and I only made it three stations before the shit in my ass could not wait any longer. I rushed off the train at Akiba station and right into a bathroom at the platform. I suffered though 40 minutes of explosive diarrhea before I was able to walk again.

After finally being able to transfer from JR to TX I must have been the most happy person you could ever see on a damn Tokyo train. It just felt good knowing that I would soon be safe in my home. I am sure that some of the folks on the train noticed that I had just survived a rough morning. It was kind of written all over my face. I remember sitting there thinking that I left the hospital feeling worse than when I arrived. A `health check` has got to be one of the strangest experiences I have had in Japan so far.

I really cannot blame the Japanese for this wasteful and inefficient system. The government and greedy health care industry must take the lion share of the blame for a such a money sucking system. Yeah, I got a pretty full on `health check` but at the same time I was over charged and way too many doctors poked and prodded me. It will be a long ass time before I do that again!        

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Advantage of Doing Private English Lessons in Japan

Despite the English speaking level of Japanese people nation wide is pretty low, learning English is still hugely popular. Most Japanese people I run into are either currently taking some type of English lesson or have a desire to learn English. One would think that all the professional language schools would be able to maintain a decent profit. Well, the truth is that most of the language schools in Japan are either not making any money at all or turn only a small profit. Due to the very public meltdown of several Eikaiwa English school over the past several years the Japanese public are a hell of a lot less willing to fork over cash to these types of companies. This does not mean a lot of Japanese have stopped taking English lessons. From a raw street level point of view, I have noticed an explosion in the private English lesson market. The money a lot of Japanese used to hand over to professional language schools are now going to teachers who are willing to do a shit load of private lessons on the side.

Before I go on let me make it clear that unless you are willing to do a hell of a lot of foot work you cannot survive on private lessons alone. You still need a stable job. Currently, you can still get a job as an ALT or Eikaiwa instructor pretty easy(although I don`t how long that is gonna remain true). A lot of companies are being pretty damn cutthroat concerning which teachers they keep and how many lessons per week they give. The ALT racket looks to be on it`s heels with the possibility of JET getting the boot. So, a keen English teacher in Japan better be trying to work on getting him/herself a stock of private students in order to maintain their income a bit. If you are polite and friendly you can usually get between 2,000 and 3,000 yen per lesson in the Tokyo/Yokohama area alone. It may seen like a big challenge to sling English on your own without the convenience of going to work at the language school and having the students walk right though the door. A little more work is involved but it can be done.

There are `placement` companies which, as many of them commonly say, `match the right student with the right teacher.` The real reason these companies are set up is to act as a middle man and exploit the direct exchange of money between teacher and student. These kind of companies can be really helpful. They usually have a website which you create an account on and students have access to view and choose your profile for a `trail` lesson. During the trail lesson a rep. from the `placement` company will be there to do all the sales work for you. If the student likes you then they will sign a contract with the company and schedule the first lesson with you. The student will pay you directly during each lesson. Lessons usually take place at a cafe or sometimes the students home. Here are a few company websites to get you started: 7ACT The short list I just provided is just a start. After looking around on the net you will find better companies.

Dealing with a `placement` company is not the only option open to a keen teacher. If you really want to get your hands dirty and do it on your own there are a few things you should do. A good idea is to make up a business card stating that you teach private English lessons. Get a shit load of them made up. Give them to everyone who meet. Be sure to put your name, phone number and e-mail on the card. Adding a picture to your business card is not a bad idea as well. Also, some used English book stores are cool about letting teachers put up a flyer offering private English lessons. Be sure to ask first before putting any advert up at a place of business.Another thing you can do is simply get the word out in the street. Be real nice to people and you might be able to score a new student. Be sure to get your Japanese friends to tell their friends you teach private lessons.

That is just about all the advice I can offer concerning getting private lessons. If you can get five or six students you can make about 20,000 extra yen a week. That is a lot of damn money over the course of one month! Hang in there yall. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

There is Still a Line You Know

So judging from the last post it is pretty clear that I am in a mood to say somethings that need to be said. For now, I will leave the Japanese to be who they are. They are human just like the rest of us. They have their good points and bad. In this post I need to talk about folks who come to Japan and think that somehow it has magically become okay to be a raging self-serving asshole. I`m not talking about the regular brand of asshole. The cure for those kind of folks is a good old fashioned broken noise. The kind of asshole I am referring to is those who will do anything to have their cake and eat it too.

While I was living in West Virginia I didn`t come across this unique brand of asshole so often. This is due to the fact that such a person did not live long enough to really cause a lot of trouble. Japan having such a passive mind set allows such assholes to succeed. I have seen many times in Japan people take the opinion that, `Well he is an asshole but he does get things done so it is okay.` I am sorry yall but it is not okay at all. Just because someone can do something well does not mean they get a free pass to bully, play games with people`s lives, and generally fuck everyone over who they don`t like. The kind of person who does the above mentioned things is the exact kind of person I am talking about.

These kind of people look at Japan as a place to exploit rather than a place to be explored. I can be honest and say that I don`t accept everything about Japan but at least I don`t try to exploit everyone living here. There are people I know who I can have a beer with any night of the week yet will have no bones about screwing me over to save their own sorry hides. I deal with a lot of people like that. Sneaky cunts who think that they are the only person of value on the planet earth. Well, I am not going to put up with such shit anymore!

It would be real easy for me to just say `fuck off` to these kind of folks but I know that is not going to work. Any kind of overt resistance they will take it as a challenge. Hell, I have been known to like a good challenge myself. I am the kind of guy who says `Oh yeah, now you`re talking` when a gun is pointed point blank to my head. Yet, my reason for taking such a posture is very different compared to the kind of asshole I am writing about. I take such a posture because I believe that there are situations when you have to out crazy someone in order to prove a point. Although these shitty assholes I am referring to take said posture for the simple purpose of stamping you out and putting themselves on a golden pedestal in order to look good in front of the Japanese. Why would someone do such a childish thing you might ask? Well, as most of us know looking good in front of certain Japanese in certain situations can bring a little extra cash in your pocket and a few extra benefits. For such seemingly small rewards a lot of people are more than willing to fuck you two ways to Sunday. They will do this shit for money, pussy, and position.

So, how am I going to deal with these very special brand of shitty asshole? Usually these dicks pick on something small and make a big deal about it or order to attempt to screw me over. What I am choosing to do is act it is not a big deal to me. This in turns usually leads them to press the issue in a slightly rude way. At that point I have two options. I can either explain things to them in a clear simple manner or stonewall them until they give up. Either way I choose to do things, the one thing these people need to know is I am fully aware what they are up to at all times. There is still a line you know!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I`m Not Crazy, I just live in Tokyo

I guess you reach a point living in Tokyo that you kind of start to fight back. For a long time I gave the Japanese the benefit of the doubt even when no one else would. I still do this to some extent but not like I use to. These days I have simply had enough of people`s shit. I take the stance that `yeah I am not Japanese so get the fuck over it already.` I feel that a lot of Japanese need to grow the fuck up and accept the fact there are actually people living in places other than Japan. Further more these people who are not from Japan have a culture rich in history and do not speak Japanese. Not all Japanese are THAT retarded as to think Japan is the end all of end all but in my experience at least 30% of the population believes it to be true. I could just as easy say the same thing about my mother land America. Yet due to America`s unique diversity the effects are not as extreme as compared to Japan.

So yeah, I have been fighting back. I really don`t live by the Japanese thought process anymore. All of the insane ideas of what a `gaijin` should and should not be just does not fly with me at all. I am not a goddamn monkey. I do not put up with any disrespect from these people anymore. If they want my respect they will have to earn it the good old fashion hard way. I don`t give a damn if they feel Japan is special and the Japanese should get special treatment. They are human just like me. If they fuck with me I fuck with them twice as much right back. If they are nice to me and show REAL respect I will do the same. Now, let me stop for a minute and say that I do not hate Japanese people. I feel they have a interesting culture. At their best the Japanese are polite and caring people. At their worst they are backward and racist compared to the rest of the world.

Let me give yall two perfect examples of the best and worst of Japan.

The best: One time I had been getting drunk in Shibuya. I got pretty damn drunk that evening and ended up missing the last train. After wondering around the area I passed out in front of the now closed HMV. It was a nice warm night and I thought since the damn homeless bums can sleep on the street it would be okay for me as well. I don`t know how long a was sleeping there but I was awoken by a damn Metro cop working the late night beat. He said me to me in Japanese, `Are you okay? I don`t care but HMV get very angry to you for sleeping here. Please drink at bar for first train(Japanese language is hard to translate for me, they really do speak this way)` He did not arrest me or anything. He even showed me an all night bar for me to chill until the trains started running again. He was a really cool dude.

The worst: I had been working in Kamata. It had been a long day of working and I wanted nothing more than to go home and have dinner with my wife. I got to the station and goddammit here comes a fucking cop. He stopped me and demanded I present my `gaijin` card to him(gaijin means outside person. Gaijin card is an id card all non-Japanese are required to carry with them at all times).  I refused of course because I know that by law no cop can ask me for my `gaijin` card without giving a reason. He refused to give me a reason and arrested me. He took me to the piggy box beside the station. For the next 3 hours I was asked a shit load of questions and treated like a common piece of trash. The bastard slapped me a few times and tried to get me to admit to some crime I did not do at all. He let me go when he realized I was wise to his game. That experience has caused me to totally not trust the Metro police. I got the asshole back the very next week. I puked all over the piggy box when they were on a smoke break.

So there is a fine example of the best and worst of Japanese people. I could give some more examples but I do not want this post to drag on. So at this point I cannot and will not put up with any Japanese bullshit at all. With that said, I still enjoy living in Tokyo. I have a hell of a good time on a regular basis. It is just that the Japanese will not fuck with me without getting a fight on their hands.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fucking Cats In Adachi-Ku!

 I don`t know when it started or how it started but my beloved Adachi-ku has been invaded by cats. For the past several years Adachi-ku Tokyo has been under attack by loud, nasty, hungry, fighting, fuck loving cats! This problem would not be so bad if it was not for the amount of hell this gang of cats are able to produce in just one night. After one night in Aoi you would think that some twisted feline WW3 had started. What do people in Tokyo consider Adachi-ku? Did the Japanese secretly decide to declare Adachi an official dumping ground for all the metro area fucked-up out of control cats?

I have done my best to accept and even befriend our invaders but they are not interested in being friends. These damn cats want to take over I tell you! I can deal with the fighting because sometimes that shit is real funny. What is really driving me up the wall and costing me sleep is the fucking. Cats fuck in the loudest most god awful way possible. It sounds like a gang of demons from hell and ugly Star Trek aliens having a porn quality orgy. Go ahead and let that visual sink into your head for a minute. Now you know what I deal with every night. Cats get pure fucking crazy when they fuck. There is no sense in that shit! By far, cats are the most insane fuckers on this mud ball called earth.

Even though I don`t like these crazy goddamn cats I still have to share the hood with them. So how do I deal with little bastards? I have tried several things to cope. I have tried music, which just distracted my mind even more, and movies which failed to drown out the sound. I got really pissed off one night and threw rocks at the cats. They only left for a few hours and when returned and started fucking again. At this point I am pretty much out of ideas. I am now asking yall what I should do about these no good fuck crazy cats. I need some good suggestions before I go into the street with a bottle of wine and a hammer!        

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Japan`s Troubles With Moving Forward

I was looking around and found an article from TIME on Japan`s slow slide downward. You can read the article here. Anyone who has lived in Japan for a few years should be able to clearly see that this is not a nation which accepts change very well. At times it can appear that it is a nation which lacks the ability to change all together. I try to resist such thinking but it is damn hard when I deal with the ethic majority up close and personal on a daily basis. You know, I have this habit of watching the Japanese pretty close at times.  I try my best to understand what is going on with the ethic majority but they can be a tough bunch to figure out at times. What is certain is that the nation of Japan is in serious trouble on many fronts. It seems that almost every serious problem that could face a highly advanced industrialized nation has befell on Japan.

I don`t think it can be argued that Japan is a nation in serious decline. The aging and declining population is one hell of a problem all by itself. They got a suicide rate that is startling. Japan has the fourth highest suicide rate in the world. The Federal government is in a constant state of either instability or a complete stale mate. Japan has had six prime minsters in four years. On top of these issues is the fact that Japan has a economy that is almost completely stagnant. This nation has so many issues they need to invest in a magazine rack!

Why can`t Japan seem to get it together? They have been in this situation for decades now. Even since the bubble meltdown at the end of the 80`s Japan has seem to have lost it`s mojo. I live and interact with the Japanese on a daily basis and I see a lot of empty pride combined with a kind of collective self loathing. They seem to love themselves and hate themselves at the same time. It is as if they have given up on themselves. When I talk to a lot of them they tell me about a lot of things they want to do but go on to say they don`t have the confidence to actually do it. It is clear that there is a kind of national sadness the Japanese are rolling around in like a pig in shit. Yall every seen a pig roll around in shit? The more a pig rolls around in shit and stinks the more a pig likes it. This seems to be what the Japanese are doing as a whole. The more they stay stuck in this odd national sadness the more they like and accept it as normal.

What can they do to get things back on track?  Well, the aging and decline in population is a bit too far along to fix from inside Japan. It is clear they are gonna need outside help. The solution would seem simple enough. Increase immigration and the number of permanent residents in order to balance thing out a little. What makes that complex is the fact that the ethic majority suffers from extreme xenophobia as a whole. Hell, I have lived in the same neighborhood for years and my neighbors still do not talk to me. If the Japanese do not become more accepting of foreigners and diversify a bit more, the population and work force may very well become unsustainable. 

The suicide thing is very disturbing. It has become so common place that most people are not even phased by it anymore. From my experience when someone throws themselves in front of a train most people don`t even care that a human life has just ended tragically. Most of the people on the train are just pissed that the train is stopped and they are going to be late getting to where ever they are headed. The indifference toward suicide in Japan is something which is not being addressed at all. There are very few outreach programs and people are not encouraged to seek the programs that are available. This problem is more a cultural problem than simply a lack of proper funding of needed outreach programs. The only thing I can say is that they needed to start admitting it is a big problem and talk about it openly.

Overall yall Japan needs a new direction.They need something to fire them up again. So far the government seems to want to spend its time pointing the finger at each other and trying to find ways to make outdated methods work. The people are doing their best to make their way in very uncertain times. The ethnic majority are mostly alright people overall.. They just got some deep rooted problems which have no easy answers. I like living here and am happy to call Japan my home. Maybe things will change for the better in the future. Lord knows the Japanese could use a little inspiration.