a The Transit Lounge: January 2005

Back in the Day: I had a quarter life crisis, headed to Osaka, Japan for the unknown–only to discover that a passport plane ride are not necessarily a ticket to escape. Some Years Later: Settled back in Oz, the man of my dreams ended up in Tokyo for work–which is how a passport and plane ride showed me home is where the heart is. And Now: Well as luck would have it, we are about to embark on Japan Mark 3, with a baby in tow and another on the way...

Monday, January 31

Continuation - 2 Guys, A Girl and A Ramen Place

Get the lowdown on what's happening in Apartment 803...

Ep 1 - 803 Gets Free Cable

When zany neighbours E-Diddy and Stellar pass on a cable descrambler blackbox that fell off the back of a ramen van, you can guarantee Motown and T-Money are hanging out for the two 24-hour porn channels. Joy and jubilation quickly turns to frustration and disappointment when Point 5 is proven right and that the illegal cable porn on their screens has still had to abide by the strict rules and regulations governing pornography in Japan, pixelating all the good bits.

Harmony is restored when the roomies come to the joint conclusion that free porn is always good porn.

Ep 2 - 803 Gets A Lesson in Morals Part 1

When Motown suspects his girlfriend "The Flower" is not 19, but in fact 16 years of age, T-Money suggests a cunning plan involving him playing a wicked guitar riff to her distract her, so that Motown can have the chance to check her purse ID.

As Motown is not comfortable with this, Point 5 decides to play detective. When she sadly informs Motown upon considering all information, particularly the fact that his Japanese gal is still in high school and likes to play dodgeball with her friends at recess, it looks like "You underage biatch!" is the going to be "The Flower's" new English phrase of the day. When she refuses to show the 803 doorman her ID, T-Money's idea appears to be the only way of uncovering the truth.

Now Motown must come face to face with not only his moral privacy dilemma with but also his urge to shout to the world "Go you good thing - I could be shagging a 16 year old!".

Ep 3 - 803 Gets A Lesson in Morals Part 2

803 are still waiting to see how this pans out.

Ep 4 - 803 Gets A Scare

With Point 5 bemoaning the lack of excitement in her life, Motown decides to bring the weekend back to 803 . All he tells his beloved flatmates is to be home by 6pm on the coming Saturday and to expect a night long of the unexpected.The unexpected certainly comes when on the Eve of Motown's big surprise, he and Point 5 arrive home together to a nasty discovery - the TV remote control dead by an apparent suicide.

With their only clue - the slightly ajar balcony door - 803 CSI narrow the suspects of this macarbe prank down to Spiderman or their zany neighbours, E-Diddy and Stellar. Not wanting to make false accusations, a bold strategy is devised which sees 803 go next door and ask their wacky friends "Did you do it?".

With the pressure to catch a prankster on, can Point 5 and T-Money convince a deflated Motown he should still carry on with his original plan or will the weekend be lost forever?

Ep 5 - 803 Gets A Date

Point 5 is working her weekend bar job at The Fridge when she learns that DJ Greathair, her secret crush, will be playing that night. When Mo-"I'm too good to be djing here"-town arrives fresh from playing a dud gig down the road, she decides to get the lowdown and with Motown's words of encouragement ("Yeah he likes girls and all girls like him") decides to contemplate thinking about asking DJ Greathair to go for a drink.Fuelled by alcohol-induced confidence, Point 5 makes an 11th hour dash at closing time towards DJ Greathair.

Will Point 5 get her drink, or will the 3 tequilas she had in the last 10 minutes reappear all over DJ Greathair's record bag?

Meanwhile back at 803, T-Money gets a visit from Trip and has to decide if listening to her headcase theories and nonsensical ramblings are really worth putting up with for a shag.

Stay tuned for the following episodes...

803 Gets A Ghost
803 Gets High
803 Gets Busy In A Burger King Bathroom
803 Gets A Nickname
803 Gets An Awakening

Life and Death

As per my previous post, my fabulous day was followed by a fabulous night and a fabulous next day and a fabulous next night until I got home to find an email from my dad explaining that an old family friend, Tom, had died.

The news was expected - My parents had informed me over the previous week as to the state of Tom's health and again I spoke to mum on Friday night and she had said it would most likely be in the next 48 hours. I even wrote him a goodbye email last week - which was so hard to do, when you know someone is going to die, that this is it, this is our last communication. So I was sure I would hear it sometime over this weekend but I wasn't expected for what I am feeling now- total hopelessness.

I had a great Saturday night - I actually got up the nerve (or maybe it was all of the tequila shots Hiko had given me) to ask DJ Greathair out for a drink, and he said yes. Kinda happy about that one although I do wonder about his tresses - the thought that any guy would spend longer than me in the bathroom (especially on his hair) is a li'l off putting, but I guess that's the way it would be in any relationship with a Japanese guy.

I spent an insightful day with Mieko, my great mate, catching up and having laughs as only she and I do. This was followed by a wonderful nabe dinner that Ange and Makoto prepared at Ange's house for a small gathering of friends, where I happened to meet (almost) the man of my absolute dreams.

This is the reason I made it home so late to get this sad news via my email, because this person and I had been talking non stop for the entire evening. I had even talked about Tom and how I am worried about how my grandmother will cope after his inevitable (in that it would be soon) death. I knew it was going to happen, I just didn't realise it already had, or that it even in some way, it still would.

Such a clash of emotions. It doesn't seem possible.

I was literally singing and skipping on my 5-minute journey home and now all I can think is I hope Tom knew he wasn't alone, that we were essentially his family in Australia, that for all his funny ways and mannerisms that we never understood, we loved him and we accepted him - and for me, it was so special that he had made my oma happy after opa died. It is so bizarre - this guy and I have been discussing family all night and how much more important your family becomes when you are so far away from them.

I am not even sure what I am trying to say. Maybe this post is a way of me trying to sort through the conflicting thoughts in my head. I mean picture this. I am sitting in my PJs on my bed with my laptop. I have my email open and I also have The Sound of Music Playing on my computer DVD player. I keep flicking between the screens as quickly as I am flicking through this myriad of emotions.

You dont understand - I dont understand. How can I explain it? Well if it doesn't make sense now I am sure it will over the next few days. I know my mum will understand this when she reads it - but Mum he loves Calamity Jane as much as I do (and he isn't gay). And his favourite part of Breakfast At Tiffany's is the same part as mine - when they kiss in the pouring rain with the cat in between them. And get this - he is coming over this week to watch The Student Prince of all movies. And his family have their own version of our Paradise Beach an hour or so out of Sydney.

So, as you can see (well as my mum would understand it), I am in absolute shock that someone else, let alone a hetero guy, shares the same stupid, naive notions about romance as me.

And then I checked my email and I am just so so so so sorry and sad. Right now all I hope is Tom understood what I wrote in my email. I feel so guilty that perhaps I haven't seen him so much in recent times and when I try now, I can't even think when the last time I saw him was which makes me feel like an awful person. And I think why didn't I write more emails when I had the chance?

You know Tom and I had these fantastic conversations when I was growing up - usually in my parents backyard or my oma's backyard. And at Christmas he would fill up these unusual containers with coins and give one each to my brother, sister and me. And the way he would address us in birthday or Christmas cards, or emails, always used to make me laugh and I always made a point of returning the joke.

But as I got older these discussions became shorter and less frequent - I guess I thought I had better things to do. Yet it didnt mean they were any less important to me, or that he was. I only hope he knew this. I tried to convey my feelings in that email. I can only hope he understood.

I worry about Oma now - I think I would like to believe that Tom is now with Opa and that they will be watching over her together while making up for lost time.

Saturday, January 29

Absolutely Fabulous

Today was fabulous.

From the moment I opened my eyes this morning until now, every single waking minute has been fabulous. I cant' explain why today has been so special of all days (maybe because I have been sick all week and I woke up feeling fabulous for the first time in what feels like ages?)

Watching Sex & The City DVDs until it was time to get up - fabulous.
Looking outside and being amazed by the sunny, warm weather - fabulous.
Being able to leave my heavy jacket at home - fabulous.
The outfit I threw on, including the new top I picked up last night for a steal - fabulous.
The walk from home to town with a bounce in my stride - fabulous.
Feeling fab, looking fab and getting the fab smiles to back it up - fabulous.
Partial payday - fabulous.
The fact I had only 2 lessons today - fabulous.
The classes & students themselves - fabulous.
The beautiful shoes I bought to match the green handbag I bought on sale last week - fabulous.

Feeling...Fabulous Posted by Hello

The other shoes I purchased because they were there, oh and on sale - fabulous.
Meeting my 2 favourite people, my flatmates, for ramen and a debrief - fabulous.
Upon sharing my fabulous fabulous with my flatmates, hearing they too have similar sentiments about today - fabulous.

I have arrived home with a big grin on my face, and an attitude that issues I have been concerned with will work themselves out. Like I said, I am not sure why today of all days has been so....well....fabulous, but it was just what I needed.

And with it still being only 8pm, the night is just beginning - fabulous.

Wednesday, January 26

2 Guys, A Girl and A Ramen Place

“Three 20-somethings whose lives together involves a lot of spontaneous fun and unexpected adventures that take them on journeys outside the square and beyond. Throughout the high times, as well as the low, they have discovered how deeply their friendship flows between them. While everyone else may come and go, they have always got each other.”

Sound like some cheesy American sitcom? You could be mistaken for thinking so. Only this show involves a Canadian, a Kiwi and an Aussie, embarking on life together, set against the hustle and bustle of Osaka, Japan. And the cuisine of choice is ramen – gyoza ramen to be exact. Not a slice of pizza in sight.

The cast includes Motown the Canadian – English teacher by day (well some days) and top breaks dj by night, armed with a Plan B that involves opening a bar on an island in the Carribbean; A NZ’er nicknamed T-Money, whose full time job consists of a total of 18 hours a week – which leaves him plenty of time for his first love, playing fat heavy metal riffs on his guitar while dreaming of fame fortune; and Point 5, a wannabe writer from Oz who lives by 2 rules – believe in love and always judge a man by the shoes he wears.

Together they not only share an apartment in The ‘Cho, but a love for seeking out the more pear-shaped escapades in life, as well as Kath and Kim, vintage (more to the point, simply outdated) clothing, bad Miami-Vice style sunglasses, and of course ramen.

Throw their zany neighbours in the mix, and no day is ever short of excitement. With E-Diddy, the well dressed, ex-hip hop dance teacher hailing from San Francisco shacked up with Stellar, the Kiwi hippy stoner with penchant for mixing dolphin calls to soft tribal music on one side, and the crazy old japanese lady and her ever-noisy little dog with "Little Man Syndrome" on the other, the whack times just keep on rolling in.

The fact their total combined working hours per week hovers around 60, leaves a lot of time for the high jinx and tomfoolery that seems to be waiting at every street corner takoyaki stand. Whether it’s Motown waking up in a card, board box next to a homeless man at a Kobe railway station after a night of hard revelry at an all-you-can-drink bondage party, T-Money being chased through the streets of Namba by cops on Hendrix, his trusty and faithful BMX, for doing a drive by pick up at the Namba McDonalds, or Point 5 being mobbed by locals constantly confusing her for a foreign actress she has never even heard of, you can bet this household is a zone of 24-hour non-stop action.

Forget 90210 – the hottest postcode around is definitely 5560014. Nothing even remotely American about this. Or cheesy. Just 3 good mates, and lots of noodles. Oh yeah and this isn’t made for TV – just real everyday life. And it happens to be my life. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, January 11

New Year Resolutions: What We Really Mean

1. Get Fit/Lose Weight
You promise to eat better, exercise, not drink so much and not party so hard - once the festive/holiday/new year season is over. No point in not enjoying yourself for one last hurrah...this really will be the last time. Won't it??

2. Quit Smoking - After January 1 of course
Again another resolution you intend to start, but probably won't, once your festive/holiday/new year season is officially over sometime near the end of Summer. How can you seriously be expected to handle any ill-effects as a result of corsehard partying without your ciggies? Especially now that you plan to eat better and exercise - smoking is almost a reward now.

3. Be a Nicer Person
You promise you will put others first, won't fly off the handle or jump to conclusions so quickly, listen to what other people have to say and not gossip...unless that person really deserves it. Then it is no holds barred (making up for all those other people you were so nice to).

4. Save Money
A promise you and all your mates make once you realise that the amount of money you shelled out over the entire Christmas/New Year period could have made for a deposit on your first house - and that's just what you spent on yourself.

5. Be True To Yourself
You think about your biggest dreams, your greatest ambitions, and how to make them a reality. Until one Terrible Tuesday or Wasted Wednesday you realise you can never do it, it's all too hard, and you'd probably fail anyway. All in all, there's no point trying.