a The Transit Lounge: May 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...

Sunday, May 29

The Monday Blues

If you ever worried about the direction your life was taking, spare a thought for this kid...


I bet Dorothy is really proud.

Social Snoozing

As the eternally daft Ted "Theodore" Logan, (portrayed by Keanu Reeves in what was arguably his most convincing performance to date), uttered in Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, "Strange things are afoot at the Circle K."

Since I have never come across Circle K anywhere but here in Japan (remember, I haven't yet travelled to the States), I tend to use this as a metaphor for those times I stumble across the completely unexplainable here, which is usually several times a day.

And last night was no different.

Strange things were definitely afoot at the Circle K when my entourage and I arrived at Oasis around 1am to find a Japanese girl sleeping soundly in the lounge chair opposite the entrance. The music was pumping, the crowd was jumping, the bar was thumping and she was...sleeping. She even emitted a loud snorting type of snore at one point, almost as if to assure us she wasn't just drunkenly dozing, she was in fact headed towards REM at full throttle.

"What?? She was sleeping??" I can hear you saying to yourselves. "And the staff just let her?" you continue.

Yes and Yes.

This isn't an isolated incident I'm frustrated to say. Any club you go to in Japan is guaranteed to have a line of sleeping patrons clogging the entrance/exit. Normally this odd phenonemon doesn't occur until around 3am. So the discovery of this girl at what I can only call the beginning of the night (hell I didn't leave the house until 12.30) was even more irritating than usual.

It grates my nerves for an abundance of reasons, mainly that if you are that flipping tired, especially in the case of Sleeping Snorty last night because it was still so, so early, STAY HOME! Or in the case of the nightclub narcoleptics, GO HOME! Or go sleep in an alley way, there's plenty of 'em - this is Japan for Buddha's sake, no-one is going to mug you (err....says the girl who got....mugged a month ago....but that was a highly abnormal situation).

Don't give me that tired excuse "Oh but the trains aren't running until 5am" or "a taxi will cost me too much." Leave by last train, or bring enough money to cover your ride home. Don't try and justify it to me this way, because you are talking to someone who will happily spare any expense to get home and sleep soundly in her own bed. When I get to that point in the evening/morning when I want to sleep, I couldn't think of anything worse than dropping off on a bar stool with one hand on my cassis tonic and my hair in an ashtray. I just want to get home, and get home the quickest way possible.

I also see this terrible habit as an insult to the DJs playing. It is just plain rude. If you can't keep your eyes open a second longer, at least tuck yourself away somewhere a little less inconspicuous than the entrance, or plant yourself where you won't get in the way of the rest of us who are there to socialise.

In all my travels around the world, I have never come across any other country that tolerates what I have termed Nightclub Narcolepsy. I find it strange that the managers and owners of the clubs here don't comprehend that it looks bad for business, especially to foreigners. One of my first clubbing experiences in Osaka was at Vinyl (RIP) and I distinctly recall not wanting to go in upon spotting the sleeping bodies draped along the long, corridor entrance. It didn't give me a good feeling about paying a cover charge (maybe the music was that bad) and it also lowered the energy levels of the space dramatically. I also became very reluctant to go there at any time in the end.

It is inevitable that I come across these cherry clubbers on a weekly basis. My instant reaction is to kick them awake, round them up and send them on their way. Well it would be if it was my club (Freeza didn't stand for it!). At the very least, I'd ask them to leave once the first morning trains had started to run.

As for Sleeping Snorty last night, I got some prized photos of her catching zzz's, head lolled back, eyes half open and all. And who knew the flash on my camera was so strong as to jolt somebody back into the waking world when held 3 inches from their face?

I Thought I Heard You Call My Name

I just had a lovely chat with DJV, back in Melbourne. Although we communicate by email frequently, it has been a long time since I have heard his voice. I was surprised by how clear he sounded during the phonecall, as though we were not so far away from each other, which both comforted me and made me a little sad. But it cheered me up immensly to realise just by listening to his voice and being reminded of his mannerisms and the other stuff that make him HIM, that he is still HIM and that although there are thousands of kilometres between us physically, there is no distance in our friendship.
I completed this huge task today, something that had been giving me writer's block for nigh on 2 weeks. And I knew DJV would appreciate my total elation at having done it. Yes, he was the one that presented me with this opportunity to begin with, but that is beside the point. I know I could have rung him with anything I had written, read it to him on the phone, and whether he liked the piece or not was not the point. From everything we have shared over course of our somewhat short, yet eventful friendship, I knew he would appreciate and understand the fact that simply having done it was what I was so thrilled about. Whether this pans out the way I want it to or not, I have proven to myself that I do have it in me. And the bonus was that what I wrote was in fact, pretty darn good.
It amazes me. Sometimes words just pour out of me in a smooth and rhythmical kind of way, all connecting, and falling into place without me really having to think. Other times, I can sit there (for almost 2 weeks in this case) and jot down ideas that have the potential to be good, yet I fumble for the words to keep it on the right track. I can have 100 false starts written down in front of me, never sure whether to push on with one of them, or scrap all of them it.
Then last night, I made a pact with myself that I couldn't go out until I had finished it. I don't know if it was the pressure I put on myself or just the fact I had given myself some time NOT to think about it, but from about 8pm to midnight, I wrote solidly, being really happy with what I was putting together.
By midnight the bulk of it was finished, so I decided to let my hairdown, head to Oasis, because I knew I could finish it today. And I did. The first hour was a bit dicey, I got a little bit worried, but then something clicked and I suddenly had a flow, went with it, and was able to say exactly what I wanted to say in the way I wanted to say it. Like I said before, it stuns me how at times the words in front of me seem like a pile of nothing then I just get this brainwave and in an instant, it goes from woe to go.
Anyway back to the original train of thought. I know DJV sees how at odds I can be with myself over this. "At odds" is being used lightly too. To the point I sometimes think it is better off not to try at all, and just ignore it. Even to me this sounds stupid, but unfortunately it is the way it is occasionally, I get discouraged. But fortunately for me, DJV has irritating habit of making sense, that even when I am at my most stubborn I can't deny.
In one way, this is why I completed it. It's okay for me to disappoint myself through my own misguided logic, but if I disappointed DJV, I couldn't ever look him in the eye again. For reasons I am baffled by, he believes in me. So I want to give him one reason to believe in me that I can clearly comprehend.

Monday, May 23

List Number 7

I am currently smiling at home made oolong tea, been drinking the stuff non-stop for a week and already lost a number of kilograms...nevermind that I am twitchy as hell and suffering from the drys something chronic, I am losing weight sleeping. Come to think of it, I am hardly ever hungry now and can't remember when my last full meal was. When I made a comment to Cliff comparing the affects of oolong tea to being similar to that of ecstasy, minus Terrible Tuesday, he asked me exactly how I was making the stuff. I said "Just like you told me, and I'm boiling it for 15 or 20 minutes." Turns out you are supposed to boil it for 1 minute only, and the stuff I've been concocting is what the witch doctors in the Asian hinterlands would be using to make their yaks lose weight. Another few weeks should do it.

Also pretty happy about The Red Rocket, the brand new bike I picked up for an ichiman last week. Picture to follow shortly. The bike is a direct extension of my style, and suited to me to a tee. And I'm able to ride to work now.

There is still cause for me to frown though and the first one goes to the Japanese doctors who treated Troy, after he mangled his left wrist (5 breaks and a dislocation) while he and I were riding our bikes. He flew back to NZ for emergency surgery, upon which the surgeon promptly told him to sue the hospital here that "treated" him and then took photos to show to his medical students as an example of how not to treat an injury of this nature .

I must also extend this feeling of disgust to the stubborn staff member at Popeye's Media Cafe, where I take my weekly tans. If you wanna overcharge me, admit to the mistake but then still insist I pay the extra amount, then threaten to call the cops when I am 58 yen short because no matter how many times I tell you I have no more money on me, you refuse to believe that it won't magically appear, continue to scream at me like a maniac, try to grab my wrists and then try and snatch my bag from me, force me to sign a "promise" that I cannot read and then try and finger print me, well go ahead because we all know who had the last laugh when I came back 2 hours later and dumped out a bag of 1 yen coins all over your counter as you were still trying to clean off the bright red ink marks about the size of my right fist from your front desk...You didn't see that coming did you?? Your co-worker best summed it up when he called you a wanker.

Check out my previous yays n nays.

Sunday, May 22

That Call

By the way. Made the call, got the voicemail as I had hoped. Left a near perfect message in Japanese and was bloody stoked about that in itself. Went out with my mates on Saturday for a steller night. And when we left it was only then I remembered that he hadn't come. And it really didn't matter. The fact I had got the guts up to make the call was a big one for me to begin with....and I got this new motto, another cliche for the books, but to hell with it - I'm not going to die wondering.

Surprise Lessons From A Sunday Party

You know a great game to play with your closest mates during Sunday parties? It's a really happy, lovely way to spend time, and everyone comes out a winner. It's called "Say One Nice Thing About Each Person Here."
We have been doing this on a regular basis now, and have various modifications of it too - such as "Say Two Nice Things", "Why Are You Friends?", "What You First Noticed" and "What Makes You You".
You can't say you can ever get tired of hearing your friends speak highly of you, and it is also a great insight into the characters of your friends - the things they value, the things they look for and what is important to them in a good friend.
It is also a way of finding out new things about yourself and seeing yourself, and your friends, in a different light.
Today was no different, we played our game, we chatted about our strong bonds and what we value in each other. And we also spoke about how we have ourselves have changed since as a result of becoming friends - though it is more than that, especially for those of us not from Japan. We have become each other:s families here.
Upon thinking about it, I came to the realisation that I'm now finally happy with me being me. I accept myself for all my strengths and weaknesses. When I came to Japan I had no confidence (though a whole lotta false confidence) and I completely doubted myself as a person. I thought I had absolutely nothing to offer anyone. I now know that isn't true and I am comfortable being in my own skin. People like me for me. I don't, and I won't, pretend with anyone, and if someone doesn't like me than so be it - you can't please everyone, but you can at least be nice to everyone.
I have my friends to thank for this - it has been a huge learning curve. Sometimes I haven't gone about things in the right way in getting here and may not have always behaved accordingly, but I have taken a lesson from that. It is simple really - I can just be me and I now know I'm not the horrible, useless person I thought I was, I'm actually an alright person, and since my friends are more than alright people, I know they wouldn't waste their time otherwise.
There are other things too I have learned from my the people that have become my great, close friends.
I no longer worry about not having a boyfriend - a boyfriend won't make you happy with you - and I also know that isn't because guys don't like me. I get a lot of attention, and it now comes down to the fact I haven't met anyone who has raised my interest. Besides, I'm more than satisfied by the company I keep in my circle of friends.
Something I suspected all along is that I do have a keen fashion sense - About 2 months in the back of a taxi one mate said something absolutely wonderful to me. She said I have the perfect knack of "putting together an ecclectic collection that wouldn't work on anyone else, that only you can pull off." Accessorising, shoes, hats, hair styles, shocking pink jackets, - whatever. I no longer dress thinking "Will someone think I'm attractive in this?" I totally dress for myself and have fun with it.
Different people value me for different reasons, just like I value each of my friends for different reasons. I'm aware of my shortcomings and do my best to keep them in check, but when that isn't possible I know I don't have to worry, because my friends accept me along with the good and the bad, although they never make me feel anything short of fantastic.

Thursday, May 19

Back to Basics

It's time to go to bed.
It has been one of those weeks, leaving my head the way it is, compeltely fogged up and unable to think more than 5 minutes into the future. Work, work and more work. The last 4 days have been me leaving the house around 8am and checking back in a good 14 hours later. Tomorrow was supposed to be easy, just work in the morning, a private lesson, my japanese lesson, a 4o-minute tan on the sunbed and then another a private, followed by dinner with Mieko...and an early night cause i have to work all day Saturday. Then I get to my afternoon job today, only to have the pressure put on me so i completely cancel everything pre-arranged tomorrow so I can go in there for 7 hours and get paid for only half that time. i'm so....tired. too tired to even be mad.
I just want bed. Cant even have that right now. Guess who drank too much oolong tea today? Yeah caffeine gets me higher than the Fuji summit, and 8 hours later after my last glass, I'm still cleaning. At least my room is totally spotless now.
Too tired to even think about the call tomorrow...I will still make it, but at this stage, I'm actually quite surprised to hear myself say, I don't even really care about the outcome.

Tuesday, May 17

3 Days 'Til C-Day. And Counting.

Okay so we are at about T-65 hours until I press the launch button - on my mobile phone that is to officiate Call Day. Can you believe it, I have actually been spending my train time going over in my head what I will say, mainly because I am going to attempt to say it in Japanese.
The point of the call is to find out one thing really and that is where the man on the end of my phone call will be on Saturday night - and if it isn't Oasis, then I guess it will be one embarrassingly short conversation. I am so relieved my Japanese lesson last Friday was spent studying how to ask what are you doing, where are you going etc. And I also have one more Japanese lesson a couple of hours before T-O hours. Phew.
The weird thing is, I am actually hoping I get his voicemail. Then I don't have to stress about stuffing up my mecha chotto dake nihongo skills. Fingers and toes, fingers and toes.

Sunday, May 15

DIO#8 - The Queen of Hearts

When all other hope has been dashed, get that deck of playing cards (or the Uno cards, whichever is handy) out of the bottom drawer of the kitchen cabinet and consult the hand your dealt to decide the fate of your love life.

Venue - 803, where else would I be on a Sunday night?
Company - Akira, Asami and Cliff - where else would they be on a Sunday night?
Target - That is between me and the 9 of Hearts. I've only mentioned his name in previous DIOs so if you can't figure out, go back and do some reading.
Issue 1 - I'm looking to the Ace of Spades for dating guidance, I think it's self explanatory.
Issue 2- Don't ask the cards if you've got a terminal illness. Or if you're going to get a limb amputated. In fact, stay away from asking health and mortality questions altogether.
This Is What The Cards Foretold:
1. I must call him this week! I had figured his hug around my legs when we said goodbye at 5am this morning and the "Call me okay?" wasn't necessarily sincere.
2, He isn't a playboy
3. I will be married before I am 30. To Robbie Williams.
4. Whether I get a boyfriend or not in Japan has a lot to do with the closest people around me - this is so, so true. Will explain in another post. But really it doesn't matter, within 3 years, I'm gunna be Mrs. Rock DJ!
This Is What The Cards Didn't Foretell:
1. My fame and fortune but to be honest, I didn't ask about that. But I don't need to, it will be part and parcel of being Robbie's missus.
2. Which year I will win the Nobel Literary Prize. The cards consistently came up inconclusive - Maybe that means I'm going to win it on multiple occasions.
Words of Wisdom - "Yes....No....Yes....Yes...No...It's in your hands...." and so on.
Possibility of a Date - Who cares, I'm marrying Robbie!
Plan of Attack - If the cards say it will be, it will be. I don't have to do anything!
Mental Note - Stop asking questions I already know the answer too.

Thursday, May 12

Proof By Request

My Mum posted a comment on my current List (Number 6). She asked if I had any before and after shots, I can only assume, to act as evidence in backing my claims to having glorious skin.
Now dear Mother, I thought you of all people would appreciate the hardwork I have put into having skin so clean and clear (that's sounding vaugley familiar, like some sort of commercial for some second rate skin care product....). You know what I looked like this time 2 years ago, and I appreciate you not rehashing the past and throwing it back in my face (unless it has an SPF factor in it).
As if you need reminding of what I once was. In case you forgot, here's that pic you and Dad took of me walking through Tullamarine Airport, when I first left for Japan.

Totally unecessary to post it on trekearth.com under Old Woman - I got the point yo... Posted by Hello

Look At The Skin, Cause I Ain't Talking

This was taken a few weeks ago at Absinthe. I think this photo not only demonstrates the power of the products I have blessed with blogtime on The Transit Lounge below, it also shows how alcohol can also add an exceptional glow to the skin. Just make sure any photos are taken before your nose goes red, you lose consciousness and you end up in the back of an ambulance.
That way no-one will have any hard evidence you ever look anything less than fabulous.

Who needs airbrushing when you got Q10? Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 11

List Number 6

Now that I've got some time to think about it, it's all about skin care. This week I'm giving 1 1/2 thumbs up to:

  • My AHA "mild" face eating, I mean chemical peeling soap. Leave it on for a few minutes, and I swear your faces tingles, and burns somewhat.
  • Q10 THE secret, THE fountain of youth. My secret is out but remember - I've got 2 years on you all.
  • And introducing Royal Jelly. Made by the Queen Bee for the queen bees.

Beauty is pain - and I dare you to find anything on my face indicating my age.

So in consideration of the above, I'm giving the knuckle to:

  • Using the solarium on my face, happy to let my body fry, but always turn the face exposure off.
  • Anything with caffeine, whether it is coffee, coke or chocolate. It totally dries my skin out. Been about 6 weeks since I have had any of this in any large quantity and it shows.
  • Smoking, so thank me I've decided to give the lung pinchers the miss. No point in aging unecessarily.

In case you haven't figured it out, I am one the of the vainest people I know. But if I don't worry about how I look, who else will?

Check out my previous yays n nays.

Monday, May 9

That Was Then. This Is Now.

Hmm, time for reflection. It has been just over 12 months since I started The Transit Lounge. There were a myriad of matters behind the initial post, and reasons why I created this blogsite, and I've become curious as to whether I have resolved any of them, and how I may have changed during this time.
Over the last few days, I have been asking myself questions relating to a variety of issues, mainly to do with how I now regard myself in terms of such things as my physical and mental health, overall happiness, my feelings towards myself, the direction (or lack thereof?) my life is taking and the way in which I conduct myself towards other people and towards achieving my goals compared with this time last year. Yup, those lighthearted soul searching kind of questions that can make or break you depending on your state of mind at that particular moment.
I have been flicking through the blog, re-reading almost every post. I have often surprised myself - in some cases I forgot I had even written certain things, in other cases I laughed out loud, pleased that the amusement was shared "with" the me-at-the-time who had written the post, and not "at" her. Sometimes I was quite shocked by the emotion I had invested into a few of the posts - in part because I can't remember feeling so passionate about particular events, something I think demonstrates "moving on", and also because I was surprised I could put to paper and accurately convey the strength of my feelings for whatever it was. I mean I always re-read my posts right after I have written them but...
Nothing can compete with the spin that time puts on...anything...on everything.
I am also quite stunned by my often arrogant approach to things - although so not surprised. I can definitely tell when I was drunk and on the blog. You can be guaranteed that is when Liz The Egotistical Homosapien strikes.
Well I'm going dissect this a little more and continue with the introspective over the next few days, but for now let's just agree that people and situations have unquestionably changed - and I'm so satisfied to report it is for the better.
The one thing I now know, speaking with the certainty of hindsight as backup, it will never be that bad again. I know I will never allow it.

Sunday, May 8

Surf's Up

Checking out the waves at Costco... Posted by Hello

DIO#7 - Phrases of Seduction

Now I understand perfectly why all those men are falling over themselves to be my boyfriend. Last night, for the first time in a long time, I was actually able to hear my responses to some really, lovely comments...why am I not surprised I am in Singlesville at the moment, and why does it really not bother me?
Turkish guy in bad red top: "You have such a lovely smile, you know that?"
Me: "You wanna tell me something I don't know?" (I flashed him a totally sincere smile as I said that by the way).
Japanese dude with cute smile: "Where are you from?"
Me: "Japan - where do you think?"
Japanese Dude: "You speak Japanese??"
Me: "I don't know, is that what they speak here?" In the end, we had quite a funny conversation, where I convinced him I was in fact born and raised in Osaka. I think he almost thought he was Australian at one point.
Hot dude with the bad, bad "3-D" shirt: "I love your pigtails. You look so cute."
Me: "I know, why else do you think I've got my hair like this?"
Just about every Japanese girl who looked at me last night: "Kawaii! Kawaii!" (cute! cute!)
Me: "I know, I know, I did look in a mirror!" or variations of this.
Spanish Dude: "I dig the visor. You look great."
Me: "You don't need to tell me twice."
Porno Dude @ Cinqecento: "Now I've got it - you dressed as Punky Brewster tonight, and somehow you've made it look good."
Me: "I've waited all night for someone to tell me that. I can go home now, thanks!"
I was in an extremely sarcastic, non-party mood last night. Totally unlike me. Must have been because Cliff had my alcohol intake under strict supervision. Everyone in the joint seemed to know what had occurred last weekend and was keeping an eye on me. By 2am, I was bored outta my brain (plus the highlight of my night - yukinari, *sigh* I got to talk to him, when he noticed my pigtails, I had the audacity to blush - had already left, almost got up the courage to tell him just what I think, if only DJ Greathair hadn't been in the way!!) and hightailed it home.

Friday, May 6

Dizzy Lizzie

Sorry about the lack of posting this week - I've been a little bit unwell. Whether this a consequence of last weekend (not 100% sure if my drink was spiked or if it really was too much alcohol, but when I'm able to I will fill you in on what happened) I don't know but I've woken up dizzy and sick again today, too difficult to concentrate especially on the computer screen! I have tried to start a few posts this week, hopefully I will start feeling better again over the weekend and can finish 'em and put them up for you to read! Take care, and wherever you go this weekend, keep an eye on your drinks!! Miss Riz xo

Sunday, May 1

I did what???

hmm - ambulance officers in Japan are really nice. And fast too. It takes some talking though to convince them you don`t need them. Especially when you can`t talk. I let my spewing take care of that - for 2 hours non-stop.

Thank god too, I don`t think I could have afforded the ride, especially since someone took advantage of a comatose girl and stole my bag.

Props to the bike club - great party.