a The Transit Lounge: July 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, July 31

Buy The Bucket

Forget cheap as chips, the cost of holidaying in Thailand is even buckets below that. Following is a prioritised breakdown by the bucketload of my current expenses.
1. Drinking bucket loads of grog out of buckets for a buck-et.
2. Travelling 5 hours by bus and the boat for the same price as a bucket.
3. Accommodation that will set you back only 2 buckets per night.
4. Shopping up a storm and spending only 5 buckets worth of your precious bucket money.
5. Eating awesome Thai cuisine for around half a bucket.
As far as I am concerned, buckets are the way of the future - at least for my next 3 weeks.

Saturday, July 30

One More Thing

10. Idol Worship
Keep Buddha in the temple, shrine or on your mantelpiece, well anywhere EXCEPT your wardrobe.
And I'm about done with that now.
Ko Samet is great, drinks are strong, beach is lovely, everything is cheap and people are great.

Friday, July 29

On The Runway...

A few things I forgot to add.

6. Plumber's Cleavage
Not good whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever your sex. A no-no that used to solely belong in the male arena, this fashion fugly has slowly made it's wait into the female wardrobe thanks to Posh Spice and Britney Spears creating the illusion that ALL women can wear low/barely there waisted hipsters....bumsters....whatever, just pull 'em up Kao San Road!!

7. Braids/Cornrows
I thought this disaser was confined to Bali only. Wrong. In oh so many ways.

(We will never remember a time when I, as a young, naive 17 year old accompanied by parent's on a trip to Bali and did infact inflict this upon myself. Worse still I kept it in for 2 weeks afterwards and wore it to school. Oh the shame, but I'm pleading young stupidity. And there is no photographic evidence. Upon coming to my senses, I destroyed it.)

8. White Out
Unless you are Nicole Kidman (and even then, I still have my doubts), you should only wear an all-white ensemble if you have the tan to carry it. That cancels out all Brits immediately.

9. Flower Power
"Are you going to San-Fran-Cisco,
Be sure to wear some flowers...um...err....everywhere."
Alpha-male just strutted past me, baring his chest, talking a bit too loudly, hi-5ing his mate on the flipside - in general emphasising his kewlness with his flowered "let's-go-raving-to-New-Order-I've-already-got-the-glo-stix" hat and matching flowered boardies. Oh so Billabong, oh so Kelly Slater, oh so 10 years ago.

I guess this post is a work in progress, practically writes itself.

Bangkok Fashion Week

Just because you are on holiday, doesn't mean your fashion sense needs to be! Following is a list of observations I have made during the course of the afternoon, on fashions and attire that one can only hope is a result of what I have termed "Bangkok Fever". Just because it's hot out, doesn't mean it's hot on...
1. Fisherman Pants
Was over them the second I saw them in their over abundance for sale back home in the Vic Market (and also when I saw the price) over 2 years ago. They are so aptly named because that's the only lot who can get away with wearing them - fishermen. Not skinny, not fat, not anybody can wear them and make them look good.
2. Tie Dye
When was this ever chic? Whoever coined the concept has a lot of explaining to do.
3. Wife Beaters
Or the plain blue singlet tops that lads like to get around in, for those of you not Australian. Now along with the nickname, there are 2 good reasons not to wear them.
3. Red Bull...Anything
The only time Red Bull is okay in any situation is when it is mixed with vodka - not fabric.
4. Tops With Crazy, Unrecognisable Symbols - Kewl!
Don't be fooled, it's not that unrecognisable - it 's Japanese katakana for what can only be described as an "old lady's" name that you're wearing so defiantly around the streets.
5. The Chick Next To Me
Green and white-striped skirt, bright aqua stretch t-shirt, with a big red bandana tied around her head. And really overweight. Need I say more??
Can only hope these people do not plan on wearing such goods once they are out of the country but from what I have seen during my travels over the years, this isn't the case.
I will hopefully post some photos when I get back to Japan to support these fashion faux paus.

Totally Thailand

This place is f%^ken awesome... and I haven't made it out of Kao Sahn Road yet. I'm leaving tomorrow to hit the beach for a week and then coming back to meet Akira, Kaori and a student of mine, Aki. I've already had an hour long Thai massage and then a foot massage and now I am contemplating a nap (my asthma is not very good so I have to take it eaaaaasy). Later on I will do some shopping - I got here and decided there were a billion things I must buy. I had the best green curry for dinner last night and then this Irish guy Keith joined me at my table and gave me the low down of what is going on around here. I had to bail early though cause I was wrecked from my flight (this huge fat man sat on me the entire way, on top of having to sit through Miss Congeniality 2....oh so bad). I've already done a heap of writing, some for this blogsite. I find I am enjoying sitting at a cafe somewhere and watching the hoardes of people go by with my notebook. Stay tuned for "A Backpacker's Guide To Looking Good." My theory is that just cause you are lugging round a backpack, doesn't mean your fashion sense should fall by the wayside (which some people around here obviously think that's ok). This is a must read for everybody already here and for those of thinking of coming to Bangkok...ahhhhh, im gonna go shopping.

Tuesday, July 26

Korea - 1st Impressions

Space. And greenery, mountains and wide, wide water ways.
Everybody seems to speak a little English at least.
The airport has English material!
People are more confrontational - take the 2 fist fights I saw on the subway yesterday.
Bridges that actually have fast flowing rivers underneath them.
Town planning
Smoggy - enough to give me asthma
A real tropical feel, with so many rain forests. Namhamsanseong reminded me of Far North Queensland.
Impatient drivers.
No mama charlies, in fact no bicycles at all really.
Everything seems to cater for not only the locals, but for tourists as well with signposting often in Korean, English and Japanese.
The Korean language is nothing like Japanese, apart from when talking about time.
I keep speaking Japanese to no response...
Lush vegetation.
Tall men - and great looking too.
I guess the above is more in comparison with what i am used to in Japan.

Cool Corea

How is it that I have been here for 3 days and haven't even been into Seoul yet, with no prospects of doing so before I leave on Thursday?
1. Cat allergy - majorly allergic to Ryan's beautiful kitty, which has seen me looking like and feeling like I have gone 2 rounds with Mike Tyson. The medicine I am taking makes me even drowsier.
2. Met these Korean dudes last night who were eating in one of the restaurants underneath the building I am staying in, so my plans for today got totally bypassed when I was on my way out and one of them was eating lunch. He waved me over and then insisted I eat with him and his family and then took me on a day of sightseeing. We went to this one beautiful little shrine where we drank this awesome tea - cleared my allergies up in seconds, and then he took me onto Namhansanseong, one of the mountains surrounding Seoul. There was a river running down the mountain where hundreds of people of all ages were swimming. We started wading in the river, but then the rain came so we hightailed it back to the car park and ate this yum yum yummy Korean dessert that looked as though it was a mix of ice, azuki and whatever else.
3. Had plans to meet Ryan tonight to see him sing in Itaewon - Seoul's answer to Roppongi - but again didn't make it as my new friend decided to take me to dinner and fishing!! I couldn't believe it - it was so much fun until he go the fish hook imbedded in his thumb which meant an hour or 2 at the hospital (meaning there was now no way we were gonna make it to Itaewon). The hook was imbedded so deep they had to slice his whole thumb open down and across to get it out. Hideous!!
3. And my plans for tomorrow have gone by the wayside as my new friend is taking me sightseeing again and then having a party tomorrow night.
Ah well - it just means I will have to come back to Korea - well to Seoul that is. At least I have certainly got an insight into this area that no guidebook would have given me.

Saturday, July 23

Time To Get Excited

With about 16 hours until I leave for Korea and Thailand, I have finally had 5 minutes to myself to get excited!! Yay team.
Taking Erik's advice to pack nothing and buy it all for nothing over there, my backpack is...yeah choc-a-block actually. I have managed to cull the shoes from 6 to 2, and after Erik said high heels would just get stuck in the sand, I ditched my 3 pairs of those too. Can't blame a girl for trying really.
I think most of Korea will be spent at an internet cafe - haven't managed to finish up the interview write up, or another restaurant write up I had to do and I must have them done by August 1. Ugh, that's my bad time management for you. Anyways, I will be posting throughout my trip. I can't wait. I have no plans other than to try and meet Erika when she gets there and to meet Aki, one my students in Bangkok around August 5. All I know is I want to spend about one week on a beach somewhere doing sweet F.A.
Oh and I plan to shop up a storm in Korea.
Yay yay yay yay - I think I got everything...yay yay yay yay.

Thursday, July 21

Transit Porn

Today is definitely one of those days I have had way too much time on my hands. Actually, not really, it is just that I am ignoring what I should be doing (writing up my interview with Ko Kimura) by undertaking other semi/half-semi/pretend productive tasks on my laptop.
Yup, I think procrastinating just about covers it.
Anyhoo, onto the good stuff: Transit Porn. In my far-reaching travels through the vast jungle of the Internet this afternoon, I discovered that an old post is in fact linked on a porno website aptly titled Psycho Girlfriends. The site's XXXX description reads as follows (cover your eyes kiddies):
"Our Top Psycho Girlfriends Resource. Cheating Slut Wives and Girlfriends! Real amateur cheating slut wives, girlfriends, mothers and daughters, wife swaps, swapping, orgies, amature milf sluts, wife lovers, mother fuckers, mothers and daughters sucking dick cock gang bangs, real wives and girlfriends naked, nude pictures TGP, free galleries, submissions, trades, videos, movies."
Gawk at your own risk.
I have this sense of pride, and accomplishment, I'm sitting here thrilled that the general public are picking up on my site, and let's face it, porn's a huge industry!
I know the boys will be really proud of me.

Flat Splat

Feeling oh so flat now. *sigh*.

I hate these goodbyes because I don't know when I will next see any of my family. Probably Christmas. This will be my longest stint away from home, one whole year. It doesn't bother some people so much, but I do get homesick. *sigh*
Everytime a family member visits me I go through a whole range of emotions. And then when they leave I get quite an attack of the guilts about how I should have been nicer, more patient, more interested, more caring. And then I think how my mum used to call me "Prickly Pear" and I understand why. *sigh*
It's tres bizarre because I get so excited about them coming to visit me and I have all these plans and expectations. I really do look forward to seeing them. But it never seems to pan out the way I had imagined it would, and I often make that person feel like they should leave early, even if I don't want them to. *sigh*
And this hangover is not helping at all. *sigh* Damn African Juice. *sigh*.

List Number 10

Oh, it has been an age since I have done a new list, so finally here it is.

The glory has got to be handed to Ginza in Tokyo. Can't honestly tell you how much I love strolling through this part of Tokyo, and I say strolling because that is all you can do through Ginza, especially at night. It is so the very image we all have of Japan - the main intersection plastered with giant neon billboards and advertising looming over the people on the streets. Yet somehow this is offset with a European atmosphere, brought about by the wide streets, grand architecture and air of sophistication surrounding the people and the shops.

And shame shame shame (but I'm no Hinch) should be plaguing the remaining members of INXS. In the past I would never have associated such words as tacky, cheesy, and embarrasingly sad with a band who had rolled out albums like Listen Like Thieves and Kick. But isn't putting out a search for a new lead singer via a reality tv show produced by the same guy who thought of the whole Survivor concept just a little beyond trashy? And kind of kicking dirt in the memory of Michael Hutchence by implying they can just grab any upstart with attitude to pick up where he left off? (actually probably not too hard, seeing as he was elegantly wasted (no pun intended) by his own admission for the majority of his last years). Can't they just accept that in the minds of most people, Michael Hutchence was INXS?? Grow old gracefully I say.

Check out my previous yays and nays.

A New Ambition

This came to me a few hours earlier...I don't know if it has been said before, but it just floated through my mind and I thought it too good to be true...
"Don't die having wondered...die having wandered."
I surprise even myself at times.

Tuesday, July 19

Disney Demons

We just spent a day at Awaji. Nice day - As nice as a beach near Osaka gets anyway, just the usual rusty cans, metres of rags, nets and other unidentifiable crap lolling back and forth with the waves, waiting to cause you harm and havoc. I've gotta make it down to Shirahama or some other beach one day. Oh well, I'll be checking out the shopping in Korea and the beaches in Thailand before that happens. I'm off on Sunday for a month of r'n'r and whatever else comes my way.
I'm so tooooiiiiii-aahhhhd, as Alex my 2 year nephew say.
Where's my alien?

Monday, July 11

Now It's 5am

yep still up. still on the computer. tried to sleep but keep thinking LP and I dozed for a bit only to have a quick dream about writing LP and waking up again Went out to talk to Cliff, he was still up watching some plane crash show on Discovery. I promptly fell asleep in front of the TV only to wake up again go back to bed and then i really woke up properly. DAMN IT. I have scrapped everything I have written because I reread (and reread and reread u get da picture) the guidelines for this project and I decided what I had written to date really lacked flair and any of my individual style. It fully did.
So in the madness of my insomnia, i came up with a brilliant idea. Get my old travel diary that I kept when I first got to Japan.
I STRUCK GOLD in there I tells ya. so im gunna use it. If I wake up in time tomorrow to actually reword it a little and put it all in...................Christ, I'm so crap at this at the moment. But I did come up with a funny rhyme about Minami (the area I'm writing on).
Minami minami minami
dont get hit by tsunami
at the moment i hate you
just let me write and do what i do
oh minami minami minami!
Oh i would pray for a miracle but im too tired. Im leaving that to someone else. Im so worried Akira's stupid card prediction that i wont get the job is coming true. I HATE THOSE CARDS.
Okay go get something to eat, get to bed, perhaps wake up around 3 or 4. Cancel all private lessons. No can do. Visit the hotel I still need to. Get the prices I need to and do my map....all after i have done the writing of course. Then Tuesday fill in the gaps and email/post off.
minami minami minami
u will be the death of me.

Last Minute Sunday Night Freak Out

Ok...so I'm freaking out. It seems I can write anything I want to at the moment EXCEPT my Lonely Planet project which is due in 2 days. And I have a mammoth load still to do of it but I'm in that mood that I figure the longer I stay up I can kinda forget about it or something weird and illogical like that. So yeah now it is 1am Monday morning. DOH!
I feel guilty too cause my posts on here have been a tad shallow of late - my easy way of still posting something without having to really think about what I am writing. I feel bad when I don't post on here, and when I know I am filling space with dodgy photos and recapping my escapades. Barely hard hitting and thought provoking journalism.
I think I have given the impression to everybody around me of late that my life is perfect right now. And it is. It so really is - it is unbelievable. I can't remember when I have felt so good about everything and so sure of it. But I have realised that could all be taken away in 48 little hours. I feel like I am about to fall off the top of Everest. I also feel this stupid, kind of threatening pressure from something that I really shouldn't at all. Troy and Cliff are about to get their business going together, which is absolutely fantastic (this has been Troy's dream for Japan) and the other day Troy said to me "Wow, we're all about to start our dream jobs." (although techincally I am sure Cliff's dream job is in music making somewhere, and will most definitely be someday) and I agreed cause I had been thinking it too.
I feel pressure from the fact that their business will with certainty be a roaring success, without going into any detail about it because I can't really until they have got legal things out of the way, and there is every chance that my opportunity will pass me by. And Troy so strongly believes in me to get this job, which makes me feel even more sadder because if I don't get it, it is not that I will be so crushed, it is just that selfishly I will feel like a complete failure with them getting their business off the ground and me...well...um teaching English. Or hostessing, which is more likely due to visa issues.
And when it comes down to it, I feel like I'm being too self-centred worrying about this when I know one of my best friends back home is going through something a lot worse than me wishing for this job. I feel like I have been a little too much me, me, me of late, and I also feel helpless I can't offer her a solution, or even be with her. Earlier tonight, I read a post she had written on her blogsite and it really upset me to know how low she is feeling, when she really doesn't deserve to feel like it at all. I just hope she can somehow believe me when I say it will get better. Although for different reasons, I understand what she is going through and I understand about pretending. I think I even wrote about it on one of my first posts on here last year.
So it is now Monday morning and this is what I'm thinking about. And with every minute that goes by, Tuesday gets just a little closer...
So I have a number of options right now:
1. Go to bed now, sleep as long as I need to tomorrow then get up and stay up all night tomorrow night if necessary and finish this LP project.
2. Start working on my LP stuff now, go as long as I can, then go to bed, and then....see 1 above.
3. Keep surfing the Net and researching Mr. DJ Kimura stuff and fool myself into thinking I am doing something productive. Just be content knowing I will get LP done.
4. Keep on the blog and keep telling myself this is what I really need to be concentrating on now.
5. Go back to googling my name and this site name and see what comes up. Always fun and guaranteed to make me feel good.
Decisions, decisions. I think this calls for a Chu-hi.

Sunday, July 10

Topping Up On Fuel

This is gunna be a long, rambling, random kinda post. So I am breaking it up over 2 posts. As well as a series of random photographs following on at the end of the second post.

It's the only kind I can manage at the moment....What a weekend - where do I begin??

I'll try with Friday night. What was supposed to be a 5 minute hello to Jack, who owns the hostess bar I used to work at when I first got to Japan, turned into a gin n tonic/karaoke fest (Jack makes THE best GnTs after my own of course) that saw me walk out a lot less sober and with 26000 yen extra in my pocket (that's about 300 Aussie smackeroonies) thanks to a generous customer who I hadn't seen for about 18 months and was very happy to find out I was doing well in Japan. Since I was now 2 hours late (but definitely not behind in the drink tally) to meet Troy n Cliff at Umiya, a trendy lil izakaya in Ame-mura, I had to hightail it across Minami...to find Troy had already left but Cliff was still there and in a similar state to me. Cliffy n I kept up the shennanigans and had a few more totally unecessary drinks with Dimitori and Dirty Clare before going around the corner to another izakaya that was offering 160yen drink for its opening week.
We ate the place out of karage and pizza, while making sure we were never thirsty and managed to get ourselves home (we almost ended up doing Hip Hop @ Triangle) since we both had to work the next morning (well within a matter of hours). We had to be responsible at some point. This doesn't mean the drinking stopped - quite the opposite. In Japan it is virutally impossible to go directly home without a conbini (convenience) store stop for the all importants like beer, chu-hi, fireworks and a little plastic bubble blower. We stumbled through the door where we proceeded to ring Troy and harass him for not staying out with us, before Cliff got the great idea of ringing all his mates in Canada and have me talk to them instead. I can say for sure that there were some very confused Vancouverians Friday morning Canada time. As I lay my head down to sleep, I got a phone call from my sister in Germany. I don't recall anything she said but I think that is because I was serenading her with songs I had made up about my gorgeous nephews (such great lyrics as "Alex, you are my baby nephew, and I love you" and "Riley, Smiley Riley, you are so smiley" and err...umm....).
With my curious habit to not suffer from hangovers, I was in fine form to teach a new 2 hour class I am doing on Saturday afternoons, but not before being taken to lunch by the new students.
Tried to get some shut eye when I got home around 4pm that afternoon but was too excited (read JUMPING AROUND THE HOUSE SHRIEKING) about heading to the Top Fuel party @ Underlounge, where I would meet Ko Kimura, the most awesome Japanese DJ I am interviewing next week. So decided to head to F*U*C*K* instead and get a "wow-she's-got-it-goin'-on:-smart-AND-beautiful" outfit (50% off, could not stay away).
Jack had asked me to help out in his bar for a couple of hours, so I got a jumpstart on the chu-his while I was getting ready to Kylie's Greatest Hits.
Totally nailed my outfit. I bought this black top @ F*U*C*K* with cut-off sleeves that hung down my arms, and had a kind of drop waist, with a wrap around belt attached. So the the top came down to the tops of my thighs. Then I wore my blue corduroy GRAB pants from Oz (altho while working in Jack's bar I just wore a black skirt that has a gold shimmer I bought in Paris a few years back) and my white leather sling back heels I pur-chased during my prior shopping frenzy a couple of weeks back. I attached a big white flower brooch to my left shoulder, wore big silver hoop earrings, a white adidas wrist band on my right arm, silver bangles on the left and had my white sequined shoulder bag to match. And then my hair. My hair....My hair is it's own entity and often makes or breaks me - I've been known to cancel all plans and stay home if I can't get it right or cover it with a hat that matches my outfit. I can never be completely sure it will do what I want it to do, or that a hairstyle that worked one week will work the next. Lord, the stars are shining on me at the moment because it took all of 5 minutes for me to pull it into an Everest high ponytail, tease the back of my fringe and then comb the front back so that it was all standing up and boofy and then hairspray the hell out of it. Yes I am drivelling on about minute details but it was one of those lo-and-behold, wait-a-sec moments when you realise that the night stretched out before you is going to be a great one.
So yeah hostessed, not much to tell there apart from loading up on GnTs, ran out of there at 11.30 to meet Cliffy n Troy n the rest of the gang at that new izakaya with the cheap drinks that Cliff n I had finished at the previous night....Troy promptly ordered 2 rounds of tequilas for us all, I got onto my chu-hi again and lucky for the other diners there that the boys had grabbed us the only private booth at the back of the joint because as soon as that second tequila hit the back of my throat I was standing on my chair yelling out for the whole of Minami to hear "I ROCK!! I ROCK - I DO I DO CUZ I'm GUNNA MEET KO KIMURA TONIGHT" over and over and over again. Troy joined me and we sang our own praises at the tops of our voices until our 3rd and 4th tequilas came.
I had to get to Underlounge by midnight in order to meet Ko Kimura before he began his set so I drunkenly made my way there with Akira in tow, giving the others their names on the guest list and telling Mieko, who after deciding not to go out, realised she had made the wrong decision, to hurry hurry hurry. I bailed up the waiters on my way out of the izakaya - I was just so jubilantly over the top excited (drunk) about Top Fuel and the up-coming DJ meeting - to tell them what I was about to do, and they got well happy for me (maybe that was just cause I was leaving).
You could say I was somewhat re-charged ready for the real fun to begin.

Top Fun @ Top Fuel

Top Fuel @ Underlouunge last night rates, without a doubt, up there with some of the best nights I have ever had. All elements from clothes to company to tequilas had come together for a night of 'oneness', a night of fun times, a night that 803 was finally out as a team for the first time in a long time. Such unity, it feels so good.
I had found out my name was on the door, so I was expecting to get in at a discounted price, which is what usually happens when my name is on the door at Underlounge....so was surprised and thrilled to find out I was totally VIP and didn't have to pay a cent. There was a bit of confusion at the start as to who I was, and they were asking me for ID (I love Q10) but they spoke to the head of security there, who also happens to be my landlord, and it got sorted quickly and was followed by a stream of gomenasai's (I am so sorry) and a wave of apologetic bowing from every single person I passed as I walked into the club (the entrance is quite long here). Akira had come in with me and we both turned to each other with huge grins and said "We'll never see that again!"
Akira got me a much needed soul calming drink (onto the cassis n tonics now) and I ran into James from Bike Club who said he had been introduced to the DJ who mentioned he was expecting to meet me too. I was so like "Ah! Wow! Get me another drink!"
It didn't take me long to find Ko Kimura, and I walked over and (in Japanese) introduced myself and we exchanged business cards and then continued talking in Japanese. I asked him when he was playing and thanked him for agreeing to the interview. I offered to buy him a drink but he said he was okay and then I mentioned I had had a great time at the last Top Fuel party back in May. He was so beautifully humble, and almost shy. He just kept shaking his head, and my hand and thanking me instead. No arrogance, no intimidation, no ego which is a lot more than I can say for most DJs I have met or know elsewhere in the world, who when compared to this calibre of DJ and music have really done f&%k all and haven't done anything to justify their attitude.
Anyway I went back to the VIP room, joined by the rest of 803 and friends, to finish up drinking and wait for Ko to start spinning. I met another promoter, Bobby Brown (he isnt black so dont even ask) and his wife, who is not named Whitney, but rather Saeko and happens to be a shoe designer and about to start up her own handbag company. Needless to say, I got her number. They were a lovely couple and it was fun to hang with them. B obby told me Ko had played for him at his club in Nagano a few times and that he really was the lovely guy he had appeared to be in the 5 minutes I had spoken to him for.
Ko hit the decks around 1, which is when we all hit the dance floor. Ko didnt stop until after 4, and neither did we. How can I describe it for those of you who may not be into this type of thing. It was trouble enough to drag your feet off the floor long to go to the toilet. This DJ is phenomenal, and the show he puts on is a rarity in Japan. This was the 3rd time I had been privvy to see him play, and I put it like that, because it really is something special. Never before have I seen someone work the crowd from the first track dropped into such a happy energetic frenzy with an intensity that never lowers for a second (if anything it just keeps rising) until the needle comes off the last beat. For those of us on the other side of the decks, you are completely transfixed and compelled to do nothing else but get amongst it and dance (and drink and drink and drink if you were part of our company last night). You don't want to do anything else.
Troy, Cliffy n me were jumping all over the place with our arms around each other, yelling and hollering and screaming. Mieko was going crazy, Warren was all over it too, Asami didnt pace herself too well and claimed fatigue and bailed early, while Akira...well I, not sure where he was most of the night, but I assume was on the floor too.
Ko Kimura himself was bouncing around just as much as we were, which is pracitcally unseen from Japanese djs, particularly this much so. This is another reason why I like to watch him because he honestly looks like he is digging it as much as we are. He looks so excited and thrilled, almost as though he is hearing some of his favourite tracks for the first time in a long time. He looks genuinely happy, if not a even little surprised, that we are enjoying ourselves this much. Almost like he can't believe it.
You could say we were well, well loaded. Troy was sloshing his beers everywhere, Cliff was here there and everywhere, and Mieko and I couldnt stop laughing. Troy kept pushing me to the front of the dance floor but I was a little bit embarrassed cause I didn't want Ko Kimura thinking "oh she thinks she is top shit cause she has met me" (little does he know I think I'm top shit on my own standing). But Troy got up there and insisted I did too and it was fantastic. Troy was constantly hi-5ing Ko and telling him how much he rocked. Ko was freely returning the hi-5s and handshakes. It took me an age to make eye contact with the DJ while I was dancing, especially when I was at the front, but he kept looking over and giving me waves and smiles which totally caught me by surprise, and has me thinking maybe this guy really is as nice as everyone says he is. There doesn't appear to be an ego lurking anywhere. Even Mieko noticed. Maybe he really is totally satisfied by the fact that we were enjoying his performance so much.
By the end of the night, Troy was up on the back stage shaking his booty, I was still at the front with Cliffy n Mieko, and James, Akira and Warren were doing their bit in the crowd too. It was a spectacular show, with Ko playing for jyst over 3 hours. It certainly didnt feel like it. Nobody wanted it to end.
Afterwards, I asked him if he was busy and if he wanted to join us for a drink. I almost fell over (from shock not from too much alcohol, that happened later) when he seemed like he would, but then he asked me when I was coming to Tokyo. I said next week, so let's leave it til then. I shook his hand, thanked him profusely, pulled Troy up and off the stage, then up and off the floor, got Cliffy mobile again and we all headed to that cheap-ass izakaya for final drinks that we didn't even finish. Fnished up a great night by dinking Mieko back to my house on my bike and the two of us gaily laughing our asses off about nothing and then flaking out at mine with the boys.
I wrote Ko and his manager an email tonight to thank them for last night and set up the interview next week. I wrote it all in Japanese hiragana and katakana. I was mightily impressed.
After a an awesome weekend, I gotta get back to reality and knuckle down tomorrow. I got 2 days until LP is due (of which I did absolutely nothing this weekend) and then I have the interview to finish off on Tuesday night before I head to Tokyo on Wednesday...I'm pretty miffed that I will miss the next Top Fuel party on August 13 cause I will be in Thailand.
Good night.

The man himself...Ko Kimura. He rocks - yeah he does! Posted by Picasa

And he was fully grooving on the dance floor before his set - and to TOP it all off, he is totally hot.

803 Get Tequila Posted by Picasa

Whaddya get when you cross Gorgerous Girls and Tequila? Posted by Picasa

Dirty Slappers Posted by Picasa

803 Get Reflective... Posted by Picasa

I rock! Yeah I do! Posted by Picasa

So demure... Posted by Picasa

...yet so deranged. Posted by Picasa

Where's my Tequila??! Posted by Picasa

I love Tequila! Yeah I do! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 5

Caffeine and Me = No Sleep

This is what about 2 litres of homemade oolong tea, a can of pepsi and a bottle of extra strong oolong tea has driven me to...ringing my stolen mobile phone to find out if someone answered and then me practising my Japanese on him. (A friend had mentioned to me on the weekend he had accidentally dialled my old number and someone had answered).
This is how the translated conversation went:
Thief = T
Me = M
T: Moshi Moshi
M: Moshi Moshi
T: How are you?
M: Excellent and you?
T: Good
M: Where did you buy your mobile?
T: What? Are you a foreigner?
M: Yes. You stole my phone from me when I was sick.
T: Where?
M: Daikokucho. Have you forgotten that?
T: Maybe. You are a girl.
M: Yes I am. Anyway 2 months ago, my bag and my phone was stolen. You did it.
T: No you're wrong.
M: Well tell me where you bought your phone?
T: I don't speak Japanese. I don't uinderstand.
M: Really! Where do you live?
T: I don't understand. Not in Daikokucho.
M: Where did you buy my phone then?
T: Yes. You're wrong.
M: Well my phone was stolen with my bag 2 months ago and you are now speaking on my phone.
T: Yes from Daikokucho. That's right.
M: Can I have it back? And my bag? My Playboy bag?
T: No.
M: Okay tomorrow I will call the police and ask them to speak to you.
T: I don't speak Japanese, I don't understand.
M: Understand this you Martha Focker, you stole my phone and I want it back.
T: Yes.
M: (In English) You suck. Goodbye.
Then I spent the next 10 minutes practising my Japanese writing skills sending by sending him messages reitterating that I will go to the police tomorrow to sort it out. I was well impressed I go through this entirely in Japanese. Still not tired though. I may as well do some more LP stuff.
Note to self: Next Japanese lesson, ask Miki how to say the equivalent of "you suck" in Japanese.

Friday, July 1

A Perfect Mind

I bought myself one of my favourite type of books the other day - a thersaurus, something I call "A Writer's Best Friend." There are 8 entries under the word "stress", with "pressure" being the one most suited to my current uneasiness.

I've been lax on the posting due to the following reason that my schedule has been fuller than full of late.
The main thing being my final application to Lonely Planet - yes for reasons still a mystery to me, they liked my initial application and now have me doing a final project, that is a sample chapter, before i get the LP go ahead to ramble on about Osaka. So naturally I'm rambling on about Osaka in this sample, more to the point, Minami, and have spent the last couple of weeks wining and dining....myself...., partaking in new and osbcure local activities and doing an obscene amount of shopping, all in the name of research. That's my excuse for the shopping anyway.
I still have my interview to write for Ko Kimura too, which will hopefully get itself written from all the information I have on him strewn all over the house - here's hoping the humidity and upcoming full moon will cause the words to all melt together into some intelligble question format that I can use over our dinner in 2 weeks.
So I'm feeling a foreign kind of pressing at the moment. The moment has come in my life I never thought would happen, the fact that I actually have a chance at my dream, my ultimate, my numero uno, my ichiban job. If I could count the number of times I have told people "I would love to write for Lonely Planet" I'd be a very rich girl living it up on some tropical island somewhere.
MY DREAM JOB PEOPLE!! I'm so thrilled I can't put it into words, I'm smiling so much my jaws are aching (or that could be all the oolong tea I have been consuming, jury's out on that one). I don't want to do anything to jeopardise this opportunity or anything that could leave me doubting I have put in less than 1000% on this. If I don't get the job, which there is every chance, then I don't wanna be thinking I contributed to that by not leaving every stone unturned. That would kill me. I want to know I have given them the best of me, and that there was simply someone else with a style better suited to their needs when it came down to it.
So this on top of the question of "Where do I go from here?" is compounding the sleepless nights and agitated state of affairs right now. Have I peaked too early - can I only go down from here? Will this be it? How do I go and get another writing gig now? Do I have what it takes? What if this, like the way I view so many other things in my life, be just a one-off with me failing to follow it through properly therefore hindering any chance of a future in writing?
Oh God - the torture. The self-inflicted pain! I couldn't have put it better myself - Thanks Oxford.