a The Transit Lounge: November 2006

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...

Thursday, November 30

What A Feeling...

I'm not really talking any Flashdance/Irene Cara kinda thang either. It's a weird concoction of complete disbelief, amusement, happiness, sheer emptiness, relief, utter dismay, excitement and dread to name just a few of the emotions.
How on earth do you say goodbye like this? Everybody keeps telling me I will be back. But I am not so sure. I know myself well enough to know my plans don't last past the next thought. How will I fit in with my mates back home? Will they still understand me, or more importantly, will they understand me like my mates here do?
It's not the packing that is stressing me. Most of it could be thrown into the Dotonbori for all I care. Life goes on and life here will go on without me, just as my life wherever I end up will go on without all of this. I just don't want to forget anything or anyone, and vice versa.

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Saturday, November 25

Love-Hate Relationships

Why I am happy to be leaving the Land of the Rising Contradiction:
  1. The inability of Japanese people to walk/ride/drive/transport themselves in a straight line;
  2. The damn yapping dog that resides in the building opposite me.
  3. The ongoing construction - been living in Da'Cho over 2 years now and just about every single building surrounding our apartment has been torn down and rebuilt. It is relentless.
  4. The ramen dude who seems to have an uncanny knack of sparking up his song (if you can call the low wailing heputs out over a loudspeaker in an effort to sell his ramen) every time I am nearly asleep - whether it is 11pm, 3am or 11am. Especially frustrating since the law says you can't make noise in your apartment after 10, something they will go atomic at you for.
  5. Our landlord who blames us for every single complaint in the apartment, even when the apartment is empty, with all 3 of us out of the country. So there was one time, ONE TIME, when Brett fired his B-B gun. But the doof doof, the fireworks, the dog pissing in the elevator (we don't even have a dog)...and when the Japanese next door neighbour stole my bike, got caught out lying because the whole thing was caught on te security cameras, they did sweet f.a. Would have been a different story had it of occurred the other way around.
  6. Japanese TV.
  7. Obahans (old ladies) who push, shove and elbow anything and anybody that stands between them and a seat on the train. Don't let their tiny size or walking sticks fool you. These women are anything but frail and put up a fight.
  8. The Japanese tendency to lack any 'spacial' as well as spatial awareness.
  9. Flipping useless washing powders, so-called bleaches and detergents that just do not clean your clothes. At all.
  10. Spitting in public anywhere amd everywhere. Gross.
Why I am misty-eyed at the thought of leaving:
  1. Buying al-kee-holl from beer to vodka to cassis at the conbini (convenience store) - and for a cheap price!
  2. Genki drinks, especially the one I still don't know the name of after 3 years with the blue and white label that costs 153 yen. All I know it has 1000 more mg more of something I can't read than any of the other genki drinks on the market!
  3. Hot drinks from the vending machines in Winter.
  4. The guarantee that no matter how remote you think you are, whether you are climbing Fuji, doing the temple thing, or relaxing in an onsen, you will always find not one but numerous vending machines.
  5. Riding my bike - and riding my bike in 7 inch stilletos.
  6. The randomness that is integral to the fun I find myself having. Those of you I hang out with here will understand what I mean. Has been a topic of conversation of late.
  7. The close proximity my entire life here has. I am bike ride away from any place I need to be, and if I am too drunk to take my bike, a cab won't cost more than 660 yen, with my bike neatly folded in the boot.
  8. Cable TV's So You Think You Can Dance - American Idol meets Fame.
  9. Tequila Times. For those at home, you are forewarned. I am gonna teach you the joys of including Vitamin T, a.k.a. The Lord's Juice on any night out. Or in.
  10. Seeing erratic shit like racoons on leashes and the boys with what I call 'The Classic Carol Brady' hairstyles that any in other country would get them beaten to a pulp.
Everyday I see stuff that either makes me think 'Oh man I am glad to be leaving that behind' or 'aww, I will actually miss that' so I am sure these lists will grow somewhat.

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Wednesday, November 22

Nibbly Bits

In the week thus far I have:
  1. Completed 2 articles to be published next month in KS; one with Timo Maas, the other with Mick and Rusty, two local gaijin bartenders basically involved with running Minami;
  2. Written an interview for Diesel Clothing, which I am undertaking with Terumi on Friday night with the Japanese Events Co-ordinator;
  3. Organised a spontaneous trip to Tokyo with Miss May a.k.a April, which will happen as of Saturday afternoon and last approximately 48 hours, the sole purpose of which is to simply party in Tokyo something I've not yet had the chance to do up in old T-Town despite 3 previous visits (this means I have pulled out of round 2 of paintball, but when am I going to get back to Tokyo in a hurry?). The plan is to start drinking champers on the Shinkansen up and see where the night takes us. Everybody's favourite Mexican is graciously putting us up at his pad;
  4. Realised I need to hook up on myspace if I am ever going to stay on top of anything remotely to do with music and writing...or should I say actually utilise the myspace account I set up over a year ago (the primary function of which was so that I could abuse Cambosis);
  5. Ended a relationship with a French/Norwegian guy I met conducting interviews for my job before it even started...if there are two things I can't stand (any by that I mean I will write someone off completely for demonstrating such traits) is tardiness without an email or call to forewarn followed by a good explanation and soppy emails/calls/messages/speeches from men I barely know who think they know, and moreso think they know me and despite me telling them outright, think they can get me to change my mind into liking it. I.HATE.MUSHINESS. I see it as a sign of weakness, which indicates to me I can walk all over them and despite my resolution not to do so, probably will given the chance. I guess you could say I can't stomach feelings and in particular men who have them and tell me about them.
  6. Thought some more about packing. All I know is I have 2 weeks, I am semi-sorted, I just need to devote one more day to it and the whipper and she'll be apples. Although it won't be tomorrow's holiday. I am planning on doing nothing.

Ciao Peoples.

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Saturday, November 18

Going, Going...

I am cleaning out my room and packing some stuff right now. It is really difficult to describe how I feel and the state of mind I am in right now. One part of me wants to bawl my eyes out while another part of me is really detached from it all. If I didn't have to run off to work soon I would explain it a bit more now, but that will come later. It is almost like I must do it all swiftly without really looking at what I am binning or allowing myself to give too much though to it. Otherwise (a) I would never get it done and have to pay a billion bucks sending stuff home and (b) I would be too sad.

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Sunday, November 12

Weekend Wind Up

I interviewed Timo Maas at Saza*e on Friday night. He hails from Hanover, Germany and although he has played clubs such as Ageha and Womb in Tokyo, this was his first time to Osaka. Let me just say it was a real pleasure - Timo was happy to answer my questions, have a joke and a laugh, and he was a great talker, giving me interesting responses. I was happy to listen to him. Unlike other DJs of such a hig calibre that I have spoken with, Timo made me feel at ease and I wasn't made to feel like the lowly, annoying journo. His manager Dave was also really laidback. In my experience managers can sometimes be more arrogant than the actual talent, making me feel very ill at ease.
Timo played a great set, lasting about 3 hours. From talking to him and watching him spin and making record selections, I got the impression he really is thinking about the moment he is in with his crowd and working 110% to give the crowd a combination of what they want with some unexpected surprises. Like Terumi was saying to me, he really mixes his beats up which keeps it exciting on the dancefloor. And while he is in that moment, at the same time he is thinking ahead about his next few moves.
I had a great night, getting in around 4am which was difficult since I had to work 6 hours later. Dimitori, Yashima and Ange also played - I always love their stuff. And Ko Matsuhima, who played at the Top Fuel parties with Ko Kimura at Underlounge, was part of the line-up. I used to love his stuff at Top Fuel and Terumi introduced me to him so I was rapt. Amazingly friendly.
Cliff and I stumbled home together in time to meet Troy and Brett dragging their sorry, drunken asses from Tin's.
Saturday night was Wes and Monkey's birthdays at Zerro. The plan was to go but since we all had such a late one on Friday night there was no way we were gunna make it out. I had already planned to start the night of drinking margaritas as a way of using up all the tequila I got for my birthday, so we had a small crew around. Danyk and Troy perfected the margaritas and the rest of us drank, chatted, danced in the living and played scrabble til the sun came up. I had a wonderful night, hanging with a bunch of my best mates and this is the stuff I am really treasuring because I won't be here in a few short weeks.
The coming week is a busy one. I have the Timo interview to write-up and KS editors said yes to a couple of story ideas I had, which always makes me feel really good. To begin with I used to be really scared about sharing my ideas with them but now I know my ideas aren't going to be laughed at or shot down, in fact they have never said no. But you know what really got me excited? I feel like such an idiot saying this, KS emailed me about another story that needs to be written about an upcoming event. KS said that the organisers of the event " have requested us to assign you to put the story together". I was stoked, so stoked. I can't describe how that makes me feel. It was an uber moment.
I dyed my hair nearly black on Friday. I think it must have done something. I had a lot of lovely comments from complete strangers - and from those I love too - at Saza*e, which was a lovely and unexpected surprise.

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Thursday, November 9

Slackness is Catchy

Been way too slack of late for the blog....interviewing the very German, shift-bending, genre-crossing, sound creation mastermind himself, Timo Maas tomorrow night at Saza*e. His latest album Pictures is definitely worth a listen. Possibly my fave song of his would have to be Help Me from his first album Loud, with Kelis doing the vocals. Anybody want me to ask him anything in particular?
What else is news? Not much. Writing an article on Osakan hairstyles, which is detailing the hell I went through in trying to find a decent hairdresser in this city (well one qualified to deal with foreign hair anyway). Also preparing something to write about Diesel and the Diesel party...I must post a pick of me and my new BFF Peaches (she rocks, I made a total Miss Riz fool of myself, as I do when meeting famous people I actually respect. For those VERY few who know the Digweed story you will well understand).
Been thinking a lot about packing my stuff. Thinking about it at least is a step forward from last week when I just kept pushing it out of my head altogether.
Oh yeah and kind of seeing someone. I know Ben wouldn't like me saying that...but hey he hasn't actually proposed yet.

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Thursday, November 2

Feature First

Ohhh - my first feature was published this month in KS. Some of you will know what I am talking about from a desperate email/photo call I sent out last month. Anyhoo, I got it all sorted and you can read it here!

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