Monday, February 12, 2007

Where Have I Been?

I haven't posted in a few days, but I assure you, I have been busy.

On Saturday, I taught four classes and then jumped on a train to Himeji. Once in Himeji, I jumped on another train and went to Kakogawa. This series of rides was a three hour trip to go to my boss, his wife, and another coworker's goodbye party. This was one heck of a goodbye party too.

It started in my boss's apartment and then moved to a karaoke bar a few blocks away. Once in karaoke land, the singing began and the drinking continued. Never turn a place down that has orange and mango chu-hi. Normally, karaoke binges last an hour or two and then you call it a night. This one lasted for almost five hours and the nine of us were saddled with an almost $600.00 bill. As I said, it was a heck of a party. Thanks to Guns N' Roses, my voice was almost nothing by the time I left the place. And this was only the first quarter of the adventure. Oh yeah, anytime you have the option to here the Japanese translations of Beatles tunes, take it.

After singing, we all headed back to the apartment and stayed there for another hour or two. By this point it was almost 4am and people were getting sleepy. A few of us got a ride to another coworker's apartment and we stayed up for another couple of hours talking to him. He let me crash on his floor but that only lasted about half an hour and then I was up and at it again, I had other places to be; that and since he didn't have any spare blankets, I got a little chilly and decided riding a train would be warmer.

After sneaking out of the apartment, I headed for the train station. By this point it was almost 7am and I was sobering up quite nicely. The voice was still gone (damn you Axel Rose) but other than that, life was good and the sun was rising. Next stop, a train bound for Takatsuki, a place between Osaka and Kyoto.

While on the train, I fell asleep in the warm morning sunlight. The seats had the warmers turned on and so I was nice and toasty and sleep was the best way to pass two hours. There is a downside to sleeping on intercity trains though. You see, I am from the sticks and usually there is only one set of tracks in between cities. Therefore, when two trains pass each other it is at a station where the tracks split for a few yard and then go back to a single line. When you are in the cities, there are usually two sets of tracks so trains can pass each other at full speed with no worry of collision. When two trains pass within two feet of each other and they are both doing sixty miles an hour or so, the vacuum between the two trains makes a startling crashing sound. Between that noise and me sleeping harder than I normally do on a train do to my night of fun, each time a train passed it scared the crap out of me and I went from sleeping well to bolt upright in the blink of an eye. On the first instance, I was so startled I jumped quite violently and scared the living daylights out of the poor guy next to me. Once he realized how asleep I had been and I had apologized to him, he and the people around me got quite a kick out of it. The two people behind me kept a lookout for oncoming trains so they could watch my reaction each time one passed and woke me. I became less and less startled as the hours dragged by but I was a good source of entertainment to several people.

Once in Takatsuki, I grabbed a couple of donuts and a Starbucks. I was meeting a person that I will call, Nighthawk, for the first time. Nighthawk is in training with Peppy Kids at the moment and I told him that I would meet him and show him around Osaka for the day. I had never actually seen Nighthawk, though I had been emailing him for the better part of six months.

Meeting Nighthawk was quite interesting because I knew a little about him and we had emailed so much that it was neat to meet him in person. One odd and unintended consequence of blogging for as long as I have, is that people can pretty much find out everything I have done in the past few years just by reading it. It was odd because Nighthawk knew so much about me and it was like we had been friends for a while. He isn't to blame for it but it was kind of creepy. The internet has become such an odd creature. Nighthawk was actually a pretty cool guy and we had fun cruising around Osaka. We also went to Osaka castle and I had never done that. It was burned down in WWII but has been rebuilt. The castle grounds are all original and quite nice to walk through. There was a battle of the bands or something going on and we watched that for a while. Actually, we watched the fans of these bands for a while. The thing about Japan is even if you aren't big nationwide, when you have a fanbase, they will be the most loyal fanbase in the world. One band had amassed quite a following of women and all of them knew these choreographed moves for all of the songs. So if the band played one song, they would all flip their hair around like mad or go go dance. It was quite amusing.

After parting with Nighthawk, I headed back home. It was early evening and I hadn't slept good sleep in a couple of days. I told Nighthawk I felt bad because he seeing me on a day when I was at 60% power and with no voice for the most part. He was unable to experience the full Mogwai effect, who knows, maybe it was for the better. I have been know to make people soil themselves at the mere sight of me, maybe he was just lucky. If you would like to read his adventures in Japan, go here.

I slept through most of the train ride back and woke up in Fukuchiyama quite refreshed. Being so refreshed at 8pm is not a good thing, especially when I really had not had quality sleep in a day or two. When I finally did crash last night, I went down hard. I woke up once at 1:30pm and fell back to sleep. I was woken up finally at 4pm by my phone letting me know that I had a text message. I have to say, I haven't slept that hard or that well in a long time. Just for fun, I have decided to post a couple of pics from yesterday, enjoy.

Here are the crazy girls trying to give themselves whiplash:

This is Osaka castle:

And these are two guys from some band that didn't have much of a crowd but I gave them an A for effort:

Overall, it was a pretty good set of days, just a tad tiring.


At 9:59 PM, Blogger Mrs Whittaker said...

Sounds like it was pretty good adventure, all things considered. :) The pictures are pretty freakin' cool too.

And if we do venture out your way, which I really hope we do, we will HAVE to karaoke as I am the queen of karaoke for cheesy teeny bopper songs.

In fact... I have proof. If you ever feel like being critical, drop by sometime:

At 7:21 AM, Blogger Nighthawk at the Diner said...

Awww, Mogs, ya' made me blush. You, sir, are alright too. Thanks for the tour and we will certainly have to hook up again so I can get the 100% Mog experience.


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