Starting about this time yesterday, I have been slightly annoyed.
One of my co-workers is kind of strange. She is fun to hang out with but that almost never happens because she is a flake. She will message me or call me and talk about how bored she is and how we should go out sometime. Then we plan on taking a field trip and she backs out at the last minute. That is what happened today. She-Who-Will-Remain-Nameless-Because-I-Don't-Know-Who-Reads-This-Anymore and I decided that we would go to Osaka today. I really didn't want to go but I wanted to hang out with her and she sounded lonelier than usual. So it was all set up that today, I was going to show her around Osaka. Last night, she calls me and tells me that since she was staying up late, partying with other co-workers, that she might want to sleep in today. I was half expecting this and wasn't horribly shaken up because I was ambivalent to going out today anyway. Then she tells me that another coworker still wanted me to show him around Osaka and still wanted to go, I will call this person, AMGC(Annoying Male Geek Coworker) from now on.
AMGC started to get on my nerves before we even left because he didn't want to go too early today and didn't know for sure if it was financially wise to go with me today. I told him he needed to make up his mind ASAP because I wasn't blowing my money or time to go to Osaka if he wasn't going too and that if he backed out on me after I had already gotten on the train, he would feel a wrath that I only reserve for special occasions and barbeques. We eventually figured out a time to meet and he promised he would not back out so I was content to go to Osaka to show him around despite the fact that I would have enjoyed going with the female coworker more.
The train ride to Osaka was pleasant and I came upon a couple of interesting thoughts and observations on the way there. Then he called to tell me he would be a tad late. This was also okay because my train was running twenty minutes behind and I wouldn't get there too far ahead of him.
Brief description of AMGC: White, pale, tall, 18 or 19 years old, male. He is from some nowhere part of Canada and spends most waking hours playing video games. One reason he came to Japan was to buy a Playstation 3, also one good reason he is now strapped for cash. He enjoys computer games, sadly some of the same ones I do, and is ultra-competitive in nature. Description complete.
Upon his arrival, AMGC immediately started tweaking my otherwise not bad mood. Along with his backpack, he had brought his rollerblades and they ornamentally dangling from his shoulder.
"Why did you bring those?"
"So I can get around faster, they let me wear them on the trains and even in stores."
"You wear them in stores?"
"Yeah, in Himeji I do all the time."
(Blink. Blink.)"....Yeah...Well, today you should put them in a locker. Where we are going isn't the most rollerblade friendly area in the world. Its going to be pretty crowded."
"Oh no, its fine, I can skate in the street."
"You could...but there are cars in the street...and the rollerblades are going to be in a locker."
"So you think I should get a locker for the rollerblades?"
"Yup. Yup, I do."
About this time, he realized that my suggestion was actually a veiled order and that by the tone of my voice, it was the final say on the matter. He wisely got a locker. Fun note on the locker he got: It was keyless and required you to use your cell phone to call a number to open the locker. When retrieving things from the locker, you call it again and it verifies that the number you used to begin with is the same you are calling from when retrieving and it opens by itself. Badass. The lockers were funny because he had no clue how to use them and I had to do it for him.
After stowing the skates, we embark for Den Den Town and all of the geeky joy that it holds.
On the way to Den Den, I explain to him the stuff we will likely encounter and this sends him on a tangent about how he only pirated games and software when he was younger and didn't have a job or money. Now, he buys everything and wants to support the games' creators. It wasn't so much his opinion that bothered me but the tone of voice he was using in expressing his opinion and some of his phrasing and word choices; he was lording his legitimate gaming lifestyle over the ways of the Dark Side...my ways. Tack on another point to the "How AMGC Peeved Mogwai Today" board.
After looking through some stores and finding him the game he wanted to buy for a very cheap(half)price, I asked him if he was hungry and told him if he was, I could definitely eat something. He then did something that drives me nuts. I do not like suggesting the idea of getting food to someone and then having them go off about how they aren't truly hungry but could probably eat or they are only a tad hungry but know they will be needing food shortly so they may as well eat. Either you want to get lunch or you don't, friggin' decide. So we ate lunch and I had to help him with that too. I know that I encourage people to use me as a tour guide but a lot of the people I play guide for have absolutely no common sense. What also kills me, is that this kid has been here for over a month. Another annoyance point added to the board.
Toward the end of the day is when he really ticked me off. AMGC sees a guitar shop and like 85% of all white people here, he "loves to play the guitar". He then tells me how the shops around his town won't let him play their guitars anymore because they know he isn't going to buy one. He then tells me that he is going over to the guitar shop to see if they have any he can play. I tell him that I will be in the store across the street and to come find me when he is done. A look of hurt spreads across AMGC's face, "You mean you don't want to come listen to me?"
"No, not really. I am going to go take a look in this store."
"Ok, see ya in a few minutes," and I took off. No, I don't want to hear you play someone else's guitar. I am not your boyfriend and I am not your record producer, I do not have to listen to or pretend I like whatever it is your going to be trying to play. Another note about white people in Japan, most of them say they are musicians for some reason that still befuddles me and precious few of them have any talent whatsoever. Every foreigner you meet in Japan stands a good chance of being in some band and that band will suck. If they ask you to come to some hole of a bar and listen to them, politely refuse, your ears will thank you later.
Anywho, I go to my store to look and AMGC goes off to his guitar shop. I go through four floors of gadgetry while he goes through four bars of Stairway To Heaven. You get my drift, time passes. I come out of my shop about fifteen minutes later and I do not see the tall, lanky sillouette of my gooberish cohort. He is still strumming away somewhere. So I go over to the guitar shop to see if he is finished and I can't find him. I go through both floors of the place and he is nowhere to be seen. Where the heck did he go? Next, I leave him a text on his phone, no reply. I then call him, no reply. I let a few minutes pass and try both channels of communication again, nothing. Almost half an hour goes by and after numerous messages and phone calls I get zilch. I, am pissed.
Finally, he magically resurfaces at the counter of the guitar shop talking to a couple of guys and flailing his hands about because he can't speak Japanese and thinks they understand whitey sign language. I am finally able to get his attention and he comes out of the store.
"Where have you been, I was trying to call you?"
"I was playing guitar."
"Where, I was all through that place and didn't see you."
"Oh, I was in a soundproof room in the back of the shop."
"Ahh, well I have been trying to call you, I didn't think when you said you were going to try out the guitars that meant you were going to play them for half an hour. I have been out here for twenty minutes."
"Oh well, sorry, even if you did try calling it wouldn't have mattered, my phone is on silent mode in my backpack."
"Thats a good place for it. Well, I am glad you came out when you did, I was getting ready to leave because I thought you might have already. I didn't think you would be playing this long."
"Well, my average guitar session is an hour so this was pretty short."
"You know, I can see why they kick you out of stores now when you try to play their guitars."
I don't think he expected me to say I had thought of leaving or that I could see why other stores didn't want him playing their merchandise. He looked kind of hurt but I didn't horribly care, I was ticked off. What got me even more was when he got his phone out of his bag and said, "Oh, you did try to call and message me." No shit, thats what I told you five minutes ago, did you not believe me and needed visual proof that I am not a lying idiot?! Grr. As I said, this kid got on my nerves today.
That was pretty much the end of our day, toward the end I was ready to throttle him and I think he started to suspect it. AMGC is a nice enough kid but I think that is just it, he is a kid. He tries to tell me how good he is at the games that he knows I play just so he can see if I take the bait and try to one up him. He is constantly trying to get me to compete with him and I think it drives him nutty that I never bite. I am just too old to care what an 18 year old can do on some Xbox game and I have lost some of my nerdiness that used to get me through lengthy conversations about random video games. I just don't care enough about them anymore. I still like them, I just don't care about 99% of them enough to listen to someone gab about how many kills they can get on Halo when using a keyboard and mouse compared to a gamepad.
So that was pretty much my day. I took a couple of pictures and warded off wave after wave of youth driven oneupsmanship. Odds are, AMGC and I won't get many more bonding moments like the ones we shared today; I will strive to ensure it.
Interesting Sidenote: I mentioned that my train was twenty minutes late today and I just learned that my suspicions as to why this was were correct. The whole train stoppage was odd because we stopped dead on the tracks, not at a station like the trains normally do; my train stopped in between stations on a track elevated four storeys off the ground. The conductor then came on and said there was going to be a slight delay, after which, the train rocked a tad for a couple of seconds and then went still again. Trains usually rock when they are moving, not standing still. Also, being near a window on a train that is swaying four storeys above the ground is kind of unnerving. If you haven't guessed, there was an earthquake. Evidently, a 5.1 magnitude hit the area around Nara and the trains had enough of a warning to shut down before the earthquake got to where I was at. Odds are, nothing would have happened had the train been moving, but as a precaution, if the train company has enough warning they will shut down the lines if they think an earthquake is coming that could derail a train or cause damage to the tracks. I wasn't so much bothered by the earthquake but I am impressed by Japan's ability to predict them and take measures to ensure the safety of people in the event of one.