Zocko's Journal

All about Zocko, the crazy pirate who *will* take over the world someday!

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Location: Neverland

Life often revolves around my latest art project whether that be sketching, making movies, or writing novels. Friends are the most important thing in my life (including Jesus) but a close second would be trying to take over the world. My flip side is crazy and outgoing so beware if you see me wearing pink hair.

Monday, August 13, 2007

O-Bon Holiday ... Sorta.

My lovely friend Sayaka saved me from the busy Japan train station on Saturday evening and returned me to her exceptionally lovely home where I was greeted by her courageous mother Naomi-chan and her somewhat shy-seeming father. Our friend Atsune arrived an hour later to visit with us before he left for his parents house, far away near Hokkaido, for O-bon (which is a yearly Japanese customary celebration to honor the departed).

Atsune was sweating buckets thanks to the ravenous heat. He once told me that he needed to drink a 2L bottle of water when he played badminton to replace the 2L of sweat he lost. After everyone cooled off and had adequately revelled in the awesomeness of Sayakas house, we played a few games of Senmusousomething ruther (Dynasty Warriors).

Atsune left. We ate dinner - delicious but epically proportioned as usual. Afterwards Sayaka, Miyuki and I relaxed while looking at pictures and discussing anime and animals. Sayaka knows about loads of old animations that I have never heard of. She showed me tons of wonderful books and her two favorite figuines below. Miyuki was the funny-looking hawk haired guy and I was the hostile dude with less impressive hair.

Next day Sayaka had school so I went to visit the grandmother with her family. We went to the graveyard to honor their grandfather, where everyone took turns lighting insence, washing the gravestone, and decorating it with flowers before giving a brief prayer. Afterwards, we returned by car and Miyuki was entirely enraptured by the handsome fellow driving the car (the dog, not the old man). The old man found our expressions of awe rather amusing so he rolled down the window and pursued our car until I captured an adequate picture on my camera.

We then ate lunch and parted ways at the station, with promises to meet again for Shabu-Shabu! Yum!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Japans Greatest Mystery ...?

In a country where the inhabitants are rarely caught not eating, where they package and repackage even the smallest piece of gum, I must ask why the garbage cans cant be a little bigger! It doesnt matter that the hamburgers are half the size of your palm if they come in ten different boxes and a plastic bag in case it rains. Bigger garbage cans please!

Sometimes the garbage cans are even non-existant, like in the train stations where food stands and vending machines are ample. Regardless of this fact, you dont see anyone littering. Maybe Japan simply has excellent janitors. In any case, I found myself carrying an empty can of coffee around all day until I got home because theres no garbage cans anywhere. Maybe Japanese people usually eat the cans when theyre done. I dont know. Its mysterious.

This week I went to Atami with my friend Tatsuya. Atami was an amazing little tourist town full of everything from palm trees to ramen - minus garbage cans of course. Tatsuyas father drove us to the top of the hill/mountain/thing but we couldnt see Mount Fuji because the fog was thicker than the packaging on a piece of japanese gum. I met Tatsuyas friends, we watched movies, and ate lots of food. Yay for ma-chan and rice pilaf!

After returning to Yokohama I went for dinner with Atsune, Degashi, Tatsuya, and their friend. I didnt take pictures - Curses! But it was an awesome time full of Melon Soda and food at Johnsons. Atsune and I went to Badminton practice afterward. I did not bad, but I did trip on the station staircase on the return home. I need to work on my gracefulness. Its embarrasing.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Hisashiburi Japan!

Its been five days of craziness since I entered Japan ... and I still cant find the punctuation keys.

On July 30th I finally realized I was going to Japan ... the next day, no less! I began packing immediately. Stuffing everything within reaching distance into the largest bag I could find. After weighing the sumo suitcase, however, I realized the airplane staff would surely turn me away and therefore began re-packing with my utmost care in selecting those things which were most important to me; underwear ... books ... Playstation2 ... PSP .... games ... movies ... etc.

At 4am the following morning I was packed and ready to sleep for a good 48 hours. I took my 3 hours of precious sleep before waking up to shower. We then drove to the Edmonton airport, where mom casually discarded me at the front entrance with a formal unmotherly goodbye. Needless to say, I was in the waiting room within minutes and on the airplane before I knew it. I spent the flight cramming random japanese phrases into my head and hoping I wouldnt forget them - which obviously I did.

My excellent friend Atsune was kind enough to pick me up at the airport - I dont know how I would have commuted my baggage without him. He was naturally surprised to find out I had a PS2 in my carry-on bag, not a brick. We met my other friends Tatsuya, Yoko, and lovely as ever Saori at Yokohama Station and went to a cafe where I attempted to stay awake and speak japanese.

Next day, Atsune and Saori took me scavenger hunting for a pre-paid cellphone. You may be one of those persons who think that Japan is the land of incredible technology ... and you would be right. There is no place here for outdated pre-paid cellphone plans. Good luck finding one because it took me five days.

We spent the more enjoyable portion of the day reserving a place for hanabi (fireworks). Atsune marked our small patch of grass with a cute tarp, wrote his name on it with ductape, and placed a cooler on it. The bicycle nearby made a much better marker, however. After shopping some more, we returned to watch the fireworks with Donaldo Duck (See Below). Unlike Canada, these fireworks change colors, take shapes, and some are even multicolored. Every space around the lake was packed with people and when the fireworks ended, everyone headed for Yokohama Station - Daimyo Gioretsu!

Saori and I spent one day together just shopping and relaxing. Then on August 3rd I met Chinopan at the station. We went to Coldstone Creamery (my ultimate favorite dessert experience which secures any reasoning I have for not returning to Canada) and then rode the watercoaster at some kind of amusement park. As per usual, we exchanged countless hilarious stories, somewhere wherein I deduced that Chinopan was actually a chicken. We took the train back to his house and met Nami-chan, and the next day ate Okonomiyaki and teased Chinopan about being Chino-chicken instead of Chinonator.