Did not a whole lot of anything this morning, except going to Sasazuka to get a key made for Sarah, who is going to be house sitting for us (that doesn't really count as doing anything, does it?)
Anyway, this afternoon, Sarah came over, and I gave her the house tour and explained everything about Venus, etc... Hopefully I didn't forget to tell her anything crucial! We walked back to Sasazuka with Venus, since that's probably the best station for her, and then I just came back here, and made the equivalent of a TV dinner here - it's like a brick of frozen noodles, with some frozen goo on top, that when boiled for a few minutes turns into a fairly thick noodle and veggie soup. It was pretty good! I think this one was called 'goo-ta'. I had another one a few days ago which was a microwave one, and it was fine but definitely not as good! V. and I watched a couple of episodes of Sex and the City while I ate (I'm just plowing through them!)
Tonight was also the bounenkai in Koenji that Jordon was organizing, so at eightish I headed out there, stopping in Harajuku to drop off my library books (I no longer have anything to read, so I hope Mom is bringing books to Hawaii!). Met Jordon at the station and then we walked to the little bar/cafe place (Orange) where the event was. A couple of his friends got there at the same time as us, including one guy who was also at Yukiko's wedding party, so we all went in together, and I ended up chatting with them quite a bit. It was pretty funny since there was a pretty big language barrier between all of us, especially when Jordon left, so we had an electronic dictionary party, and basically communicated through very simple language with a lot of help from the electronic dictionaries... I really need to get one of them, I heard tonight that they're coming out with one where you can write a kanji character on the touch pad and then it will translate for you, which would be pretty sweet!
(edited to add photos from Jordon...thanks!)
Stephen, whom I met at Design Festa turned up a little while after we did, and came to join our little group, luckily he's way more bilingual than any of us were, so he could translate a bit! When Jordon's two friends had to go b/c of getting the train to Saitama (last train is at 11 which is early, but it's not close!), Stephen and I ended up chatting with a singer in a punk rock band called 'Daddy Longfeet'. His English was only a little bit better than my Japanese, so we had a pretty kindergarten level conversation, but it was fun though :)
There were probably about 30-40 people through the course of the night, though I left while it was still pretty much mid party, and people were still trickling in. Most people seemed to be in some way involved with a band (lots of Molets members too) which was cool, and lots of people brought records and took turns DJ'ing...
Unfortunately, since anyone who lives on the Odakyu line and doesn't want to get a taxi turns into a pumpkin at 12:52 when the last train pulls out of Shinjuku (and we're a pretty late line!) I had to leave just after midnight to have time to get back from Koenji, since the trains don't run so frequently this late. I discovered the third rush hour of the day here, the last trains were all packed, which I guess makes sense! Lots of salary men making their way home, and a few people coming from parties probably, although lots of people will either stay out till first train (5ish), or get a taxi, depending on where they live...
It really sucks how early the trains stop running here, especially since I think the taxis raise their rates by 30% between 12-5am, but Peter said someone told him it also helps out the salarymen who actually want to get home at some point, and can use the last train as an excuse to get out of another round of karokee (or work), or whatever... I tried to take a couple of pictures of all the people, but it's a bit hard to see... I don't have any pictures of tonight, but Jordon took a bunch, so hopefully I can get a couple from him and edit them in, I've been bad about taking photos at events recently!!(platform at Shinjuku, either Yamanote or Chuo line, all those people are cued up at the markers on the ground which show where the doors to the trains will be, and then they'll all cram on... Once you're on a train like that, its like a sardine can, but no one gets mad about it when people fall into them as the train moves or anything, everyone is just pretty resigned to the way it's going to be...)
(it's a little hard to see through the windows, but that's solid people on that train! (at Koenji)
Anyway, I should probably start packing, since it's 2:45 am and we leave tomorrow (not till the evening, but I teach tomorrow morning)... I'm kind of avoiding sleep tonight, so that I'm so tired I have to sleep on the plane... That's the plan anyway, hopefully it doesn't completely backfire on me! As for blogging while we're away, I'm planning to write every night on someone's laptop, and then hopefully post as well, but I might end up having to update online every couple of days, depending on what sort of net access I can get...