Sunday, March 13, 2011


Well, I can't claim to have an uneventful life anymore. This week was certainly dominated by a certain natural/nuclear disaster. But in keeping with consistency, I'm gonna start from the beginning of the week, even if it does feel like ten years ago. We met Fingers and co. again and went to Shibuya on Sunday. It was boring.

Shibuya, hurray.

Monday was one of those wasted days where I probably watched some tv or whatever. Can't remember.

Tuesday I had work. I honestly think things are getting worse with the kids who don't like me. Maybe it's because they have realised that I'm here to stay. One of them screamed and screamed until she started to choke on her food and then she threw up loads. It was fucking disgusting.

On Wednesday, while I was in work, we had a small earthquake. I was pretty used to earthquakes after almost 4 months here, but this one frightened me more than usual, simply because I was in school and found myself responsible for this room full of tiny children. It was during lunch time so we just them to get down under the table, and it was over in less than a minute. No big deal. I got in a fight with one of the kiddies then, because he wouldn't go back to eating his lunch, and kept trying to run away. The reason was that they are really well trained, and have an earthquake/fire drill once a month. After the earthquake drill where they get under the tables, they are supposed leg it down the fire escape to evacuate, which is what he wanted to do. Good lad.

On Thursday I went back out to Tachikawa (the area where I work). I met my co-worker Feny on her lunch break and went with her to view her apartment, that myself and Der are thinking of moving to. It is SMALL. Tiny. But a lot cheaper. I told her I'd have to talk to Derry about it. If it was just me, I'd probably take it because it's fine for one person, but for the two of us, I'm not so sure... Afterwards, I got the bus to the immigration office AGAIN, to get my new visa stamp. I had to pay 4000yen for it which I was pretty annoyed about. But I'm no longer working illegally, haha.
One year working visa :)

I went back to Nakano, went to the ward office and applied for my Alien registration card and got my national health insurance card. A productive day by my standards.

Isn't our city flag awesome?

So then we get to Friday. It had been another lazy day. Although I woke up early enough, I stayed in bed watching stuff on the internet. I got up, and was about to get in the shower, when I realised I hadn't brought in my washing yet, and I'd need my clean clothes for after my shower, so I headed up to the roof of our three story house to get it. While I was up there, the earthquake started. I didn't worry for a few seconds, but it got stronger, and scary, really fast. I legged it inside and down one flight of stairs to my bedroom to get Derry. At this point it was getting louder and more violent so we decided to get the fuck out of the house. It felt like turbulence on an aeroplane, the kind that makes you grip your armrest and close your eyes. I could hear shit falling over and smashing as I made my way down the two flights of stairs.

Outside we found our roomate, Ryuta, the three of us wearing our pyjamas at 2:45 in the afternoon, the street was filling up with people leaving their houses, all looking at one another, everybody wondering when the fuck it was going to end. Even after the violent shaking had stopped, the earth continued to sway for a good few minutes. The feeling of not being on solid ground was incredible, it was like being on a ferry, or being really really drunk.

Elementary school kids in their protective headgear.

I have no idea how long we stayed outside for, until the rocking had ceased and I felt brave enough to run back inside to grab a jacket and my cigarettes. After a couple of cigarettes, we ventured back into the house where we immediately turned on the news. The tsunami was already underway. A couple of large aftershock rocked the house again, causing us all to leave the house and go down to an open car park area a couple feet away. One of the really strange things was a dramatic change in the weather. It had been a really sunny, warm Spring day when the big quake hit. Within an hour, it had gotten really dark and dramatically colder.

News reporters wearing helmets in the studios.

Although we were quite aware it had been a big earthquake, I had no idea of the devastation that would be caused in the hours that would follow what with the tsunamis, explosions, fires and nuclear shite. I knew I needed to contact my parents before they found out about it all on the news but I had a couple of hours before they would wake.

We spent the rest of the day not really knowing what to do. The gas had been shut off in the house, which happens automatically when earthquakes reach a certain magnitude, so we went to CoCo's which is a diner a few doors down from our house. It's a bit like a Denny's. We drank coffees and ate ice cream and smoked, while Ryuta tried to get through to his boss. We thought the aftershocks had finished in the evening so Derry and Ryuta headed down to Koenji for a while and I stayed at home. I'd been feeling fine up to that point but spending a few hours sitting alone in my room watching all these terrifying videos and hearing that a nuclear emergency had been announced really freaked me out, and the aftershocks came back and were pretty continuous.

We felt the big earthquake at a 5 in our area. Most of the aftershocks for the last two days have been 1-3.

The atmosphere in the streets was so strange. We live really near Shinjuku, and literally thousands of people were walking past my house trying to get home. The street was filled with traffic which I've never seen before since being here, our street is usually empty, and there were lots of sirens from ambulances and fire engines trying to get through.

I was sooooooo lucky that I wasn't in work that day because I would have been stranded, like millions of others that night. 5 of the teachers in my school spent the night there, with two of the 2 year old toddlers whose parents couldn't get to them.

Shockingly, the school was open as usual the next day and I was supposed to be in work. I thought it was mental that people were still going to work the next day, especially when the aftershocks were still going strong and nobody knew what was happening with the power plant. I couldn't get through to anybody though, because most of the phone networks were down, so I emailed them and told them I wasn't going to come in unless I heard from them. They eventually emailed me back and told me that the trains were still not fully functional and I didn't have to come in even though they were open, because technically I'm still only training.

Explosion at an oil refinery, 40 miles from my house.

So anyways, I didn't do much this weekend apart from sitting at home being on edge.It was scary, listening to sensationalist news reports, spitting out figures of radiation, without any explanation to what they mean and not knowing what I should do! My teeth and jaw hurt from clenching them. Every time I felt and aftershock, I'd get really short of breath for a while. I got vertigo and started imagining earthquakes every time I stood up. I got a bit ridiculous tbh.
Luckily I discovered the Japan Meteorological Agency website which, usually about 5 mins after every aftershock, lists the magnitude and location of the epicentre. These helped me to distinguish the real quakes from my imaginary ones :)

Most recent earthquake, as I write this.

We were really so lucky that we're far enough away from all that madness. I can't begin to imagine what it must be like for all those people whose lives were lost, families lost, homes destroyed, or to be evacuated because of a nuclear crisis etc etc. To be honest, I'm trying not to think about it too much.

I felt much better yesterday (Sunday), after a good nights sleep, and today when I got woken up by a biggish quake, I didn't even hold my breath. I've gotten enough information about the power plant to not be scared any more and I'm too far inland to be hurt by any tsunamis. We're laughin. But even though everybody around me is very calm and going about their business like any other day, there is still a vague sense of uneasiness.

There was a a queue of about 30 cars at the petrol station near my house as I walked by yesterday. They have put a limit on how much petrol people can buy:

The shops have sold out of so many products. All of the bottled water, bread and dairy are completely gone. Even though nobody is panicking, they certainly are preparing for the worst! It's fucking creepy. More photos of this on my Tumblr.

I got a package from my bestest bud Chris Mahon today, with some essentials, so at least I won't starve.

Legend. Myself and Derry had a great time doing the crossword and sudoku in an October edition of the Metro Herald until I started to cry because I have such bad motion sickness from all the quakes that I though I was gonna throw up. I rang my mam who wants me to come home and I'm starting to like the sound of that plan.

I have to go back to work tomorrow and I'm fucking dreading it. People are telling me there is a high chance of another big earthquake in the next two days so I'm packing an overnight bag in case I get stranded out there. Ugh. I'm worn out and I feel sick and I wish this bullshit would be over already. Derry is taking it all in his stride and listening to Tsunami Bomb and Nuclear Assault because he is hilarious.

I've never missed Ireland as much as I do now, and I can't wait to see all of your lovely faces again, whether it's next week or next year. Love you xx

Saturday, March 5, 2011


I was a lot busier this week, I'm working 3 full days a week now. Working full days again is a bit of a shock to the system, haha. I'm also in pain from sitting on the floor all the time, my body isn't used to it! My coworkers were telling me how you get hemorrhoids from sitting on the floor, and one of them went into graphic detail about her visit to the doctor a few weeks ago due to this affliction. It's funny how open the Japanese are when talking about this kind of thing.

I'm really getting a feel for the place now, although the days seem looong, especially when you're not teaching.
I learned all kinds of cultural shit this week. I learned to never touch anything with my feet, not to sit on tables or to wave at the boss in work, although I can still get away with these kind of things because I'm a silly ignorant gaijin. My school has a blog that they update everyday so check it out, and every so often you can see photos of me looking stupid (eg. 2/3/2011).

Kate and Laser

 My friend Kate had her boyfriend Laser (yes, Laser) visiting from Ohio this week. We went to Koenji with them on Thursday to go record shopping (well, we watched them record shopping) and then we got some kick ass Chinese food. The food was good but the water was an off-putting shade of yellow...

Yummy yummy.

Friday was a busy day, I threw my back out in the morning, which was a nightmare. It took two hours of lying down, 4 strong painkillers, a hot water bottle and a massage from Derry before I could get up again. The pain was ridic, I think it was a trapped muscle or nerve or something.

 Sonoko, Sam the navy man and Giullaume, the teacher I am replacing.

Luckily I recovered in time to go to a work party on Friday evening, that they were throwing because two of the teachers are leaving soon. I tried to get out of it because I'm so broke, but then they informed me that it was also kind of a welcome party for me and that they had booked to go to an Irish bar in my honour, so I HAD to go. It was a good laugh, and I'm really glad I went. The other English teacher is my bessie mate and she brought along her boyfriend and his friend who are US navy men. Most of the people I work with are super nice.

 Mitsuki and me.

It started at 6pm, we had two hours of an open bar, during which I drank an entire bottle of Canadian Club, and got quite messy. There was loads of food also, it just kept on coming. It started with just popcorn and edamame beans, but then came salad, duck, chicken wings, fish and chips, shepherds pie, pizza, sausages, pasta, and some kind of chinese jelly dessert. Between all that and my bottle of whiskey I was ready to burst by the time I left. The Japanese people thought I was INSANE for suggesting we put salt and vinegar on the fish and chips. I had to tell them what's up. I fucking miss salt and vinegar crisps.

Weird Chinese dessert

Fingers is here for the weekend, so I bailed from the work party about 9pm and went to meet up with himself, his mates, Derry, Kate and Laser in Shinjuku. We went to a karaoke bar where I hogged the microphone, and almost killed myself by falling over in the bathroom. Fingers spent a large portion of the time in other peoples karaoke booths. I had to go home at midnight because I had work at 9am the next day, and they all went to a hostess bar after I left. MAD jealous.

I'm going to be working Saturdays every second month, and today was the first time I did so. When I'm in on Saturdays, I teach a special needs class to two little lads with autism. They are a lot of fun, and really enthusiastic. The rest of the day was boring as hell though, because there was only 9 kids in and not a lot to do. We went to the park and to the library which was nice. It was quite sunny today.

Derry and I are thinking of moving gaff. One of the teachers I work with has offered me her apartment. It's a lot cheaper, and it's right beside work, but that means that its a lot further from central Tokyo... Only half an hour by train though so not the end of the world I suppose. I'm torn. I like the size of this house and that we have a roof terrace and stuff, but I'm getting really sick of living with people, haha, and the bills are super high. Decisions, decisions.

People at home are all having dreams about me and Derry which is fucking weird.

I got a postcard from the immigration office telling me that they are FINALLY ready to give me my work visa, so I have to head back out there on Monday and then I can FINALLY get my alien registration card, a bank account, library card, cellphone etc. Yeah, I say cellphone now. Sup. I'm not a tourist no more. Life is good.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


This is what Derry's hair looks like when it's not slicked back into his usual quiffy-job. He was really drunk here, he drank a fuckload of red wine that made his teeth go purple. Hawt.

I taught my classes for the first time in work this week. I had the baby class on Tuesday and the older class on Wednesday. It was a bit of a fucking disaster if I'm honest. Teaching is not as easy as it looks. I was a bit disheartened after, but they told me I did grand, so fuck it. As long as I'm not fired.

I got this teacher profile to fill out. I don't know what to write. When I worked in Topshop all the staff had one of these kind of things hanging up in the back room, I even remember getting my photo taken for it, but for some reason I never did one. I got overlooked somehow. Oh well.

I got my first paycheck, which didn't amount to much because I only worked 8 half days this month, it doesn't even cover my rent, but I should have enough money in the bank to scrape by til the end of March, and then we're laughin. This months bills were stupidly high and my bankcard doesn't seem to be working, so that's got me in a really bad mood. Ugh, 4 more weeks and then no more money troubles. Hopefully, ever.

It was really warm on Friday, about 20C. Derry, being the legend that he is, made a big breakfast for us to eat on the roof. It was pretty delightful, except that it got really windy which made the coffee go cold really fast and my pancakes almost blew away.

Pictured is a salad, a bowl of noodles, inari, tofu, my apple, and a big pot of coffee of course. Not pictured are my pancakes. Mmmm, pancakes...

After breakfast we got the train to Kichijoji which is a western suburb quite near to us. We really like Kichijoji, it's got a really nice park and interesting shops, but yesterday we just went on a mission to find Kaldi Coffee Farm which is an awesome import store. It smells amazing, because it sells loads of coffee beans, obv, among other things, and it's a fair bit cheaper than other import stores. We picked up some tortilla wraps and two varieties of tabasco sauce, I got my favourite jalapeno, and Der got chipotle.

Then we decided to grab a coffee, so we went for a wander to look for a coffee shop. We stumbled across a basement cafe called Coffee Hall. It was cool, a bit like a dungeon, the menus were made of wood with leather pages. We couldn't understand the menu at all so we just ordered two hot coffees. 630 fucking yen each. Gaaah. That's €5.60 just so ya know. This does not adhere to our frugal lifestyle. You'd swear we are made of money.

Here's me trying to smile even though I just drank away my budget for dinner in 5 minutes. I FUCKING LOVE SMOKING INDOORS.

So yeah, all in all, a pretty boring week. I spent a large portion of it working on this jigsaw that Laila sent me. It's a fucking cunt. I only have about 45 pieces of sky left, but it's impossible, because not only are all the pieces almost the exact same colour, but they all KIND of fit together so process of elimination doesn't really work. I hate it. Thaaaanks Laila.

A shitty, boring week. I don't know why I'm bothering to blog about it. I think if I skip a week I'll probably never update this again, and I'll have to start telling everyone individually how things are going, and that would just be annoying. Hopefully this week will be better. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I hope everybody had a lovely Valentines Day last week! Derry and I never make a big thing of Valentine's day. He got me some chocolate, we went on one of our Mister Donut outings and then he cooked me dinner. So it was pretty much like most other days, haha. He's a good boyfriend. Another fucking blizzard started on our walk home from MiDo, I've never seen such massive flakes of snow before, they were about as big as my fist.

Work was the usual, one of the little boys called me scary in Japanese - kowai. This is one of the few words I know in Japanese because for the first month I was here, I accidentally kept calling everything scary, when I meant to say cute - kawaii. One of the little girls fell asleep standing up and fell over which was lol. I have to teach next week so I planned my lesson with the other English teacher, and I'm not so nervous now, but I'll prob be shitting it when the time comes.

I had to go back to the immigration office on Wednesday. It got complicated and I still don't have my visa, but they gave me a new stamp in my passport saying that my application has gone through so that I don't get deported, despite the fact that my tourist visa ran out this week. Derry got his tourist visa extended so he's cool too, for now.
We went to apply for our Alien Registration cards on Friday, which you need if you're in Japan for longer than 90 days. I can't believe it's been 90 days. Wild. Derry applied for his, but they wouldn't let me apply for mine because my tourist visa has run out, and I have no official status of residence right now... The dude kept telling me I've overstayed my visa which is illegal, and I kept trying to tell him that I'd BEEN to the immigration office, it was all GRAND, and THEY had told me to come get my alien card. But fucking the language barrier made this an impossible task. Urgh.

We went to the local library which did have a decent enough English section, but we can't get a library card until we get our alien cards. Can't do anything without that fucking card. Can't get a cellphone, health insurance, a bank account etc. Because I have no status. Siiigggh.

I got really down in the dumps towards the end of the week, which was either caused by, or the cause of, a bout of homesickness. Ryuta said it usually happens every 3 months. I can't believe I've been here three months.

We met up with Lugosi yesterday and went for a drunken ramble through Shinjuku. We went back to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building again to check out the night view. It's open till 11pm which is cool. I had my camera with me this time:

Click to enlarge

As the night progressed, we got ignorant, found a random shrine, went drinking in one of those teeny backstreet bars where Lugsy demonstrated his Japilities, then went back to Nakano and went bowling. Derry and Lugosi tried to psyche me out because they were so jealous of my mad skills.

Sorry this blog is boring as fuck. Here's me pretending to be Japanese. That's a massive bottle of soy sauce beside me. Yeah.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


One thing I forgot to mention about last week was Setsubun which is the Bean-Throwing Festival celebrated on Feb 3rd. Basically, someone wears a demon mask and then you all hurl some soya beans at them to ward away evil spirits.
I had seen these masks in all the supermarkets and convenience stores for about a month, but had no idea what they were until the day. Ryuta and his friend Yui went and got us the beans and masks and we went out on the street and looked like loopers, tossing beans, eating beans, and making a big old mess on the very clean streets.

For some reason, our masks had TV Digital written on them, maybe to symbolise the demonic nature of television and the way it rots our brains or whatever. I dunno.

So, onto this week... I got a package from Kate Molloy with a book and some chocolate, which was awesome. I'm going to go join to my local library this week because apparently the English section in it is pretty decent. I will confirm or deny this next week.

Work went fine as usual, until I got ambushed by the other teacher and the school administrator. They sat me down and questioned me about what ideas I have and what changes I want to make to the curriculum and that kind of thing. I have barely been told anything about the curriculum as it stands, or what kind of standard or goals they have set for the kids. Also I have absolutely no teaching experience, so I was totally caught off guard and I didn't like it. I wormed my way out of it though, went home and did some research, and I'm all set for Tuesday. I'm going to go in and present myself as an ambitious go-getter type, brimming with new ideas and yadda yadda yadda. Hopefully. Really, I just hope I don't get fired.

My private student cancelled his lesson, because he's a flake and has rescheduled every lesson we've had so far. I'm glad he paid me in advance.
I met with a new private student for a trial lesson, which went well. He is a policeman. His English is really good, so I got really nervous trying to think what the fuck am I going to teach this chap, but it turns out he wants to do conversation style lessons. It'll be nice not to have to plan a whole lesson, I can just have an idea of some topics to discuss if the conversation runs dry. He was convinced that westerners don't eat fish, so I told him about chippers, and he seemed fascinated. He sent me an email thanking me for an awesome lesson, which consisted of 5 sentences and 26 exclamation marks.

My friend Kate came over on Friday to give me a haircut seeing as I made a balls of it trying to cut it myself. She's got mad skills.

I braved a snow blizzard to meet her in Shinjuku. We hit up a bookshop with a whole floor of English book. I was tempted to buy a book from the Japanese culture section, entitled "Understanding Japanese Humour". When we went back to Nakano we stopped at my local Disk Union, where I did my best not to look at any records while Kate dropped some serious cash. Sigh.
After haircuts, we grabbed Derry and headed down to the local Denny's for free coffee refills, chain smoking and a gigantic ice cream sundae.

Today, I went to a free teaching seminar in Shinjuku. I figured I could use all the help I can get as far as my teaching skills are concerned, but it was boring as hell. The first two presentations were pretty basic shit that I did in my TEFL course, so I bailed at the lunch break and went off to have some fun with Derry.

Despite the snow blizzard two days ago and all the rain yesterday, today was absolutely beautiful with clear blue skies and lots of sunshine. We seized this opportunity to finally go up to the observation deck on the 45th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.

Not my photo.

It was rad We were able to see Mt. Fuji, and our house (or at least the giant triangular building near our house). I defo want to go up again at night time. Of course, I didn't have my camera with me because I suck. We decided against going into the Lost in Translation hotel which was across the road until we have a camera with us. We found a delightful coffee shop and then we went for a delish pre-Valentines day Indian dinner.

I didn't realise this post was going to be so massive. It's after midnight here now so Happy Valentine's Day from Futureland, hope y'all have a good one xx

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I started my job! Hurray! I was just in for a few hours on Tuesday with the baby class and Wednesday with the older class, which is how it will be for the rest of the month. I don't actually have to teach until the last week of February, right now I'm just getting the lay of the land. I just participated in the classes and got to know some of the teachers and the kids. One of the little boys was terrified of me and burst into tears every time I looked at him. Which was a fun game. For me.

The job seems, for the most part, pretty easy. I'm pretty damn good with children regardless of the fact that I don't particularly like them. Plus the children so well behaved. We sang songs, they showed me a dance that they know, we read stories and we painted a tree. Everybody told me their name and how old they are, and then they all asked me some questions, including what is my favourite soup, vegetable, candy, cookie, rice, fish, colour, animal (I said cat and meowed at them and they all went into convulsions on the floor, so easily amused, I love it).

The other English teacher is dead sound and I got on really well with her which is awesome because we'll be working very closely together. She's also MAD strict with the kids, which made me realise that I can be really strict! No-nonsense Laura. I plan on having every child terrified of me by the end of next week.

I got a package from Laila in NY this week, which was rad. I have awesome friends.

Today I went to the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography to see an exhibition called Snapshots Cast Their Spell. I heard about it on The Sartorialist's blog. Some of his work was in the exhibition, and I love his blog so I thought I'd check it out. *Edit: I swiped these photographs of the exhibition from The Sartorialist.

My favourite part of the exhibition was a series of photographs by Paul Fusco, entitled RFK Funeral Train. One of the photos from that series is in the foreground of the image below.

I like doing cultural shit, the bad thing about Tokyo is that you have pay into pretty much all of the museums, so going to most of them is on my list of "things to do once I start getting paid".

Bedtime now.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Weekly update. This week sucked. We didn't do much. But lets focus on the good...

I got an amazing package from home filled with treats, presents, zines, books, artistic softcore porn and, best of all, long letters which I've read about ten times. Oh, and a copy of the Metro Herald. It's important to keep up with Irish current events with some high quality journalism.

To distract ourselves from the boredom of unemloyment, Derry and I have been seriously taking advantage the free coffee refills in Mr. Donut. Coffee and a donut for €3 + free refills + a place to hang out = hours of entertainment. In our time there we've managed to come up with a 5 year plan, which is exciting. I've never had goals before, but now I feel like I have something to work towards ie. a career and my dream house. I'm such a grown up.

I had a lesson with my private student which went well and he's paid me in advance for the next month, which is my first bit of income since arriving in Japan. Chaching.
Derry is out partying with NDT for their last night in Japan. I have my first day of work in the preschool tomorrow, so I'm home alone and I have to go to bed now. Here's hoping I wake up on time.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hey Darragh

Darragh asked me to update this blog more. It's true, I've been terrible. It's so much easier to just throw some photos up on my tumblr. But I'm going to try to do this weekly for anyone who might care.

This week I went to the immigration office and applied for my working visa. It was a bit scary, I was nervous they would deport me on the spot, haha. Luckily, my school sent their secretary Yukari with me so she did all the talking and most of the paperwork and I just stood there and smiled a lot, trying not to look threatening. I wanted to take some photos of the immigration office, but I thought Yukari might think I was a bit weird. Maybe next time.

I found myself a private student and had my first lesson with him yesterday. He was super nice and defo seemed more nervous than me which made me feel a bit better. I'm looking forward to finally putting all my teaching skills into action! Also, it's my first bit of income since reaching Japan, so that's exciting.

Riot Cafe, Koenji

Nuclear Death Terror came over this week. Derry knows Cormy from home so we went and met up with them for a few drinks on Wednesday night in Riot Cafe in Koenji. It was a fun place. Some guy who I think is the owner or the manager or something sat down with us, he was so funny and a bit crazy, and all the members of NDT were super nice too.

Anata wa loco desu.

After Riot Cafe, I cycled over to Faye's new gaff to drink hot sake and have hilarious chats with herself and Ryuta. Faye lived with us until last week, and has now moved into an apartment just around the corner. Hot sake is vile, but I'm told I'll grow to love it.

Zone-B is a venue in Waseda that I mentioned on my Tumblr. Having been to four gigs here in the last 2 weeks, myself and Derry now feel like regulars. Which is awesome. Although, feeling at home here, strangely enough, makes me miss home a bit more. It's nice to be able to go to gigs though, despite being broke as SHIT. We went to the first two because they were cheap (500yen) and then we managed to score getting in free to both NDT shows this week. I wouldn't have been able to go otherwise, the gig last night was 2800yen on the door (about €26).

I cycled down the last couple of times to save on train fares, it's maybe about 30 mins away by bike (at least while I'm still this unfit). However last night Derry and our friend Kate missed the last train, so I walked home with them to show them the way, and what with the drunkenness, the hills and the pit stop in Mac Donalds (where we pissed everyone off by being loud, obnoxious foreigners), it must have taken almost 2 hours to walk, haha.

One awesome thing about gigs here....BYOB! It's completely grand to bring your own booze in. We had heard about this ages ago but didn't know how true it was. The first couple gigs we were so sketchy about it, but yesterday I walked in drinking a can. People be fuckin' drinking naggins of whiskey right beside the bar. It's awesome. And it completely justifies the drink charge, I suppose.

Nuclear Death Terror

NDT were so good both nights. Other awesome bands were Fuck on the Beach, Unkind and Unarm. It's fun to see new bands at every gig, although also really hard to keep track of who you've seen etc. Some of the shows have such massive line-ups. The gig last sunday had 12 bands playing, and the one last night had 8.


We've met lots of cool people
. Everybody is so friendly. We met Kazu for the first time this week, although Der has been in contact with him for a while. When we first came over he would email Der to tell us when good gigs were on. He is the guy that put out that Tunguska record over here a few years ago. I think. Lovely dude, although I make him act as translator far too often when I am drunk.

Derry & Kazu

I've mentioned So a few times before, we met him in our first week here. He is a such a good dude. He put on the show on Thursday and he let us come in for free because he knows how broke we are :)

Derry, So & Kate

Kate is from Ohio. She is an English teacher and lives in Chiba which is the opposite side of the city. She's a lot of fun. As nice as all the Japanese people are, it's fun to have somebody to buzz with, without the ever present language barrier.

Things have really picked up recently. It's good to have made some friends outside of the house and have somewhat of a social life. We're defo in with all the punx now, haha.
My family have discovered how broke I am, and I think are gonna send me some cash so I'm hopefully gonna go see Floorpunch next week, which I think will be a nice change of pace from all the gigs we've been to so far. It's really expensive though :(

I think I might be a little homesick sometimes, especially when I get really bored, although I try to convince myself I'm not. Sometimes I get the kind of feeling like I've stayed too late at a friends house, or I've been in town all day and I'm tired and it's time to be getting home, and then I remember that I am home, this is home, for at least the next year. It's a weird one. This is the longest I've ever been away from Ireland before, although it's gone by super quick.
I just have one more week before I start working, so that'll solve the issues of boredom and brokeness, and I can go straight to moaning about having to work all the time.