Thursday, December 30, 2004

Let it Snow, let it Snow....

As the picture below demonstrates (taken outside my apartment) the weather in Tokyo has been rather chilly. This shows the snow on top of a van parked outside my apartment. It snowed for a couple of hours, most of the snow melted on the ground so no problems were caused. Rather exciting and a novelty though. Of course the novelty of the cold weather has already passed.

Well everyone, have a great rest of 2004 and bring on the new and improved 2005!!

Best wishes!!

I've been dreaming of a years.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

I have discovered that thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, of people in Tokyo enjoy looking at pretty lights. Etsuko and I became two of those people. Last evening (after a hard days overtime I might add) I went to the Tokyo Millenario which is a pretty amazing display of lights. I am not really too sure of the story behind it or who funds this free display but it was certainly wowing the crowds.

There is a Japanese word which means Christmas Lights it is “illumination”. There was certainly some illumination going on last night. You could in fact call it an illuminating experience.

The evening was followed by a meal at ( the rapidly becoming infamous) “Watami” Japanese Style Bar/Restraunt, with Etsuko, Armando from The Bronx, New York (new and soon to be ex-resident of my Guest House) and one of my Japanese buddies. All in all a good way to kick off my (all too brief) New Year Holidays.

Energy Efficient Tokyo


Keep walking toward the light

Monday, December 27, 2004

And a happy...

Well, with a sense of the obvious I can say that it has been a while since I havemade any attempt at communication on this Internet blog. As I write this I am in my room with my air-conditioner turned up rather higher than usual. The weather has started to turn slightly cooler although I certainly wouldn't say that it is too drastic at the moment. Among my recent purchases have been a woollen hat and some gloves, more for use in Korea than here.

Life has been relatively unexciting recently. It has been a somewhat hard slog towards the end of the year with work. I have been working at some other NOVA schools so that has provided some variety and the chance to meet some new and interesting people.

On the social scene I have been to a couple of Christmas parties and am looking forward to a New Year's party. Other than the parties I have mentioned there has been little in the way of aknowledgement that this time of year is Christmas.

Today was hopefully my last day of work for the year although I have volunteered for overtime tomorrow should the need arise.

At the moment it feels as though I am killing time until I start by two months of exciting travel! As I said before I am going to Korea in mid-January for a few days. I have made a booking with the United States Army to inspect the troops at the border between North Korea and South Korea at the United Nations run joint security area. I spoke with Kev recently and it seems like it will certainly be one of the highlights of the trip, even if a little hair-raising.

I'm also very anxious to get back to New Zealand to catch up with family and friends. I discovered that the festive season in a foreign country can be a rather dull time. If I am still in Japan this time next year I will need to ensure that I spend December the 24th in a building equipped with a chimney. Apparently the air-conditioning ducts are inappropriate for the jolly fat man to squeeze his way down.

The photos below were taken at a Christmas party that I attended hosted by the seasoned hosts Peter, Adam and Chris. Once the hatted Raoul turned up Sake flowed freely and caution and some peoples pants were thrown to the wind. All in all that was a very successful seasonal party by some seasoned social organisers.

There is one student at our school who takes it upon herself to always dress to the occasion whether it be a devil at Halloween or a Santa Claus at Christmas, the surprises never cease. The unfortunate looking fellow standing next to her is Rhett from Australia. As a slight aside I was speaking to him over the Internet and we had a conversation went something like this:

Rhett: You from the North Island or the South Island?

Me: North Island

Rhett: Which Island do the stupid people live in?

Me: Australia

Rhett is a bit of a rarity in the Nova he has been in Japan for over three years now I think. He is one of the few teachers I have met who has actually been able to come to grips with the Japanese language at some level. It looks as though this has opened some doors for him to do some rather interesting things. He has also got on the blog bandwagon you can check out the stuff that he gets up to here.

The only other moderately exciting thing which I have done recently is have purchased a Rio - MP3 player, it is basically an limitation mini iPod. Some people of course won't understand what a mini iPod is. When I informed by parents that I had bought a MP3 player I thought I would simplify the explanation to the absolute most basic explanation which I could. "Mum, I've bought a music player". I should have expected the answer which of course was "what's a music player?"

Anyway I had better make a move in get some sleep as I may have to work tomorrow. For those of you back home please be careful of the summer heat. Actually drink plenty of fluids to avoid heat stroke.....he he he he he! Don't worry, in a week or 2 I'm sure as the saying goes he who laughs last, laughs the longest.(Either that or he didn't get the joke)

The best dressed in Tokyo...

Rhett and Risa

Everybody, loves somebody...sometimes

If you can't be with the one you the one your with. (Raoul & Peter)

It took ages to glue the camera to the roof...

Is Raoul happy, or has he just done something bad?

Monday, December 06, 2004

And boy did I feel it!

This shook my building!.......

Sunday, December 5, 2004 at 16:48 JST TOKYO — A rapidly growing low-pressure system brought typhoon-class winds to the Japanese archipelago from Saturday night to Sunday morning, causing blackouts, stranding ships and paralyzing some air and land traffic.
In Tokyo, winds of 144 kilometer per hour were recorded early Sunday morning. Tokyoites later observed another meteorological record — the warmest temperatures for December — as warm southwesterly winds that followed the strong winds sent the mercury up to 25 degrees C shortly before noon. (Kyodo News)