Friday, February 11, 2011

Myoden and Shibuya

I promised myself that i’d do something interesting and then i’d have something better to write about than trains and washing machines. Unfortunately that’s not happened yet.

I haven’t really ventured any further than work and a little bar just around the corner from my dinky flat. The owner of the bar is a friendly little bald man who loves The Beatles. Every time i’ve been in there and sat at the small bar cobbling utterances together in Japanese while other assorted drunks try and cobble together a sentence in English, The Beatles always play along in background. It’s a nice place to have a quiet beer and too much sake before falling into my shoebox sized flat.

It’s also more convenient than getting drunk in central Tokyo, missing the last train home and having to walk for about two hours in the cold and eventually sleep in a 24 hour internet cafe until about 5am when the metro starts running again. Only a complete fool would do such a thing. Or you could get drunk in central Tokyo after eating Korean-style pork bbq followed by watching Japan beat Australia in the final of the Asian Football Championships and then celebrate at the famous Shibuya crossing in the early hours of the morning by joining hundreds of Japanese fans by repeatedly running into the middle of the crossing when the traffic stops and cheering and jumping up and down like a lunatic surrounded by skyscrapers, neon and pedestrian-traffic marshals and then scampering back to the pavement when the lights turn back to green. After which, you could get the first train home. That night out was less convenient but definitely a lot more fun.

A few of my lessons are also quite fun. One of my students was trying to describe having hay fever and struggled to think of the word for “snot”. Instead she said “nosewater”. I love this word. I’m now always going to refer to “snot” as “nosewater”. Please join me in getting this fantastical new word into general usage and everyday language where it rightly belongs. One day it will be in the Oxford English Dictionary and we will laugh at times past when we called nosewater “snot”. Do it.

A small but significant portion of my other students are crazy children who bounce of the walls (and that’s not a figure of speech, it’s just a genuine observation) or educated adults who want to travel, learn a new language and have fun. It’s a bit of a mix but then that’s what life seems to have become recently. All or nothing. I teach toddlers or grandparents. I drink in a little bar in suburbia playing The Beatles or in packed bars in Tokyo watching football. I eat grilled meat or raw fish. I get the last train home at eleven o’clock or the first train at 5am. I drink beer or sake, teach English or study Japanese. And worse of all? I write a blog called shutupjusttravel but don’t actually go anywhere.

But i’m going to Yokohama on Sunday and hopefully to an onsen in the mountains next weekend so i promise (really promise) that next time i will write about something new, somewhere different and something vaguely more interesting than me disappearing up my own arse. Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. In Japanese snot is hana mizu which literally translates as nose water. you can remember it by thinking of hannah (that annoying girl who used to be in neighbours), me and a zoo.
    Keep up the good blogging work!