Saturday, January 18, 2003

January 18, 2003

Well, went out with some former students from Nippon Oil tonight. We first had dinner at the Farm Grill, one of my hangouts in Tokyo. The notable thing about is that it's one of the few places in the Ginza that piles on the food for a pretty low price. Tons of chicken, beef and dessert. I also discovered that my tolerance for alcohol is a bit better that I'd thought. Downed a couple of glasses of the golden brew there and down a half-pint of Guiness at the next stop at the local Irish pub. The only thing to suffer was my eyes...pretty red and itchy. I kinda feel like the Cruiser's character from Minority Report after he had that eye surgery.

Had a bit of a laugh midweek as I taught one of my classes at school. The English conversation video we were using starred a fellow who would later become famous in stuff like Red Dragon, Fight Club and American History X. Yep, you got it: Ed Norton, circa 1995, played a young backpacker from Minnesota visiting the Big Apple. Of course, his lines were a bit more terse and devoid of subtext so that the students could understand. Gave the kids a kick, although I gave them a further jolt when I revealed that Norton used to be a teacher in Osaka a decade ago. I myself was amazed when he did an interview with the entertainment reporter of a news show here in Japanese.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

January 13, 2003

It's just so ironic having no central heating in the world's second-largest (for now) economy. I was back for 3 weeks in Toronto where the temps dropped to a few degrees below zero Celsius...and that's pretty darn warm for Xmas....and I was still sweating in bed. Over here in Tokyo, we're several latitudinal degrees below Toronto and almost always above the freezing point in the winter, and yet I feel like an icicle even during the day.

Central heating will never catch on in the homes here because the gas and portable gas heater people have got too much of a hold even in the world's largest city. Mind you, true to Japanese integrity, my SHARP heater has lasted me a good 8 years without failing me. All I have to do is just vacuum a wafer-thin square of foam filter and she's back online.