Lying on my bed typing, putting off a decent sleep yet again….

It’s a mystery to myself why I choose to do this. I even have a report tomorrow. *sigh* Well, I don’t think this entry will be too long.

The weekend. Mainly I want to catch up on the weekend. Let’s start with Friday. One of Ben’s co-workers (Yamada-san) is scheduled to move to Osaka and work at a different Sanyo location. Ben had this great idea of taking him out for dinner. All together, there was about 12 of us, I think. About half interns, and half Yamada-san and company (other regular employees). We went to a Yakitoriya. Yakitori is VERY GOOD, but VERY EXPENSIVE! It’s like 120yen for one tiny shishkabob of meat or whatever you get… but it was so good. It’s meant to be a snack. There was so many of us, that we had to split up into two tables. We ate, we drank, we talked… we had a good time. But, when I got up to check out what was going on at the other table, some of the guys were missing! I asked where they went. “The girls’ table.” The GIRLS’ table?! Ikkimasho! =) Upon stepping foot into the room where the “girls'” table was, I was greeted boistrously by the whole room. Cool. I could tell this was going to be fun. These girls knew how to drink! They were all 4th nurses, taking a break from tests. Some of us (the smart ones, and ones without girlfriends… even one with a girlfriend) stayed in that room talking with all the girls until we left. Some numbers and emails were exchanged, and we may see some of them again. Good fun.

When we got back, a smaller group of us decided to play a card game Ben had taught us, called “Oh Shit.” I should mention this alcohol I’ve purchased. I bought it because it was cheap and it looked extremely effective. Alcohol in Japan is generally much cheaper than in Canada, because they don’t slap on such massive taxes. It’s also very difficult for me to buy “sake” if I want “sake” because I don’t know what the Chinese characters are. So I ended up getting this “Kumashochu.” It turns out for about 10$ CDN I bought a large bottle of 25% alcohol. This stuff is killer. It even tastes like paint thinner! Score! It is the perfect punishment drink when playing cards or some other game. Well, I happened to bring this bottle and was “sipping” it when we were playing cards, just to keep my buzz semi-present… and Ben didn’t want to be drinking alone. One of the Japanese guys (he must have had 5 litres of beer at the yakitoriya earlier) saw me drinking that and asked if he could try it. “Sure.” I handed hime the cup. He took a swig. “Oishii!” He proceeded to pour himself a full glass of this poison and downed it like a shot. He didn’t even go blind temporarily! Me and Ben looked at each in amazement. Prior to this incident, this individual was in a relaxed state, coming down from his 5-litre-beer buzz. Back at the restaurant, he was very lively, trying to pick me up and sit me near(on) ususpecting Japanese girls. *sigh* About 5-seconds after downing that glass, he was back to slurring his speech and falling over himself. He must’ve felt that night the next day… maybe two. =)

Okay, it’s 3:20am, and I’m REALLY tired. I’ll add more to this later.

Tuesday 9:00pm – I did a lot of work today! O.O

I worked the most overtime I’ve worked yet! I arrived at work at 8:40am, and left 7:00pm. I hate getting stuck in the middle of something… and I also hate saying I would probably finish something when I did not. ^_^ eheh. But I did a lot of work. Actually, it’s kind of nice that way, because the time goes by quickly… as long as I’m not falling asleep at the keyboard (I’m known for doing this) or reading endless technical drivel. Bleh. I had egg plant in both my lunch and dinner meals, today. I don’t really like eggplant, but I could eat this. I also had a small block of tofu for my dinner, and I’m positive I don’t like that. Plain tofu. Eeew. It’s really good in miso soup, however.

Back on track: Saturday. Around 11:20am, Ben and I biked to Gifu City. (Yes, on our super sexy basket bikes… there are days I’d kill for a decent mountain bike). This was quite a nice ride, and it took us about 1 hour and 30 minutes riding casually. When we got there, we were really hungry – BUT, we didn’t want to spend a lot of money on lunch. So, we went to a convenient store… a “konbini.” Japanese convenient stores are … well… much more convenient than convenient stores anywhere else. Kind of like a 7-11 (which is Japanese-owned, by the way), but with liquor. And the meals are much better than North American convenient stores. I got a hot dog, a half of an egg sandwich, and a half of a potato croquette sandwich, and a melon cream soda. All for about 500 yen. Not bad.

After eating our konbini-lunch, we hiked up to Gifu Castle. Gifu Castle is at the top of a big hill. It looks really cool. All around Gifu City, actually, hills poke out from urban area, with almost nothing on them. It looks quite strange. Where there is not a hill, it is flat; and where it is flat, it is very crowded with buildings and houses. We bought ice cream and admired the vending machines (at the top of a friggin mountain)! The view was awesome up there. King-of-the-world type thing. You could look all around and see forever. It’s like some giant kid walked around gifu pouring out buckets of sand in random places. I got lots of pictures!

We used our cell phones to keep in contact with Shirley, who decided she was going to come and watch the hanabi (“flower-fire” = fireworks) with us. Later John also decided to come. Eventually, it was us four interns and thousands of Japanese sitting on the riverbank awaiting the fireworks. The fireworks kicked ass! They were much better than what usually happens in Vancouver (especially the lame Canada Day fireworks! – what a shameful display…). And they last for over an hour and a half! It was crazy! It was almost… too much fireworks. ^_^ The coolest part was seeing all the girls (and some guys too, but girls are more interesting) in their yukatas. (A yukata is like a summer kimono, to my knowledge). Plus all the vendors out trying to cash in on the crowd! There was SO much good looking food! Let’s see if I can remember the names… karage, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, yakitori, ika, and lots others. So many stands selling food! I couldn’t believe it. After the fireworks, we squeezed out of the crowds and biked back home. I actually got a decent amount of exercise that day!

Sunday. Not much happened sunday. I was pretty tired from the previous day’s expedition, so I really just wanted to relax for one day before going back to work. Beware: I’m now gonna play the nerd card and talk about video games! I checked out Alex’s new PS2. He’s got two games for it: Final Fantasy X – International Version, and Soul Calibur II. I may have had a little bit of influence on his decision to get Soul Calibur II, so I’ll probably buy a second controller or something so as we can have some real fun. I was considering getting a Gamecube, but I’m not sure. If I got one, I’d probably want to get the Japan-only version that also plays DVDs… but something like that I’d want to bring back to Canada, and I’d have to get it modified to play North American games and DVDs. Also, all games I get will be in Japanese! That’s actually a good motivation to learn the language, but I don’t know if it’s really worth it.

Cool games that are out here that AREN’T out in Canada: Soul Calibur II, Viewtiful Joe, Final Fantasy Chrystal Chronicles (comes out very soon – just over a week). I was also able to get John to help me with all the kanji (Chinese characters used in Japanese language) on the Japanese webpages and get a couple sweet java games for my Java-enabled cell phone! Now I don’t need a portable game system! Some of these games are really good. I got Tetris (I had to get Tetris!), a game that I thought was Go, but just uses the same board, a couple shooting game demos (actual games cost more than I wanted to pay, at the time), and a sweet game where u shoot people out of a cannon! Yeah, it’s a little difficult to explain, so I’ll just show those that are interested when I return. =)

That was a very enjoyable weekend. ^_^ I suppose I haven’t yet had an unenjoyable weekend…. which is good.

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