I went to Ibaraki Prefecture to stroll about with a very kind family who takes English lessons at my school. We were out to see the cherry blossoms (which are called sakura in Japanese, which is an objectively cooler word which I'll use from here on out), which we did, though they weren't yet in full bloom. I took lots of pictures which, when I find lots of time, I'll thrown up on Picasa. afterwards they treated me to a very traditional soba lunch.
After the stroll, I left them to meet up with my brother-from-another-mother, Sane, and his friends. We had a hanami party under a sakura tree, which was under a blanket of threatening grey clouds which did eventually split and rain. But not before we got righteously drunk and decided to 1) see Sane's new apartment, 2) go for sushi, 3) go for karaoke, 4) go home, 5) nevermind! let's all 6) go for ramen, and 7) go home for real.
It was a wonderful day. All told, I ate soba, sushi, and ramen, and drank Japanese tea and beer.
As opposed to Monday, when I ate pepperoni pizza, hot dogs, and American-style cookies, and drank Coke.
The plan was to go to Tokyo, hit up Icchaichie, the tea cafe, in Ochanomizu, hit up some book stores and spend an uncalled for amount of money there, then go to Dan's in Oimachi to play videogames. What actually happened was this:
CAFE OWNER: Jason! Hey man, how've you been? It's been a while.
JASON: Yeah K____, how've you been?
CAFE OWNER: Great man, great. This is my wife, Sh____. We got married last month. You want to go to CostCo?
JASON: Yeah, sure.
CAFE OWNER: Let's go.
CostCo was in the next prefecture, so I got to see Tokyo via the highway for the first time since coming here, and I saw a brand new city. I even thought of living in the city for a while after that, but that natural high wouldn't last forever, so I doubt it'll happen. Anyways, the owner lived in San Diego for almost 10 years and is a really cool guy. I'd never been to CostCo, but I heard tell of its glory from many a Westerner. And, though I realize I was impulse buying like a relapsed alcoholic drinks, I did find it glorious. Almost $200 later, I had eaten so many cookies I felt sick, and washed it down with orange juice until I felt sicker. But the pizza was real pizza and the hot dog was as plastic as you might ever hope it to be and I heard morbidly obese angels singing to the chorus of the florescent lights and for a minute I sang with them.
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In other news. When I was in high school and Jeff would punch me or do something physically or mentally harmful, I'd retaliate by knocking him one on the shoulder. He'd retaliate in turn by giving me three or four of the same, or, often enough, harder. I always thought this was unfair, but I tied it to something distinct in human nature (or maybe the nature of all living things). You don't give as good as you get--you return it with a vengeance so the jerk learns not to keep at it. Well, as I grew older I started to learn about historical incidents where the equation played out in all its potential morbidity. After Carthage attacked Rome for the second time, Rome virtually enslaved the whole city. When it attacked the third time, Rome turned the whole city to dust. Statistically speaking, the same thing's happening on the fronts of the American wars. Except that Carthage really did send Hannibal.