Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Little stamps! Little boxes!

This year I finally got a hanko, the magical little stamp that proves your identity anytime you deal with official paperwork in Japan. And today I finally got a case for it. Too bad I already chipped it, which will probably result in my being deported. Like I'll go stamp something from Amazon and they'll be like "WHAT! is this little GAP IN YOUR STAMP! There was no gap in the last one! Holy shit counterfeit, this is a serious problem. You must not be who you say you are! You cannot have this package." And I'll be like "oh my god are you kidding me? Here, look at my foreigner's card and my passport and my health insurance card and my bank card and my employee's card, dude it's me I promise." And they'll be like, "Well, miss, that's some straight-up evidence you've got there, and I see here that you have used this strange and inimitable handwritten signature of yours many times, so there should really be no question that it's you. Unfortunately this little stamp -- which your co-worker actually went and got for you in your name for about 15 bucks -- is the only true key to confirming your identity, so I'm afraid this spells doom for all future endeavors that require you to be yourself." "Fuck!" Oh, hanko. You make all the sense in the world. Nice case, though!

Look, little candies in cute boxes! Now stuffed in an envelope that has been sealed, addressed, and waiting to be sent for one month plus. Exotic old-fashioned packaging, labels in another language, thrill me no less today than when I was little. I love them! I could buy entire grocery stores when I'm abroad, I love foreign labels so much.

It got cold today. Winter! Why are you like this? I just ordered an electric blanket. I expect us to be best friends. I hate winter here! There is no escape from the stupid cold. It's impossible to insulate these cardboard walls and as soon as you turn off the space heater the cold rushes back in. There is no escape, absolutely no escape, no safe place to shave your legs or put on lotion. Conditions so harsh even I am compelled to keep my pants on as often as possible. I ordered this blanket from AMAZON JAPAN which is viewable in English, has free shipping, lets you schedule delivery and pay in cash when stuff arrives. For every nuisance there's a convenience. Talkin' bout you, Japan. P.S. Amazon doesn't require a hanko, I carelessly made that up.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I went to Kobe and Osaka

I hadn't been down there in years! My first summer in Japan was down in Kansai-land. I loved it so much. Then Tokyo vacuumed me up. But old Amanda lives down there, so I went callin. Dude, my card reader is busted! I stole all these from Amanda.

The Hankyu trains are so cool looking inside! Wood paneling? Teal seats? Please. But Amanda was distracted by my angelic beauty so this is all you get. By the way, my favorite train line to ride in Tokyo is the Seibu-Shinjuku line. I like the orange seats and how it goes down really narrow alley-like tracks with houses and trees on either side. And every time I ride it, something cool happens.

This photo. Jesus. Twenty years from now I will look at this. And all that smoke in my hair, all the booze on the street, all the ruined stockings, and all the hangovers will wash over me in an awesome wave. Ahhh, youth! My youth! Also right after this photo was taken we ended up picking up three really sweet boys for all-night karaoke. They gave us a ride home at dawn, with a designated driver and everything! We all sang Lady Gaga in the car. It was the loveliest, most harmonious spontaneous sunrise road trip. The hills were so beautiful. So when you look at that photo, know that my life methods = CONSTANT VICTORIES!

We planned an all-nighter in Osaka but it got cut short. We went long enough to eat 500 yen roasted crab. It's like, Aw fuck yeah crab! But then it was kind of dry and bland. Waste of a poor crab's leg. If you slay an animal, make it tasty.

Amanda was surprisingly quick to grab the crab hats. Amanda, I did not know you were a silly hat fan. But I can deal with this, I'm not threatened. I'm not threatened by a paper crab hat.


I'm back home and I have bangs! And yes I live in this sweater now.