A Swede in Chiba

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Gobble Gobble

So tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I have no concept of what that should mean to me. Its 70 degrees outside, there is no thanksgiving in Japan, I have no oven ergo no turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn pudding, that cranberry stuff that I don't even like, grandma coffee cake, and most importantly NO PUMPKIN PIE!!!! I can't even go to restaurant anymore and get a slice. They stop serving pumpkin treats after Halloween. None of the stores have any Turkey day apparel, plus most Japanese ovens couldn't handle a turkey meaning once again no gobble gobble birds at the groceries.

To all of my American friends and family...EAT EAT EAT! If you are going to give thanks for anything, have it be for the ability to have Thanksgiving. Do me a favor and just when you think you can't eat anymore, grab another slice of pumpkin pie and say "this one's for Jeff, he would have wanted it that way."

Ok i need to get back to my 12 gallon drum of soul healing chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and cry myself to sleep.


So my brethren over at JEF United grabbed the League Cup Championship and are now in the hunt for the over all season title. If there are any brave souls who want to check on the team please meander over to http://www.so-net.ne.jp/JEFUNITED/ Unfortunately I never looked heavily into finding an english site, so good luck. Win By All!

Monday, November 20, 2006

So where were we?

Well now what to talk about? How about a brief update on affairs dealing with Jeff? To start, Jeff loves his job more than anything in the world (pretty sappy stuff) and for the first time in his life he is excited to wake up in the morning...every morning. Out of bed after 7:00 he runs down into the country for some exploration. Then he heads to school a bit after 8:20 to get ready for the day. At nine the 185 cm foreigner meanders outside to play with kids. Originally, this meant running around playing japanese tag, Onigokko (which translates to make believe demon). However, the 23 year old finds himself lifting children for around twenty minutes then teaching a couple of new soccer moves then lifting more kids. As we all know Jeff is quite the strong/muscular man right...?

At ten blondy heads back inside to either do some lesson planning or study japanese. Most of the time, studying is the name of the game. As for teaching, he just completed teaching "simon says" and body parts/clothing items. Most of the time Jeff Sensei goes early to play with the kids (generally throwing them in the air or chasing after them or being climbed like Fujisan) and teach a "word of the day". So far most of the children's choice have involved an insect or food item. How many american five year olds know what a helmet beetle or stag beetle is?

When asked to divulge his classroom secrets Mr. Noethlich punched our reporter in the face. Later our reporter did recieve a golden ticket of wonderous things. After class Jeff heads back to the teacher's room for more planning and bragging about how smart his kids are.

Once the bicycle trek home is completed, he...Ok that is enough of the third person. When I finally return home I throw my satchel down turn on some music and start studying for around an hour. Then dinner time. The norm: jazz & a news radio progam, curry, some stir fry improv, various kinds of tea, and lots of fresh veggies. By the way, no one Ok'd it with me that meat should cost more than my salary darn you import duties.

The rest of the night is spent with my best friend (a canon electronic dictionary) and my girlfriend (a textbook named japanese and the art of communication). Its surprising but it never feels like anyone is the third wheel. Perhaps we are just a mere tricycle but you need to start somewhere.

Weekends have been spent out in Tokyo for the most part. We have had a lot of visitors lately so its been a bit on the busy side. I have been going to a very nice jazz club called the Jazz Bird in Harajuku. Well I need to get back to homework for lessons tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Picture update

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Ok this is just a test run to make sure I can still use this and to see if it allows japanese on it. In the mean time here are a bunch of pictures from Hakodate, Hokkaido & Aomori.
久し振りですね。近頃で仕事が少し忙しですが全ては迚も楽しかったです。Ok enough of that.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Enter Cheesy Saying Here

Quaint, historic Geneva and I will be parting ways tomorrow. Under the cover of darkness my family and I will break for route 90, destination O'hare airport.

It is a very different feeling, knowing you are leaving everyone on your own will. Thank goodness for today's advances, i.e. blogging, skype, etc.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Home huh?

The winter of 2004-05 I was teaching a friend japanese. One evening we did some shopping at WalMart, I know but in glorious rock island there's not much else to choose from. After we made our purchases I proceeded to go over the reciept in japanese so we could practice numbers. After a short time my ears perked to the barrage of southern slang assaulting my auditory senses. About ten paces away a large man, I would say gentlemen but for certain reasons I will abstain, began screaming, "If you can't speak English get the $%&^ out of the country..." explicative, explicative. This bag of skin and lard had raised the cursing bar to a new olympic level.

During this evocation of hate I remained silent. Yet once the foul wind died down my friend reposted. "I'll have you know that he was born in Colombus, Ohio. So sorry that he is more educated than you." Normally I would have let the shower of praise continue, to heal me oh so meager confidence level, however the brute stepped forward and pushed his wife's arms out of the way. Turning a new shade he began to below even louder and then the threat... Oh wait here comes the calvary of blue vests. Too bad it was so late at night, otherwise the greeter might have had to shuffle over too.

To drive my plee home, this wasn't the first time this has happened to me. Similar issues had risen when I answered my phone in japanese outside of a strip mall containing Old Navy and Bed Bath and Beyond. My old german teacher raised his kids speaking german when with the family until one of his kids was lashed out at in public. Now Herr Be only speaks the mother toungue at home, everywhere else english.

When my time in Chiba is done, will I have to do the same? Or is there something I can do about this? Suggestions welcome.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Taking to the Skies

I will riding the currents soon enough, desination Nippon. Before my immenent departure I would like to inform you all of my beligerent disgust of the Pokemon Era. In my miniscule search on the web I found something petrifying... That little pee colored demonic lemming will not cease to be! Now it must infect the air too? The same air that you and I draw our breaths from. Before I rant and rave, too late huh...

Anyway as I embarked on my electronic journey I found more and more interesting facts. Susan Fornier, of the Harvard Business Review, writes that in only 3 short years it became a $7 billion industry. That yellow turd of a squirrel singled pawedly lurched Nintendo from its deathbed in 1998. To key off my generation and the twits on the silver screen, props to that sneeze pikachu. It ended up being quite the impressive tale all in all.

Many people still view Pokemon as a fad to combat this the company will launch mobile pokemon to capitalize on the increasing youth cell phone owners. So when I arrive in Narita and stare out at the brilliantly colored plane tails I will smile instead of seethe.

One Fish, Two Fish, 15 Yellow Cards?

World Cup thus far:
132 goals scored in Germany
Brazil bangs in its 200th world cup goal
Ronaldo is the alltime goal scorer in the World Cup
More cards have been shown in Germany than any other cup and there are still 12 games remaining

All of my teams are out, insert sad face here
AND everyone still loves Brazil.

On an interesting sidenote, myself and my two beatiful ladies, cecilie and mom, just screened a fantastic movie, Green Street Hooligans. Amazing, etc. blah blah. In honesty, Elijah Wood is a good actor and the unamerican football, the real kind, is a sport of the gods. More on FIFA and gangs later.