Monday, November 15, 2010
On Sundays, I spend several hours in Shibuya. I teach one or two private lessons at the Tokyu Plaza Tully's that day, and then either meet a friend, wander, or shop. Or some combination of all.
Yesterday was a wander/shop day. I bought a few books and then headed for the Starbucks inside the flagship Tsutaya location - ideal for a cup of acceptable coffee and very acceptable people watching.
The interesting happenings of the day:
At the table next to me, three people were chatting. The two guys were American; one slumped down in a gray hoodie, the other tatted up and in his cuffed jeans, short-sleeved shirt with rolled up short sleeves, and mini-pompadour. Yep, a new style rockabilly boy!
Here is the jist of their conversation:
Rockabilly Boy (RB): So, are you from Japan?
(note: Before she answered, I could have told you no; she was dressed far too colorfully, and with brighter makeup...I'm guessing Korean.)
Hot Girl (HG): No, I'm from Seoul. I'm just visiting here.
RB: Wow, your English is really good.
(note: her English IS very good!)
RB: Don't you think so? (pokes Hoodie Boy/HB)
HB: Uh, yeah.
RB: So, your eyelashes are really long. Do they push your sunglasses off cause they're so big?
(note: what the? is he making general conversation or trying to pick her up? 'Cause massive fail on both counts)
HG: Ha, ha. No, I wouldn't wear sunglasses with this style lash on.
RB: Oh! Well, they are pretty. So why are you in Japan?
HG: I'm visiting some friends before I go to Australia.
RB: Why Australia?
HG: I have a job there. I'm going to live there for a while.
RB: Really? Cool. Cool, huh? (nudges HB)
HB: Uh, yeah.
RB: So, you plan to stay in Australia or go back to Korea later?
HG: Hm, stay in Australia for a while, but Korea will always be home. Maybe work part of the year in one place, and part in the other.
RB: That's cool. I wish I had enough money to live in both the US and China, 'cause you know, I love this whole Asia thing.
note: I am so not sure how "this whole Asia thing" gesture, while sitting in a modern Starbucks, in Tokyo, gets him to wanting to live in China?
To make this whole experience even more unique, were the musical selections being played. When I sat down, the new song by Rihanna, "Only Girl," was on. As it finished, then came Ce-Lo Greens "Fuck You." No editing, just straight up "Fuck you" every other line. Next...and here is the clincher...Nat King Cole "Silent Night!"
If I had been an avatar, I would have been ROFLMAO!
On a Japanese current culture point - Sunday was the second day of the Shibu-on Music Festival. One of the streets leading up to Dogenzaka Hill was blocked off for some fantastic modern takes on Taiko drumming, accompanied by break-dancing, and guitar. Good crowd, good music!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
So, to tie up the varied loose ends of the conversation with the friend-boy…
We meet and went to an izakaya for beer and food.
He apologized for me getting my feelings hurt.
I said that even if him saying “fat, American girl” is some sort of reality, why wouldn’t he just keep his description as “oh, yeah, she’s nice.”
He said he was just giving a short answer to the girl.
I sulked more.
I said the nuance of fat and overweight is very different. Overweight is fact, fat is insult.
He said fat and overweight mean the same.
Then yelled at him in the izakaya; saying he just said that because he wouldn’t want her to think he has any other female of importance, since he spends all his time dreaming of the day she will f**k him.
I almost start crying, but stop in time to avoid meltdown.
Silence from his side of the table, coupled with a shocked look.
Summary of his response: doesn’t think of her as girlfriend, doesn’t have desire to talk to and share important thoughts with her like would with a girlfriend. Does have thoughts and desires to share thoughts with me. Does think we could “be something, make something.” Said just because he did not discuss me with her, he does talk about me with a good friend of his and his mother. Did bring up side point that I had told him before I would lose weight, but have barely done so.
I accepted his apology, views, and point on the weight.
He said this situation was actually good so that it forced us to have a more in-depth conversation.Acceptable.Situation green.
follow-up note: He then went out of town for a few days. Upon returning, we were talking about a music promotion project. He was saying he doesn't send mp3s of his music, prefers just streaming availability, but as the project is mine and "we're dating" he agreed to release mp3s.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I would tell you what it is, but the originators do it quite well:
"Own Your Beauty is a groundbreaking, year-long movement bringing women together to change the conversation about what beauty means. Our mission: to encourage and remind grown women that it is never too late to learn to love one's self and influence the lives of those around us - our mothers, friends, children, neighbors. We can shift our minds and hearts and change the path we follow in the pursuit of authentic beauty."
As this is something I feel strongly about, I will be making commentary and submissions regularly. On this same topic, take a look at Dove:Campaign for Real Beauty.
Second; I have been cast out from my gym for possible "anti-social" activity. This means...ack! I have a tattoo and some old man became frightened! Damn those shaky old people!
(note: for those readers here from the West...Many Japanese establishments are not tattoo friendly!! They are associated with gangs/yakuza. Public pools and many water parks will not allow you on the premises with a tattoo. Most onsen and sento (public bathes) won't allow you to use their facilities. I'm not saying that all the people in the train faint at the glimpse of the ankle tattoo, but I have had people move away. Or give me a stern look. Not always. More people under the age of 35 are getting tattoos...plus, as a foreigner, I get some "forgiveness"...cause ya know, I'm not Japanese, so I don't know any better!)
So...I sort of told a fib. I told them "Oh! It is just temporary. I'm so very sorry! It will have faded in a week."
I had to do a walk of shame and turn in my membership card. I go back in a couple days to ask forgiveness again and show them that my temporary tattoo is gone. (This means, I use some thick concealer and hide the very permanent tattoo. And henceforth wear knee high socks and long frickin' workout pants!)