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December 27, 2005

A long overdue entry

This is for everyone that told me over the last few days that I need to write something.

Important things first: it is good to be home again. I am on my couch, listening to a CD...finally.

Unfortunately, all is not rosy on the home front as things continue to break down. First it was the laptop, then the coffeemaker (I still have to replace that!) and now...my washing machine. Well, technically it still works, but it took four hours to do a load of laundry on Sunday night and the lack of a spin cycle meant they needed two hours to dry!

I reported it to building maintenance and they came in on Monday to inspect the machine. Apparently this means they turn it on (empty) and time how long it takes to finish. Which they did three times. On that basis, they said it worked fine and, indeed, when I tried again last night it was much quicker. I am not sure what the whistling/grinding sounds were all about, but what do I know?

Which brings up an interesting point - I had lunch with Tokiko today and she thinks that people who are familiar with Akasaka could be able to figure out where I live from this blog. Combined with the fact I am always traveling, that could be a risk! I think she is right. In fact, it would explain why everything I own needs to be replaced. Someone is obviously coming in here when I am gone and breaking things. WHOEVER YOU ARE, PLEASE STOP IT. And if you can't, at least be kind of enough to take the trash out and water the tree. Sometimes I forget, you see.

I do not often spend the week between Christmas and New Years Day in Japan. There is not much to do at work and most expats use the opportunity to get back home. With my holiday plans in flux and having spent a month on the road, however, I was more than happy to get back here.

But the lack of foreigners is tangible. I went to watch the football on TV at the pub near my apartment (Hobgoblin Akasaka) last night and I was the only foreigner there. And it was crowded. Not only had the expats de-camped, but the Japanese took the opportunity to check out what they have been missing the other 51 weeks of the year. They seemed happy enough so that is OK.

And they were friendly enough. One of the waitresses at Hobgoblin also works at the Roppongi location. When I ordered my drink, we did the whole "oh yes, I know you from..." routine. When I last saw her two months ago at the other bar, she said she worked in Akasaka, so it wasn't a big surprise to see her there.

Actually it is funny, because the first time I met her I had confused her with another waitress that she works with. I was with Kaz and when we ordered dinner from her I said "Hello Hana", but she set me straight "No...my name is Tomo, not Hana. That is another waitress that works here." I introduced myself and have seen and spoken to her a few times since.

On that basis, I was very surprised when she asked me my name again. So I told her and said "and you are Tomo, right?"

And she said...(come on, you know what happens here)..."No, I am Hana, Tomo is the name of another waitress at the bar in Roppongi".

I do not know which one I will run into next, but I have learned my lesson on names. A simple "hello" should be enough.

Posted by Kirk on December 27, 2005 05:45 PM


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