Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July in Tokyo!

Wow! It was a hot one... When it turned into the 4th of July, I was still awake at the "reggae" bar down by station, watching Germany kick the crap out of Argentina in South Africa. It is primarily the reggae bar because the new owner of six years left all the reggae decorations and paraphernalia up on the walls from when it actually was a reggae bar. Now it is just another cool, very small bar. Luckily, they love soccer so it's a great place to watch the World Cup.

On the way home the night before, after watching the Netherlands take it to Brazil, I stumbled upon this passed out salary man lying in the middle of the road near our apartment. I stopped to check he was still breathing. He seemed quite happy to snore away with his shoes off, so I left him to the "noraneko" (feral cats).

After Germany won, Shuji and I went to Tsukiya, a 24-hour fast food "beef bowl" restaurant, where for about 300 yen ($3), you can get a tasty bowl of rice with meat and miscellaneous goodness on top. Shuji works for Asia University in the International Student Affairs office and has become a good friend. He studied for a number of years in America and is quite fluent in both cultures. We stayed up for another hour, talking about life, Japan, America, and everything in between.

So, you can understand when at 6:40 am, I was a little upset by the father who thought it was ok to play soccer/basketball outside our window with his young and loud son. I was sorely tempted to yell "urusai" ("noisy") out the window, but as Japan is usually polite....

Today was smokingly hot and extremely humid, so for the first time this year, we turned on the air conditioning. We just couldn't stand it. To get out of the house, we went up to Sesariya up the street, an Italian chain restaurant that has a 270 yen drink bar. You can get a table in air conditioning and drink all the tea/coffee (hot and iced)/soda/juice you want for as long as you want. Joan and I often go there to study Japanese, especially to get away from the Internet, which is way to distracting. We weren't the only ones with the same idea; there were many tables full of students and adults studying and reading.

The bike ride home was steamy and even more muggy from the 30-minute pounding rain storm that rolled through town. Our friend, Chris, had texted and asked us to pick up yakiniku (grilled meat on a stick) and potato salad from the grocery store as he wanted to celebrate the 4th like a good American.

We also had homemade edamame (boiled and salted soybeans in the pod) that Joan made from
loot she brought home from the farm.
And of course, a 680 yen "suica" (watermelon).

To finish it off, we went for a walk with Chris and Derek to get ice cream. All in all, a good day!

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