Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm So Tired

I'm going to combine two days today....  mostly because, well...

It's Wednesday, August 21, 1991 here in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan. Today, is the first time I've been alone in about a month or more.

I've always been a bit of a loner. Sure I enjoy company, but I also like being able to just be by myself... you know, to just be.

The past 13 months here in Japan have been hectic. I've had a girlfriend or 12 since first arriving, drunk more booze than I had ever done in my first 25-1/2 years, eaten a lot of strange, but wonderful foods, and have had the time of my life. I've had girlfriends, stalkers, uninvited visitors, visitors, strange phone calls, learned how to cook, clean, do laundry and iron.

Of course, today being the first time I've been alone in so long, I'm still sick... I picked up the runs while in Thailand. Never ever have an drink (of Coke) containing ice cubes. Sure... perhaps do so at a good hotel or restaurant, but I had mine up near the Burma border in a small podunk of a village. Mistake.

That was eight days ago. I am still sick, but just not so bad. Perhaps it's because I'm not eating.

I do a load of laundry (the medicine for my mind), do some rough drafts of It's A Wonderful Rife for the Tochigi-ken JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme monthly newsletter I am the editor for (The Tatami Times) - I haven't written in a while, and it makes me feel antsy.

Pretty cool huh? I feel antsy because I haven't written, while a mere three years ago, the thought of being a writer/journalist was the farthest thing from my mind. Japan? I never thought about that until a year and a half a go. Never knew I wanted to work or live or even visit there. Strange old world we live in, eh?

I laze around all day long hoping that Mathew or Ashley will phone. Ashley is my ex, and current friend-with-benefits. She arrived back in Japan yesterday evening (she's jet-lagged, I'm sure) (I wonder if she realizes I stocked her fridge for her so she'd have food and drink when she got back, realizing that she'd be too tired to go out shopping? Probably not.)

Matthew calls at 3PM, and we small talk. Despite being a loner, it's good to hear other people's voices - and Matthew has been a god-send for me. Considering the other people on JET who hate each other and never do anything with each other even though they live in the same town or city, I really lucked in.

I go to sleep for a few hours and ignore Kanemaru-san's frantic ringing of my doorbell at 6PM when he comes to take me to kyudo (Japanese archery) practice. I love Kanemaru-san. He's my boss at the Ohtawara Board of Education, but I really don't like kyudo. I just don't want to disappoint him by quitting.. but at least I have an excuse this evening... I'm sick.

And what is with the Japanese ability to not understand that someone is unavailable.... I mean ringing the doorbell 30 times? It's a 3-bedroom apartment... if I don't get to you after four rings, I'm either not home, having sex or dead! And the telephone... a gaijin (foreigner) will call and hang-up after seven rings or so... a Nihonjin (Japanese person) will let it ring 20 or 30 times. Granted, they are correct - I am home, but maybe I don't want to be bothered. When I do get calls I ignore, it's because I am sick or boinking a woman—two excellent reasons not to answer the door or telephone. I've never been sick of boinking a woman, though with Kristine here the last few days, I was actually to sick to boink.

Man... I had it all planned out! Right to when she left for home, I had Ashley back. Stupid ice cubes.

The dysentery is taking its toll. I feel lighter, but not skinnier. My stomach is puffing out. I could be a poster boy for starving kids.

I sit and watch videos late into the night while feeling sorry for myself.

Twenty years later, I would just say to 1991 Andrew... "You idiot! You're in Japan!  You've had more sex in 13 months than some people have in a lifetime! Plus a three-way! Plus sex with a stalker! Do you know who has sex with a stalker? A man does! Men are idiots. Now stop feeling sorry for yourself and enjoy the day! You're in Japan and the opportunity may never come your way again!"

Of course, my yelling at 1991 Andrew doesn't change the fact that he still has some growing up to do.

It's Thursday, August 22, 1991.

I get up and do some of my puzzle of The Tower of Babel... a 5000 piece one that is being more difficult to do than the one I did of the Universe (all black with little white splotches for stars).

I wish someone would call. You'll notice I don't call anyone. Idiot.

Teh pills Kristine gave me a couple of days ago are only partially working. That means they aren't. As such, I threaten myself into going into work and ask to be taken in to a doctor. But I don't. It's not just a Japanese doctor thing. I never like doctors - period.

"Well, Andrew... what seems to be wrong?
"I don't know. Isn't that your job?"

Here with a language barrier, it's worse. Not only do doctors smoke in hospitals - what is this the 1950s? - but every medicine I have ever received from a hospital comes in a waxy envelope the size of a disposable razor blade... do people in 2011 still know what a disposable razor blade is? HERE.

No one calls, and I don't call anyone. It's literally the first time since arriving in Japan that I don't talk to another human being. I did yell at the dog across the street to shut up - I even yelled it in Japanese! - but he ignored me.

And what about Ashley? Is she still jetlagged? Doesn't she want to see me? What about thanking me for the food? It's okay... Y10,000 (Cdn/US $100) of food is no big deal. That was sarcasm. How do you write sarcasm in print? Italics?

Somewhere with too much time on my hands,
Andrew Joseph
Today's blog title is by The Beatles: I told you I could do them for every mood!: NOZZZZZZZ

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