Sunday, August 7, 2011


Let's call today's blog a preface of things to come.

Today is Saturday, September 28, 1991. It's the beginning of the 15th month of my life here in Ohtawara-shi (Ohtawara City), Tochigi-ken (Tochigi Prefecture), Japan.

Whenever I'm antsy, I tend to clean up my apartment. Not so today. Sometimes a guy just needs to do laundry.

I also head out to the post office to mail some letters home to family and friends in Toronto. At that time, being the famous gaijin (foreigner) that I am, the clerk says he has some mail for me. Usually, they deliver it - and all other mail written in English, to my apartment mailbox. I guess I just got there ahead of time.

That type of stuff would never happen in Canada... they have to deliver it to the mailbox.... I like that they know who I am. In fact, I'm willing to bet that the post office even knew I was coming there today, as it seems like there is some sort of underground gaijin spy network going on here in Ohtawara, where everybody gets a 24/7 update on just what their favourite gaijin is doing. Sorry Matthew... I'm the favourite. It's my blog.

Regular readers will know that Matthew is the other assistant English teacher on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme who lives in this city (he teaches junior high school at the school outside of the city, and I teach at the seven within the city. He's my best friend here that I'm  not sleeping with.

The posties find a large envelope for me that I crack open immediately, as it's from Susan St Cyr, a JET head... who announces in her letter to me that she is resigning her position... aw, too bad (heavy sarcasm). At least she sent me 34,000 yen (US/Cdn $340) to cover my expenses for mailing out the prefecture JET newsletter The Tatami Times.

I rent some videos and continue to clean up a bit and then invite Ashley (my ex-girlfriend and current friend with benefits) over to watch Uncle Buck before we head over to the 4C bar for some drinks.

Tomiko, the cutie Japanese female bartender, asks me quite pointedly if Ashley is my girlfriend.

"NO!" I tell her quite emphatically.

The whole place hears my response but may (or may not) know what I was saying 'no' to. They probably all knew what the question was. It's that underground hotline.

I have no idea if Tomiko was asking for herself, for one of the six Japanese women in the bar, or all six Japanese women in the bar. Perhaps they were having a bet. Perhaps someone wanted to date me. Perhaps someone wanted to date Ashley. Maybe because everyone knows she was with me, but I've not heard of anyone wanting to date her. I'm sure there are men who do, however. Hmmm.

Despite me now after 14 months having sex for the first time in my life (thanks, Ashley) and having done so with more women than Ashley has ever had prior to meeting me... I feel jealous... for absolutely no reason.

Ashley and I have a couple of drinks. I constantly look around the place trying to gauge the actions and reactions of people to see who wanted to know about my social status... but can't figure it out. I assume now that the question was solely for me... I mean, they could have asked Ashley the same question.... but then again, she has always told anyone who will listen here in Ohtawara that she and I have only ever been just friends... while I have always done the opposite and said we were boinking as boyfriend/girlfriend.

Is that the opposite? Probably not.

Anyhow.. we leave the place at around 12AM, as she has to get home to clean up her place early... as she has a guest coming over.

It's Karen. The new senior high school assistant English teacher in Yaita-shi (Yaita City). The woman who wants to be MY girlfriend, and begged me to slow things down. I only ever wanted sex. Not another girlfriend... I figured it would be a better way to avoid a rebound... Karen wanted to slow things down between us... and suggested some space so that she could get used to Japan.

Fine... but she was the one who accelerated things with me. I hate that. Start me up, and then jam on the breaks. My advice for anyone is to not start what you don't intend to finish. Especially sex! Do you really think that endears men to you? We really do want sex. We'll take the relationship after... after we see if the sex is any good.

I haven't really talked with Karen too much these past few weeks since my mother left Japan. My mom had come for a few weeks to sight-see, and Karen glommed onto my mom and became her best friend. I have to admit that though cute, it kind of pissed me off.

As it turned out, my mom preferred Karen over Ashley... one who wanted me over one who only wanted me for sex... though my mother didn't know that.

Do mother's know best. In this instance, my gut says no. Karen has a lot of baggage, and while I am man enough to help carry it for her, at this point in my life I think I'd prefer to have my cake and eat it too... get laid as much as possible.... but ideally when the time is right, have a girlfriend with less baggage.

While my back is indeed better after seeing a chiropractor here, I don't need to hurt it again with a heavy burden to bear.

So... anyhow... Karen and Ashley are going to Nikko for a few days. I assume just the two of them... though it might actually involve a few other female AETs. Karen, though only here for two months, already went to Nikko with my mom. Ashley and I have been a few times already, and often go to a particular antique shop to pick up knicknacks... masks for her and pre-1867 ukiyo-e (Japanese wood block prints) for me. The proprietor of the shop has taught us many things on our two subjects.

Karen and Ashley going out to spend a few nights together out of town. If I had a dirty mind I'd think manly thoughts. And I do have a dirty mind.

Still... this meeting of the ex and the pre... well, that can only mean trouble for me sometime later.

I ride Ashley back to her place, get a nice kiss and then ride back to my apartment, ditch my bicycle and walk back in to the 4C, to see if anyone (female Japanese babe) wants a piece of me. They better hurry. I get t he feeling after Ashley and Karen's trip to Nikko, there won't be much of me left to screw with.

Unfortunaletly, when I get back... none of the six female patrons are still there, and Tomiko isn't flirting with me. Damn.

Oh well... I suppose someone somewhere is happy that I am here at the 4C by myself. I just know it isn't me.

Somewhere the noose is tightening,
Andrew Joseph
Today's blog title is by The Ventures: NOWORDS
PS: I know that that a pipeline in this song is a surfing term. I'm using it to denote a means of transferring information.

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