Seriously, what's with creepy guys in Japan? I like the idea of a running gag, but this is one I'd prefer not to repeat.
For the record, this is actually from March 27th, but I'm only just now getting around to translating it from the shorthand I drafted it in into normal human language.
So today (By which I mean whatever day this happened, not the date this post will have on it), we all went to Shibuya again, with the expressed purpose of shopping. We all know it was all about the exploring and wandering though. Joanna went to 109 store (The building says "Shibuya 109" on the front, but I think it's just called 109), which is basically this huge store for women's clothes. Since Emil, Nick and I don't have any need for women's apparel-- unless one of them is hiding something from me-- we went to the electronics store next door. Nothing too exciting happened there, unfortunately.
After Joanna finished her shopping and we met up, we all wandered about for a bit (as expected). We saw some street performers dressed in period outfits, with another creepy old guy. The performers were basically like a small band, I guess, with a guy playing an oboe-like instrument, another playing some percussion thing like cymbals (I forget exactly, and the creepy old guy is in the way in the one picture I got), and a woman playing a drum. We kept wandering and found a little corner stand called "The Taiyaki," which, you guessed it, sold taiyaki.
Now, taiyaki is a Japanese snack that's basically fried dough in the shape of a fish, with some filling inside-- usually red bean paste. However, this place was crazy awesome (Maybe this happens at lots of taiyaki stands, I don't know), and sold really interesting varieties, in addition to the traditional. Nick got Almond Chocolate (yes, chocolate and almonds!), Joanna got German Potato (there was also ham in it, I think), Emil got Cheese Currydog (Yes, inside there was cheese, curry, and a hotdog), and I got Italian (which had tomato sauce, cheese, I think sausage-- though it could be a hotdog like in the Cheese Currydog-- and, surprise! corn). Believe it or not, these were all AMAZING. All of them. Amazing. Wrap your mind around it for a second, then we can move on.
After more wandering, we decided on impulse to go to a kaitenzushi place, since we hadn't really had lunch. Kaitenzushi is literally "rotating" sushi, and there's basically a conveyor belt moving around the bar, carrying small plates of sushi (some places might use boats). You pick up the ones you like, shouting at the sushi guy in the middle if you want something particular, and pay by the plate-- more expensive sushi are served on plates of different design. This sushi was amazing. Like, the taiyaki was amazing, but this was AMAZING. Easily blew any other sushi I'd ever had out of the water-- though I suppose I shouldn't be all that surprised, since it is Japan.
Anyway, an interesting twist was that we ran into Alice, another Keio exchange student. What are the odds!? Pretty low, I'm sure. Anyway, she had befriended a pair of Japanese guys (in their mid-20s, I suppose) who were drunk out of their minds. They seemed like nice people, but they were clearly plastered (Apparently it was one of their birthdays).
After escaping the creepy drunk guys, we took Alice to the nearby Softbank to get her set up with a cell phone-- apparently, the place she'd been had wanted her to come back with someone who got the student plan so that she could get it too. This one didn't need any such thing, and the person who helped her out spoke fluent English, so it was quite easy. On the other hand, it was apparently a very busy day, so the setup required a lot of waiting. We all talked a lot in our corner in the back of the store, and shared lots of laughs. Several times, we realized that we were probably being the stereotypical, loud and obnoxious foreigners, compared to everyone else who were quietly reading, or whatever, but inevitably we just went back to our conversation.
Eventually we took the train back to Hiyoshi, and I was glad to see that it was significantly less crowded than the last time we came back to Hiyoshi from Shibuya. Somehow, we left the station out of a totally different exit from usual, and thought we went to the wrong station at first. Apparently Hiyoshi has a bunch of exits! Anyway, we then went into grocery (it's right at the station. Did I mention that yet?) and bought some stuff for Cola Chicken. We then went back to Shimoda and cooked-- well, mostly Joanna cooked and I helped out where I could. We ended up with miso soup, scrambled egg with cucumber, cola chicken wings (of course) and bread-- we didn't get rice because we thought all the rice cookers were private, not for sharing. This actually worked out, though, because bread dipped in the cola chicken sauce turned out to be FANTASTIC. After we were already done cooking, one of the RAs stopped in and told us about a curry party he was planning. We kept this in mind, but figured we probably wouldn't join, since we'd already eaten.
After dinner, we watched two episodes of a show called Shikaotoko Awoniyoshi. It's a super weird yet hilarious show about a guy who is chosen by a deer to help save Japan from a giant catfish (in a nutshell). I think part of why it's so funny is how serious it takes itself. Anyway, Emil left about halfway through the second episode to check out the curry party, and we joined him shortly after the second episode finished.
At that time, the curry party had basically transformed into a drinking party. They organized a group drinking game called the "bunny game." I'm not sure I can explain it without demonstrating it so I won't bother, but it was a fairly decent way to get everyone there to introduce themselves (You had to introduce yourself and take a drink of the sake if you messed up), and was reasonably fun, even for a me who doesn't drink that much.
That's pretty much it! I have a few more drafts that I need to work through... maybe I'll get to them tomorrow.
And no, Mom, I didn't get drunk!