Sperm killing noodles

In facts and figures this week Japan really isn't coming off very well, hovering at the bottom of a newly collated-survey-league type thing from a multinational worldwide survey whatdoyacallit. The Japanese have the least sex of any 'nation' (basically those countries that can carry out widespread information gathering) managing to notch up barely 45 times in a year. That is about once a week, but still puts them way behind most other countries (which must be having headboard destroying amounts of sex). Explanations vary from over-long working hours, the demands to marry out of convenience first, the proliferation of porn, to the do-it-yourself culture that is Japan.
Couple this with the surprising news that Japanese men have some of the lowest sperm rates (one scientist points the finger squarely at pot noodles...though I am a bit lost as to his explanation for it) and it is hardly surprising that Japan has more old people than anywhere else and fewer young people. And we all know how annoying THAT can be. What is more noggin' scratching, is the poll measuring the politest countries. England does not fare too well, but sails past Japan. New York tops the polls (huh?). We should look at how they judge politeness I guess: opening doors for other people, the helpfulness of shop staff, and aiding others on the street (for example if they dropped their handbag) are a few of the ways in which cities were tested. Now Asian countries fared badly and it should be said that it is because people here are told to fend for themselves much more. If a lady drops some papers, we shouldn't help because clearly she can pick them up again. However it really adds fuel to my belief that Japan is polite only upon the surface as a result of there being so many people crammed into this tiny archipelago that rudeness as in China would unravel the fabric of society. Japan really has honed the rude-politeness, in which a thank you often seems like a fuck you. Conclusion: Japan...must do better, and pull your socks up.

30 06 06 - 09:39 - Kieren - Photostory| No comments - §

X-Men: The Last Straw

Brett Ratner you had better run, 'cause if I ever catch your sorry hack-ass I am going to string you up and make you watch your awful movies until you promise to never make another film. As you can see, Rhod and I barely made it through the film, so utterly soul destroying was it after the nicely handled X-Men II. Absolutely nothing in this movie makes the slightest bit of sense. The coolest scenes come from characters that have been our guide through the previous movies (and most of those don't make it to the end credits, though I shan't say who lives and dies), leaving new additions as ass-kicking fodder for a very lame Storm (use your powers woman, for Godsake), a growly Wolverine (maaaaa) and the slightly cooler Beast. Some reviews suggested that the quick pacing and bombastic action scenes saved the film from being straight to video rubbish. That is why I wanted to watch it, holding out some hope that the new director could build on Bryan Singer's superior movies. Surely with such a back catalogue of characters to choose from and a such a dizzying mythology you couldn't go wrong. Well Ratner does, at every turn. The film is so edited down to fit in all the characters (do not utter the name Juggernaut in my presence), that every 30 seconds there is a scene change. Actors literally run in, deliver their lines and jog on to the next story touchstone. The only emotion during the 2 hours was me mourning what Ratner had done. Warner Bros have learnt from their mistakes and so Batman and Superman have been handed over to two directors who are passionate about the source material and are trying to get their heroes back to their beginnings. As in most things, 20th Century Fox just messes everything up. This is my most hated movie of 2006. Everything about it is wrong. All the characters are insipid, their dialogue ripped off or stolen from 80s action movies, and their fight scenes so uninspiring as to be an insult (the showdown between Iceman and Pyro surely promised to be the most fun!). X-Men are inherently cool, but where the hell is Gambit? Characters are killed off left and right, when surely death should be a more uncertain thing as with most comic book heroes (are we so certain that in Spiderman certain villains won't reappear in the sequels?). Then there is the Dark Phoenix Saga condensed into an hour! Famke Janson must have been laughing about how little work she had to do for her paycheck. She stands around doing nothing for the entire movie, while the whole gravitas of the story is left to Ian McKellan, who has trouble munching his way through such utter crap. Avoid this movie. Oh, what it could have been!

27 06 06 - 11:52 - Kieren - Photostory| one comment - §

Making her escape

My mum seems to be getting up to the most bizarre things recently, only adding fuel to the speculation that in her twenties she was a spy. The reason I say spy is that she seems adept at various skills that would be useful to a secret agent. These photos were taken in the East Mersea estuary. Either she is making some daring escape, or else is holding these poor people hostage. I really have no idea what she is up to, so I will have to ask my dad the next time I talk to him. Great pictures of mum.

25 06 06 - 14:06 - Kieren - Photostory| No comments - §

Rain

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary; It rains, and the wind is never weary; The vine still clings to the mouldering wall, But at every gust the dead leaves fall, And the day is dark and dreary. My life is cold, and dark, and dreary; It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past, But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast, And the days are dark and dreary. Be still, sad heart! and cease repining; Behind the clouds is the sun still shining; Thy fate is the common fate of all, Into each life some rain must fall, Some days must be dark and dreary.

25 06 06 - 12:40 - Kieren - Photostory| two comments - §

Elementary my dear Watson

These poor little dudes had the bad luck of having outside cleaning duties on the heaviest rainy day of the year. Pallets were put out from the school building to the gym as a giant puddle formed which flooded most of the playing ground and carpark. Although they look like they are struggling against the tide, they were really just splashing and messing about with their brooms.
After finding my keitai hidden under a pile of papers, these three kids insisted on posing for a picture. So I snapped them and was going to delete it once I got home, but found myself laughing because they remind me of a trio of friends in some film or other. The geeky girl with pig-tails and glasses, the headstrong tomboy leader and the potentially gay sidekick.

23 06 06 - 14:57 - Kieren - Photostory| No comments - §

The faces of Tomomi

I went to coffee with Tomomi today for a catch-up chat. It has been far too long since last seeing her, but seems like I am the only one with a 9 'til 5 job amongst all our friends in Kyoto and so our holidays all inconveniently fall on different days. I also finally managed to give her some trousers that desperately need fixing, as she is my sewing queen and they have holes in the crotch area. I don't think it has anything to do with mincing or porn-size endowment. Tomomi's theory is that Japanese men have fairly flat arses, thus the cut of the trousers here is quite different. Because I am of the fuller butt type, the crotch gets pulled up, causing more friction. Well it is annoying having lots of trousers that risk indecent exposure. Thanks sewing angel. I just noticed that when Tomomi stuck her head through the geisha picture, the sign below states 'since 1872'. Now Tomi may have a few years on me, but I am not sure she has that many. About the orange-haired old geezer...well it really takes all sorts for the world to go round, and after spotting him walking through town in a dress and carrying a doll, Tomomi insisted on getting her picture taken. Rather than stealing one, she walked up and asked him to pose and he gladly agreed. He shook our hands and seemed quite amiable and chatty. No reason that he shouldn't have been really. Of course he has his reasons for dressing up in drag, and he could still be as mad as a hatter, but he was entertaining if nothing else. Shooting the shit and watching the world go by is the perfect way to spend a muggy, sweaty Kyoto day. For all those people that consider the Japanese a good-looking, smartly dressed and fashionable race, I say to you HA! Friday must indeed be freaky, because everyone I spotted looked as if they had rolled in their closet until clothes stuck to them, as if they had chosen sizes nine times too big for them, or if they were off to work on some street corner. Summer fashion really is about looking cheap. Fine by me. I had to put these gaudy gold and silver Converse trainers down, though not through bad taste, but the fact they were £100 a pair. Yikes. I bought my sandals for a fiver.

23 06 06 - 13:16 - Kieren - Photostory| two comments - §

Bento with Rhod

My visa is up in a months time and to get the forms I need meant a long cycle across the city. I picked Rhod up at lunchtime to grab a bento and a quiet half an hour by the river.

I had no work today because other teachers will be absent on a field trip. Good for me as I get to hang out in town while it is fairly quiet. Yes Rhod, I am a lucky so-and-so.

The first photo is not a prison, but the hideous faux-gothic edifice of the city hall. Every time I cycle past I wonder what they were thinking when they put it up. Dark, dismal and imposing, it wouldn't really look out of place in a communist country. It doesn't really give off a friendly and welcoming atmosphere like Kobe's skyscraper city hall with it's restaurants and viewing deck, nor does it really give off the impression that this is Kyoto's cradle of power at all. I place it just below Kyoto Tower in terms of city eye-sores.

A group of septuagenarians were playing gateball (croquet) by the river. It looked very peaceful with the mountains in the background. I wouldn't have minded joining in, if it weren't for the fact that it is strictly for old people and considered quite comic by everyone else. Can't see it being any more boring than golf.

23 06 06 - 12:53 - Kieren - Photostory| No comments - §

Wild with aniticipation

I can't say I am having a love affair with computer games at the moment, going out of my way to avoid them before I start screaming into a pillow. Having a boyfriend who is a games programmer has been an eye opener to the truth behind making a game, dissecting the cool fantasy from the harsh slog of reality. If Mario were a real man he may well have found himself bound and gagged, ready to be tortured by me for making video games as popular as they are today.
Today I sat down for a question and answer session with my 4th graders so they could ask questions about Britain and so we could dispel a few myths, such as a perpetually foggy London, having the worst food in Europe and all living in houses such as the Weasleys in Harry Potter. They asked me if I had a Nintendo DS and so I told them that Rhod in fact indirectly works for Nintendo, on Starfox DS, and that his game will be out in August.
The kids went absolutely wild with excitement and Rhod became something of a celebrity at my school. I know things are tough Rhodri, but there are some very impatient boys waiting to play the game you are finishing off. It will be nice to see them shooting their way through the exotic worlds and attacking the strange creatures you have helped craft, and it will be very strange to see them purchasing it. Don't be surprised if they want your autograph. Hehee.

21 06 06 - 10:51 - Kieren - Photostory| No comments - §

Pods

I have never been a radio person. Unless trapped in a car and desperately flicking through channels or listening to the charts whilst cooking dinner, I have never had the patience to sit through the sheer amount of crap for a minute or two of entertainment. The velvety tones of talk radio always has me snoozing in the bath before I can catch the jist of what they are saying. So I didn't feel that podcasts would particularly revolutionise my way of thinking. Cue Rhod and his passionate determination that I should try a few and see what I think. For months he went on and on about Russell Brand's show and how funny it was, how it had him chortling with laughter at his desk. It wasn't until I found myself without a book to read on the train that I stuffed in my earphones and gave it a go. Five minutes was all it took. I made a complete arse of myself, shaking with silent laughter and giggling like a madman. Russell Brand's show converted me instantaneously to the world of pods. Radio without all the pointless stuffing. Now I am an avid listener, staying awake in the mornings to listen to a whole host of chatshows. Russell Brand, Trevor Lock and Matt Morgan...I salute you.

20 06 06 - 12:49 - Kieren - Photostory| No comments - §

Pissy Calvin and the whales

As inexplicably as Calvin pissing on Japan, so it is that Japan seems to have be pissing on the rest of the world over the last week and it's an especially unlucky week for whales. No surprise that Japan has been advocating a return to commercial whaling, but quite astonishingly seems to have gotten her way. But where is the necessity for it? Katsutoshi Mihara, Chairman of Taiji Town Council, Japan, had this to say: "In our commmunities we do not have fields to grow crops; we only have the ocean. Environmentalists have a biased view of whales and dolphins, and I think there is an element of ethnic discrimination against us." What an arse. This statement reeks of Japan sulking over Western nations and their Imperialist past. The if-America-was-whaling-before-then -why-can't-we argument. Yes, well that was a long time ago now and you are proving how antiquated your thinking still is by pursuing this all. If you had been more honest and admitted it was all about making a few bucks, I think I might have respected you a bit more. He makes it sound as if Japan subsisted on whale for hundreds of years, that there was no rice, no barley, no fish. Just whale. And because this man is so completely ignorant, his parting shot...it all comes down to issues of racism. Well quite. A while back my friends Mitsuko and Hiro played a trick on me during a trip to Wakayama. They got me to eat a chewy, black meat. When I found out it was whale I was utterly horrified. I do weigh up the arguments...why should whales be treated any different from a cow or a pig? Both are mammals after all. However, unlike sheep, their numbers are by no means secure or really known, they show what seems to be more intelligence than farmyard animals (or is it just that they are more mysterious), and in reality do we really need them for scientific research? In short, I hope the whales fight back and get to swallowing the Japanese (and Norwegian and Icelandic), because it is unecessary in the modern era to hunt them. Is it that you are not yet in the modern era at heart Japan, when we should be worrying about our planet?

20 06 06 - 08:52 - Kieren - Photostory| No comments - §

The construction worker

I grew up around a fair few construction workers, thanks to my dad being a carpenter during most of my childhood (palatial rabbit hutches just one of the perks), but never in all my time have I seen anyone come close to the Japanese equivalent. Each morning I cycle past a group of lads waiting for their lift to work, and as most things in Japan, once you are part of a group you have to adhere to the strict uniform, hair cut, hair colour and general attitude. I can't imagine that the uniform has changed all that much since the days of samurai, as the clothes conjure up images of the past. Baggy trousers, strange-toed slippers, bright ginger-brown hair, and a tan so deep they look French polished. This one is for you dad. Happy Father's Day.

19 06 06 - 12:10 - Kieren - Photostory| No comments - §

Aldeburgh and the bizarre bearded pearl

Visting Aldeburgh in another trip on their tour of East Anglia, my mum and dad are making me green with envy that I have never taken the time to walk through the picturesque countryside around my family home. The death-place of Benjamin Britten, Aldeburgh saw fit to remember the influential British composer with...a...giant...shell. Well of course. In the series of photographs sent from family and friends in the UK, I am becoming convinced Britain is still home to some of the prettiest scenery in Europe, if not the world. Sure, the high streets all look the same, the legacy of the 60s and 70s can still stir a chill, and housing estates look eerily similar, but compare it to Japanese cities and you would almost choke on the amount of space and freedom of it all. To be fair, I walk past leafy shrines, cycle close to castles and ponds, get to commute through forested mountains and along glassy paddy fields, but when you reach another town your heart sinks with the chaotic mess of it all. Why oh why do the Japanese love concrete. For the next couple of weeks I will be teaching the monsters back at elementary school. Not all that bad really, though without airconditioning terribly hot. Today I introduced myself to a third grade class that had been on an excursion last time I was there. All was going well and they were asking questions about Harry Potter, David Beckham and why my eyes were bluey-green when one boy stood up, cupped his hands and vomited into them. Now I thought my introduction wasn't too bad, so I was a bit shocked. More stunned that as teachers threw kids out of his path, they did nothing to move themselves so cowed by the discipline of the classroom were they. The little boy stood there like demon spawn, with an inexhaustable supply of lunch and breakfast and God knows what. When I was quite sure he had finished I scooped him up and put him in one of the massive water troughs that sit outside each toilet and washed him down. I asked him if he had a stomachache or if he had a bug, but he simply shrugged that he had hated the cream stew we ate for lunch. In Japan, children are forced to eat everything they are given at lunchtime, even if they dislike the food. His homeroom teacher sure paid for ignoring his pleas. Poor scamp. It's been a while to catch up with everyone in Japan, though Mitsuko has started dating a baseball player, Misako has become a surf boarder and Erik has been honing his pottery skills. I have become a water-baby and Rhod has been toying with giant eels. Starfox DS will be released on August 3rd, same day as Paper Mario 2 for Gamecube...let the battle commence. I should imagine all across Kyoto men are struggling against time to polish their games. Been a topsy-turvy home life of late, with swimming being the only time I have actually seen Rhod. Shitbike, my wonderfully crap morning commute-to-the-station-and-leave-in-a- no-park-zone bike was finally hauled away by the authorities. Very sentimental over it now and would like it back. Cars parked by the side of busy junctions forcing my students to walk into the centre of the street is aparently ok, but an out of the way bike is a terrible inconvenience. Police! Actually do something for once. Grrrrrrr.

19 06 06 - 11:09 - Kieren - Photostory| two comments - §

Attack of the cushion and other weekend activities

Cabin fever really seems to have struck hard, with a little dose of madness to help things along. Teaching all day in baking hot classrooms and hiking the mile and half from school to the station means that by the time I throw my bag down in the evening I can't pick myself up again to type anything on the computer. Plus I have zilch to say. Nothing has happened for the past couple of weeks. This is Rhod battling with a giant pillow today. I should say he is pulling faces because I was trying to tug it away to snap shots of him. He refuses point blank to put on his swim cap so I can photograph him. His work has not calmed down and although the deadline is long gone he continues bug fighting well into the early hours each day. James Bond villains produce world destroying weapons in less time. Tongue firmly bitten. I have been quite productive at work, presenting speeches to the government education offices and working my perfectly cushioned ass off. Apart from slowly transforming into a tanned wonder, the underside of my arms are shockingly pale, giving me a half baked look. After dragging my heels on purchasing airline tickets (mainly because of the jaw-dropping summer prices) I will get everything sorted for the trip home in the next couple of days. Very excited.

18 06 06 - 10:43 - Kieren - Photostory| two comments - §

Don't rain on my parade

Mary Poppins? Some such children story where our heroine first enters the normal world of an average family, bringing magic where there is nought. I like this photo of my mum, because it seems so staged, so planned. I curled up in front of the computer in nothing but my pants (27 degrees at night here now) to write about the gym, but then realised I needed to take some photos of Rhod (as to the reason why, all shall be revealed soon enough) and so will do it another time. Good night from Japan.

12 06 06 - 13:06 - Kieren - Photostory| two comments - §

Weekly Review

In I Am a Cat, a supercilious feline narrator describes the lives of a set of middle class Japanese. Amongst these are Mr. Sneeze (literally translated from Chinno Kushami, in the original Japanese) and family (the cat's owners), Sneeze's garrulous and irritating friend Waverhouse (Meitei), and the young scholar Avalon Coldmoon (Mizushima Kangetsu) with his will-he-won't-he marriage to the businessman's spoilt daughter, Opula Goldfield (Kaneda Tomiko). After two years chronicling the foibles of these foolish humans and the general superiority of cats, the nameless protagonist gets drunk and drowns in a water barrel.
"[The Authority in His Dark Materials] is the God of the burners of heretics, the hangers of witches, the persecuters of Jews, the officials who recently flogged that poor girl in Nigeria who had the misfortune to become pregant after having been forced to have sex - all these people claim to know with absolute certainty that their God wants them to do these things. Well, I take them at their word, and I say in response that that God deserves to die."
Each new Robbie Williams release seems to arrive more quietly than the last - Sin Sin Sin has been heralded with a minor toot rather than a Let Me Entertain You-style fanfare. The reason is obvious - with Intensive Care, from which this synth-based song is taken, Williams and co-writer Stephen Duffy have headed away from transparently commercial material and towards slightly more subdued, thoughtful pop. Sure, the big chorus remains present and correct, but Robbie's trademark showiness has been replaced by a more reflective mood. The results are mixed - this is a solid, hummable pop song, but after repeated listens begins to feel a little plodding.
With second record One Way Ticket To Hell...And Back not breaking the Top Ten of the album chart, those who predicted the fall of The Darkness seem to be vindicated in their judgement. However their popularity globally seems as strong as ever, having recently visited Australia and Japan, they’ll spend the summer rocking the European festival circuit. With Justin Hawkins' falsetto at an all-time high, Girlfriend encapsulates the fun of The Darkness' music, all while carrying a message of reprieve from having cheated on your partner. It's upbeat and has a chorus that a toddler could cope with… but you can’t help feel the band are running out of ideas musically. The accompanying video is amusing; with Hawkins paying tribute to eighties' flick 'Flashdance'. -Alex Lai (Contact Music)
Empire - Simon Braund: A shot in the arm for the classic disaster movie. Awesome effects, nail-biting tension and a cast of characters we don't want dead after half an hour - even, amazingly, the cute kid. Chicago Tribune - Michael Phillips: At least Poseidon takes care to dispatch the Black Eyed Peas' Stacy Ferguson who, as the shipboard entertainer, sings what may be the worst song ever written, reprised over the end credits. Baltimore Sun - Michael Sragow: If this version had been called The Poseidon Adventure, audiences could have sued for truth in packaging.
Brain Age presents quick mental activities that help keep your DS brain in shape. Activities include quickly solving simple math problems, counting people going in and out of a house simultaneously, drawing pictures on the Touch Screen, reading classic literature out loud, and more. You can also play Sudoku, the number puzzle game which has become an extremely popular feature in U.S. newspapers Brain Age is inspired by the research of Professor Ryuta Kawashima, a prominent Japanese neuroscientist. His studies evaluated the impact of performing certain reading and mathematic exercises to help stimulate the brain.

06 06 06 - 12:52 - Kieren - Photostory| No comments - §

The newly weds: half term

As the zorbing was in Dorset, we travelled to Lulworth Cove where we spent the rest of the day. We had a nice pub lunch out in the garden (we were so lucky with the weather!) and when we were at Lulworth Cove I had my first outdoor ice cream of the year! The countryside is so beautiful at the moment - so green and full, and I was just enjoying driving around in it. On Wednesday, we played golf. Now, the nearest I've come to playing golf is the crazy variety but I thought it would be fun! There's a golf course at Wincanton, in the middle of the horse racing course and there are some pretty views all round. Probably just as well as you weren't there as you wouldn't have wanted to watch my golf - I was truly appalling and couldn't even hold the club or swing it properly. Was all a bit humiliating and I think Jason's dad was getting a bit grumpy with how long the 9 holes were taking (he usually just goes with Jason, not with Jason's mum and me tagging along as well!). I'm just glad that I'm able not to take myself too seriously - and I just hope the golf course itself isn't too scarred from the experience - given that I chopped up quite a bit of turf trying to hit the bloody ball. My arms have just about stopped aching from my poor attempts so now I've finished telling you about this, I plan to forget about golf for a while....
That evening, we went to a lovely pub about twenty minutes drive from Wincanton. It was pretty much untouched from the 19th century. The tasty beer was on gravity and served through a hatch. The village just has a church and this pub, which doesn't serve food, so it's a real local's pub but friendly with it. These pictures are spurring me to organise the flight back home in August. Have to get things arranged as there is a lot to plan, and unlike Rhod I can't leave things until the last moment. England looks so beautiful and recently I understand why my students say I come from one of the prettiest countries. It ain't half bad huh. Am getting very excited to meet Louisa and Jason, my mum, dad and little bro, and journeying up to Wales to meet Rhod's family. All very odd and worrying, but at the same time something very much to look forward to. Keep glued to this space to hear more from Louisa and Jason (hardly newly weds, but what the hell).

05 06 06 - 13:06 - Kieren - Photostory| three comments - §

Louisa, Jason, and the zorb!

'We headed over to Somerset on Monday, waving at all the cars travelling back to London in the other direction as it was Bank Holiday. The next day, it was time for Jason's zorbing. We were lucky as it was a really nice day which made the water element of the zorbing more bearable! It was quite expensive for what it was - over quite quickly as you only get rolled down the hill once, but it was fun to watch and Jason enjoyed doing it Here's a picture of Jason in the zorb just after it was released - he actually managed to stay upright for about a third of the way down the hill, but was soon rolling around inside the zorb. They chuck in a couple of buckets of water before you dive in - fortunately it was warm water, although Jason was still freezing when he was standing around afterwards in his wet clothes!' I have one question. No, not the obvious 'what the hell were you thinking!', but rather, why oh why Miss Louisa did you not yourself have a go? Now that would be a picture worth seeing. Jason, you are a brave man.

05 06 06 - 11:48 - Kieren - Photostory| three comments - §

Touch my hip

Miss Suzuki decided to attend a ballet recital close to our apartment today and so dropped in for a spot of lunch and a rummage through my movie collection. Takes me back to when we shared a house and a typhoon blacked out the whole of Kobe, knocking out the airconditioning and keeping us awake all night, thus forcing us to watch film after film on my laptop as the battery slowly died. Ahhh I miss my Muji bed. Mitsuko is hilarious when it comes to my love life, spawning the phrase 'touch my hip' for anything saucy, talk of Rhod (before moving in with him) or any talk of boyfriends or girlfriends. Also, it pretty much means kiss my ass. The funniest thing is that the Japanese always mistake hip for arse. Thus she always meant to say touch my arse...but it has become a kind of catchphrase. In the photo I have caught her mid 'touch'. She is rare, in that her sensibilities towards her own love life are amazingly traditional. She started hitting me for suggesting that after three dates with her new baseball playing man she should give him a peck on the cheek. In a way it is quite sweet and I am quite glad I am not a womaniser, else would face a constant battering at her hands. Farewell, 'til next do we meet.

05 06 06 - 11:22 - Kieren - Photostory| No comments - §

Sepia tones at The Hungry Elephant

Yesterday we went to dinner with Oggi, his wife Akko, their friend Tomomi and Rhod's workmate Sato at a small izakaya called The Hungry Elephant.

No name seems more apt as anyone wanting to fill up in a hurry would be sorely disappointed, and made even hungrier waiting for food to arrive. Three young guys man the place and do so at an incredibly leisurely pace. Three hours all said, which would be fine if it were not a sunday evening or if we had something to nibble on inbetween.

The food when it came was delicious and maybe it was my own fault for drinking alcohol (thus fuelling my grumbling stomach) and not having a sufficient lunch, but each helping was so tiny and sporadic that i felt as if I was never going to be full.

Lovely company, good decor (not too many elephants), nice meal all in all. Just a shame it has put New Year's Eve dinner waiting (Merry Island, drunk before a morsel of food arrived) into perspective. If nothing else, the name is too cute not to take friends there. Why sepia photos? Rhod experimenting again.

05 06 06 - 10:36 - Kieren - Photostory| No comments - §

Mario surgery, menu monkeys and Poseidon

After playing Mario Kart Arcade for a few rounds, and after being swept away with the craze blanketing Japan since the release of New Super Mario Bros., Rhod has begun contemplating a change of image. Here we see the latest in medical scientific technology creating a snapshot of what Rhod would look like as the slightly chubby Italian plumber. Rhod gets strapped back for the face altering procedure, such as used in Die Another Day and Alias (so you know it must be in the realms of the possible). A first glimpse of Marhod.
Never have I known two men (women, that's a different matter) pore and debate and discuss a menu for so long. It was quite amusing to watch them, though it wasn't nearly as frustrating as trying to get served. Blurry Erik and Rhod battle it out with hoop shooting. Both of their asses were cleanly kicked by the small Japanese bloke next them, though Erik comes last because of the penalty incurred from losing one of his balls. We never did find out where it bounced off to. Me, completely beat. Who would have thought that watching a raggedy group of people escaping a capsized luxury liner would be so exhausting. I felt as if I too had jumped elevator shafts, been half drowned in ballast tanks, abseiled over an eight storey rotunda and been sucked through propreller vents.

04 06 06 - 08:42 - Kieren - Photostory| No comments - §

Maeda's dynasty

For those of you who were hoping to see pictures of Joan Collins smacking some shoulder-padded beast-haired bitch, sorry but you are going to be sadly disappointed. This post is about nowhere near as interesting. Dallas or Dynasty? Which was horrifically better? The Dallas theme tune has to win hands down right? Well Joan, you tacky hack, you may be five times older than me, but you are strangely fantastic. Ok, all the gayness has been squeezed out of this post, so back to normality. No more mention of Dynasty. Oh did Joan Collins get killed in the end? ... Today hit 30 degrees, with a dew point of 87%. I have no idea what a dew point is really. Yes, it is humid, but doesn't it suggest that I should be swimming home from work? The other day was 100%, shouldn't I be dead? (since writing this, I have extensively researched dew). Hmmm, back to the pictures. I was always told never to think in pounds and pennies when I got to Japan. That I should never compare currencies, but just to go with yen and keep everything in perspective. Well bugger that, I always end up ignoring it when I know I am overspending, but roughly convert things most of the other times. I went with Misako to lunch at Maeda's and it was the cheapest lunch I have had ever...£2.50 for a swanky meal that would stuff a hippo. If any of you guys find yourself in Kyoto (or want to fly over, 'cause it is that cheap, that after forking out on a plane ticket you can eat like a king on what money you have left). You get a gold star Maeda's and Kyoto goes up in my estimations.

01 06 06 - 11:50 - Kieren - Photostory| No comments - §

Monday monkeys

Here are the pictures to my post.

As I was being a c***, I decided to erase all the words.

It looks better this way.

01 06 06 - 09:25 - Kieren - Photostory| No comments - §

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Rhod and Ki's tour of life in Kyoto, Japan.

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Ki (Gold for wealth, …): Yeah – it had this gaudy,…
ted (Gold for wealth, …): Hi Ki, I found it just…
Ki (Gold for wealth, …): Hi Ted, Did you visit thi…
Ki (Hiei-zan framed): Hi Ted, Hope you are well…
ted (Hiei-zan framed): This was once my favorite…
ted (Gold for wealth, …): We got a big kick out of …
Ki (The amazing shogu…): Hi Sandy, I am really gla…
Sandy Barnes (The amazing shogu…): Thank you so much for the…
David (Get your skates o…): Dear Kieren, I’m also f…
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