Sunday, November 09, 2003
"Start over again/ Everything happens for a reason
Good doesn't come without pain
Start over again /Everything happens for a reason
Listen to me/ I awaken to sunlight that's beyond bright
This day will be done right
There is a war, just waiting on the other side of the door
But I'll be bringing God to the gunfight/" -"Reset" by Outkast
I'm completely fixated on listening to the new Outkast album right now. Normally, I'm the sort of person that needs to rotate a lot of different music to avoid getting bored of things, but the sheer creativity and genius of their latest work amazes. I mean, what hip.hop group could pull off a song with NORAH JONES? They make it work, though. Mucho gracias, Cora. Imma cop myself a legit copy of the album whenever I wander back stateside.
How are you doing, Mr. Chan?
Not too bad, really. I think part of the spiritual lessons I've been learning here in Japan is that a life of faith requires being comfortable with uncertainty... not exactly an easy thing to do, at least for me. Modern life relishes certainty, thrives on knowing fo'sho, and absolutely, positively, without a doubt. Yet reality and life is often a jumbled together pile of possibilities, odd chances, and foggy gray.
Surviving life without losing one's sanity in one way or another requires trusting in that there is a divine purpose in the face of our uncertainties.
(/end fortune cookie thought of the day)
Want me to tell you more? I can't. Geez man, you're about as clear and helpful as the Oracle in The Matrix.
On another note about life here in Japan, I think Japan might have the US beat in the number of total percentage of people that frequent bars. Going to a bar here in Japan is a part of life for many people, especially businessmen here in Japan - many a deal is forged over a frothy glass of Kirin Ichiban or Asahi. It's ingrained into the social patterns of Japanese people since it's not common for people to entertain friends at home - makes sense considering homes here in Japan are notoriously cramped and not that good for parties, unless your guests are the size of rodents.
I was never a guy really into bars back home in States, unless said bars had a cheap happy hour food menu (McCormick's) or had good live music. Bars back home in the US are just dirty or filled with drunken people.
Here in Japan though, I've become quite the patron to a couple of bars, most noticeably a bar called Chey's in downtown Kobe. I sometimes socializing with friends/co-workers there; other times, I'm just gazing out at the city from the 2nd story window, nursing a glass of whiskey and a bowl of salted edamame (boiled soy beans).
Where everybody knows you're a gaijin...
The staff already know me by these facts:
1) I look like a Japanese salaryman, but I'm a foreigner who speaks perfect English.
2) I always sit at the bar or the window, or with gaijin co-workers.
3) I'm one of the few who asks for Maker's Mark or Johnny Walker Black.
Yep, nothing takes the edge off a long day of work then a little whiskey. It's a good night cap before I catch my train home.
What's that white towel in the background? Here in Japan, most bars and classy restaurants give their patrons a warm, moist towelette to wipe their hands with when they enter the bar. A very good idea... gotta love the Japanese attention to cleanliness.
Other days, there's a Korean restaurant/bar called Saiya I go to right above Chey's - sells Jinro Chamiseul by either the shot or the bottle. You can guess what I buy.
And for those early morning shifts...
Yum, iced coffee. Caffeine can really help for the low-level classes.
Pics courtesy of my sexy phone. Oh yeah, I finally adjusted the time from US Pacific time to Japan time. Guess I'm really here, eh?
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