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My Life Page 4
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Alex, a buddy of mine who I've known almost my whole time in Japan (about 4 years), sold me his bike before he left Japan for good and headed home to Canada. Anyway Alex lives (lived) about an hour train ride from where I live in Tokyo. Having no other way to get the bike home, I naturally decided to ride. Here I am in front of his house about to start my trek, fresh and energetic. The time is 11:45 Monday morning.

bike ride


Here I am having just arrived at my house. The time is now 4:20 in the afternoon and I'm tired, sunburnt and ready for bed. I guess not having ridden a bike for a year or so, then suddenly riding one for more than four hours can kind of drain you. It was an interesting ride though, I managed to get home pretty much without a map, following the street signs and my instincts. I biked about 50-60 kilometers when you include detours and backtracking. Anyway Alex if you're reading this, thanks! It's a good bike.

bike ride


Our house has a fruit fly problem and this is my current effort to erradicate them. It consists of a metal base with four straws stuck in it. The straws are covered with an unbelievably sticky substance that smells sugary sweet (Haven't tasted it yet), and costs 500 yen at your local drugstore. Current estimate of hand swatted flies is roughly 200. Current number of guests stuck to the straws is 6 (over a one month period). Conclusion? Save your money. And If you're wondering, yes, those three specks are flies.

fruit fly problem


After a year of using my hopelessly outdated mobile phone, I finally upgraded to a more modern, folding type version. This one (still green of course) takes pictures, movies, has email, can even browse the internet and was a steal at one yen (about one cent). Am I satisfied? Well no. This model is still a year or two behind the ones currently out there. My old phone might not have been able to take pictures or do email, but it had Tetris and was a bigger steal at 0 yen. Still, you have to admit, it looks pretty sexy...

au keitai


Been to Disney Land about four years ago so I guess one needs to visit Disney Sea to compare the two. In my opinion Disney Sea is better, but still not 'great'. So why is it better? Well, instead of basing my decision on a pure enjoyment level, the fact that there weren't massive crowds of people may have influenced me. I tend to get cranky when I have to wait 2 hours to ride a 30 second roller coaster, but that's just me, Japanese people seem to be immune. Still, Disney Sea doesn't have Winnie the Pooh...

disney sea


Yoko and I took a short two-day trip to Hakone, a resort area near Tokyo. The extent of my summer vacation this year was only three days. First day it poured rain so we couldn't see Mt. Fuji from the lake which is the major draw... The ryokan (Japanese inn) we stayed in was fairly nice, excellent food and a hotspring (onsen) to bathe in. A huge thunderstorm at night was entertaining as well. The second day was nicer, we did some sightseeing and went to a couple of beautiful waterfalls.



Found this little guy while hiking around one of those mountain temples. It wasn't really a mountain though, more like a hill. You don't often see wildlife (except crows and pigeons) in Japan so I was pleasantly surprised. I've run into a couple of fairly large frogs in some parks, but I think this is the first lizard I've ever seen over here. Note the gold body and blue tail. I wanted to get some pics of the frogs too, but Yoko has a frog phobia so she ran and I had to follow...



Yoko's hometown is in Niigata prefecture which is about a four hour bus ride from Tokyo, and right beside the Sea of Japan. Yoko went home for about a week to visit her family, and I tagged along as well but only for a night and a day. Mountains, rice fields, ocean, fresh air, fresh food, and all in one place. What more could you ask for? A great place to get away from Tokyo, even if only for 24 hours.



Pizza... I've told you before how hard it is to find a good one in Tokyo. Well Yoko, being the chef that she is, made one for me after I asked if she was able to. Defintely one of the best pizzas I have had, easily beating Pizza Hut's 'golden cheese crust' pizza here in Tokyo, and perhaps tied with Lorenzo's in Ottawa. Those of you who know my love of Lorenzo's will understand the height of my praise. She made everything by hand, including the crust and even the tomato sauce!

yoko's pizza



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