Sunday, November 09, 2008

Halloween Weekend in Roppongi

I finally gathered a few pictures from Halloween weekend to share. I am bad. I always forget to take pictures at parties, but I like to think that's because I am too busy enjoying myself. I managed to gather a few shots, mostly taken by other people. This year I dressed as Indiana Jones. My parents were nice enough to send a few things from home... no way would I have found the right stuff in the right size over here. I am a big Indy buff and could tell you 10 things wrong with my costume, but most strangers I met seemed to know who I was, so I'd say that's mission accomplished.

On the Friday of Halloween I went with the crew to a part of Tokyo called Roppongi. Roppongi is generally known as the foreigner neighborhood of Tokyo. It also has the unfortunate reputation of being a bit shady. As such, I usually stay away from Roppongi, and instead enjoy myself in Shibuya or Ebisu, but this was a special occasion so what the heck. My main worry was that we would pay to get into some club and once we got inside, no one would even know it was Halloween and no one would be in costume. And then I would have to whip someone in the eye.

My fears were very quickly addressed. Even in the train station, there were several clusters of people who were in costumes. We met several British people while we were waiting in line for the bathroom in a convenience store.

I don't remember these guys' names, but they were pretty funny.

We went to a three-storied club called "alife"(website in Japanese). The basement was the happenin' party where a majority of the people were completely decked out Halloween style. The 2nd floor was a more chilled out sort of space, with tables and chairs to rest at.

Several strangers demanded pictures with us. Who am I to deny my fans? Joe is on the left in his jailbird outfit. (Photo is Joe's)

The first floor was interesting. I haven't been to so many clubs, but this one was something I haven't seen before. The main floor was sort of a cafe setting with many tables and chairs. The other half of the the floor looked like it was being offered to whomever would pay. There were one or two people getting their hair styled in one area. In another, some Microsoft Windows incarnation was being demonstrated. I saw a big freezer full of various kinds of ice cream for sale as well. I guess its a good place for companies to get access to the young crowd, but it was really at odds with the wild atmosphere downstairs.

So we rocked out at the party in Tokyo until the trains started again in the morning... lets say 6am. We had another party in Ashikaga the next night. I was notably slower moving by then, but it was still a great time. It was held at a small bar/club on the north side, and I knew most of the people in the room. Nice and cozy.

Joe and I chilling with some of the girls at the nearby supermarket. We picked up a few provisions before hitting the party, and got plenty of weird looks from pedestrians along the way. (Photo is Zishan's)

Clarence was a pimp and Shaun was a ninja. I couldn't find a good picture of Zishan, but he was a cowboy. Good times were had by all. (Photo is Joe's)

Earlier in the week a few of us went on a little field trip in order to find everyone's costumes. One stop was Toys R Us, which had a decent sized Halloween section. I am ashamed to report that I made a small impulse buy.

A very Japanese-styled Indiana Jones figurine, with ridiculously large head. It was cheap, and I thought it would be cool to have a little Indy to commemorate my Halloween. Inside this little box was a random character from one of the four movies. How could I lose?

I got this little punk. I don't know whats up with the googly eyes. Worst character ever!!

Back at school, this week the first year students are learning about the fun little "s" that materializes when we use verbs in the third person, such as "John misses the hell out of pizza". The little narrative that the book uses to teach this is a bit unentertaining, though. It tells a story about a Japanese lady and her assistance dog. I have been out and about in Japan for a year and change, and I don't recall ever seeing a single one of these dogs... surely a story could be found that better relates to the students' lives. Well, in Friday's class the teacher I was working with put me on the spot, and asked me to explain the concept of assistance dogs in simple English.

"Assistance dogs are dogs... that help people.... who... need help". I didn't have a whole lot of material. There's not a whole lot of secret meaning hiding in the word, ya know? Then I thought I would be clever and tell the kids that because my position is assistant teacher, that I was sort of like an assistance dog. One kid thought that was especially funny, so he called me "Assistance John" the rest of class. It was a nice little moment.

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