*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

For the safety of the Japanese...

I need a trip out of this country soon.  I am going to take a bat to some salaryman...
I can't go two days without shoving some twat on the trains, nor more than one ride without keeping my elbows at rib-height so some oyaji doesn't too closely invade what personal space I am left.  Yesterday a little five-foot shit cut me off, smashed into my side, just to get at the back of a crowded line for the escalator, and gave 6'+ me a look for giving him a shove in the back.  If I didn't think everyone would 'bear false witness' I would have given him much more than a shove.  What few train manners there ever were here are getting worse all the time.

I have been in-country for eighteen-months.  We are not taking all four of us home this summer, because it would cost more than $7K all costs in.  I am going to be here another eighteen-months.  This is me now.
I don't even go outside on the weekends if I can avoid it.  Tokyo life?  I take my kid to the park, and I get my groceries.  I used to exercise...  Even that leaves me fed up with the witlessness.  I never go shopping for clothing or the like: won't find anything masculine, won't fit, and have to go among twerps who somehow have not adapted to living in crowds (Stand left!  Move right!  Walk in a straight fucking line, and like you mean to get anywhere!).

I have a thing about not going to the US, but where else can I get a few days away where nobody will look at me twice, and don't panic at the sound of English, and it won't cost a fortune to get there (Toronto, a fortune, and not somewhere I am pining for)?  We are a bit lean on money this year, but I think I can sell a solo-trip to the wife, as it will cost a third of the family going to my 'home', and neither she nor the kids need the trip like I do.  She'll be perfectly fine at her mother's.  It's also necessary for my sanity.  Three straight years here is not an option.  Plus, she'll be taking the kids to Japan every summer when we are in Toronto.  I agreed to that.

Have a friend in LA, but been there/done.  SF and Yosemite?  Hawaii?  Best option, but not going to go cheap as I will go at 'Golden Week'.  Too many Japanese, but I won't spend time in Honolulu.  This looks good.


  1. Come to Australia. We kinda speak English and you can get super cheap flights on Jetstar or Air Asia only don't go to the Gold Coast or Cairns because they are full of Japanese.

    You get zero sympathy for the trains though. No one hoeing into a stinky Big Mac beside you, no one negotiating with their smack dealer on their phone, no one loudly discussing the latest reality TV show or playing super loud music... You do get sympathy for the dozy cows walking in your way through the station though.

    1. Let's see, roughly:
      - $1K to California
      - $1500 or more to Hawaii, Sydney, Aus. or Aukland, NZ

      Were I going antipodean I'd head to NZ, because what I need to see as a break from Tokyo concrete is green vegetation. NZ does this, along with me hearing English, which Kiwis speak too, after a fashion.

      I am leaning to California or Hawaii. Cheapest would be California, I think. Going to be troublesome/expensive to get around Hawaii at Japanese 'Golden Week': pretty much have to fly through Honolulu, then maybe want to go to Kauai.

  2. I know that feeling well. I usually get stir crazy about a year and a half of not going of island. 3 years is an incredible feat. Your strained tolerance for train assess is completely justified.

    I was at Costco in Iruma today and wanted to run my cart through all the idiots clogging up the huge aisles with their stupid bodies. I gave a stern look at quite a few grown women to get them to move their damn Carts out of the way if they were gong to stand and chat with their equally dumb partners.

    I made a mistake going over a 3 day weekend but damnit I needed affordable beer cheese and meat and no one was going to stop me.

    I come from California. San Diego is pretty nice. Nice beaches World famous zoo and aquarium are with checking out.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation. I have a niece in SD with my brother's ex-. Terms are fine enough that I could see her. I am not a desert guy though. That may be unfair, but since I am from the Great Lakes (Toronto) S.California looks like dusty desert to my eyes. Also, I need to see living green things after all this soulless Japanese concrete. I may fly into LA for a couple days with my friend, then north to SF, Yosemite, Sequoia and Monterey.

      I used to be shy to use, 'ojyamashimasu', because you always get an overreaction for being pale-faced. Fuck it. I go all in now: "OJYAMASHIMASU!"

  3. I wrote the book, "The Tokyo Train Rider's Handbook of Justice." I've been in a couple of altercations on trains (nothing knock-down, drag out) and had to ban myself from inebriated last-train rides...

    I leave the country every two or three years and do sweet fuck all for 3-6 months, then come back refreshed. You should not feel a bit guilty for doing it as it'll benefit everyone around you as well.

    If it's only a matter of a few hundred dollars, just go with Hawaii... How could you go wrong?

  4. God yeah, getting out is so important. Frankly it doesn't matter where so much. Can't you make up an old friend's wedding in somewhere not too far (Hong Kong, Singapore) and clear off for a long weekend? Worked for me not to long ago. Though the wedding was real, at least.

    Or a conference. Some kind of academic conference. I've got mates who lean on that one a lot.

    How many grandparents do you have left? Does she know which ones are still alive...?

    I'm being less than helpful here. I do apologise.

    1. Appreciate any help I can get.

      She went apeshit the other day on the idea of me heading off alone. Telling me I was being selfish as we have a new kid. "I call bullshit on that."* I asked her if she'd ever spent even twelve months straight in Canada, or expected to. Told her the suggestion of going alone was so as to spend a third the money, and money is always an issue to her (fair enough, I'm crap with it).

      I think the skinflint of her nature is winning over the
      green-eyed monster of her envy, and now she's suggesting I go alone; however, before I agree I am going to drill it into her that she had a choice between spending money or sending me alone (me here for a straight three years is no option!). I will take no shit about having gone later on.

      *Repo Man

  5. Flights to Guam are kind of cheap now. Have a friend who went there and recommends it as a sort of getaway for folks in Tokyo who don't want to shell out the cash to get to Hawaii. Just a thought.

  6. Thought of Guam or Saipan, but is there aught to do there? Wife and I are not watch the sea type of people, but on the other hand, with a toddler and an infant there's not much else we can do...

    Despite what I replied to 'kathrynoh' above, I am thinking of northern Australia in summer... the warm part of it in their winter, damn confusing antipodes.

  7. A trip to SF may come out cheaper than Hawaii. Also if you happen to stay in the SF area you can enjoy the outdoor sights of Monterrey and Big Sur which are fairly close to SF.

    Kauai does look like a rad place to visit. I will be heading to Maui later this year with my family. I do intend on making it out to NZ and AUS someday. Not sure when though... I hope you find a nice place to visit and if you have questions about SF area let me know. Be glad to help :)