Monday, December 14, 2009

Xmas Shopping in Asakusa

2 weekends ago, I didn’t go to Tokyo. I just stayed in Numata and drank with some other ALTs to save some money. Nothing really eventful happened. My gaming for the weekend was limited to playing Marvel Super Heroes on a cabinet with no 2nd player roundhouse button, and a little bit of 3rd Strike and CvS2 with Emmet on his PS2.

This past weekend, on Friday, I had an enkai for work to welcome one of the new ALTs. I drank a good amount and the food was pretty good. Afterwords I went to an Izakaya with Cynthia and a few of the people from the BOE and then Cynthia and I did Karaoke.

The next morning I headed to Tokyo. I ran into another ALT on the first train on the way and talked to him a bit, which was good cuz I totally forgot to bring my headphones with me. When I got to Takasaki I met up with Andy. He arrived just in time for us to run to the train and board it just as the doors were closing.

We headed right to Mikado for games. Emmet was already there when we arrived. There were tons of people playing Guilty Gear today and hardly any playing BlazBlue. I went back and forth playing both games but mostly played Guilty Gear. Im still learning Hakumen and havnt really practiced with him much so im just getting the feeling of things. I was able to win a few matches here and there but mostly lost. With GG I was doing pretty well. I played against Imo’s Zappa for like the first time in forever and he totally owned me. I forgot how good he was. Hes totally different than Mitsurugi too but they are both beasts. They were playing against eachother in Zappa mirror matches for a good while. There were also a crap load of May players there today. Counting Andy, there were about 5 or 6 different May players. I got a lot of May practice in. I was actually doing quite well in general but there was this one May player I couldn’t beat. I forgot his name but I always saw him around during SBO quals.

After a while, Emmet left to go to Shibuya to meet up with the girl in the purple hat who we met at the last international party. Andy was playing some Melty Blood and while he was on one of the cabs, some guy sitting next to him found an 80 gb iPod under Andy’s chair. He assumed it was Andy’s so he put it up next to Andy’s stick. Andy sat there and played for like a whole hour and no one came by to claim the iPod so Andy is now the lucky owner of a new iPod. Andy and I decided to get some Mexican food at that place down the street. While we were there, we were looking through the music on the iPod. There was a lot of crap like Brittany Spears and Christina Agulera and Avril Lavigne and stuff like that. Also some Exile and a bunch of random stuff I never heard of. The battery died shortly after we started looking through it. I ordered a quesadilla and Andy got the Taco combo. It was pretty awesome. The quesadilla was really tasty but didn’t quite fill me up. Also, sitting near us were these 2 foreigners, some guy and some girl, most likely college students at Waseda. They were loud as hell and were just talking about the dumbest crap. They sounded like a bunch of high school kids or something.

After eating we returned to Mikado for a bit. Later on, Ryan (LetBloodRun), the 3rd Strike player from Cali showed up. He said this would be his last weekend in Japan before he goes back so he said he was down to go drinking with us later. We stayed at Mikado and played till maybe about 10:30 and then headed out to go drinking at Current. I got a cheeseburger at McDonalds for the road to offset the small size of that quesadilla.

It was a good night at Current and a lot of regulars showed up. Michi was sitting at the bar with Yoshie and Mai when we came in. Also, Glasses girl, Chibi Testament, Jerry, Taka, Rina, Jya, Mogi, Sushi, Masami, and a few others were there. Emmet showed up later. It turns out that today was Michi’s birthday and they busted out a birthday cake for it. She shared it with everyone sitting at the bar and I enjoyed a slice. Chip came later too and Ryan was happy to meet him seeing as how hes a huge 3rd Strike player and Chip worked on the sound for the game.

I drank a ton of beers and was really in a heavy drinking mood. Not cuz of any particular reason, I just wanted to get smashed.

After Current closed at 5, a group of us headed to PSY. A few of the usual people were there and we had one more beer. Same as usual pretty much. They were showing the Adams Family movie on the screen there for whatever reason lol.

After PSY closed, Emmet wanted to keep drinking and suggested we go to Tokyo Loose. The place always sucks but I sorta wanted one more beer so we ended up going there with Ryan. Andy headed to the manga kissa to sleep. Tokyo Loose was pretty packed. It was a typical crowd for that sorta place but there was a higher number of hot chicks there. Too bad that, as always, they were stuck up and didn’t wanna dance or talk with you unless you were some big black dude or something. After finishing our beers and trying to talk to a few girls with no luck, we decided to just go sleep as well. Ryan went home cuz his girl was gonna be pissed if she got home before he did. Emmet and I went to the manga kissa.

I woke up the next day and we all met outside the manga kissa on the stairs. Today’s plan was to go Xmas shopping. I had to buy a bunch of gifts for my family back home, since I will be going to visit Chicago again this year as I have the past 2 years. First we stopped by at the cigar shop I always go to near Shinjuku Station. I picked up a bunch of Cuban cigars for my dad. Seeing as how you cant buy them in the US, he always appreciates when I give him some.

After that, we headed to Asakusa, the same place Emmet and I went to about a month or so ago. It has all the traditional old school stores that sell all kinds of stuff like kimono, statues, katanas, paper lanterns, and various other things.

We ended up getting off 2 stops before to transfer and decided to just walk it cuz it was really nice out. Emmet and I got a beer for the walk. We found what I think may be the main headquarters building for Bandai. They had all these character statues out in front and we took pics of them all. Emmet and I also gave the Doraemon statue our beers and took some pics of the drunken domestic violence version of Doreamon. We found this Ramen restaurant that had the manliest ramen I have ever seen. The picture on the place just had a bowl which looked like strait up meat floating in broth! You couldn’t even see the noodles. We decided to get it. It was just covered in sliced pork! There was indeed ramen under it but I honestly think there was more meat in there than noodles! It filled us up pretty good though and was pretty tasty.

After eating we went shopping. All of us found some pretty good things after a lot of looking around. This was Andy’s first time there so he took a lot of pictures. I found these radio controlled Mario Kart race cars that I got for my little cousins. I got my other little female cousin a plushy Pikachu. For my mom, brothers, and Grandma, I got some more tranditional things like geisha statues, wall scrolls, paper lanterns… that sorta stuff. Andy and Emmet picked up a few things as well.

Once we finished shopping, it was already dark out so we headed back to the station. Andy and Emmet went ahead and headed back to Gunma. I stayed behind to go to Akihabara to play Guilty Gear for a few hours.

At first I played some Venom who was good and lost a few. Then Kunihiro showed up out of nowhere and played him and lost. I tried once more and won. Then I fought against Kunhiro for like over an hour. He played a bunch of different characters on me. I probably won more than he did but then he played his Anji (his main) and won 4 in a row till I finally beat him. Then he had to go so he said goodbye and headed out.

I was getting pretty tired honestly and sorta just wanted to go home. I went to get some Curry before I got on the train. I got this spinach bacon curry that ended up being pretty good. Some random dude started talking to me at the Curry place. He spoke perfect English. He made a comment about my Dream Theater sweatshirt and said he was a big fan so we talked a bit about DT and then he was asking about life in Japan. I asked if he was Japanese and he said he was from Taiwan and was here on business. He was eating with some friends. I told him to check out Current if he is looking for a good rock bar. After I finished eating, I headed out and took the train home.

Nothing too overly eventful happened but I enjoyed the weekend anyway.

Next weekend is the last weekend that I will spend in Tokyo before I end up going home to Chicago for Xmas.

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