Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Adventures in Chiba

Yesterday I finished my job around 10 p.m and my coworker and I had a drink. My last train was at 11:15 p.m so I went downstairs from the job. I ran into two very nice older men and asked me where I was from. When I told them my parents were from Dominican Republic, they got very excited and started to talk about baseball. Now. I'm not a huge baseball fan, but I know a little bit. I checked my watch. It was 11: 12 p.m, so I ran to the train scrub the last one going to Chiba Nagareyama . I jumped on the wrong train and realized two stops after. So I got off and got on the right train. It took about 50 minutes to get to the other stop where I have to make a transfer. I didn't realize at the time that I had missed my last train.  I jumped on the line that I needed, but it was the opposite direction by the time I realized it. The train conductor was telling everyone it was last stop at this point. I was far from home stuck at Shin Narashino about 25 Kilometer (15.62 miles), with only  3000 yen in my pocket. I ask the ticket person if there was a way I can get home. He said at the time the only way was to take taxi. I went to a taxi driver and asked him how much. He said around 10,000yen which is roughly $116. At this point I decided to call my wife and the first thing I said to her was " I am stuck." I taught her how much a cab ride was, but decided not to take a cab. Now don't think that she then wanted to help, but to spend that much money is a little ridiculous. Now if we lived in U.S., I definitely would take the cab, but in Japan is fairly safe. She suggested I go to a karaoke bar which would of coast me 300yen for Hrs. Nothing else to do but to walk shoganai (nothing you can do). So I took out my Android phone and went to GPS and put in home address. The freaking GPS kept acting up, so for first 15 min I was try to figure out where I was at. 1 min I'm here near the train the min it showed me far as soon as I got an idea where I was started the trek home.

 I didn't have to walk all 15 miles back just 4hrs in that direction. I follow the main road for about 45minute and the GPS told me to make a right down a small street. I walked for ten minutes and found myself between a Japanese grave yard at night with no houses around. The hairs on my neck,chest and anywhere else where standing. It's time like when your imagination really gets the best of you. But shoganai must keep walking .

After I left this place I continued walking and reached a train station. I forgot to mention all train shutdown around 12:30 a.m, but there were always people around them 24hrs. I followed the track for a while around 3 a.m.  I was walking by many farms surround by houses. I fonded weired and great maybe it's something they should implement in the states.

   Every once in a while, a woman on a bike ride by me or an old man jogging only in japan. Of course, when I would walk  through those roads that had no lights and only the lights of the cars is your street light and there's bush coming into your walking space, then my nerves would unrattle. I would take a minute and fix my composure. When I finally got to Kamagaya I was exhausted and hungry. The only thing open near the train station was McDonald. Now those who know me know I despise McDonald, but at that time it was the best thing ever. I sat in the smoking section and devour my Big Mac with so much pleasure. 5 a.m rolled around and I took the train home. I must of walked around 7 miles last night. 

I was telling my wife last week how I wanted to see more of Chiba, becarefull what you ask for you might just get it lol. By the time I finally made it home, it was 6:30 a.m. My poor wife was up all night worried but knew I would be fine.

It was the longest  train ride ever besides everything it was a great adventure and there's so much you can learn about yourself. It's things like this that you remember the most. By the way, my feet are still mad at me.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Drinking & Smoking in public

                                                                                                                                                                 This blog is not advocating public drunkenness or smoking. Is to give examples of two different societies, and how they look at things. In New York it is illegal to drink in public places , but in Japan. It's legal to
drink in public places. Now here's the funny part in New York, where it is illegal. You see many people drinking a beer, Rum or any alcoholic beverage in public. Most of the time. It's concealed in a juice bottle or brown bag.  if you get busted by the cops. You can receive a ticket from $25, up to $75, and maybe more. In Japan on the other hand, it's completely legal to drink in public places. But the funny part is that you don't see anyone drinking in public places, unless there is a special occasion. Like a festival or a gathering of friends in the park. Usually the only people you see drinking in public are foreigners that come from places like New York and really want to enjoy a beer walking the streets. it's funny how the human psyche works. If you tell someone they can't do something. Then they want to do it if you tell  them they could do something. Then they don't bother to do it. HUH!!!!

Now on to the topic of smoking in New York, and most of the states are not allowed to smoke indoors, but you can smoke outside, and some places you have to be 25 feet away from the building. In Japan. They implemented a new law, where you can't smoke in public only in designated smoking areas. Almost all the restaurants and caf├ęs have a smoking section. I know I know it's weird, doesn't make any sense to me. I know that most non-smokers would prefer the other way around. I've been trying to find out the reason why the laws this way, but haven't found one yet. Will keep you updated when I do. even for a smoker, though smoking sections can be overpowering. So as a smoker. I prefer to sit and non-smoking section, who wants to taste tobacco and food together.  YUKE!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Monja-yaki in Tsukishima

Last night we went to Monja street in Tsukishima Tokyo. Now the street is not really call Monja but people have nick name it this because of all the Monja-yaki resuturants in this block. You ask what is monja-yaki, you mean you don,t know let me skool you fam. Let me give you a little history lesson monja comes from the word moji which in Japanese mean alphabet ex: ka, to, so on and so for. Kids would mix water and flour and write letter on a grill, which now come the word Yaki which means to grill. Ok you say moji is different from Monja I agree word on Tokyo street is that threw time they kept saying moji yaki moji yaki moji yaki and became Monja yaki.  Doesn't make sense to me either but who am I to argue with history. Monja yaki was popular as a kids snack. I'm guessing that, that generation were the one's who open the first monja-yaki restaurant I could be wrong I have been before.

Ok on to the fun part Monja-Yaki restaurant let you cook the food yourself basically you have a grill at your table basic Monja is cabbage, flour,water, dashi (broth) and you can add ginger, pork, shrimp etc. You put all the dry stuff first and cook for 5 to 10 min.

Next you make a circle and add the sauce. Some people make bigger circle and add all the sauce I prefer to do it twice that just me.

I add again!

stir you can also add Monja sauce which I'm
 not sure whats it made from but it's good!!

Add caption
And it's done I know it looks a little gross but it's banging (nah mean)
You eat it right off the grill with a minuter spatula and that boys and girls is Monja yaki

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Id card

Yesterday was the day I pick up my id card, no longer do I have to carry my passport Yatta!!.  Some of my friends complain it was chilly in New York. In Nagareyama it was blistering hot, the walk to the city office took about 30 min and it was tortures. By the time I got there my back and shoulders was soaking wet. The process to get the card was easy. I had to sit in the building for 20 min to cool off. I decided it was time to trek back. At first I was going to take local train, but being that I didn't know how much to pay what ticket to get and everything was in Japanese. I decided to walk back following the train tracks the street I decided to walk have a lot more trees than the main road. I passed some construction workers, and I smiled at them. They smile back and complain to me in Japanese, how hot it is today. They were wearing full suits longsleeve, long pants and a helmet. Suddenly, I didn't feel so bad, because I knew they felt worse by the time I made it home. My shirt was soaking wet again had to take a second bath. It's funny how the walk there was harder than getting the ID. In America when you go to get your ID there's always a long line, and everybody has an attitude, but here there was no line, and she was very nice and helpful even commented on how beautiful the Card is.