Donnerstag, Juni 15, 2006


well, maybe not quite what I'd call it, but anyway. All depends on your ambitions.
I'm not really that interested in a career in teaching languages as such, but over here it's a good way to earn a living.
Let me start with the beginning. Emmett, one of my American housemates, went to Germany on Saturday. For the worldcup. He actually managed to get tickets for the three US football matches. "Soccer" is what he calls it, but then the Americans don't really know what they're talking about, as anyone who saw the US play the Czech Republic would know. Anyway, football is another topic, sometime soon, when it gets a bit more exciting.
He went off, and asked me to be his substitute at one of the language schools, that he's teaching at. So yesterday was my first full day of teaching English. It's a lot easier finding English teaching jobs than German ones. And it's a lot easier to teach, grammar and all. It was mainly small groups of elderly housewives, who like travelling. Emmett had already taken me along to a few of the classes, so could meet the students, so this week everyone had a few questions about Germany, food, how the reunification had influenced my life (has it? well, I guess otherwise I wouldn't have been able to live in Friedrichshain or meet my sweet Ossi-girl....), what I thought of Japan, why I had come here, what I was doing here, whether I had a girlfriend. And in almost every group there was someone who wanted to introduce me to their daughter... Teaching wasn't really very difficult, everyone's motivated, and it's mainly conversation. A bit of grammar and a few excercises. And I'm even earning more than I was at J****

I also had an interview at GABA, the second biggest language chain school, one-on-one teaching. Managed to go through that and through 2 days of training last weekend. And now I can pick my schedule and work any time I like. As long as it's weekends or evenings. During the day it's not very likely to get enought students. So at least for a start, I'll be working every weekend and maybe 2-3 evenings a week. See how it goes, be starting on Saturday. I'll keep you updated, if I'm not too lazy. Fucked up my camera, so for now, there won't be any new pictures. Hope I can get it repaired quickly.
Working weekends is actually OK, in Japan, there's not much of a difference between weekdays and weekends, as all the shops are always open, as are the bars and even some clubs. But as clubbing is so expensive (between 30 and 50 euros just to get in, then another 6 maybe for a beer) I won't be doing too much of that.
I'll rather be "helping people to achieve their most audacious goals". And who can claim to do that. Definitely not J****. Teaching will be really strucured, just follow the designated book, do one lesson in 40 minutes, give some feedback, do whatever the student wants to do. Every booth in the "language studio" (not school! very important!) will have a laptop, which has informations about the student and his aims, bio, level, preferences and hobbies. Also, there are additional exercises and grammar explanations. Everything already prepared for you. Easy as pie.......don't know where that came from....
Well we'll see on the weekend, I'm sure I'll still be a bit nervous. The most annoying thing about the job is that it's suit and tie only. For the summer I don't necessarily have to wear a jacket and tie, as it'll be close to 40 degrees soon, but as soon as autumn comes, I will have to. See if I'll hang around that long.
Looks like my planned holiday didn't last as long as I was hoping, but I just had to take the opportunity to work. Money gets spent very quickly in this town. You can quite easily save some, especially if you work a lot, but it's even easier to spend it.
So I figured if I started work now, I might still have some left, when I leave for Australia, or Thailand, or Indonesia, or wherever we're gonna go next. Hopefully Maren will finish with her exams in time, the dissertation is already done, so I'm pretty confindent, and then she'll turn up here, and we can do a bit of travelling in Japan first. We'll see. It looks like China's not an option anymore, but anything's possible and nothing is decided.

Oh, and finally, thanks to all those, who are writing to me, I'm not that good with replying to emails, one of the reasons for starting this blog, but I'm always happy about hearing (or rather reading) the latest gossip or anything at all from all of you!

Mittwoch, Juni 14, 2006


After getting up at seven in the morning to meet the people, who would take me to the festival, I met up with Gen, and then the two of us waited for the other three for almost two hours. Finally, we managed to leave Tokyo at 12, rather than 9, which was originally planned. Kind of the opposite of standard Japanese behaviour, maybe some form of protest? Nice driving, took us about 5 hours and 5 coffee and smoking breaks to get to the festival site. I decided right then that I'd try anything to find another way of getting back to Tokyo. ....well, now football's on, I need a beer, and I'm really hungry, so more to follow soon...The festival turned out to be quite nice, fairly small, especially if you consider the line-up and the amount of money they must have invested in bands and DJs. Good fun though. We managed to get our backstage passes, so basically the whole night consisted of hanging out on the side of the stage, drinking free beer and eating all kinds of great Japanese food, and trying to find some other form of alcohol. But on the whole festival site there seemed to be nothing available, except for beer. After a few hours of searching we found some Sake, but vodka, whiskey, wine, champagne or anything else just wasn't available. Pretty disappointing.
But we found out why, soon enough, when we later found one of the Japanese girls, that had been assigned to Monika and Christin as artist management, passed out behind a dumpster. I think she had about half a bottle of champagne. Had to take her to the first aid station, where she was allowed to sleep for the rest of the night, while the rest of us kept walking from one stage to the next and back. They only had 2 performance was definitely by Tucker, if anybody's going to the Sonar festival, check him out, he is going to be there, I think.
The whole thing ended at nine in the morning, on the second, pretty strict timetable. Quite short if you consider the price. When I turned up at the tent, my Japanese companions where fast asleep, though Gen had earlier said, that he was only quickly going to check what the situation at the tent was. Never returned. Luckily, I was able to go back to Tokoy on the artist s' coach. And Christin had organised some entertainment. 99% pure chocolate, for Stefan (Koze), who wasn't too happy about the present, but made everyone try anyway. If any of you ever come across this stuff, give it a try, it's going to be an experience you're not likely to forget. And when the Germans (all 4 of us) in the back of the bus had finally relaxed and calmed down a bit, everyone was able to go to sleep. Und wenn sie nicht gestorben sind dann feiern sie noch heute...
Nathan Fake and his entourage

Dienstag, Juni 06, 2006


After meeting up with Ernie (old friend from school, who lives over here as well) on Wednesday (sorry no pictures) Christin came over from Berlin for the weekend, working for Monika Kruse, DJ gig etc., here's just the first picture from the Shibuya Excel Hotel (Lost in Translation was shot here? not sure) where they stayed. Anyway, more to follow later, tonight probabably.
Well, wasn't quite the same night, but hey, better late than never. The story goes:
After Christin arrived, we went off on a little shopping spree in Shibuya, there wasn't really a lot of time, 'cos we had to meet the others for dinner, so we just stayed in that area. I guess it's quite a good representation of Tokyo. Probably one of the craziest areas, but also one of the most famous. And all you can do there is go shopping, drinking or partying.
Which is exactly what we did.
That's one of the rare pieces in street-art, for some reason in German, which Christin and me found that afternoon in Shibuya. I guess the police are a bit more present here than in for example F-hain, Berlin. It's now almost starting to become some kind of a routine, izakaya, lot's of drinks, weird food, though this time I wasn't the tourist, or at least not the only one. Starting to feel at home. Well, maybe not quite, still can't read the menu, but at least I recognize most of the food that turns up when someone else orders. Later on we went back to Womb, supposedly one of the best clubs in town, but nobody was really up for partying, so we only stayed for a drink. Had to get up early anyway, in order to make it to Nagano, where the festival would be the next day. Just realised I didn't really explain the reason for the visit. That group of tourists on the picture consists mainly of DJs and organizers, actually everyone except for me. Taicoclub is the name of a one-night festival in the Nagano prefecture, not actually the city, somewhere up in the mountains. And that's where we all went the next day. I went with a friend of one of the guys from my house, who had a spare seat in his car, but more about that soon.

Tucker at Kodama no Mori

Tucker at Kodama no Mori
Video sent by pmirecki
best live performance ever....the final, more to come...the other files are still to big to be uploaded, but as soon as I'll find a way, you'll see them here