Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
I went to work out at my expensive new gym for the first time today! It’s a very nice gym with lots of cool new machines. They also had a steps aerobics class going on (I used to be a fanatical stepper at my Dutch gym), but I was a bit apprehensive to join it. Although, I used to be good at it I haven’t done it in more than a year and of course the classes here are taught in Japanese, which I don’t understand.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
After cleaning duty Yasu picked me up to go bike-shopping. This was my first ever to pick out a new bicycle for myself, even though I’ve had many bikes in my life, but most of them were hand-me-downs. So I was very excited, but the store was closing 20 minutes after we arrived so I had to make my decision quickly. I picked a black bike and a pink lock.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Today we got to practice teaching part of a lesson for the first time and to make things even more nerve wrecking real students were coming in to be our guinea pigs! Of course, by now it takes a lot more than teaching a lesson to new students to make me nervous, but the others were all pretty nervous.
They even all went to Honbu early to practice with the trainers, but of course they all did fine and I’m sure they’ll be great teachers. Two students from our new school in Senri Chuo (the Welshman will be teaching at the same school as me) were also there and it was fun to meet them. Tomorrow we’re teaching real Japanese students again!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Sunday, June 08, 2008
In the center: Anna, Victoria, Lou, Enzo & Ben with Mr. Glico
Later we tried some more food at an izakaya, where we had to wait for about an hour to be seated exactly where we’d had requested not to be: the smokers’ arena. The food was pretty good, but the long wait and the stinky seats made us unhappy costumers. But Enzo cheered us all up with funny drinking games like ducky fuzz or fuzzy duck, and by saying obscene things in Dutch with a Swedish accent. After dinner we headed to Shidax (my favorite karaoke chain) for some nomihodai karaoke. Karaoke is a wonderful invention, especially when it’s combined with an all-you-can-drink alcoholic menu. After a way too short amount of time spent at Shidax we had to leave to catch that damned last train back to Daikokucho where our hotel is. But we weren’t done yet so we hit the local 100 yen shop to arm ourselves with more drinks, to continue the party in the guys’ suite on the 10th floor of the hotel. It was a fun night which lasted until the wee hours of this morning, this cannot be a constructive way to get over jetlag…
Saturday, June 07, 2008
The Welshman, the American, the Canadian and the Australian
Friday, June 06, 2008
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
The support act was some Italian rock band which is popular in Europe now. I don’t know the band and I don’t understand Italian so their show wasn’t very entertaining to me, but the Germans sure seemed to enjoy it. A little while after their performance Bon Jovi appeared and made everybody happy. Although the sound in the stadium was truly horrific, with a loud echo that even made Jon Bon Jovi tell us how shitty the sound quality was… they won’t be back here, that’s for sure. The stage in Japan was basically non-existent (it was embarrassing), but luckily Bon Jovi did go all out for the European tour and brought an awesome stage with fancy lights and moving screens. The TV screens kept moving everywhere: sometimes together, sometimes individually and at other times the bigger screens split up into thinner slices of screens to create cool visual effects. At some point in the show part of the floor moves upwards which turns out to be a big video screen too, which is mostly for the benefit of the people in the back of the stadium because it’s hard to see when you’re up close. But luckily this time the pit was half-empty due to good wristband management by the security, so I could leisurely stroll to the back of the Golden Circle to take pictures of the amazing stage.
A Bon Jovi show is commonly great to listen to, but not always enjoyable to watch if you’re far from the stage and can’t really see what’s going on. Especially when they use a non-stage like in Japan, but I’m sure that even the fans in the far back of the stadium had something very esthetically pleasing to look at in Europe. They had lots of special effects with the movable video screens, the lights, the stage screen that came up from the floor over the band and of course the footage on the screens itself. I especially liked what they did during ‘We Got It Going On’:
Then the memory card of my camera told me it was full, so I had to change it and caught the last part of the song:
I loved the ambiance, the set list (not too many Lost Highway songs although I did miss the beautiful ‘Make A Memory’), I loved the chairless pit and all the space to dance, jump around and run in (the running mainly occurred when I wanted to take a picture from a different angle or closer up) and especially the freedom to take pictures and movies without being afraid of an escort out of the venue. Not that I managed to take many decent pictures as those damned spotlights ruined almost all my photographic opportunities. Or maybe I’m just a crappy photographer, but I used to take beautiful concert pictures... but that was with an old-fashioned camera, not a digital one… Luckily, Minke discovered some kind of take-spotlight-out function on her new camera, which seemed to work. Maybe I should finally read that user manual I downloaded (the original was in Japanese) for my camera, and discover my camera can probably do that too. Ah, well… at least my camera captured some videos which will serve as a great memory, or perhaps even better than pictures ever could.
So, as passionately mentioned earlier Bon Jovi didn’t play ‘Always’ for me, but they were nice enough to treat me to some special and tasty snacks like ‘Bed Of Roses’, ‘Blaze Of Glory’ (awesome with the light effects), ‘Damned’ (a song we requested in 2003, and now finally got to hear live), and ‘Blood Money’ (which is one of my favorites in the karaoke box, and very rarely heard live and therefore the biggest treasure of this show). I kept hoping for ‘Always’ or at least ‘Hallelujah’, but after ‘Bed Of Roses’, I knew I was pretty much shit out of luck on the ‘Always’ front. Maybe next time?
Bed Of Roses