Friday night was my birthday party, maybe the only 21st birthday party that did not involve alcohol. Some of my good Japanese friends and I got gyoza and then went to karaoke for 3 hours. It was awesome. I got some gifts too. A big multi-picture picture frame and a card from my freshman friends. My other friend got a frog-head shaped clock and a kids book in japanese so i could practice.
The train ride home was something else. There was an accident on my line so I was waiting on the platform in Ikebukuro for about 40 minutes. While waiting I saw this guy across the tracks passed out laying on the ground. While I was watching I saw 2 people take pictures of him, 3 people laugh after looking at him and only one old guy ask him if he was okay. He still managed to jump up and get on his train, impressive.
Since it was around last train time there were TONS of people and they managed to get probably most of us on ( i don't know for sure because I was so squished i couldn't see anything. On the platform while we were waiting this young pregnant lady, from nepal ( I think that's what she said ) started talking to me. She said I didn't have the face of an American and I reminded her of a friend from home. Huh... Anyway, I felt really bad for her because she was pregnant and getting knocked around, but there really wasn't anything to do about it.
On the next car we heard some loud shouting after the first stop, later I saw puke all over the floor in the car... possibly related?
Saturday after swimming, doing laundry and studying some kanji, I headed to this area of Tokyo called Shimokitakawa. It's pretty close to where I am, which is great because I loved this place. I was reading a blog about music clubs and I came upon this club called Club251. I think in that blog it talked about this place having the highest percentage of guitar ownership in the country or something, he could've been making it up, but if it's not number one it's sure up there. Everywhere you look people are toting guitars or some other instrument.
There was a show at this club, so I thought I'd check it out, but I didn't end up going in because you needed to the ticket beforehand. I didn't really have a back up plan, but that's okay because I was really excited to wander the streets of this area. It's awesome. There are tons of clothing stores, vintage stores, cd stores. I wandered for about 3 hours, bought some really cheap used cds. I was amused by the 100 yen baskets at the cd stores that American cds like Hanson, Bush, Garbage; I guess 90's music isn' that popular here anymore...
There are also tons of street performers, especially by the station. One group was this guy on guitar and another guy sitting on some kind of box and he was hitting it. It was drum, duh.. but a kind I've never seen. It was really cool. They have a real show later this month, so I might check it out. There was another guy who had an array of manga set out and you could chose one and he would read it to you, doing different voices for the different characters and such. It was really cool. He was a funny guy (funny looking too, kinda reminded me of Charles Manson).
There was another guy playing acoustic guitar that I watched, it sounded like he had a lisp while he sang, it was amusing. He was good though. A guy came over holding a baby, the age right after learning to walk. He put the baby down and the baby started dancing to the music. It was so cute!!!!!!! I started laughing out loud because of how funny and cute it was.
All in all it was a very successful, fun night. I hope I find more places like it.