Friday, 2 November 2012

Halloween '12: Part II

So Halloween Part II was pretty fun as well. Me and my housemate dressed up as KISS again, but it took a while to do the makeup, and then to meet up with our mates, so we ended up missing the party in Shinsaibashi we'd intended to go to. But it didn't matter because the biggest Halloween party in Kansai was happening in Triangle Park in Shinsaibashi.

We turned up and there were hundreds of people dressed in Halloween costumes either taking pictures or just enjoying the atmosphere. This place is home to all the freaks of Osaka on a normal night, so on Halloween weekend it was the place to be. And, once again, I randomly bumped into people I know. I saw two people who were in the year below me on the Japanese Studies course at Shef Uni, and then a guy from JET who I'd shared a hotel room with at the orientation in Tokyo. I also got chatting to another random guy from Sheffield. 世間が狭い was certainly an apt expression.

People enjoyed our KISS costume and we got a lot of photo requests, which we granted, and we even bumped into a couple of other people dressed as Gene Simmons. No Paul Stanleys though.

We didn't really have a plan at any point in the night, so we went spent a lot of the night walking around Shinsaibashi, interacting with other costume-wearers.

My makeup was better second time around

We went to Kama Sutra/Cinquecento, then back to Triangle Park, then back to Kama Sutra/Cinquecento.  We sang some KISS on the karaoke at Kama, and I stayed out till about 8:30am. By then it had started to rain, as everyone made their way home in their bedraggled Halloween costumes.  Fun night.

On Monday I was working at our Shinsaibashi school, and it's always sobering to walk around the places you hung out at on the weekend, but see them swarming with Japanese businessmen on their way to work. 

Staying true to my word, I went to Shakey's again on my break. In fact, there are two Shakey's in Shinsaibashi, so this time I went to the north Shinsai restaurant rather than the south one.  I arrived around 4:15 and there was still 45 minutes of the lunchtime buffet left, so I got all-you-can-eat pizza for 690 yen. I don't know why anyone would eat anything else when this kind of offer exists. There was enough pizza, but there was less choice of salad and meat than at the other store, but that was maybe because it was the lunchtime buffet. I will have to conduct more research.

And then on Wednesday night I went with a friend to a Canadian pizza place in Shinsaibashi called Slices. There wasn't anything particularly Canadian about the pizza (we had a half BBQ chicken, half deluxe), but it was the best thing I've eaten in a while, if a little out of my normal price range. This place does serve other Canadian products though, like Canadian beer, and poutine, and the interior is like a log cabin. Although my friend, who's Canadian, says the poutine wasn't that authentic.

While we're on the topic of food, McDonald's has become pretty much a daily thing now. The reasons are: McDonald's are everywhere (I now know the nearest McDonald's in every vicinity of Osaka), it tastes good and it's really cheap. I usually buy three Chicken Crisps for a meal, which comes to a grand total of 300 yen. It's not healthy, but when you're poor there's not much choice.  

On Wednesday I also got a parcel from home, which included some British Halloween treats. Was pretty cool.



After pizza on Wednesday we watched Michael J. Fox's Teen Wolf. What a strange film. I'd never seen it before. Just about every scene has something over-the-top and cheesy about it. It's bizarre and hollow in a post-modern kind of way. I didn't feel like I'd watched a film when it was over.

The weeks seem to be flying by at the moment. I teach kids for three hours every Thursday afternoon, and as I have to travel to a small town called 関目高殿 it sticks out in my schedule and has become like a marker of how fast time is passing. Thursdays seem to come round really quick every week, and like they say, time flys when you're having fun, so I must be having a good time.

Teaching the kids is interesting. It's a completely different vibe to the slow-paced, sedate English classes at my main job. Japanese kids are comedic geniuses, and they crack me up.

I'm reading Slash: The Autobiography at the moment. It's a great read so far, and livens up the monotony of riding trains in Japan.

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