89 days in Tsuruoka

Monday, February 28, 2005

Mistakes after mistakes... chinho chinho...

Early in the morning, it was sunny and there was a smooth breeze. What could be worst than today's wonderful morning? The answer is... CHINHO! (Not his mistakes). However, before I go into the main topic, let's side-track a bit and go into the weather in the afternoon for today. It was a blizzard outside and I came back from the supermarket and was caught in it. Got back with a wet jeans and also partly covered with melted snow.

I went into the lab and settled the stuffs I have bought and then I have decided to send an email message to the friend that we met yesterday at the Charity Event in Kokusaimura. Chinho wasn't really wanting to send the email, so I did it.

After sending and waited for 1 min and my Outlook Express sounded "You Got Mail". I was wondering "That was a fast reply!" I saw the message below:



The user(s) account is disabled.

<*******@ezweb.ne.jp>: user unknown

It writes clearly down there, "USER UNKNOWN". Is it a wrong email address that Chinho got? NO! He thought it was an underscore for the email address which turn out to be a dash. E.g. yao-min@ezweb.ne.jp, but he thought it was yao_min@ezweb.ne.jp
It was lucky that Gabor has the address and finally the messsage was sent out.

After about 3 hrs later, the email reply came and to my horror, the name was spelt wrongly! I have double-check with what Chinho had send to all of us the email address and name, but it still don't tally with what is written on the paper. Chinho really need to rewrite his string module integrated into his brain. He mistook - with _ and his indexing of characters are totally screwed up! If you use his string module, you might get his email address to be jas-lim@hotmail.com and his name spelt as "Cnihho". Chinho Chinho... How many mistakes could you make a day? Giving me the wrong email address and wrong name!!! Man! Would it get even worst for the next 40 days? I think I should end this entry in this manner:

...to be continued

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Yeah, you definitely get me excited today morning when I discovered you put my sliced ham into the deep fridge. So much for the breakfast.

This is too 'exciting'

- left blank

Friday, February 25, 2005

Title: "take a look at my body"

Hi guys` it has been so damn long since I last wrote a fair post.
But well .. this day, now, before I go and bath and ... shit too. I think its time for me to clear my name, which I think is already stinking like some cow dung.

Futatsu Onnanoko wa Kinyoobi(Which hopefully(without my mistake) means 'The 2 girls of Friday'). I don't think I should focus on how 'un-man' I was on senshu no kinyoobi, instead lets discuss why.
The fact is, I was startled and totally unprepared for the situation... you see, it was SOOOOO off the mark, the normal mark of my normal life ... SUDDENLY, there were some kawaii onnokos, doing i-dunno-what, loitering i-dunno-why-yet and then waving, at who?me?us? Come on! It was so UN-normal that I didn't know how I should react(espacially with my limited japanese vocabulary, which I think the words I recognise are less than 10!! My fingers!!)
Oh, and I did my best you see .. from my tightly cramped brain then, squeezed out the word 'Hi'(in jap) and responded to the girls' friendly behaviour, in my friendly manner (OK and i think i sounded lil nervous then) .... and then .. what? what do you expect?? of course I cycle and go eat already! which is according to the plan.

But, of course now Im prepared... felt at waste too` LOL bwahaha

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Japanese tuna

Chinho went to Fusha (supermarket) today, so I gave him 300 yen to buy me a can of tuna. I told him that tuna is "maguro" in Japanese which is totally different from "Mackarel". I also wanted to show him the kanji of Tuna, but Chinho rejected saying of course he knows the kanji of tuna. So he went to shop, returned and pulled this out from the bag:

He said he thougth tuna and sardines are the same! Yes, of course they are the same. Fish-fish.
Chinho: But I think they taste the same.
Me:No, Chinho, tuna is sour and sardine is sweet.
Chinho: No, sardine is sour, too!
Me:Ok, taste it.
Chinho took a bit of the sardine, tasted it and said:
Hmmm, Japanese tuna is sweet!

Sunday, February 20, 2005


its my fault =(

Friday, February 18, 2005

The Day of Sins, Sins, and More Sins.

Sin after sin was made today by Yaomin and Chin Ho. Even Yaomin admitted it himself. Let's track back and see what exactly happened just now.

(NOTE: At the time of writing, Yaomin and Chin Ho would have already blog, showing how anxious they were to prove that they had not actually sinned. This is totally not true, as a sin, IS a sin. Gabor and I can testify.)

It's Friday night. What do we do on Friday night? Cycle to Ramen for dinner, borrow DVDs from Tsutaya, and watch them until 4AM in the morning. At roughly 5PM, Gabor put us in perspective of our plan. "Do we have enough bikes?" I asked. A little count, and we were short of one. So Gabor took the liberty to rush down to the Admin counter and get a bicycle key from Wada-san, one of the people working there. At 5:40PM sharp, we went to the bicycle lot, and unlocked our bikes. Yaomin took the key borrowed from the Admin counter, but when he looked around, he couldn't find his bike. Chin Ho went to check if the bicycle was at T1 (he actually volunteered for this) and I called out Wada-san to try and rectify the situation.

He himself was quite surprised as he didn't know where the bike was. During this time, there were 2 schoolgirls (approx 15 years old) loitering near us. They were restless, and occasionally giggling. I thought to myself that this would be the time Chin Ho would relish. If I'm not mistaken, before Chin Ho came back from his recon, the 2 girls asked Wada-san if they could borrow bikes. I think they wanted to follow us. When Chin Ho came back, surprisingly, he didn't make his move on the 2 girls. We left the place anyway, Yaomin still without a bike.

We stopped by outside our hostel to check if any of the bike locks would open to the key given to us. Unfortunately, none did. Yaomin and I checked the bicycle lot 2 hostels down the road. We found one bike which looked like an office bike, and tried to unlock it. But lo behold! NO LOCK! Yaomin became excited and tried it out. Just needed a pump in the tyres. He said he'll be borrowing it for a while. Not my business.

At Ramen during our dinner, Chin Ho's man-ness was questioned. Why didn't he talk to the girls? Why didn't he asked them along for dinner? Why didn't he request for a picture? Gabor told him that they were no ordinary girls, as Tsuruoka girls are usually shy. But he thinks it's because we were foreigners that they were excited. I went, "They weren't ordinary? You mean, they are transvestites?" Chin Ho asked me what transvestite is. I told him in this case, it would mean the girls are like she-males. And Chin Ho was like, "Oh, I think they are he-males..." (There you go Oxford Dictionary! A new word to add in your next edition!)

On the way back, Yaomin dropped by the bicycle lot where he picked the unlocked bike. He quickly tried to park it back in place. I was on the other side of the lake, and I could clearly see him with his light blue jacket in the dark, acting very suspiciously around there. When he was done, he ran as if his life depended on it. Lolz...

All in all, it will and shall be known that Yaomin and Chin Ho did after all, commit sins. And the only person who came out clean from this situation is none other than...

Me. =)

I would rather say "Flee in panic"

Well, it was like the first battles of the American Independence War. The rebels always fled when they saw the british troops lining up against them without a shot being fired. It was like how Chinho handled today's window of opportunity.
The battlefield was the bycicle lot at the bottom of the school. Two local schoolgirls were waiting 4 meters from us while we were trying to find the bycicle belonging to one of our keys. The girls were quite pretty, around 15-16 and quite excited when they saw the horde of "gaijins" near them. They were giggling loudly all the time and whispering among each other. Chinho arrived last and immediatelly asked why are the "onnanoko" there. I suggested him to interview them with the phrases he learned from me today ( "Koibitou ha imasenka?" = "Do you have a boyfriend?" ) or any other useful phrases, but he instead said: I go and check out the other bycicle lot for the bycicle. Well, what a coward route! There were four other boys who could have done this instead of him, but he volunteered, when nobody asked him!
Then he returned, but the girls were still there. We were about to move and the girls were waving at us. I told Chinho they are waving at us and he is supposed to do something. So Chinho turned towards them, said "Konnichiwa" in a nervous tone then turned away and shot away as if he was riding the stolen bycicle, not Yaomin.
When we returned from dinner, the girls were gone. Chinho could only find a supermarket bag at their place and he held the bag for long with him.
Well, what an opportunity missed! You have to know most of Tsuruoka girls are like zombies. They are afraid of foreigners, walk with bowed head watching nowhere and try to avoid any way of contact.
But dont worry Chinho, the americans gathered their courage and finally won the Independence War. It took them only 7 years. :-)

PS: Invitation for dinner="Gohan isho ni tabemasen ka?"

Shy is an awful word, Disciplined is the right word

They waved and I said "Konnichiwa". Aint I good? LOL

Sorry, but I disappoint all my friends in Singapore I think. But, its a good lesson I learned.

OK, next time ...."Gohan ishoo wa ikimasu ka"

Happening Day

The usual day with my laptop acting as an alarm clock and woke me up. Next thing was my Outlook Express which sounded the "You got mail!". I look at Outlook Express and I saw a letter from my dad which included an attachment of a Further Reporting Order from MINDEF. Initially I thought it was a letter telling me when to report for my National Service, but after I opened the attachment and took a look inside. To my surprise, it was a letter for me to take an IT assessment test for my vocational assignment on the 14th Mar 2005! Of all things that could happen on a start of a day.

Frustration was all shown on my face, the worst thing is, it is a 3 HOURS test (written). I couldn't believe it if I will have to fly back for just a 3 HOURS test and leave half way while I am having my Internship in Tsuruoka. After cooling down and thought through, I have decided to call up CMPB and notify them that I am unable to turn up for the test.

When I called them up, they were like expecting my call. I said I was calling from Japan and that I received the letter to ask me to turn up for the test and I couldn't go for the test. The person over the other end of the phone told me to fax over necessary information and ask me to state the reason that I am having an attachment overseas. It was like he knows I am having attachment overseas and never did he question me why I could not go for the test. However, I ask to email to them the necessary information and that settles the problem over back in Singapore.

So the day went on with the uncertainty feeling whether I need to turn up for the test, because they have not reply me the email which I sent them. Then finally night came and as usual we pay a visit to the Ramen shop which we usually go to every friday. Now here comes the problem, we don't have enough bicycles. Therefore Gabor went down to the office and got a key from Wada-san.

So I took the key and went to find the office bicycle, but no bicycles' lock fit that key. The most astonishing thing is, we thought that one of Li Kai's bicycles might fit the key, and BINGO! BOTH the bicycles fit the key! Wow! Li Kai's bicycle locks are useless with the "ULTIMATE" bicycle office key, anyone in the office could take his bicycles. However, both bicycles are taken by Azhar and Chinho, so I have to find the bicycle which the office key can fit. Instead of searching for bicycles, Chin ho "searched" ( not police search, I meant he met ) 2 young girls near the bicycle parking area at the center building. They were about 15 years old and Chin ho is too shy to ask them out to join us for dinner. Hahaha.

We went to the T building area and tried on every bicycle we saw at the bicycle shed, but all of them could not fit that key. So I went on to try on other bicycles then I saw a black bicycle (Wada-san claim that the office bicycle is in black) and I wanted to try the key on but found out that there was NO LOCK! I searched thoroughly again to check if it is no lock at all and really it was a bicycle without a lock on. So hey, when you need something that badly, just "borrow" it for awhile. So I "borrowed" it to get to the ramen shop.

When I reached the ramen shop, Gabor asked me this question, "Did you lock your bicycle?" and I said "Do I need to lock?" (DUH!). So we ate, went to Tsutaya and went back to the center building.

I returned the bicycle and it was lucky that police did not came after me because the bicycle was a serialed one! What a "memorable" day in Tsuruoka! I could be arrested for not complying to a Government Order back in Singapore, "borrowed" a bicycle and could have been arrested by the Tsuruoka police for having a bicycle which is not mine.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The two daughters of Endou san

About two weeks ago on Tuesday Chninho was even more uncontrollable and diffuse than usual. He spent the whole afternoon shopping and seemed like totally ignorant about the fact the he skipped a whole day without work. About 4 pm he turned to me and said:
- I want to celebrate today!
- Why, Chinho?
- Yesterday was my payday I want to celebrate!
- Ok Chniho, we dont usually celebrate on weekdays, but if you are willing to work hard, we may eat and drink a few beers.
- Ok, I will work hard. - and he pointed to the screen
- No, I mean real work, physical work and you have to work hard!
Chinho thought a little bit thend nodded. Of course he would have done anything to get away from work!
So we went to Endou san(53), who is a local guy running a beauty saloon with his wife. He has a chamber called "ion house", which has an about 3 meter diameter hole filled with sawdust. The sawdust is mixed with rice powder and enzyme, so the enzyme generates heat from the rice.The people lie in the hot and wet sawdust and sweat a lot and lose weight and get healthier. It is like a sauna. The sawdust has to be digged up and the enzyme and rice powder replenished every week. I help the guy with the digging, which is good for my health and then we eat and drink a lot which is fun. So I decided to bring Chinho there to help us and then eat and drink with us.
Not that he was much of a help. He was about that effective digging the sawdust with the shovel as one would be with a chopstick. But Endou san is a nice guy and likes foreigners so Chinho got the same food and drinks afterwards.Endou san hardly speaks English but his English is still surpassing Chinho's japanese. There was a funny conversation between them:
Endou san: Chinho, chinho, what country?
Chinho: Malaysia.
E: You Malay?
C: No I am chinese.
E: Your mother and father chinese?
C: Yes
E: Brother? ( he wanted to ask "do you have a brother?")
C: He is chinese too.
One week ago Chinho and Yaomin were replacing me in the dig job, because I had to go to Tokyo. The job took them 3 about 2 and half hours whereas me and Endou san can do it in 1.5 hours normally.
Endou san has 3 daughters. But one of his daughters has already married and lives far away. So there are only 2 daughters in his house.
If there is nobody to help Endou san, his daughters help him. Yesterday I saw Rui working and talked with Endou san about the kids performance. According to Endou san, Mai (13)

is stronger than either Chinho or Yaomin
and Rui(22)

is stronger than Chinho and Yaomin together.
(To prevent any ill-informed speculation, Rui has a serious boyfriend, sorry Chinho)

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Today I was funny

Today as it is Friday we drank some beers. Me four, Likai and Chinho 1-1. Before going to bed, Chinho looked at me and told that I looked drunk and I was funny. So I had a little quiz with Chinho ( M=Me, C=Chinho)
M: What is the perimeter of the circle?
C: 4pi square r, ehhh 2pi r cube
M: what is the speed of light?
C: I dont know
M: What is the nearest star to us?
C: Venus
M: when did the last ice age ended?
C: 2000 years ago
M: What is the melting point of iron?
C: 200 degree Celsius
M: When did the Mongols invade China?
C: Djingis khan? about 1975.
M: That was the year I was born.
C: Ok, then 1952
M: Have you ever heard about the Korean war? When was it?
C: I saw some movies, 1995, ehh, I dont know, I was a child then (!)
M: When was the second world war?
C: Around 1959
M: When was the first man on moon?
C: it was the Americans in 1931
M: and the first man in space?
C: it was Armstrong ..., I am not good in history, but I learned geography
M: What is the capital of Australia?
C: Sydney
M: Where are the Midway Islands?
C: I dont know
( yesterday: M: Reina san went back to Kyushu C: Where is it? M: Chinho, do you know the name of the island we are on now? C: I dont know M: which are the four main islands of Japan? C: I dont know )


while i got no inspiration yet, i will write when it cums.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Al Coronado

Azhar, al coronado was the name of that crazy show' I think everyone in the room didn't like it, but maybe only Likai is enjoying it. lol

Friday, February 04, 2005

Now and then

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi

This is another classic from me to you guys, remembering yesterday, when you collected the bycicles from all senior students including a would be faculty member of Shanghai University and disappeared for 4 hours (in working time) for "shopping".
I am really getting worried about Chinho's mental health.
He has just downloaded and inserted a picture of a bunch of people who are totally unrelated to anyone of us.
Men, he is going insane. Maybe the weather, the lack of girls, lack of alcohol pushed him to the limit.
I am afraid Chinho's parents will sue us becuase their beloved son will have lost all remaining sanity by the time he gots back to Johore City. And those people on the picture will also sue us becuase we used their picture without permission! And the girls in the library!!!


No word about the most important things in life ( at least of the age of 20 ): sex and alcohol! -Gabor

sex and alcohol are the most important stuffs in life? .....maybe to all male-kinds. But thats a classic to you from Gabor, at least he thinks so. Hell yeah?

[picture removed on request or maybe i will post another one] :)

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Code Red. Alert: We Have A Code Red

Close to 24 hours after remarking my disappearance, Gabor himself has left no trace of where he might be. A quick check in the toilets is in vain, he was not stuck in any of them. Let me try to recall what happened the last time I saw him alive.

Yesterday night, Shafi-san had a party in his apartment, just above Chin Ho's and Yaomin's. During the party, Yaomin and I went to Tsutaya to borrow some DVDs to watch. And we met Gabor after the party. Then we walked to the center lab, and when we were about to watch the movie, he said he was sleepy. Sleepy? Gabor SLEEPY? Someone must have spiked his drink at the party.

That was the last we saw if him. Gabor, Gabor, Gabor. If you wanna disappear, the least you could do was to leave your bicycle keys on your table. I mean, since you are nowhere in sight, why would you need your bicycle right? And with it, we can look for you around Tsuruoka. For all we know, you could be wandering on the streets like a zombie after your drink was spiked.

This is bad. Better activate Chin Ho and Yaomin, and get a search party ready. We NEED his bicycle.

Erm... I mean, we NEED Gabor.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Azhar in danger?

We have got no news from Azhar since this morning. The snow situation is critical, I am really worried. It is 2 pm and Azhar is nowhere.
Something bad might have happened on his long way from home to this outpost of duty.
Maybe he got lost in the deep snow? Or missed his way and got onto thin ice on the Big Lakes and Rivers of Tsuruoka?
Or he got kidnapped by the gangs of Tsuruoka? Or found himself in the middle of a hit and run supermarket robbery?
I am really worried. Maybe we should send out a helicopter?