89 days in Tsuruoka

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Over Before It Even Started? Maybe Not.

Disclaimer: Before I start blogging, I would like to take this opportunity to assure everyone (including my parents and friends), that AT NO POINT OF TIME during the karaoke session, I went crazy crazy. I only went happy crazy (which I would categorize as an acceptable kind) when I was singing 'Cake - I Will Survive' (strutting my stuff until I realized Hinako just entered the room, then I stopped), 'Ricky Martin - Shake Your Bon-Bon' (Yeah well, as the title says it. Who can resist?!), 'Backstreet Boys - Shape of My Heart' with Yaomin and then got an 85/100 rating for it, and 'Smashmouth - I'm A Believer' (with Gabor shouting into the second mic as he was already drunk) and then got another 85/100 rating for it. So all in all, I am still a Mummy's boy. =D ROCK ON! \m/

It all started with Likai moving out. He's going back to China as he was offered a position there, so when he moves out, Satya will have to move out too. Both of them had been sharing a flat together, so now Satya will have to move in with Gabor. It was a bit fun helping him to move out. We looked like daylight burglars. And Likai's cat somehow knew his master will be gone, and it looked kind of sad.

Later that night, Satya realized he had not paid Likai almost 8 months of rent. You see, Likai rarely asked him for it as it was too much trouble. And the problem now is, he had no more cash in hand. But like a miracle coming down from the sky, he opened his drawer and took out a big bottle full of Japanese coins! Satya has this habit of NOT using coins to make purchases. The minimum amount he always use is a 1000 Yen note. And any coins he collected, he'd dumped it aside somewhere. And now, they have been revealed. Yaomin and I volunteered our services to count how much he has worth in coins. He needed another 60,000 Yen (S$960) to pay Likai. We set off organizing the coins and packing them into small rolls of packages. They looked like mini-bags of cash when closed up. Satya went back to his apartment to bring his SECOND bucket of coins.

Please note that the value on the bag is in Yen, so that's 10,000 Yen (S$160), 5,000 Yen (S$80) and 10 1,000 Yen (S$16) packs in coins.

This blue bag which I'm carrying here, is holding 50,000 Yen (S$800) in coins! Guess how heavy it is? Find out in the video in my link of movies.

After some hard work for an hour and a half, we reached a final count of 83,000 Yen (S$1328)! Well, laziness do pay sometimes, doesn't it? Maybe I'll try it myself back in Singapore. Using only notes to pay for my purchases, and throwing coins to one side. By the way, throughout the whole time, Chin Ho did nothing except taking away all the 5 Yen coins, and making it into one chain. I remembered he read somewhere in an article that 5 Yen coins bring the person luck, and he revealed he had collected 380 Yen worth of 5 Yen coins. That's like 76 coins! Maybe I should ask him to publish it on the blog.

The very next day, we had to continue to help move the garbage out of Likai's place. We were working like mad, mainly because there was a Karaoke session with Hinako, Ayako and Koshi in 4 hours time. We saved a bit of time throwing the bags down to the person below (as Likai's flat is on the second floor).

During this time, Chin Ho was getting pretty excited about the Karaoke, so to calm him down, Gabor got a toy globe from Likai's garbage, passed it to him, and asked him to find Madagascar.

Yes, he actually thinks Madagascar is around Russia!!!

It took him 20 minutes for that. ( -_-") I took less than 5 seconds (Thank you, Risk!)

Soon after, we were off to Karaoke. In the car (it is an MPV), Chin Ho got to sit in the back with Ayako. I could tell he was very excited and nervous.

With the windscreen fogged up, I took the opportunity to play a bit of 'Hangman' with Yaomin and Satya. I wrote the words 'check' and 'cinta' and '_ _ _ _ _' and asked them to choose a letter which they think is in the 5 letter word. It was fun for a while, until Chin Ho told Koshi to wind the window down, and Koshi, not knowing what we were doing, did what he was told. Half of the fog was gone, but the puzzle was still there, incomplete. It read 'A _ A K O'. Likai entered the car, and finished it off with a 'Y'. Ayako was very confused why the 4 guys in front of her were laughing like mad men.

It was surprising that Chin Ho, coming from Malaysia, doesn't know what 'cinta' means, wheareas Likai and Gabor, whom I can safely say, grew up and lived in a non-inter-racial society, knows the meaning in a snap.

Below are some pictures from the Karaoking session. I have some wonderful videos too, which is a MUST to check out! How often do you see Gabor drunk, and the rest of the gang dancing like there's no tomorrow? Lolz! Although there are no videos of me. Dang it. One of you HAVE to record me! I can't record myself singing, you know!

No, they're not lesbians. Just eating out of each other's mouth. Chin Ho and Koshi did it too. Unfortunately, I wasn't fast enough for a photo.

After that, Hinako went back home, Satya, Yaomin and me went back to the Center building to do our own stuffs, while Gabor, Likai, Chinho, Ayako and Koshi went to buy more beer for their so-called "second party". Although I don't really see any partying around. Only Gabor went back to his desktop to do his work, Likai packing his stuff as he'll be leaving for China in a few hours, Koshi talking with Yaomin through a Japanese translator software on his laptop, and Chin Ho and Ayako talking and giggling about things at a table diagonal to mine. I was not quite sure what happened after that, so you'll have to ask Chin Ho yourself. But wait. The story is not over yet.

The following day, news of Chin Ho confessing spread like wildfire. And whenever Chin Ho called Gabor to his laptop to translate something from Japanese, everyone in the lab (and I mean EVERYONE) buzzed to that one location like bees to honey. Yes, he is the hot topic at the moment. But at one time, he was faced with a problem. Ayako e-mailed to him in perfect Katagana (one of the 4 Japanese encodings). I'm not sure if it was Hiragana, or Katagana, or Kanji, all I know, it was in Japanese. And even Gabor had some problems translating it himself.

Gabor and Chin Ho didn't know if it was an e-mail typed out by Ayako, or whether it was an automated message generated by the phone network. Afraid he would make the same mistake as he did (which he mentioned in the previous post), Gabor called one of the Japanese guys from the lab just next door. And surprising, he was stunned too. And guess what he did? He called 3 of his other friends over to try and figure out what the message is about. I took a video of the whole commotion, and it was very long. I even had to change memory cards midway! The whole thing took about 16 mins, and I will try to upload the videos up in my link of videos as soon as possible. It is a bit of a problem as the huge filesize will cause a timeout halfway.
* Here are the clips taken by Hikaru:
Translation Team - Part 1
Translation Team - Part 2
* edited by Toshi-kun, brought to you by yaomin.info

The 'Tribal Council of Translation', specially put together for Chin Ho.

In a resulting phone call, Ayako sounded quite angry. I wasn't quite sure what really happened, and again, you will have to ask Chin Ho. I hope everything between them will be as smooth as silk.

Today started of as a normal day, but all of us are back to work mode. Well, ALMOST all of us. Chin Ho is still thinking of Ayako. Hinako e-mailed Yaomin, inviting all of us tomorrow to Kokusaimura (where the International Charity event was held) to see her sing gospel with her choir. At the same time, Gabor got an invitation from Rintaro-san (one of Keio staffs, I think) to a dinner at Hyakkenbori (near our hostel). Yaomin wanted to go for the choir, Chin Ho asked if Ayako will be there, but the choir starts the same time as the dinner, 7:30PM. So Gabor told Rintaro-san that us Singapore guys will only make it at 9:30PM, which will be the end of the choir practice.

Yaomin is now listening to gospel music (I think preparing for tomorrow). And somehow, the question of religion came up. It was passed around, with Satya answering, "Hinduism", it was Chin Ho's turn, and in a flash, he answered, "My religion is Ayako." I don't know what to say to this, so I'll just have no comments.

It will interesting to see what tomorrow will bring. Will it bring joy? Will it bring pain? For me, it will bring more headaches for the upcoming presentation.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Mata itsuka

Today both of us got wiser. I mean both me and Chinho. But before I disclose the details let's take a look at developing story from the beginning.

Saturday night: Gotten drunk at Likai's offical farewell party Chinho writes a mail to Ayako: he wants her to watch movie together.

Sunday afternoon Ayako hasn't yet replied! Chinho is literally down. We are playing ping pong to reduce the tension in Chinho, he plays sitting on the ground. Can't stand up, he says, something went wrong. We analyze japanese society, I present my theory according to which many japanese guys are mistreating their girlfriends and that chases them into developing such strange and antisocial behavioral patterns (not replying to a kind email - I had such experience many times before)

Sunday night Ayako call Chinho on Likai's phone!!! She invites all of us for a karaoke party! Chinho is in heaven. Cannot talk, cannot think just sits in silence and stares at the screen.

Monday afternoon We are moving out the tremendous amount of garbage from Likai's house as he is leaving on Tuesday. (I hope somebody puts up an entry about this.) Tonight is gonna be Likai's last party in Japan.

Monday night: Karaoke party

We buy some booze at the shop because this karaoke bar allows us to bring food and drinks with us.

Heey, my girl, my girl!!

Chinchin, Ayako and Hinako. Actually I felt a little bit tense sitting next to Hinako, because I havent taken a shower for 3 days.;-) So didn't dare to take off my jacket until I got really drunk.:-)

Backstreet boys

Dancing queen

Born to be wild

The chinese duo singing Wo ai Beijing Tienanmen or something like this, can't understand Chinese...

everybody goes crazy dancing, singing.

We are permanently bullying Chinho into making a confession to Ayako, but he only tells about his feeling to Hinako, who offers her help. Chinho seconds Hinako in a japanese song, but he cannot read the text fast enough, so he just repeats: nani, nani, nani, nani, nani, doko, doko, doko, doko, chinchin, chinchin, chinchin, chinchin, asoko, soko, soko, soko.
Shortly after midnight the party concludes.

Tuesday 1 am
After the party we went for nijikai ( second drinking ), meaning we bought some more booze in the convenience store and drank it in the Center building. Now Chinho had a chance to make his move on Ayako, because everyone else fell asleep including me, so this part of history remains forever the secret of Ayako and Chinho.

Chinho with a buta face waiting for Ayako before nijikai.

Tuesday 2 pm After waking up with a terrible hangover I find Chinho doing hard work ( Sleeping at his desk ). It soon turns out that Chinho made a half hearted confession to Ayako the night before. He couldnt actually tell her face to face, so he sent an email, which Ayako only checked after she left. And Ayako has replied!!!
Here is the transcript of the change of mails:
Chinho: Aishitteru =)
Ayako: removed becoz of fuggin freewill

Which I translated as
Chinho: I love you =)
Ayako: removed becoz of fuggin freewill

So we started persuading Chinho to write her an email to try to meet earlier or visit her at the shop where she works. But Chinho said his sixth sense told him, that something was wrong and didn't believe in my translation and remained passive.

Tuesday 5:30 pm
So we went to Endo san's house to do the usual dig job. Chinho copied Ayako's message on a paper and showed it to Endo san, who burst into laugh as soon as he read it. According to Endo san, the mail literally meant:
Really!!! Thank you! It would be good to meet you again some time!!!

So this was a polite turning down message, she actually likes him, but not fallen in love (yet)!

SHIT!!!! Itsuka has two meanings!!! I didn't know!!! Fifth day of the month and some time.
Ohhh, what a poor japanese translator I am ! :-)))

Monday, March 28, 2005

Continuation from Gabor's Manga

The farewell party was great. If you wanna see my pics, you can go over to my blog at http://nurazhar.blogspot.com. Below are some "manga-related" pics.

Why Chin Ho Is An International Playboy:
From Friday's party:

From Saturday's party:

Chin Ho asking for tips (on how to court girls) from Reina-san, with Likai looking over.

Gabor can't stop telling and showing everyone at Keio University the picture of the girl Chin Ho is after.

Chin Ho and Reina-san agreeing not to speak of the meeting to anyone, with Likai as witness.

The playboy at his musical best.

The playboy being escorted away by his chaffeur after his wee hours Karaoke-ing.

In less than 12 hours time, we will be going for another Karaoking session, this time with Hinako, Ayako, and Koshi. Will get updates on that one!