Saturday, November 22, 2008


For the past month or so I have been planning an organizing a ASIJ ELC RUGBY NIGHT for my school and parents. It started out as just a notice to see who was interested and it turned into this great big community function. I decided that since so many people were interested I could make it a step better. So, I designed a Japan, USA Rugby Jersey just for the special night. While living here I have met some quality people but by far the best has been a good friend named Eijero or AJ and his manager Ai (pronounced I ). They have shown me some finer sides of Tokyo that I could never have seen without them. But, that is another blog. Anyway, AJ has a printing company that happens to make Rugby Tops. So, with Ai and I's design we came up with the design and it turned out great.
Heading into the match we had a little over 90 people all together and the response from everyone was "this was a great night". It truly was. The US team jumped out to a quick lead with in the first 2 minutes of the game and looked to be the dominating team on the field. It would last too long. Japan answered with a try of their own and the score was tied at 5. Japan kept putting on the pressure as well as US. Lots of quick kicks and fast players cutting through the lines and next thing you know, Japan is up two tries. The Japanese team is not that big but they are fast. Japan went on to win completing the sweep of the American team on tour to Japan. Tough loss but still a good match to be apart of.

After the match was over we searched for a close bar but ended up going back to Roppongi to Legends for some beers. We had about 12 people all together and sat down for a good time. So here I was in a bar with a bunch of my parents from my class. Now, this does not happen in the US. I remember avoiding them but now I enjoy hanging out with them and having a good time. After a few rounds of drinks and them buying me beers in walks the USA Rugby team. Leading the pack was Todd Clever and man this guy is big. Check out this big hit he puts on this guy. I would not want be taking this one.

There were quite a few of the other players out too Chad Erskine, Mike MacDonald, Shawn Pittman, Gavin DeBartolo and several others. We kicked back grabbed some beers and watched Australia and England play. Being around the world class athletes was pretty amazing. This is one of those times when you realize that living over seas is a great thing and teaching in Japan has allowed me to meet some pretty amazing people. After a couple rounds of drinks and hearing a couple of stories about their travels I remembered I had a jersey that was made special for this match. I pulled it out and had them sign it. It was a nice reward for me to have after planning this social function for the past month.
They were so impressed with the jersey that they asked to have some made and sent to them. So looks like I will have to get on that. I don't mind giving them away either.
Hopefully it will build some kind of friendship and get a chance to see them again. Good group of guys and definitely a fun bunch to be around. I wish I could have went to the next place with them. I must say that yesterday was the best day I have had in Tokyo. Good rugby, good beer and good times. Hard to beat that with a bat. Farewell and talk soon.

Tokyo Tower and Halloween

Been a busy week or two in Tokyo. Been working hard with the kids...try not to laugh. I finally had a chance get to Tokyo Tower. What a great piece of architecture. Honestly, when approaching it at night you see this amazing glow of orange from kilometers away. The yellow lights at night blends so well with the red paint and turns the mammoth metal beast in to a glowing dream. I have mentioned in previous post how efficient the Japanese are and how well lines work here. After living in Poland for 5 years, I thought the concept of lines did not exist. The Japanese can really make a 20 minute wait pleasurable. With posters, lights and music it's hard to realize you are waiting with 1,000 other people in a line. Food, drinks and more snacks along the way. It really is a great little experience. The long line to ticket box split into 3 lines after getting tickets and it was very apparent that the three lines to the 3 elevators were spaced out exactly the same distance so the moving time was the same no matter which line you chose. Ushers moved you along the way to the elevator and as you enter the waiting box is the same size as the elevator and you enter with plenty of space to move and look out the windows as you rise up to the top of Tokyo.

We were not able to go to the top observation box but we did get to the mid-level box and enjoyed Tokyo by street and traffic lights. Absolutely beautiful! Seeing the small city, yes small city from above was a treat. It was hard to believe that looking in all directions there were 36 million people living and walking out there. I leaned against the glass and could see the ground. I was actually hoping an earthquake would happen while up there just to feel how stable the structure really was, but now luck. We were safe. (My weewee was safe too, Mark. Thanks for the help.)
On the way down we realize how beautiful this night was and decided to check out the neighborhood and ran across this reflection of Tokyo Tower in a Nissan. This car looks just like my Toyota I had in Poland and it brought back some great memories of Warsaw and driving. We headed back and I was off to get ready for my Halloween Party.

Now this night was going to finish in one of the best ways possible with me winning best costume. For those of you who really know me you can attest that I love this night. I tend to go a little overboard and do as much as possible with the least amount of money. I scrounge and dig around the house to find what I can make. I walk through the 100 yen shops (dollars store) and search for hidden treasures. I find a rooster beak! OH the costume has been discovered. Next, I find feathers, a white knitted skull cap, some red tights, red shoes, white shorts, blank white tee, iron-on letters and red glasses. So about 4,000 yen down the drain I have it. I piece and poke the feathers into the skull cap. I take the iron and put it on low and lay out some letters. Place them down on the white tee then... it turns into one of the best costumes I have made in recent years. It ranks up there with The Sperm and The Banana Man. You remember the Banana Man Salena? Oh yeah the Cock Fighter was born. I added some things from home like a World Championship belt and a silver cape. I tossed on some biking gloves and I was set to knock'em out. The COCK FIGHTER has arrived.