Japanese-Only Loan Shark

I’m in a strange battle with a Japanese company right now. Not a legal battle like the one last year, at least not yet. And while I’m afraid the bare facts of the case might make me look like the bad guy, there’s still plenty in our battle that’s just confounding and ridiculous. The company is what’s called my “guarantor company.” As far as I … Continue reading Japanese-Only Loan Shark

100-word story: Lost & Found

Last Friday, I was downtown in Shibuya until 12:25am, aka 15 minutes before my last train. Realizing this, I half-walked half-ran to the nearest station — Shinsen, the local stop just after Shibuya. I had 2 minutes to go until my train, so I ran into the bathroom and ran out again 90 seconds later, making the last train by seconds, and not realizing until … Continue reading 100-word story: Lost & Found

100-word story: the BAGuette (get it?)

Sometimes I catch myself saying something totally contrary to my own feelings just to assert my Japanese. Today I went into a bakery near my train station to buy a baguette. As the cashier rang up my total, she swung her arm forward — in my mind — very elaborately and dramatically, to point to the price lit up on the register screen facing me. … Continue reading 100-word story: the BAGuette (get it?)

100-word story: Stroll to Shimo (photo essay)

It takes about 2.5 hours to walk from my house to Shimokitazawa — Tokyo’s little bohemian hub — or longer if I linger in bakeries and cafes along the way, which I always do. The Google-suggested path I take winds through all these tiny pedestrian pathways where the trees and little homes craning out into the road are only a couple yards asunder. It trails … Continue reading 100-word story: Stroll to Shimo (photo essay)

100-word story: The Surprise Visitor

Last weekend I went to one of my friend’s gigs at a British live house in Ebisu called “What the Dickens.” The band is a massive 7-piece ensemble that only barely fits on the pub’s narrow stage. It’s kind of like a folksy ska band — the 7 pieces include: an electric guitar, an acoustic guitar, drums, a saxophone, a trumpet (though the sax and … Continue reading 100-word story: The Surprise Visitor

100-word story: Dating trading cards

One of the best ways I’ve found to combat the disappointment and monotony of online dating in Japan is to screenshot all of the winners I find. After a year of so of doing this I’ve collected a pretty good stash. So without further ado, my top ten: 10. Contemplative 9. A good warning 8. Oh you know, not too. 7. Yeah that must be … Continue reading 100-word story: Dating trading cards

Part 1: The School Physical

Listen to the story! Music: “Ethereal” – Once Were Ghosts “Moon Child” – Quint Baker “Bolted Doors” – Mr. Bitterness and the Guilty Pleasures “Dream World” – Quint Baker “The 60 Minute Zoo” – Electric Mirrors “Glitch” – Kirk Pearson “Moontime” – The IMG “Tetris” – Stealing Orchestra “Space” – Andy G. Cohen “Reliable Source” – Nicolas Falcon   Read the story: I’ve been thinking … Continue reading Part 1: The School Physical

Infatuation Tracking

A couple weeks ago I started re-reading one of the chapters from Proust’s Swann’s Way called “Swann in Love.” I read Swann’s Way when I was 16 or so and I remember it being a real trial. It was verbose and intimidating, the narrator’s memories poured out and stretched into these incredible gargantuan masses like sticky gelatin. For the first several hundred pages it felt like I … Continue reading Infatuation Tracking