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Snowboard 2007

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

I hate winter! Life just seems to move slower during winter. It feels like it takes me twice as long to do anything and I’m less productive than I normally am. Every morning when I wake up, I sit at the edge of my bed in front of my halogen heater warming my legs. I sit there for a good 10 minutes before I even move to get ready for work. However, the only thing I look forward to in Winter is Snowboarding!!

I started snowboarding in college so let’s see, way back in the winter of 98? Wow, it’s almost 10 years yet I’m still not that great at it. To be fair, I only did snowboard once or twice a year and some years in between up until now, I didn’t even snowboard at all. Last year due to my injured knee, I only got to snowboard once at the end of the season. The snow wasn’t that great actually. The year before that, I snowboarded twice. Once in Hokkaido, which I have to say was the best snow I’ve snowboarded in my entire snowboarding career.

This year, I decided to go all out. Whenever I have time, I want to go snowboarding. Snowboarding does cost money with the gear rentals and lift passes but I rationalized to myself saying that this could potentially be my last year where I can go anywhere in Japan to snowboard on a whim. I was so excited because there were SO many ski resorts in Japan. Being ever so lucky, this is also the year that winter decided to be warmer than the previous winters. Not that I feel any different in my house, it’s still cold! Nevertheless, warmer winter only means one thing, less snow and more snow melting. Oh wait, that’s two things haha! This is bad business for ski resorts and bad news for snowboarders like me. In fact, there is not enough snowfall in certain areas that ski resorts have to close down or you can see brown spots all over the mountain. Why is who ever up there playing such a cruel joke on me?!! WHY oh WHY??!! =)

So far I’ve snowboarded in two locations and a total of 4 days of snowboarding. First days were all pretty “Crappy!” No new snow and the snow on the ground had turned somewhat icy. Icy is bad because when you fall it hurts REALLY bad! Second days were better because fresh snow had fallen but I still don’t think the snow was enough. The second location on the first day didn’t have much ski/snowboard runs. It was pretty much two courses each taking only about 5 minutes to do if you don’t fall. It got boring quick so I finally decided to try the ski jumps. It took me awhile to work up the balls to do it. First time, landed hard on my ass, second time, landed on my back, third time’s the CHARM!. It wasn’t pretty but I was able to fly out and land without falling! Yeah for me!! Once I got the first landing, I wanted to try it even more. I decided to go into the jumps faster and with more speed. That equals more air and flight time but I couldn’t land any of those. I still need to work on it! One of my friends who tried it wasn’t so lucky. Her first jump, she landed on her back and let’s just say her snowboarding season is over. I felt really bad because I invited her on the trip and I should have warned her not to do it…..sorry S.!

Nevertheless, snowboarding is not without its dangers. But as I kept saying to myself while I tried the jumps, “No Pain, No Gain!” Crossing my fingers and knock on wood! I still have one more place left to snowboard this year. It’ll cost more but hopefully it’ll have good soft powder snow and nice long runs. I want to get really good like some of my friends who I snowboarded with. I have an Australian friend who did a season in Austria, his Australian mate who did a season in Aspen, Colorado, a New Zealander friend who did a season in Keystones, somewhere in the states, and an English friend that did a season in France. Why didn’t I think of that when I was in college?! I don’t think I would have mind sacrificing one year of my winter break! Too late now………I’m itching to buy my own board though….but that cost $$ and it’s going to be a bi*ch to carry around if I leave Japan! What to do, what to do??

Coming of Age

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

In Japan, there is a national holiday in the beginning of January called “The coming of age day” or as known to the Japanese, “seijin no hi.” In fact, that was yesterday. This is usually the day before everybody goes back to work after their New Years holidays and as for me, the day before I go back to school to teach the third school term, the last and shortest school term of the school year. Anyway the point is, holiday on a Monday and therefore a 4 day work week!

Every year, Japanese people celebrate the “coming of age” of people turning 20 years old, the entry to adulthood. I guess for us Americans, 21 is the magic number and for Japanese young people, that number is a nice round 20. I guess it makes more sense that way since you’re going from the 10s to the 20s. It makes more sense than the random 21 or 19 in the States and Canada. Turning 20 in Japan means you can drink and smoke but for a country like Japan for how much they drink and smoke, I don’t think it’s any thing new they haven’t tried already! There’s one aspect about this day I really like and it’s the fact that you KNOW who the 20 years old are walking around the city. On this day, girls wear their traditional Japanese garment, the “kimono” and guys well…they just wear suits most of them so nothing really special. In some respect, I really like it because it’s a traditional and prevalent aspect of the holiday that foreigners can see and understand quite easily. Other holidays in Japan are just another day off, no different than any day on the weekends. You can tell these girls took a lot of time putting themselves together from head to toe. From the hair all the way down to the special type of shoes they’re wearing. Personally, I just think Japanese girls wearing kimono are very beautiful. I think it’s something a foreigner can’t really pull off. I saw some Caucasian girls wearing kimono because she’s probably being raised in Japan and she’s turning 20 this year but somehow I just felt the kimono doesn’t suit them. It just looks better on Japanese girls. I don’t know what you call that, inherent stereotype?

It was a nice day to walk around Tokyo to see all these different kimonos and different colors. It made Tokyo and Japan a much brighter and colorful city that day! BTW, I don’t know those girls in the picture, I just snapped away. There were many camera actions that day anyway, I don’t think they mind if I snapped a shot of their nice kimonos.

I’m Back!

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006
After a 4 months hiatus, I'm back! Since August, I guess a lot has happend but at the same time not much has happend at all. I don't think I'll delve into everything right now and just deal ... [Continue reading this entry]

Rounding Up!

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006
26 Bday.jpg Ah.26another step towards maturity or a step towards old age and eventually the winter of your life? The glass is half empty or half full? I dont know! They ... [Continue reading this entry]

Education System

Thursday, May 18th, 2006
Another school year has begun and that means SPRING is here, or is it?! The climate in Japan is now warmer than it was before but its not THAT warm! In fact, its still colder than it was ... [Continue reading this entry]


Sunday, April 9th, 2006
Thai 128.jpg Thailand. The End! That would have been a great entry wouldnt it? Ive been accused of overwriting in my blog and to those that read it, Ive decided to ... [Continue reading this entry]

Destination Hong Kong

Sunday, February 19th, 2006
Hong Kong 2006 079.jpg The thing they say is, plan early! And I always try to but it never works outIm talking about all my traveling trips of course. I ... [Continue reading this entry]


Monday, January 30th, 2006
Whale Meat.jpg The other month (December?!) I had raw WHALE meat for the first time in Japan. The texture was a little tougher than the usual sashimi and the color of the meat ... [Continue reading this entry]


Friday, December 9th, 2005
Winter Sucks! In Japan that is. Ive been in a foul and stressful mood for the past two weeks and I have every right to be. Last winter it was the flu. This year so far, ... [Continue reading this entry]

MotorShow 2005

Friday, October 28th, 2005
BMW M6.jpgTheres nothing like reminding me of how long Ive been in Japan then going to the same event I went to last year. Once again, I returned to the Tokyo Motor ... [Continue reading this entry]