Friday, 26 September 2008

Genghis Kong uses his Gaijin Super Powers for Good! (and for Evil...)

Avast, me hearties!

*ahem* Sorry, Facebook's new 'English (Pirate)' language setting has rather gone to my head.

Right - Gaijin Super Powers. Now, I know many of you will already be familiar with the concept of Gaijin Super Powers, having already experienced them yourself or even just having read about them, but for those of you having no prior knowledge, I will attempt to briefly summarise them.

Gaijin Super Powers are, as the name suggets, awesome X-man-like powers immediately acquired by a ny foreigner the moment they set foot upon Japanese soil. The strength and variety of Powers available to you vary according to just how 'foreign' you are (now, I know that clearly I am not foreign - I'm English, all these Japs are foreign - but for the purposes of Gaijin Powers I sort of am), thus tall black men have the most potent Gaijin Powers, I do pretty well being tall, broad, bearded and acutely white, but small Asian women can use only the most minor of these abilities. These powers also grow in strength the further you travel from Tokyo, so while I'm currently only able to use 30-40% of my Gaijin potential, should I ever travel to the countryside I will become virtually unstoppable.

Several specific Powers have been identified (also, I can't really take credit for any of this: go to http://www.gaijinsmash.net/archives/gaijin_smash.phtml for the guy who came up with all this. He probably writes it much better than I do anyway).
  1. Gaijin Smash! - A Gaijin Smash! is the act of subduing, subjugating or dominating a Jap to get your own way by sheer force of will alone. This power is greatly enhanced by application of the "No Speaky Japanesey" technique - very few Japanese speak English with any degree of confidence, and will go out of their way to avoid having to confront a foreigner in his own language, so you can do what you want. Advanced practitioners can also apply the very difficult but powerful "No Speaky English" technique - if you are unlucky enough to come up against an English-speaking Japanese adversary, this move is invaluable, as it is virtually impossible to counter.
  2. Gaijin Perimeter - the ability to repel Japanese people via an invisible force field projected by the Gaijin mind. This usually manifests itself as an empty seat on either side of you even on a very crowded train. This technique can be powerful enough to repel Japanese people out of their existing seats and 10 yards further down the train.
  3. Gaijin Optic Blast - often a curious Jap will be unable to resist staring at a nearby Gaijin. This is when the Gaijin Optic Blast comes into play - all it takes is to catch his gaze for split-second and the Jap is sure to be staring at his feet or pretending to sleep for at least the next 5 minutes.
There are a few others, but these are the most important and powerful ones. And it's not just made-up, either! I myself have personally experienced all of these abilities. Sometimes I use my Gaijin Powers for my own sinister purposes, but sometimes, as a stern parent might have to smack a disobedient child for its own good, I have to use my Gaijin Powers for the good of the Japanese around around me.

For example, coming back from Yokohama last weekend, I was able to Gaijin Smash! my way onto 3 trains and through 6 sets of barriers without buying a single train ticket. My Gaijin Powers were extremely potent that night/morning, enhanced by no sleep (my first train was at about 7am, my final Gaijin Smash! to get off at my station was around 11.30am) and lots of beer (I am a follower of the Drunken Master school of Gaijin Super Powers). I achieved this feat via various methods: the easiest way was to swipe my Pasmo card repeatedly (like an Oyster card. It had no money on it though) looking confused and drunk, and before long the poor man at the ticket booth, faced with the prospect of a drunk, confused, and potentially dangerous gaijin simply presses the little button to open the barriers. The second technique is a little less subtle but requires more athleticism - look for a ticket gate which is still open from the last customers and walk quickly. If you can't get there in time, don't worry - Japanese ticket barriers are not that strong, although at this stage it becomes less a question of force of will as much as force of thigh. Still, it worked though.

Two good techniques, and enough to get you through most situations without difficulty, but when I got to my final station, neither of these techniques worked, so I had to step up my game. I actually had to go to the ticket office to negotiate my case with the man on duty. It was at this point that I realised the full force of my Gaijin Super Powers. I went to the ticket office, handed the man my Pasmo card (which had no money on it, but had recorded the fact that I had travelled about 30 miles without buying a ticket), and swayed slightly. The man looked at my card, put it in the machine and looked at me... Our gazes met... Out of nowhere I hit him with a Gaijin Optic Blast against which he was totally unprepared. Shaken, he handed me back my card, waved me through the barrier, and apologised.

He apologised.

I believe this is what's know as a SUPER GAIJIN SMASH!

So, this is how Gaijin Super Powers can be used for my own wicked ends (Mwahahahaha!), but earlier today on the train I was able to use them for good!

Riding a quiet mid-afternoon train back from Ikebukuro to Fujimidai, where I live, I noticed a strange man - he wore grubby tracky bottoms, broken trainers and a baggy, shapeless, greyish top, and his faced was oddly... concave... He boarded the train, which was not very crowded, and moved very close up behind a woman who facing out the window. Now, at rush hour, of course, you don't have much choice about who squeeze up against, but there were only about 4 people standing on this train, so there waas plenty of room to have your own space. But this man kept moving closer and closer, sweating heavily, shuffling nervously, sliding his hand down the handrail closer to hers.

Now, you would think that it would be foolish to attempt the whole creepy-man-touching-girls-on-the-train thing on a not-very-crowded train in the middle of the day, but Japanese etiquette requires that when on the train you never make eye-contact with anyone, never look around and pretty never lift your head. This is why Japanese people on trains invariably read manga, fiddle with their phones or just pretend to sleep. Thus creepy man was able to sidle up pretty damn close to unfortunate girl without any of the Japs in the carriage being any the wiser.

Fortunately we Gaijin are not bound the rules of Japanese etiquette, and as he glanced around the carriage nervously to check that no one had noticed him, I saw my opportunity - BLAM! Gaijin Optic Blast with all the force I could muster. It knocked the poor perverted bastard so off balance that the girl noticed him and was able to move quickly away.

Gaijin Super Powers save the day! No, no, there's no need to thank me. I was merely fulfilling my sacred duty as a foreigner.

In other news, look what I saw at Yoyogi Park (near harajuku) the other day:

video

Isn't that fantastic? And did I mention that Japs are crazy?

Incidentally, I'm pretty sure the main line in the chorus of this song went:

"Come on everybody,
You've got a penis!"

although it might have been:
"Come on everybody,
You want a Penis!"

At this stage I think either of these options is equally likely.

Okay, so I think that's my 'fun and frivolity' quota filled, onto the 'news' section.

I started lessons on Monday. It's actually good to have something to do every day and some reason to get up in the morning. I don't react well to having nothing to do because it makes me lazy and depressed - it's too much effort to come up with new fun things to do every day, so I end up doing nothing at all and it becomes rubbish. Also, when I have to be up a 7am every morning I can't get drunk every night, which is good for my health, my sanity and my wallet, and it means that I can appreciate getting drunk when the weekend comes around.

Did someone mention drinking? That brings me onto my next important point.
Pop quiz - Name That Beverage:

Let's consider the evidence:
  • It's brewed by Asahi - reknowned brewers of beer
  • It's yellow at the bottom, white at the top - the same colour as beer
  • It's fizzy and tastes bitter and faintly hoppy - a bit like beer
  • It says on the can "Clear Asahi is brewed with select barley malt, hops and grains by using our pure cultures yeast" - just like beer
So it's beer, right?

Right?

WRONG!

This is Happoshu. In Japan tax on beer is much higher than tax on other kinds of alcohol, so the devious Japanese breweries have come up with various ways of brewing stuff which looks and tastes kind of like beer, but which actually isn't. This one isn't actually too bad - it actually a small amount of malted barley, although most of it is corn, wheat, potatoes, dogs etc. - but last night I was drinking Kirin Nodogoshi Nama, which, like this, looks exactly like beer and tastes kind of like bad beer, but is in realitya soy-protein-derived beer-flavoured foaming alcoholic beverage, classified under Japanese tax law as Alcohol - Other (Miscellaneous).

I have never felt so deceived, so wronged, so misled as the moment when I realised what a cruel trick had been played upon me. Never was a man so notoriously abused! I have subsequently lost all faith in Japan as nation and I feel I will probably never be able to trust a Japanese person as long as I live.

The worst part is that -actual- beer is so expensive here that I have no choice but to buy beer-flavoured foaming alcoholic beverages instead! I suppose there is a small upside to all of this. Whereas beer is delicious and deeply satisfying, but oh-so-moreish, this Happoshu crap is disappointing, barely satisfying but not in any way moreish. So it comes to the end of a long day of work/video games/pornography, and you really fancy a beer. You grab a 'beer' from the fridge and get involved. It's cold, fizzy, bitter and alcoholic, so it just about serves the purpose of drinking a beer, but it's so disappointing and unpleasant that it doesn't make you want another. They should prescribe this stuff to alcoholics!

Incidentally, I hope you all appreciate this diatribe - I had to open a can especially to take that photo and it's on 5.30 in the afternoon. Oh well, it's a Friday - what else am I gonna do with myself today?

In summary: Happoshu - the taste of sadness.

In other news, I started classes on Monday (actually, that's the same news as before, but I somehow got distracted).

I had to take a placement test the day after I arrived in Japan. Severely jetlagged, tired, and having not revised at all over the summer, I kind of bummed at it, so now I'm in group J3 (out of 5). Everything I'm going to learn this semester I covered in first year, which sucks bums. On the other hand, much of what I'm going to learn this semester I have more-or-less forgotten, so I guess they put me in the right group after all. Yay! Besides, I think most of the stuff I actually learn this year is going to be self-taught (My main focus is on speaking and Kanji, which they don't really teach us in the classroom) so it's all good - if my Japanese classes were actually difficult, it might distract me from actually learning Japanese!

I'm rapidly getting better at talking Japanese, although I still lack 自信 (confidence), and I feel like all those Kanji I've unlearnt recently are beginning to trickle back. So when I get back for Christmas I should be speaking Japanese like... I dunno... a retarded Japanese child probably, but when i get back after the summer I'll be speaking Japanese like someone who has literally conquered the entire nation of Japan. Woo!

I've been reading a lot of books, too. Japanese ones. Anyone interested in literature should look into some modern Japanese authors - I've been reading Murakami (obv.), Natsume Soseki and Taichi Yamada, and I've just started (and nearly finished in one go) one by Banana Yoshimoto (teehee, her name's Banana). They tend to be slightly unsettling, dark and introspective, with a definite propensity towards the fantastical, but all very compelling and rewarding books. I'd strongly recommend I haven't Dreamed of Flying for a While by Taichi Yamada - a very poignant and moving love story, which is at the same time unsettling, strange and harrowing.

Oops. Sorry. I got all literary there for a moment - I don't know what came over me. Won't happen again (for a little while at least).

Okay - I've been writing this for about an hour and a half now; afternoon has suddenly become night and I'm about to be called away for some 'asobi' (It literally means 'playing', but int his context it means drinking - a delightful way of phrasing it, no?) so I had better sign off.

Okay - I hope this joke isn't getting too old yet, but it's the best I can do at short notice.

Here's Die Apocalyptischen Reiter (The Riders of the Apocalypse) performing - you guessed it - Dschinghis Khan.

Take it away, boys!



Kisses,
Dschinghis x


Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Genghis Kong vs. Frisbee Head

Okay - I was gonna leave this post until, like, the end of the week or something and then do a bi-i-i-ig summary of everything I've done recently, first week at school, how everything's going etc etc, but a few things have come into my possession or come to my attention in the last couple of days, so I thought I'd quickly share them with you. Hopefully you'll enjoy them.

First things first: The Shelf of Tat.

Guess what this is...

Okay, so it's clearly a drinks can, but can you guess what it contained?

If you look very closely at this lovely young lady's cleavage you might be able to work it out, although the photo isn't very high quality I'm afraid.

Got it yet?

No?

Believe it or not this is what passes for a Dr Pepper can in this country. It knocks the pants off ours, doesn't it?

The big scary lady has a speech bubble which proclaims "GOOD! TASTE!!"
And the little green surfer-goblin-dude at the bottom is saying "ENJOY! DRINKIN!!"

Don't worry little green surfer-goblin-dude, I enjoy drinkin every day.

Stern-faced dog says:
今日はそこまで!
That's quite enough of that for today!

I suppose you're right, stern-faced dog. I suppose you're right.

Second: Genghis Kong's Catwalk

This is a new fashion-related segment I'm thinking about introducing, although I don't know how regular it will end up being.

Yesterday I went to the park to play. I fell down and gashed up my knee something rotten (see yesterday's post for details), but before I did that I did manage to purchase a rather snazzy bright pink Flying Ring (y'know, a frisbee thing), which I quickly decided was far more use to me as a funky hat than as a frisbee.

Here's a little photo of me wearing it and looking lovely. Credit also due to Scott for adding to the overall loveliness of the photo.

Tres chic, non? I did manage to persuade a Japanese girl that this was a really fashionable style of hat in England. She told me all Englishmen are idiots and now she calls me Frisbee-head whenever she sees me. I think I'm totally in there, man (Dude! She was hot! I should totally bang her!!).

Incidentally this photo was taken at Hub: The English Pub in Harajuku where I met up with Scott and got drunk. The night ended in classic fashion - I came home a bit drunk, had a beer and went to bed, while Scott missed his last train home, got stranded in some countryside town 20 miles from where he lives, spent a few hours chatting up some Japanese housewife, then bought a pack of beers got wasted and fell asleep in alcove in the train station. Proper quality. Or as Scott would say, "Proper cash". I don't know why he speaks that way.

I think it's fair to say that a good time was had by all, and the night was a resounding success for everyone involved.

Finally I would like to share with you a moment of serendipitous happenstance and fortuitous coincidence. I hold this as compelling evidence in support of Noel Edmonds' "Cosmic Ordering" theory, or whatever nosense he goes on about.

[For reasons unknown, the following passage has all been in written in a strange westcountry/wandering minstrel/Lord of the Rings kind of stylee. I don't know why - it just amused me.]

Walking down the street, I was, minding my own business (as I am wont to do about Tokyo town), when I bethought myself I did hear a familiar strain carried 'pon the breeze. I could not quite place it - faint it were, and coming from someplace far off, but Id have sworn blind 'twas a tune I know.

Then the wind stilled for a moment and the traffic became all hushed, so's I could hear it clear for a few seconds.

"Good Lord!" thought I, "Why I'd bet my good leg that that were the famous 'Dschinghis Khan' by popular seventies german disco combo 'Dschinghis Khan'" and indeed the tune were plum similar. But then I listened a mite more closely.

"Surely not," says I, "for though it do sound for all the world like that classic disco anthem, the lyrics are all in Japanese and it's sung by little girls. It must be some coincidence, or a trick of my mind." And I thought on it no more.

But later that eve, when I got me back to me shack, I were perusing the internet, looking for amusing tidbits and fancies to tickle my funny-bone and to entertain my audience, and I came across the most curious thing, I did. There 'twas, clear as day and sure as eggs is eggs, right there on Youtube: Genghis Khan by Berryz Koubou.

Here 'tis for all to admire:



Who'd have though it, eh? In all honesty, I think they've made it significantly worse, but still - how strange. They don't seem to have pop charts in Japan, as far as I can tell, but this was a massive hit in May of this year. Incidentally, out of that troupe of dancing girlies only 3 of them did any vocals on the track, and their average age is about 14.5, so don't be getting any ideas.

On the plus side, this now means I can sing Dschinghis Khan at Karaoke and peole will actually recognise the song! Time to brush up on my German methinks!

Right - I need to do some homework (at least I've got my priorities right - blog first, homework later).

I'm afraid Berryz Koubou will have to suffice as your 'hilarious' musical signing-off tune.

Much love and happy times,
Genghis x

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Genghis Kong vs. Sport

This is why:



Okay, I know it's not that bad really, but still - the first time I do a sport in months/years/aeons and I end up hurting myself. Some would call this a sign from God.

Others would just say I'm an idiot.

Either way I shall do no more sport until my leg has healed a bit, because right now it stings like a bitch.

That's it for now, I'm afraid, although there will hopefully be a much longer post soon - plenty has happened to me in the last few days to be worthy of a proper update.

And yes, you'll get a song at the end of it.

Ciao!
Genghis.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Genghis Kong vs. The Japanese Imperial Navy

Another short one, I'm afraid.

I went to the Japanese Imperial War Museum yesterday, which offered some very interesting perspectives on World War 2. I also visited Yasukuni Jinja Shrine - the highly controversial shrine dedicated to all Japanese military personnel who died in service, included a number of convicted war criminals.

So I decided to commemorate my little excursion by buying a little souvenir.



This is a small beer mug emblazoned with the Japanese Imperial Flag and the Battleship Yamato - flagship of the Japanese Imperial Navy during WW2. I felt that we Westerners don't do enough to commemorate the important role Japan played in World War 2, but this way I will be reminded of it every time I take a sip of cool, refreshing beer.

How's that for a bad-taste souvenir? I doubt they sell many Nazi-themed trinkets to tourists in Germany, but in Japan it's pretty much fine.

Stern-faced dog says:
やばい、やばい。
That's a bad idea.

How right you are, stern-faced dog. You are, as ever, wise and perceptive, and you talk just like my father.

Big kiss, little kiss, big hug, little hug
Genghis XxOo

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Genghis Kong vs. the SoftBank Dog

This is just a little note to bring to your attention another little piece of strange Japanese tat I have acquired.

My friend Lars got his mobile phone from SoftBank (not a bank at all, just a phone company) and with it they gave him a small white stuffed dog. He didn't see the point of it, and has no love for strange campy, kitsch Japanese nonsense and fripperies, so he offered it to me. However, it turns out to be no ordinary small white stuffed dog - oh no - this is the SoftBank "talks just like your father!" dog (お父さんってしゃべるんだ~!), which is to say, when you squeeze it's bottom it chastises you! (Just like a real father!) It comes with 5 "classic" fatherly phrases:

今日はそこまで!
That's quite enough of that!
お前にはまだ早い!
You are too young for that!
やばい、やばい。
That's dangerous.
家族仲良く!
Treat your family well!
いいじゃないか、家族なんだから!
There's no need for that - we are your family!

(Apologies if those translations are a bit off/completely wrong. I find this kind of coloquial Japanese extremely difficult to understand so these are educated guesses at best.)

Anyway, here he is:



He's pretty stern-looking, isn't he? When he tells you off, you know he means business.

Lastly, I would like to bring your attention to a new item on my blog, entitled Genghis Kong's Guide to Speaking Engrish. It's a collection of Japanisms I find around the place and which seem amusing to me. It is located somewhere to the right of this message. Any suggestions of other good examples of Engrish are very welcome.

Right - that's it for today. No music video or nothing, I'm afraid. You'll have to go back and watch Dschinghis Khan again if you want some jolly music with which to end your blogging experience.

Ciao,
Genghis x

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Genghis Kong vs. Bodhidharma

I went to Sensouji temple in Asakusa the other day (classes haven't started yet so I've got quite a bit of free time for sightseeing/drinking). Sensouji is one of the oldest temples in Tokyo (it's probably not actually old - everthing old in Tokyo was destroyed during the War - but it's a recontruction of a very old temple) and it is famous for the long avenue leading up to it which is lined on both sides by small stalls and vendors selling tat to tourists and idiots.

This is actually very traditional. We all know the Japanese love being tourists and love buying tat, and apparently this has been the case for centuries and there has always been a market for selling naff little souvenirs to happy Jappy tourists.

So I bought myself a Daruma doll. <history lesson> Daruma is the Japanese name for Bodhidharma, the Bodhisattva who founded the school of Zen. He is often (falsely) credited with introducing tea to China. Daruma dolls are popular lucky charms in Japan to help people achieve targets, goals or wishes. </history lesson>
Here he is, looking all grumpy on my shelf, staring at me disapprovingly.



The more astute among you will observe that he has only one eye. This is how Daruma dolls work - when you buy them their eyes are white. When you make a wish/set yourself a target, you colour in one eye and when you achiece that target you colour in the other. Mine is a boring wish - that of learning 1325 Kanji by February (63 Kanji a week!) - but I like his silly face so I decided to show him to you all anyway.

While at Sensouji temple I decided, upon further reflection, that in fact my phone was not nearly gay enough at all, so I decided to invest in some small dangly things to hang from the back of it (this is what japanese school girls do, I believe).



From left to right you have a large red lantern, a small pink thunder god and a small blue wind god (these three guard the Tenmon Thunder Gate at Sensouji Temple), followed by a glass of beer and some yakitori (chicken on a stick). If you look closely, you can also see a can of Asahi reflected in the shiny shiny pink of my shiny gay phone.

In terms of what I've actually been up to since I got here, there's been a lot of orientation meetings, registration meetings, filling out of forms, applications for insurance and other fun things. These have, of course, been interspersed with the violent outbursts of drunken rage and uncensored eroticism for which I have become so famous (and loved).

I've decided that most of the internationals aren't actually that bad (a couple of them really are that bad), but I think I definitely need to go and find myself some Japs to hang out with. This weekend I'm planning to go down to Yokohama to visit my friend Lora who I met when I was in Japan 2 years ago, and hopefully there'll be lots of friendly Japs down there for me to befriend/intimidate/interfere with.

Classes start on Monday, which I'm actually quite looking forward to, but until then I've got most of the week off. I don't quite know what I'm going to do with myself for a week. I can't get drunk (all the Internationals frown on excessive drinking outside of the weekend, so I've no one to get drunk with), so i might have to do some sightseeing or something. Or maybe even studying, although that doesn't seem likely.

Actually this brings me on to another point, and an opportunity to get some audience participation into the blog: I now have a pretty good idea of my timetable for the next 5 months, and it features 9am lectures 5 days a week, but not a lot of other lessons. This means I'm going to be awake with nothing much to do a lot of the time so I'd like to open up the floor to suggestions of good hobbies i could take up. Some suggestions I have come up with so far:
  • Become a really bad otaku (Japanese for geek - it involves reading a lot of manga, watching a lot of anime, watching a lot of hentai, socialising very little etc.)
  • Become an intensely self-destructive alcoholic
  • Become a pachinko addict (pachinko is very confusing Japanese gambling game-thing, a little like pinball crossed with slot machines crossed with epilepsy)
  • Take up a sport (PAH!)
Any further suggestions would be welcome, as I'm not convinced I like the sound of any of these.

I guess i ought to show you some pictures of Tokyo, rather than boring pictures of crap in my bedroom so here you are:

Sensouji Temple (and the boulevard of Tourist Tat leading up to it)







My School



Some views of Tokyo
at night (Shinjuku and Ikebukuro East)










There you are: photos. I hope you're happy now.

I've also been practicing for karaoke a lot. Somehow I've managed to be in Japan for pretty much a whole week and I still haven't done any karaoke. I need to sort that out. But anyway, I decided it would be a good idea to learn some Japanese songs for karaoke in Japan. The first is a very old Japanese song, and the only Japanese language song to make it to number 1 in America. The second is some recent J-pop tosh, but out of all the recent J-pop tosh i could be bothered to listen to, this was among the best. It's dead hard to sing though.





Unfortunately I'm not really allowed to sing in my room because the walls are so thin and someone might be trying to sleep next door, so I've been practicing karaoke-whispering. We'll have to see how it goes down when i try it out at full volume.

Right. I'm getting bored of writing, and no doubt you're getting bored of reading, so i'll call it a night.

Many thanks to Jimmy here for finding me a seriously awesome theme tune to sign off with:

Dsching-, Dsching-, Dschinghis Khan
He Reiter - Ho Reiter - He Reiter - Immer weiter!
Dsching-, Dsching-, Dschinghis Khan
Auf Brüder! - Sauft Brüder! - Rauft Brüder! - Immer wieder!

(Geng-, Geng-, Genghis Khan
Hey rider - Ho rider - Hey rider - ever further!
Geng-, Geng-, Genghis Khan
On brothers! - Drink brothers! - Fight brothers! - Again and again!)



Love and love,
Genghis

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Genghis Kong vs. International Bigotry

I've bought a new phone, and it's super pink (some of you may have already learned this via Facebook). Now those of you who know me will know that this is not such an unusual thing. I am a man who owns some pink items. Not everything I own is pink, but certainly I have been seen to wear pink occasionally. Indeed, I like to think that most people would not be shocked or scandalised to see a man in possession of pink articles or apparel.

Unfortunately it seems that this open-minded/liberal/commie way of thinking has not crossed the Atlantic to our friends in the Americas. My pink phone has literally blown the tiny minds of all the international students here. Not in a particularly good way.
"Dude! Why did you buy a pink phone?"
"I can't believe you bought a pink phone. Dude, that is so gay."
"Dude! Are you gay?"
"Whoa dude! That phone is so gay!"
"Do they have gay pride marches in the UK too?"
"I still can't believe you bought a pink phone, dude! Are you gay?"
"Duuude! Piiink! Gaaay! Duuude! Spaaaaz!"
for days on end. I'm genuinely shocked and surprised at just how much of a problem they all seem to have with the idea of man, who isn't gay, owning something pink. I'm gradually coming to the conclusion that they are, in fact, a complete pack of cunts. There's also a lot of
"Dude, I wanna bang some chicks!"
"The chicks here are so hot dude!"
"Dude, we're gonna go out and pick up some cute chicks!"
"Dude! That chick was hot! Did you bang her?"
"Which cute chicks do you wanna bang?"
Twats. I've written the word "chick" too many times now and it's stopped looking like a real word.

Anyway, I suppose I ought to show you the (in)famous phone .



I mean, sure, it is pretty fucking pink, but get over it. Jesus.

Okay! Who wants to see my new house? Yay!

This is where I sleep, watched over by the protective gaze of Adam and the Ants (to whom I pray every evening).



This is where I conduct my business, write my correspondances and every morning salute the flag and sing our National Anthem in the nude.



And this is where I prepare meals and such. You can also see a tiny part of my bathroom, which is where I mostly like to poo.



Sadly I don't have a robotic singing toilet with built in bum shower and automated rimming functionality. It's a just a regular old shitter.

Well, that was the guided tour. I hope you all enjoyed it and please don't forget to visit the gift shop on your way out.

Although I have much, much more still to write (perhaps I write too much...), I am again being dragged away from my computer to go do more exciting stuff. This evening I'm going to go meet some Japanese girls (Dude, if they're cute, I'm totally gonna bang them) for a meal, and then we're gonna go drinking in a park. I guess it's time for me to show them how strong I am.

So a brief summary of what the rest of this blog would have told you:
  1. I'm in Japan
  2. It's cool
  3. It's also very hot
  4. Japs are cool
  5. Japs are also hot
  6. Internationals are twats
  7. I'm naked
But I'll have to fill you in on those points some other time, i'm afraid. So until then,

I think I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so...



Kisses,
Genghis x

PS. My new (gay) phone has an email address, if any of you want to send me messages etc:
totallywoody@ezweb.ne.jp

Friday, 12 September 2008

Genghis Kong vs. Japanese TV Game Shows

I saw a strange game show on Japanese TV last night.
Now, before I go any further, I know exactly what you are all thinking:
  1. Naked women competing to see who can pluck the most fish out of a swimming pool filled with jelly using only their genitals; or
  2. Naked men competing to see who can be shot in face with the most fish without falling from a greasy pole into a swimming pool filled with fish jelly
or something along those lines, but what I saw last night was in fact far more surreal, albeit in a more subtle way. The game show I saw featured contestants (I couldn't tell whether they were celebrities or not) trying to correctly identify different varieties of coal.

Coal.

Yes, coal. And then afterwards, they had to guess which was the most acidic of these coals. So, it turns out that we have all been grossly misinformed about Japanese TV game shows - they're not hyper-violent, erotic or wacky.

They're coal.

But I'll keep watching late night game shows, and I'll let you know if anything better comes up.

Genghis Kong is in Japan!

That's right folks: I'm finally here. Indeed, I've been here for over 2 days and I can honestly say that it's a fantastic country full of wonderful people. Honestly. I take back everything I ever said against the glorious nation of Japan and it's occupants. Every word. Except that they're crazy, messed-up people who I will never understand and who will never understand me. And they've got funny teeth too (apart from the hot ones).

But, sadly, this update is being cut short; I am about to go out to Shibuya for drinking and who knows what else. Photos and a "hilarious" 80s pop music reference will hopefully follow shortly (tomorrow maybe)

Hot fuck,
Genghis x

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Genghis Kong vs. Rob da Bank's Underwater Army

I have just got back from my weekend at Bestival on the Isle of Wight. I have come home a day early for a number of reasons, first among which is that I need to sort my life out before I go to Japan. Also, by coming home a day early I get out of having to clean out, put down and pack up the tent. Ha.

Bestival
Festival: 9/10
Weather: 2.5/10
Overall: 7/10

As you can see, the weather was a significant factor in reducing my enjoyment of the weekend. Having said that, I really ought to be grateful that it wasn't raining when we were putting up the tent, and also that our new massive 8-man behemoth tent was really pretty good, and I managed to keep my bed dry-ish. It really did piss it down though, for at least the first couple of days.

We got there on Thursday after a pretty long bit of travelling (longer for the Liverpool and Sheffield contingents than for me) at a moment when it wasn't raining, and just as they opened the new campsite right next to the festival entrance, so our timing was perfect and we managed to get a spot at the top of the hill and get our tent up before any rain fell. The first night, as far as I can tell, was spent mostly having a bit of a drinky drunky game, although I don't remember it too well. We definitely went off to the Big Top for a bit of a dance, until we realised that there weren't any acts on and we were just dancing to a CD which was repeating itself every 8 tracks or so.

After a pretty damn soggy start, Friday was my real grand evening of excess and wild abandon (for which I suffered dearly the following day) and we went to see Layo and Bushwacka! (I'm pretty sure the exclamation mark is officially part of his name, and not just added by me out of enthusiasm) and Erol Alkan. Layo and Bushwacka! played some really good deep, deep rolling techno and Erol was pretty good but didn't particularly blow my mind. Later there was an extended after-party at our tent because it's massive. (This is the main downside of having a massive, sturdy, dry tent - everyone uses it as a lounge, bar, emergency bunker, meeting place, refuge and general flophouse, so within a day the endless stream of drunkards and wreck-heads had turned the communal area at the centre into the most depressing array of muddy beer cans, muddy clothing, muddy wellies, muddy footprints and mud.) I got chatting to this really cool girl and we spent hours lying in my bed just giggling, chatting and shouting at my friends. No sexy times went on, I can assure you; just shit-chatting and laughing, but it was cool.

The next morning my misery began in earnest. I was feeling really unwell for some reason and was totally unable to sleep so I just lay awake for hours, watching the ceiling of my tent bow and shake in the wind, listening to the rain lashing against the canopy. It eventually dawned on me that I really, really needed a poo in the most urgent terms. I must have lain there for at least an hour just going over and over the horror of it all in my head.
"I need a poo. This requires me to:
get up
put on my horrible muddy trousers
climb over my muddy friend
find loo roll
get to the door of the tent without muddying my feet in the endless sea of filth, mess and mud
find a matching pair of wellies (my own wellies had been borrowed for the night, so I was without)
put on said wellies
find a rain poncho
go out into the rain
squelch my way amidst the guy-ropes in the dark down to the toilet
lock myself in a tiny plastic cubicle which is filled with other people's shit and doesn't even keep the rain out
squeeze out a sad, uncomfortable slug of poo into the stained plastic bowl of a chemical toilet
walk back
take off wellies (without getting feet muddy)
cross tent (without getting feet muddy)
get into bed (without getting bed muddy)
take off muddy trousers (without getting bed muddy)
lie in bed, unable to sleep, shivering with despair whilst watching the ceiling of my tent bow and shake with the wind, listening to the rain lashing against the canopy.
Oh, woe upon woe! Oh, tragedy upon tragedy! Surely no person's misery has ever been more complete."
I might also point out that I was equal parts very drunk, very hungover and very tired, which makes none of the above tasks any easier. I ended up going through this process 4 times that day. Woe upon woe indeed, and even tragedy upon tragedy. My sorrow could not be described with words, nor even reckoned by the acre, so complete was my misery.

Thus Friday brightened into a Saturday which was marked by my discomfort and sadness. On Saturday it rained a lot, and I felt very ill. I didn't get to sleep until 3.30 Saturday afternoon.

Before I managed to sleep though, I did manage to drag myself down to the Big Top to watch the Human League They were awesome, but I was so tired, sad and unwell that I could scarcely force myself to sing along with 'Don't You Want Me Baby', so my enjoyment was severely hindered by my depleted mental state. Not to worry, says I, they are playing a another, longer set later on, so I must just make sure I am well enough for that.

And thus I went to bed, and successfully slept until the Human League played again later that evening. Fortunately, this time round I was able to fully appreciate the fact that they are seriously good and I really did enjoy them. Many thanks to Jonny and Kirsty for dragging me out of the tent for that. Under my own power I fear I would have probably just spent the next 48 hours in bed complaining about my poo.

Then DJ Yoda and Shlomo did a short set which was pretty cool, but I still don't quite see the point of turntablism or beatboxing. I mean, they're both pretty impressive, but even when it's done really well the end product isn't really music at all. Some interesting noises, certainly, and I couldn't do it any better, but it's still not really real music, y'know what I mean?

Hot Chip followed the Yoda/Shlomo duet and were extremely good, as ever. They also all came out in fancy dress, which I liked, and covered Sinead O'Connor at the end of their set which I also liked. However, the sound on the main stage just wasn't loud enough, so none of these shows was quite enough to blow me away. It was good though. We then went to see Hercules And Love Affair who made me question myself (the lead singer is a really really sexy tranny. Seriously, I totally would. Really good band too), but I could not be bothered at all with Aphex Twin, who played a really boring set of nerdy techtronica which didn't go anywhere or build up to anything at all. He did have 2 professional gurners on stage pulling ugly faces at the crowd though, which is nice. Aphex Twin was boring, so I got drunk and went to bed while everyone stayed around and partied.

Sunday. Got up early. Not raining. Bought coffee. Saw comedy (Phil Jupitus, Marcus Brigstocke and 2 other guys doing"The Early Edition" ie. reading the newspapers and making me laugh about it). Ate hog roast. Built Titanic. Watched Sebastian Tellier. Went Home. Had a poo (best poo ever). Done.

The official fancy dress parade was actually on Saturday (the theme was 30,000 freaks under the sea), but we were held back by the weather and everyone's general grumpiness on Saturday, so we finally put our costume together on Sunday. Our Titanic consisted of 7 people wearing wire and fabric sections of the Titanic with tall cardboard funnel hats on. It didn't quite have all the bells and whistles we had discussed/planned (including lights on the inside, built-in beer holders, drowning lego men) but I think the overall effect when it was fully assembled was pretty impressive - several people stopped us to take photos so I reckon we must have looked pretty amazing. I didn't take my camera to Bestival with me, but I believe there will be photos at some stage so I will keep you posted.

Best Act: The Human League
Worst Act: Aphex Twin
Wish-I'd-Seen: The Specials played a surprise set on Saturday. They were listed as "Special Guests", and someone told me the Specials were gonna be there but i didn't believe them, so I missed it.
Quote of the Weekend: Tough to call, but I like "Look, we're all talking shit, but our shit shits all over your shit!"
Would Go Again?: Yes. The weather can't really be helped, but the Festival was really well run and had a great atmosphere as well as some awesome music.

So that was Bestival for me. All my friends are still there having a massive last-night-of-tour blowout party without me, but I felt I ought to get home to make sure everything's in place for going to Japan.

2 days to go now until I fly, so very soon my blog about my trip to Japan will actually start to feature my trip to Japan in it! Yay!

I know you're all going to miss me dearly as I galavant around the concrete jungle of Tokyo, so if you find your self pining for some hot Woody lovin', just remember this:

We'll always be together,
how ever far it seems.
We'll always be together,
together in electric dreams.



Kisses,
Genghis

PS. Comment! It makes me feel loved. There's a little tiny button just below this post.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Genghis Kong vs. the Cyclone

There are all these funny wet things falling from the sky. It's horrid.

I'm going to Bestival tomorrow and all these horrid wet things keep falling from the sky, or, to quote a great philosopher, "Eeeee! The water's coming!". It'd better not be raining all weekend otherwise I'll be angry. I will actually fight the weather. With a knife. Damn fool weather don't know who he's messing with. Bitch don't know who I am! I'm the Juggernaught, bitch!

But anyway, here I am on my (de facto) last day in Bath, writing what may prove to be my last blog written from England. I'm all packed up for Bestival - I've got my wet wipes, rain poncho, underwater welly boots, Now 32! on cassette etc. I'm particularly proud of the provisions I have bought myself, which feature Primula and gherkins in a starring role. Fingers crossed I'll not get my Primula mixed up with my toothpaste at any stage...

I'm feeling rather paralysed by fear and anxiety at the moment. I keep turning round and looking at my packing for Japan (still not packed), but the sight of it fills my with such dread that I have to turn back to my computer and continue researching the curious life cycle of the fig wasp. Now, that's some good procrastination.

I fear I'm rambling more than little and run the risk of becoming incoherent or simply boring so I shall sign off here.

Much love to you all. My next post may well be written from Tokyo! Wish me luck, and always remember:

fa diddly qua qua
fa diddly qua qua
fa diddly qua qua
fa diddly qua qua



(I quite like this little silly-lyrics/80s-pop-video sign off. I might keep doing it)

Love and sparkles,
Genghis.