Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Heartful Adventures of Rob! Golden week part 1

Hey all, I'm back! Golden week is over and everyone is back to work in Japan!

Anyways, last week Monday, I checked out the local game store to see if they got Super Street Fighter IV early. No dice. Tuesday, I had to run to the post office, so I left work early to go do that before they closed. The hours for the post office are M-F9-4, and I work M-F8-4. So without leaving early, it's impossible to go there. Oh well. After I was done at the post office, I checked out the local game store, Wing. This time, they had SSFIV! Since I pre-ordered my copy of the game for the 360 with Andrew, I picked up the PS3 version.

I went back home and played it for a couple hours before I headed out to Sannomiya for the evening. In Sannomiya, I met up with Andrew and his fiancee. We went to eat at this Jamaican restaurant. I got this pork thing, and it was pretty good, but mad dry, as expected. After a bit, the guy who owns the place came out and started singing some songs in Karaoke. He did a Jamaican song, a couple classic rock songs, and the song “Banana Boat”, which I believe was made popular thanks mostly to the Beetlejuice movie starring Michael Keaton. After that, his wife (Japanese) came out and was all “stop singing, if you keep singing, the customers won't come back!” It was pretty funny. After that, we went Karaoke, even though Andrew didn't really want to. I told him to cry moar. We had fun anyways. I had to head back to Ono after that sadly, cause of work the next day.

However, after I got home (which was around 11:30), I decided “well, what's the harm in just playing a few games of SSFIV” I ended up staying up till about 2AM playing. Oops. Oh well. I only had a couple classes the next day and I ended up being able to save my energy for doing those classes, so I was able to get through the day just fine. After work, I went home and played some more SSFIV online. It's pretty addicting. I left at abou 6:30 to get to Andrew's place in Nishinomiya. We planned on spending the night playing Super Street Fighter IV against each other, since the next day was a holiday. We met up, and went back to his place and played for a while. We took a break and played online as well against random people.

The next day, we met up with Jeff, who brought his wife, and the three of us went to play Softball with guys from Andrew's company. We played against a college team for 2 games first. We got owned pretty hard. Then we played against another team that had a bunch of teenagers and a buncha old taxi drivers. We got owned by those guys too. We were doing good at first, and then it just went downhill. Oh well. Maybe next time. It was fun though. I got used to hitting the ball way more by the end, and I made some decent catches. I think I'll end up playing again the next time they have a game.

After that, we were all really hungry so we went to Outback Steakhouse. We got there, and with it being a holiday, it was pretty crowded so we ended up waiting for like, 40 minutes or so before we got seated. Once we got our seats tho, we were good. I had a 1000 yen coupon for outback, so that was good for the bloomin onion for everyone. We got our food, and it was delicious as expected. We stayed there until like, 9:30 PM, and then once we left, I had to head back to Ono. Once I got home, I just went to bed pretty much.

Friday was the last day at work before golden week. After I was done at work, I went to Osaka to meet up with Dan. I showed up and Toshi ended up being with Dan, too! It's been a while since we hung out, so it was good seeing him again. We were in the mood for pizza and there was a new Shakey's pizza that just opened up. We went to check it out but we waited for like, 40 minutes, and we still weren't seated. It was really dumb, because they only had 2 person seats opening up, so the fact that there was 3 of us meant that just about everyone who showed up after us got seated before us. We decided it wasn't worth it, so we left and walked the 10 minutes to the OTHER Shakey's pizza and ate there. It wasn't that crowded, and we got a nice booth with no waiting. We'll just keep that in mind for next time. Anyways, we ate our fill of pizza, and chilled and had fun. After we were done eating, we walked back to Namba and went to the Taito station. We played some Taiko no Tatsujin. After it got to be about 10:30, we headed to the 12 hour manga cafe.

We hoped that the 12 hour place had 2 mat booths, but they were already sold out. It makes sense because it's golden week, but still kind of disappointing. We just walked to the 10 hour place, and it was about 11 by the time we got there. I pretty much gave up drinking soda, but for the first time in a few months, I drank some when I had some CC lemon and 7-up at the manga cafe. I don't think it'll kill me, but I was in the mood for it. Me and Dan got good seats that were away from just about everyone, so I wasn't bothered by other people's snoring and we were able to whisper to each other without people complaining about us whispering this time around. We played some Saki Mahjong, and watched some videos. I went to sleep around 1AM and ended up waking up to my alarm close to 8:30. We headed out of there around 9, and then headed to McDonalds. We got breakfast there and then headed out toward Athena.

On the way, we noticed that the Mr Donuts store was shut down. In it's place, they made a cafe where you can eat donuts and drink coffee. So that place went from being a place where you can eat donuts and drink coffee to a place where you can eat dontus and drink coffee WITH A NEW NAME. Anyways, there was a huge line to get in, at least 50 people waiting before it opened to be the first group of the day to eat at this totally new and innovative place. I seriously think people have mental problems, or they just really really like waiting in line. I personally find waiting in line extremely boring, so I don't understand why people wait in such a long line for like, a donut and a coffee. This did get me thinking that if people will wait in line to eat the same food at the same place, but with a new name, that I could open up a resturant and just change the name every few months if I want to get a huge crowd. I'll purposely make my sign cheap, and when it breaks and I make a new one, I'll just put a new name on it and advertise something like “FREE TOOTHPICKS” and I'll have a ton of crazy people waiting in line to get the same exact food I was selling before. It's the perfect legal crime.

Anyways, we went to Athena because it was still early and nothing was open. I went to see if anyone was playing anything, but of course nobody was. Me and Dan just sat at one of the tables on the gundam pod floor and played Saki Mahjong against each other for a bit. I went and played one credit of blazblue, and when I lost, we headed out to Denden. We looked around Denden town for a bit at some of the game stores. I didn't really have anything I was looking to pick up in particular. After we were done we headed to Andrew's place because we were gonna have an SSFIV gathering there.

We were the first ones to get there. I took a shower at Andrew's place because it's way cheaper than using the manga cafe showers. We played some games and then Jeff and Eddy showed up. We played SSFIV for a few hours, with Jeff pretty much dominating most of the time. After a while, we went out to eat at Coco's, and then walked to this sports place. We did some batting practice there with a softball machine. Then we played some 4 player table tennis with one person sitting out each time. That was a lot of fun. I def want to play Ping Pong again sometime soon.

After we were done there, we went back. Jeff had to head out, and so the rest of us went back and just chilled and took turns playing online. Before the last train, me and Dan went back to Osaka and checked into a capsule hotel. Because I stayed at that particular capsule hotel 10 times, I got a free night there thanks to my point card! We stayed up talking for a bit, but we were both exhausted so we passed out shortly afterwards. I slept really well. Once we were done there, we headed out. Dan wanted to pick up a mahjong mat and set, so we walked to Tokyu Hands, which is a big “has-everything” type store. On the way, we saw yet another gigantic line. It was wrapped around the block, and then some. We were wondering what it was for, and then we saw the guy holding the sign that said “Krispy Kreme”. People are in lines around the block for Krispy Kreme donuts. I mean, I like them and all, but not THAT much. Oh well, that, and people seem to just love waiting in line here, so I unno, that might have something to do with it too. I seriously think that some people wait in line just cause other people are waiting in lines. Like “Well, if there's a gigantic line, it MUST be good” is their mindset. For me, if there's a gigantic line, I usually go “well, it's probably not good enough to warrant such a line”. It's like amusement parks. They're fun, but honestly, a 60 second ride isn't long enough to warrant a 2 hour wait for me. Yeah, hanging out with friends can be fun, but there's a buncha places I would rather hang out with friends than in a line.

So we get to Tokyu Hands a bit early, so we wait for about 10 minutes for the store to open up. We get in, and Dan gets a mahjong mat that comes with a Mahjong kit. The Mahjong tiles are nicer than what I expected considering how much the whole thing cost. After that, I bought a nicer ipod case than the one I had. I got one that actually looks cool and matches one of my bags, as opposed to a cheap cell phone case I bought at the dollar store. After that, we headed to Umeda and met up with Alex. We met at Outback Steakhouse, and got there right when it opened. We got a lunch set, which is always a great deal because it comes with your entree, and a free refill drink for like, 1300 yen. Normally a meal is like, 2000+ yen, plus another 500 yen for the drink. As usual, we got a bloomin onion too. I know I was just there, but Outback Steakhouse is really one of those places I don't mind going back to all the time. After we ate, we headed to Namba, where I had an AH3 tournament, and Alex had some Pokemon card stuff to deal with. I got to the tourney and right when I got there, I saw Guy-girl, who was behind the announcer desk with the mic. Once guy-girl saw me, he went “OH YES!”And like, 3 or 4 people immediately were like “oh, your partner is over here!” I guess people knew. He was playing on the AH1 machine that they had set up. He won his match, and so I played against him using my Time Lilica. It's been a long time since I played AH1, and I couldn't do any time combos at first, but after a couple tries (and some practice mode), I was at least able to get it against the CPU dummy.

After I was done playing AH1, I figured I should play some AH3. I lost some matches, and then I ended up getting a 5 game winstreak. Not too bad. My partner, Archer, introduced me to a godlike dorothy player who he calls “Okayama doushi” or something like that. The stuff he did with that character was insane. Anyways, they started the tournament. There were 4 machines, ABC and D. the A machine was hooked up to the big LCD monitor for most of the people to watch. We were in bracket D. They asked the crowd what bracket they wanted to see on the big screen, and people wanted to see the D bracket. Since we were in a round 0 match, I was the first one playing on the big screen!

Our first match was against a Mei Fang/Catherine team that plays at Athena. I played against the Mei Fang first, and won. Archer played against Catherine, got a round, but didn't take the match. I played against the Catherine and won after that. Sweet. Our next match was against a Liese/Lilica team. Archer beat the Liese, and I handled the Lilica. Next, was the hard matchup. A really good Shar/Maori team. Archer almost got double perfected by the Shar, and I barely lost to the Maori. The dude was really good, and I feel like I played well, so no regrets.

After I lost, me and Dan headed out and met up with Alex. He was still busy, so we went to the 3rd floor of the Cospa store, where they have an area where you can just chill and play card games or psp or whatever for free. So me and Dan played some Saki Mahjong for a bit while waiting for Alex. Once he finished, we did an hour and a half of Karaoke, then played some Taiko drum master. After that, we all headed back home.

Monday, I spent the day doing all my household chores, including laundry, cleaning the apt, dishes etc. I spent a good portion of the day playing Super Street Fighter IV as well.

Rest to be continued in the next entry.


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