Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Winning big money

Our university coop seems to have started their annual November lottery style thing again. I got a scratch ticket with my lunch today.

And unlike my colleague, I won! A whopping 30 yen that I promptly used when paying for a bottle of cold tea in the coop store.

In Tokyo for a day

A shop selling such normal things as a yellow suit, or a doll like dress.
On Monday I had to go to Tokyo for a project meeting. That meant getting up at 6 a.m. and getting back home at 23:30, so I was a bit tired... The meeting was not all that fun either.

Some more Tokyo fashion.
I did have a fun stewardess in the plane to Tokyo though. I was bored in the plane and kept practicing some different ways of shuffling cards etc. She looked at me and seemed to be about to say something a few times during the flight but never did say anything. After we had landed and we were waiting for the doors to open she came up to me and asked: "Are you magician?" I answered in Japanese that it is not my main job, but that I do magic in a magic bar during the weekends.

She was very impressed that I could speak Japanese despite being blond, and after learning I was from Sweden she mentioned that she had a friend who married a Swede and moved to Sweden. She also said she would come to Hokkaido again next week, so I gave her the business card of our magic bar. It would be fun if she actually shows up in our magic bar.

A small part of all the high school students cramming into my plane.
The plane was otherwise full of high school students who had been in Sapporo on some school trip. There were more than 100 of them! (The line between Sapporo and Tokyo is one of the few domestic flights using Boeing 777-300s, so there was space to put all the kids). Another colleague who flew on a different flight said his plane was also full of high school students on their way home.

I had planned to have an hour of shopping in Tokyo (booking a really early flight) and having plenty of time to find the place of the meeting. My professor showed up on Friday afternoon and said that he had decided that we should have a meeting one hour before the project meeting in Tokyo, so my plans were destroyed. I did reschedule my travels and ended up having almost 30 minutes of shopping and a lot less time for travelling and finding the meeting place.

One of my favorite t-shirt shops.
I did manage to buy a few weird t-shirts. One shop owner told me that a guy who used to work in the same store had now moved to Sweden and was very impressed with the Swedish society.

Later, when trying to find the meeting place, I passed two European looking men walking in the opposite direction. They were speaking Swedish to each other! There are very many foreigners in Tokyo compared to Sapporo, so I saw several in one day, haha.

This vending machine was selling books.
At the meeting, I was supposed to show our system but my professor ended up using up all our allotted time (and some more) so there was no time to show our system. On the way back to Sapporo, the airline rescheduled me to an earlier flight, so I got home slightly before midnight instead of slightly after, which was nice. The stewardess on the way home also asked if I was a magician. She did not seem to have any friends who had moved to Sweden, but she had a father who did magic, she said.

Dinner with a friend

On Sunday I took the day off from the magic bar, since I had to fly to Tokyo really early in the morning on Monday. That meant I had time to hang out with a friend.

My friend suggested an Italian restaurant called "Le Creer" (which looks more like a French name) that she said was surprisingly cheap. It was. We ordered "assorted entrees", "assorted entrees, hot", pasta (gnocchi in Gorgonzola sauce; extremely good), a pizza (half of it with mushroom and potato, half with mozzarella cheese and tomatoes), a main dish called "10 types of baked vegetables" and another main dish which was stewed beef. We also had assorted teas during dinner, and more teas after we were finished with the food.

All the food showed up in quite large amounts. Pretty much all of it was excellent. I especially liked the gnocchi, the pizza, the stewed meat, the focaccia, the garlic toast, and various other parts of the entrees. We had way too much food.

The interior was very nice (and the exterior was kind of interesting looking too). It also turned out to be a night of live music, so two young girls were playing piano and a young guy was playing chello there. They were good. Nice timing.

The place turned out to be scarily cheap. We paid 5000 yen for all the drinks and food we ordered, which is about half of what I would have expected in a place like that.

Entrees, some liver pate, focaccia, and Italian salami.

Hot entrees, home made bacon, grilled vegetables, and garlic toast.

10 types of oven baked vegetables.

A pizza with half of it having mozzarella and tomatoes and the other half mushrooms and potatoes in cream sauce.

Gnocchi in gorgonzola sauce.

Stewed beef.

Dinner with my colleagues

Ever since one of my colleagues broke his thighbone, our almost weekly "have dinner and strange discussions" custom has been put on ice, but last week we finally got out again. We went to a cheap izakaya and had lots of good food, and some fun discussions.

Deep fried cheese, perhaps not the healthiest dish in the world but pretty good.

Cabbage and oil.

Barbecue sticks

Ramen salad, a Sapporo specialty. 

Egg, cheese, and fish eggs.

Mochi (gooey rice) wrapped in bacon and barbecued.

Some kind of gratin. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A few more zombie Jonas pictures from other people

A very nice picture taken by my artistically gifted friend who recently came back to Sapporo from a few years of living abroad. A sad zombie Jonas, contemplating the sad fact that no one wants to hang out with me (unless I go to a place where they work and cannot run away, or go to a party open to any weirdo in the world). Also, a zombie drinking vegetable use, which is very good for your body :-) October 27.
My boss took a picture of me when I stopped by to pick up some cards I had forgotten to take home after my last shift in the magic bar. October 31.
Tuesday's Halloween party at Bottom Cafe. October 28.

Halloween party again, this time with mount Fuji in the background. October 28.
Being served some Italian food at Garbanzo. October 28.

Still in Garbanzo. October 28.

Eating some mochi in Ropossa. October 28.

Gluing a zipper to your face

Retouching the black paint before doing some magic.

Yesterday it was finally actually Halloween, so I decided to glue a zipper to my face and paint the rest like the zombie style I had previously. I bought a longer zipper, and 20 cm turned out to be just about right.

Some girls that came in from a neighboring bar just to take a picture with me.

I was thinking of painting everything "inside" the zipper with fake blood, but decided to try painting it black instead. That was perhaps not the best idea, because it made the zipper kind of hard to make out from far away. Next time I should have a more visual zipper too, I guess. But the black paint is much less itchy and does not stick to everything like painting yourself with syrup (fake blood) is, so there are benefits too.

Some girls that had my magician colleagues call me and ask me to come and show my weird face.
I went to a place where a friend works, and people from nearby bars also came in to take pictures with me. Then my colleagues in the magic bar called and said that there were some girls in the bar that wanted to see me (or more specifically my make up, but since it was stuck to my face that would mean seeing me) so I went there and took some pictures with them too. I also had to do some magic for them, and for a regular customer who was visiting the bar too. Then most of the customers left and we played card games for a few hours.

Finally, I visited another place were another friend works. There I ran into another customer from our magic bar, who bought me drinks in return for me posing with the women he was drinking with for some pictures (I would have posed for free too, of course).

My first try at gluing a zipper to my face, step by step

Actually gluing the zipper on the face.
Applying some paint.
Adding blood, since everything looks better covered in blood (for instance, the joint between the zipper and the skin stands out a lot less, even without using any expensive make up putty or anything at all).
It is cold in Sapporo this time of year, so wearing a jacket is good.
7 hours later, the black paint has seriously degraded. The blood and the zipper are still doing fine (one more reason to paint yourself with blood instead of black).
The zipper came off easier than expected. Most of my skin and eyebrows are still stuck to my face too!
After removing the zipper.