Saturday, August 04, 2007

My birthday, interviews, and crowded trains

Ok, so it's no longer my birthday... or birth month since I usually take at least a month or so to celebrate it properly. Although I am currently busier than the Pope on Christmas, I did somehow manage to still keep my non-working on my birthday streak alive and spend some time down in Tokyo before the fiasco that has been the last couple days. Yes that's right - I have never worked, nor gone to school on my birthday. Ever.

So my thought of yesterday that I never got around to posting: riding a crowded train can be cool sometimes. You see, on my birthday I wound up somewhere way the hell out in the middle of nowhere in Chiba to go have all the yakiniku I could eat. Between 6 people we wound up eating 12 pizza-sized dishes of meat, after which I felt like swearing off meat (for at least a week) and knew that no one would want to be anywhere near my smelly poop the next day. Anyway... since I was staying in Yokohama and dinner ended around 9, I knew that this meant I'd be cutting it close getting back, and I was right. I somehow magically caught one of the last express trains going out of Shibuya in my direction, which means one thing and one thing only: crowded trains.

I could definitely see how doing so on a daily basis would become tiresome after a very short period of time, but once in a while catching one of those last trains with your right arm forcibly pressed firmly against your chest and seeing people standing on the other side of the doors waiting for the next train since they know they won't fit is somehow exhilarating. Sure you have no space to yourself, but looking around you can almost feel a certain sense of camaraderie peering into the eyes of your fellow midnight train warriors. On this particular sojourn, there was a couple next to me lovingly sharing a moment in each others' arms as another group of youngsters were grinning ear to ear reliving the night's escapades in nearby Shibuya. Their faces gleamed with a certain sense of satisfaction, which I'd like to think I was quietly sharing in myself.

Besides it being my birthday, I had also just gotten back from a most bizarre interview. I didn't apply for the job - the guy emailed me, and asked me in to talk about things, to which I obliged. I was already in town since I had work-related business in the area the next day anyway, so I figured what the hey. The whole thing sort of felt in parts like the onus was upon his shoulders to impress upon me a sense of urgency to take the position, instead of me showing him that indeed I was the man for the job as is normally the case. I don't plan on taking the job either way, but it made for an interesting afternoon.

So that was pretty much my birthday this year in a nutshell: interview, yakiniku, trains.

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