A Crowded Couple’s Holiday

The plan was genius in its simplicity. When Cece returned from Italy, she would arrive in Tokyo before changing flights for Sapporo. But why not delay the change over? I would come down to Tokyo to meet her, and before the first day of work, we would have a chance at a holiday just for…

A Good Sport

There’s always that flurry in the pit of your stomach when you know you have to impress someone. It’s what makes job interviews so nerve-racking for some of us; the knowledge that our future wellbeing is dependant on our ability to make a stranger like us. This is all the more worrisome if you live…

Mask of the White Death

I have survived the wars. Falling off mountain tops, being electrocuted by Japanese doctors in the name of medicine, breaking my hand, bearing blows from a tiny French woman, watching Twilight until the credits. I lived through all that and more, building up the myth that I, Poncho, may very well be un-killable (but more…

Nightmares in Paradise

Are you feeling down? The stress of work and debts getting too much for you? What you need is a break. The heat of the sun beating down on you. Crystal clear waters to bathe in, golden beaches to relax on. Plenty of culture and history for the inquisitive, stunning seas for the restful and…

Post office language partners

Communication. One of the key elements that make us unique among the other creatures of the earth. The ability to express the nature of our souls to others, to describe our hazy histories, to collaborate together and ease those wisps of ideas from our heads out into reality. And to ask the nearest person to…

Charlie the Unicorn

The internet is full of darkness that overflows from the recesses of the human soul. An endless abyss that conceals vast amounts of toxicity. Pornography featuring domestic violence and non-consent, campaigns to promote white supremacy, youtube commenters, the student finance website. The list of real terrors goes on, and you can stumble across any of…

Farewell to Summer

Everyone I knew from Yokohama left at varying times of the year, and each time it felt tragic. Parties were held, and we all tried to make the effort to see each other off at the airport. Those who left each left their mark, but among all the students at Gumyoji it was Summer that…

The Trial of しょうがない

I hate this phrase. I hate it with all my being. This phrase is unquestionably guilty of dire crimes against humanity, and in this court I shall prove it. Your honour and members of the jury, please be aware that this is no small matter. If this phrase is given less than a life sentence,…

Ghost Technology

I love a good science fiction story. It’s not just the sheer imagination behind it, but how it’s used to comment on something about people. My favourite was always artificial intelligence and judging what makes a human being human. How we define and identify ourselves. So it’s with a little irony that I must admit…

A not so scary Halloween

I’m not from North America but I like Halloween in general, or rather I like festivals. I get sucked into the atmosphere and appreciate how everyone suddenly becomes willing to do something they’d normally find appalling. You wouldn’t normally see people dressed in ridiculous outfits (except for comic conventions), or go to fancy dress parties…

The Long Walk Home

After a hard day’s work, rest is easy to find. Your muscles tire, your body is exhausted and your mind wants nothing more than to forget the stresses it has churned since you got out of bed. That final rest after a proud struggle is what we desire and deserve when we step out of…

Defeating Mt.Fuji

Diary entry: Day 1. 17:00 We thought we were ready, or at least I thought everyone else was ready. My bags were packed for the voyage. Winter clothes, raincoat, torch, food, it was all there. Enough supplies to survive on while we risked our lives on a hopeless cause. We weren’t doing it for money….