My partner and I are headed down to Shimoda this afternoon for the long weekend. And not a moment too soon.

My God, I swear the Japanese have it in for me sometimes. I went to buy our train tickets at Ebisu station this morning and you would have thought I had just asked the guy to recite the periodic table. Fuck! Why must everything be so goddamn difficult in Japan? Why, dear Lord, why!!!???

My Japanese isn’t THAT bad. In fact, I had written down the name of the train, the time it left Tokyo Station AND where our friends were sitting, so that if it were at all humanly possible, I could reserve seats next to them. I even showed the pencil-dicked prick the paper with the information and repeated the name of the train, Orda-fucking-something-or-other-ku Scenic View Train. Except I had to say it like a fucking retard (no offense to the retarded) because that’s how the Japanese say anything in English. “Sheenik Biewu Traino,” I said like a fucking ‘tard.

The pencil-dicked prick looked at me like I had just taken a dump in his miso soup, then said something about my credit card. I ONLY have problems with that card when I go back to The States or travel abroad. My bank wants to make sure that some Sydneysider didn’t kill me in front of the opera house and then fly to New York to pay Saks a visit.

So I went back home and dialed the international collect call number for my card–I left my mobile at the apartment. Some woman named “Nickie” with a heavy Indian accent said, “I see no problem with your card sir.”

I knew it! I wanted to march right the fuck down to the goddamn train station, grab the pencil-dicked prick from his goddamn comb-over and ram my fucking fist down his stinking sushi hole! FUCK!!! I can’t even complain because I can’t speak Japanese. I just know enough to get by, and by “get by” I mean just enough to stay sane in this crazy fucking country.


Shimoda, loosely translated, means The Rice Patties Down Under. I think that sounds like a vague sexual reference. My partner disagrees. So now anytime he brings up going down to Shimoda to visit the beach, I say, “Show me your Shimoda!” He tells me to be quiet. I say, “Oh c’mon. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.”

Shimoda is a city on the Izu Peninsula, just south of Tokyo. It’s like Long Island if Tokyo were New York, except that there are no blue-collar boobs, gangsters or Wall Street beach homes that cost more than the GDP of most African countries. Shimoda is popular with Tokyoites and expats alike. Our friend owns a beach house not far from Ohama beach. It’s a really big house by Japanese standards. Hell, it’s bigger than most U.S. homes. He bought it for a song when a fading Japanese pop star’s father died and she wanted to sell the house she had built for him quickly. Plastic surgery ain’t cheap.

The only problem with the home is that it’s a dump. Our friend who owns it is a divorced straight Japanese man with a kid–he doesn’t know any better. I think he just wanted a place he could get away to not far from the city. Still, it’s a dump. And when he’s not there, the large (but not poisonous) spiders and the long AND poisonous centipedes have the run of the place. We found out this morning that in addition to these unwanted critters, a group of deadly hornets has built a nest in back of the garage and that a mouse is very likely living in the house, but only at night. Like this is supposed to make it better.

“Oh, he only lives there at night you say. Oh, then that’s OK. Hell, the little guy can sleep with me. I’ll keep him warm fer ya!”

Fuck, I’d much rather the mouse spent the day in the house. I plan on being on the beach then.

Which reminds me, I have to buy bug spray and suntan lotion. Wish me luck. I just might douse myself with Raid and smear cooking grease on my back. Ah, Japan. I can’t wait to move.