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I talked to my parents the other day on the
phone and my Dad asked me, "What ever
happened to that friend of yours, RD, that
you wrote about on Hunkabutta? The one that
went to jail."
Actually, something very exciting happened
-- he got unexpectedly released after
trial. But hold your whoopees, he's
of the woods yet. He's not sure exactly
happened, but I guess that the authorities
are going to make a decision in a week
two about whether or not he can stay
It's a pretty complicated situation.
For those of you who haven't read the original
story (see February 7, in the archive), my
friend and old neighbor, who I call only
by the initials RD, got arrested for marijuana
possession after his home was searched by
port authority police. The reason they searched
his place is because someone (probably his
friend) sent some pot to that address from
India and it was intercepted by the post
Anyway, he'd been in jail (at the police
station) for about two months. He had been
told, and we had read, that he would be deported
immediately after his trial (at which he
planned to plead guilty). He wouldn't even
be allowed to return to his apartment. So,
his mother came from the States, packed up
all of his stuff, and sent it back. He'd
already lost his apartment anyway because
he couldn't pay the rent. He lost his job
too -- as an English teacher at a tech school.
He was resigned to the fact that he would
be deported, which is sad because this guy
really loves Japan. He went to his second
and final hearing/trial. He had his court
appointed attorney and his old boss (the
Vice Principal) with him. The proceedings
were translated for him, but I guess it was
a little vague. When it was all over, they
walked out of the courthouse and there, on
the street, was one of the jail wardens with
his belongings in a back pack. His old boss
said, "Where do you want to go now?".
That was it. He was free. He didn't expect
it at all.
He didn't know were to go, so he went back
to his apartment building and waited outside
of his friend/neighbor's apartment until
they got home from work.
That just happened to be the night
Friday) of Simon's going away party
pub, so they took RD there. I was there
and couldn't believe my eyes when he
in. Needless to say there was a lot
and back patting, a lot of questions
Japanese prison life. He had nothing
good things to say about it. He said
probably the best place in the world
Of course, after he bought us a few 'thank
you' beers, for our efforts in helping him out
during his incarceration, something all too
typical happened. Someone lit up a joint
and passed it to him, right there in the
middle of the pub. I don't know if it was
supposed to be funny or something, but I
guess some things never change.
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We did some fine eatin' this weekend.
On Sunday we went with Makis and Mhairi to
'The Farm Grill' -- an all you can eat, American
style buffet. It really reminded me of being
back in North America. However, I think that
it would more aptly be named the 'Farm Trough,'
not because the food was bad, in fact it
was great, but because it was so bountiful
that we all lined up like pigs and gorged
They had plates of crab legs, bowls of fried
shrimp, slabs of roast beef and acres of
lasagna. I lost count of the number of desserts.
They had it all. I've never seen so many
obese people in one place before in Japan.
That's what really reminded me of home I
guess -- pot bellies and tight stretch pants.
Anyway, I'm sure we'll be going back. I'm
starting to describe my own pot belly as
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Tonight we're going to O'Carolan's pub. There's
going to be a small going-away party for
our friend Simon. He's packing up and moving
to Singapore. He's got no definite plans,
he says, so he may stay a week or he may
stay a year. I guess it depends on what he
finds when he gets there.
It's kind of sad all of the people that come
and go through your life when you live abroad,
but that's just the nature of the lifestyle.
It's doubly sad because these people are
generally very intriguing and interesting,
often adventurous and open-minded. I mean,
it takes a certain type of person to just
drop everything and move to a new country.
Of course you do come across the occasional
asshole who left his home country because
he couldn't get along with people there,
but they're usually a rare exception to the
I've known who Simon was for a couple of
years now (as a friend of a friend), but
never really got to know him well until the
last few weeks. This is unfortunate because
he's a very interesting guy, sharp and witty,
yet very private.
The whole experience leaves me with
that I should make more of an effort
to know the people around me while
the chance. It's just too easy to get
in your own little world.
In other site news, I've put up the new 'Best
of Hunkabutta's First Year' gallery. Actually,
there were so many pictures that I liked
and that were nominated by Hunkabutta readers
that I had to make two galleries.
Check them both out at the top of the gallery section.
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Japanese food is great, but it can be a bit
creepy at times if you're not used to it.
Karen showed me this interesting puzzle the other day. It's one of those 'try to
find what's wrong with this picture' kind
of things. You'll have to look very closely.