I intended to be high brow with these posts, but...

Just to start out, I'm sure for most of us the 'novelty' of being in Japan has worn off. It's still an interesting country, but we've all had our discussions of this and that being different than back home. This is true for me, but I got a nice jolt again the other night. I'm chowing down on something that turns out to be fish testicles piled high on egg custard-y something, when again I realize just how crazy different this place is to the States. Here this is standard acceptable food, back home most people would at least be hesitant. I've eaten lots of fish parts, but eating the baby-makers just gets you thinking. Anyhoo, just another "woah, this is different" comment. ...It was pretty good by the way. Like biting into a hardboiled egg with really runny yolk.
Alright, talked about eating semen and testicles without a load of little boy jokes, goooood. Now to get thoughts on track.
It's been suggested that I offload a few 'crazy hijinks' or something, so here's a mild one. This past winter, I stayed for a few days at a hotel by the Takeo Onsen with my visiting girlfriend. One night while soaking in the baths, three men walked in who I'm pretty sure were yakuza. They sauntered and were noisy and generally looked like bigger versions of some of the punk junior high boys. All the other men in the baths literally looked away or put their heads down or left. But me, being the idiot foreigner and subconsciously generally not afraid of Asian men shorter than me, stared at their back tattoos and decided I had to talk to them.
Back in college I'd read alot about Irezumi tattooing and it's flourishing during Edo and the life philosophy inherent in the process and all the stuff that usually glazes most people's eyes over in boredom. I find it all interesting, plus the tattoos are just plain cool.
So I got up and walked over to the three soaking men, thinking I'd say I admired the tattoos and ask where I could get my shoulder done. It went like this:
One man stands up and interrupts me.
The other men stand up and they all glare at me. I ponder that I may be about to get in a fight, naked, with three naked yakuza. But instead they turn around and sit back down. I was going to go sit back down too, but then they turned and looked at me with a "no" look. So I left. And that was it.
Oh, and later that night I saw a man in a lime green suit and fedora with two flanking men each wearing shimmering suits leaving a snack bar. Awesome.
I take it back, Japan has not lost it's novelty.