Cherry blossom “season” 2014

It was about a month ago now, but there you go. All pics taken round the back of my work…

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I also went to fuckin’ Japan again in the middle of May. I HAVE to go and work as an ALT now, no more mucking about. I just feel at home there… especially when a lot of the “disadvantages” of Japan touted about by shocked liberal Californians, who were expecting a vegan pacifist wonderland, are actually things I like.

That does mean I won’t make any more progress on my comics, or blog posts, for a long time. But how will anybody notice the difference? XD

The CRUNCH is here!

…was the occasional title of a British comic, but I couldn’t google image search a picture of it when it was using that title. Though I did get sidetracked by a blog where a guy was complaining about The Beano being 85p. 85p, eh?

Anyway, the CRUNCH the post refers to is actually the one in my life. My mum’s work is relocating to near London, and she, as the only ‘breadwinner’ of the family (my dad stays at home to look after granny now) will have to go with them. That means that my intention of moving out as soon as possible now has a solid deadline. They’re going to have to get a much smaller house, being closer to London, so there won’t be room for much else after all the arrangements for granny to get about. 

Ah well, I think it’s about time I got out of the family home, I am nearly 30 for fuck’s sake. Don’t want to get a reputation as a “shut in” XD.

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I merely want to be in a shut-in

The first step is to get a better-paying job, for real this time XD. Got me eye on one at the moment, going to work on the application for that over this week. I’m actually kind of over-qualified for it, but having gone to university gives me some of the required experience for it (as it’s in a university XD). It also pays pretty bloody well.

Other steps are going to include selling the Mini, selling or giving away many books, and no more holidays or festivals. My probable final “lavish” purchase of a volume of bound comics is currently on it’s way.

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T_T Always hoped I’d drive this once more

I’m giving myself until August to get a better-paying job (and/or long-term relationship with somebody who I can share rent with… hah), and if I can’t find one here by then, I’ll say “sod it” and go ALT’ing. Though if I do go, it will probably have to be forever, which will mean getting citizenship and all that ‘fun’ stuff I’d been thinking about when I was still with Yasue.

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This again!

Honesty and Transparency: To avoid any chance of damaging my chances of getting a better paying job, I’ve censored all the posts I made ranting about my work. BUT I had a pretty shitty day today, so pictures of dangerous / wasteful / stupid things will continue to build up in private posts. If anybody whistleblows something really dangerous at my workplace, I’ll take that as ‘permission’ to unleash them again, but for now they’re only visible to logged-in trolls XD.

FX Haruhi

I was wandering Japanese videos on Youtube, probably looking for Ryukoka / Gunka, or WW2-era propaganda footage, when I ran across a Christmas video from this bona omi:

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That text scrolling across him is because these videos originally come from Nico Nico, which displays comments scrolling across the screen at the point in the video where they were made. You’ll see those a lot as this story unfolds…

Why yes, that is a sexy Christmas elf costume sold in kinky shops. I re-found the video about a month after, when I went back to my own channel for something and saw the record of a comment I’d posted on it. I scanned about looking for more videos of this guy, and discovered he’s got quite a line in cross-dressing:

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And yes, his lallies are rather bona, too:

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Holy shit do I want that

I noticed that videos of him, ripped from Nico Nico, had been uploaded by many different people. A sure sign that he is, for better or for worse, internet “famous”. Google Chrome translations revealed many negative comments saying things like “death”, “scrap” and “scum”. I’m guessing it’s worse.

I found out he was calling himself Haruhi Suzumiya. Unfortunately, I quickly found out that was the name of a famous manga character, and so not much help. But I also noticed that FX (ForEx, for foreign exchange) trading was mentioned in conjunction with him a lot. I googled “FX Haruhi”, which offered to autocorrect to “FX ハルヒ”, and the hunt was on! I found, er, this:

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Machine translated once again, as all the text bits in this entry will be

http://www43.atwiki.jp/niconamafx/pages/15.html appears to be a website with ‘profiles’ of people who have become infamous on the Japanese-language internet, and he’s one of them. That thing about him being “neat” is actually a mistranslation of NEET, or Not in Education, Employment or Training. It was originally used in a British government report to describe people on the dole, but has since been seized upon by far-eastern geeks. In Japan it’s become synonymous with Hikkomori, or “shut ins”, kids who are so socially awkward they never go out at all. But FX Haruhi is not quite that extreme.

The site follows up with a list of his, er, “sins”

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“Preformatted doubly eyes”? Piss off, his eyes are gorgeous

Apparently he exposed some bank account details accidentally on one video, and these people have “made a beggar many times”. They then follow up with loads of salacious stalker gossip on how often he has a bath. Who really has the moral high ground here, eh?

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Then there’s his sins in FX trading. Apparently he lost (a lot of the machine translations say he “dissolved” or “melted” XD) 10, 17 or 20 million yen (not as much as millions of pounds, but still a lot), which was apparently his parents’. OR which he had won at Pachinko (Japanese “gambling”, which you technically can’t play for cash, but everybody does), which he had apparently been playing under-age.

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FX Trading, yesterday.

Though from his mother’s reactions in several videos, it probably was his parents’ money he wasted. He certainly seems to like gambling, in fact he even has a bandit in his room, and plays it on one of the videos XD.

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Still looking adorable ^-^

After a video of his loss, and his mother screaming at him (The video where this apparently happened, though of course I can’t understand anything beyond a lot of “nan da yo”, is zoomed in, has another window covering up the ‘action’, and millions of Nico Nico scrolling comments in all colours), the story was picked up by some minor Japanese news sites. The machine translations doing the usual hatchet job:

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http://blog.livedoor.jp/dqnplus/archives/1621104.html

http://rocketnews24.com/?p=93673

Mind you, at other times he doesn’t seem too badly off (the videos have all been deleted and re-uploaded by random people, it’s impossible to work out a proper chronology):

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Keep it there, chum. It’s safter than turning it randomly into Euros and back

His mum often appears in the videos, but isn’t always ranting either. In the Christmas video I saw first she is for a bit, even when he tries to bribe her (XD). In another one they’re both vlogging and drinking together XD.

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Still that doesn’t stop the flow of negative comments. Here’s a typical one. Something tells me that the poster can’t be trusted, though.

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LOL, “scrap” again

The wiki entry I found about him also has a list of quotations from him and his mum. Hilariously, the translation of a website created by people who are more sympathetic to her called her a “hag”.

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Then there was “the damn war and bloodshed”. The translators have really gone to town on this one!

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What?

It starts off with him talking normally, then he leaves and there’s a great deal of shouting from him, his mum and somebody else. With the usual excitable text speculating on what is happening:

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Then he comes back like this:

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How dare anybody injure such beauty?

Apparently he tried to borrow ¥30,000 off somebody, possibly his grandfather, somebody dodgy, or another trader. That person came to visit and trouble ensued (one translation of one of the mirrors of the video even implies it was the police who came round(!)). The Wiki mentions this too, saying it happened in March last year

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Youtube commenters reacted with the typical level of sympathy:

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10? 17? 20? Make your bloody minds up

An artist also got an Ukiyo-e style “fanart” tagged on his (well, possibly his) Nico Nico page:

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Oh dear…

But despite all that mess, he’s still gorgeous, isn’t he? Which brings us on to where this post is going, namely that

I WANT TO BE HIS BOYFRIEND!

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TAI-HE-I-YO-O-OO!

Why yes, that is a very wonkily-drawn rendering of the Mikasa, a product of the Anglo-Japanese alliance. I want to Anglo-Japanese a-lie with him, all right. I even bought a comic on the subject:

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Bad teeth, ugly smile. This pic took like 30 goes before I produced a non-blurry one, so it will have to do >.<

Just look at him! “Doubly eyes”, indeed. His eyes are wonderful :3

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<3 <3 <3

BUT, is he so? Well there IS one video where he’s trying to flirt with an American girl who owns lots of snakes (well, he’s typing pre-made lovey phrases to her whilst actually talking to somebody else on Skype XD)

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We also learn that a Jigglypuff is called a Purin in Japan.

But then again, some of the things he does in other vids are rather camp:

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That second one is a funny delayed reaction to delicious noodles XD

There’s also a report on that wiki page that he “raised a queer voice” while shirtless in front of a station, before “collaborating” with the police. Could be have been trolling for trade? XD

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Mind you, after that we have more records of financial misdemeanors. I hope, if we ever get gay married (do they even have that in Japan?) that he doesn’t Jew me out of my money, like a Turk.

And while not an indication of blueness per se, he does like cute cats, including a very sweet and squeaky tiny kitten ^;^

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Anyway, having become very intrigued by his enchanting beauty, I had to go and search for ‘legit’ pages actually written by him. I found what appears to be his Twitter. Apparently he recently bought a car, so can’t be doing all that badly, even after “melting” so much money.

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https://twitter.com/suzumiyakurona

And as this is an eye-candy post in the newly created eye-candy category, here’s just a bunch of other pictures of him I collected but couldn’t slip into (ooh, ain’t ‘e bold?) the post any other way.

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Remember to cut out and keep your voucher

 “But wait” you say. “What’s this about him raising a queer voice while shirtless outside a station? Did the wiki-creators follow him about, or did he film that?”. Well, unfortuately the video is at powerpoint framerate, but we do get a glimpse:

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Holy shit do I want to possess that

And then his “collaboration with” the Saitama police:

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Oh dear…

He really ought to move away from his detractors and the bad memories, and make a fresh start elsewhere. Now I’m not making any sort of undue suggestions about drastic moves halfway across the world, but, well…

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 Nobody gonna take my guy, gonna keep him to the end

Nobody gonna take my guy, he stays close on every bend

 Ooh, he’s a killin’ machine, got everything

Like a movin’ mouth, body control, and everything

I love him, I need him, I see him

Yeah, he turns me on

All right, Hold Tight, I’M A HIGHWAY STAAAR!

サクハリンは日本

Apparently there’s some big event going on in yankland at the moment. I think it’s the superbowl, or something. It must be, the BBC aren’t fucking shutting up about it. They care more about the superbowl than the FA cup final, wandering around interviewing people having barbecues outside it and talking about how that’s really healing the disconnects of the American dream after 9/11.

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One of the pigshit-thick, gun-waving cheeseburger chuggers.

Anyway, I think it’s between the Mets and the Giants, whoever they are. Mind you, New York, home of the Mets, recently got smashed up by the kamikaze as payback for all the yanks saying the tsunami in Japan was payback for Pearl Harbour a year and a half ago. Mind you, I suppose it’s up to the leader of the Mets to set the time of the game, and he’s decided to press ahead with it, so he must be confident about beating the Giants. Apparently they also need to score a touchdown in the 32nd end zone of the quarter (I think that’s right), and rarely do that.

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The other one. Oddly neither is pictured wearing a cowboy hat, must have been windy that day.

Still they both love Israel, and Israel are spoiling for a fight with Iran, which will pull Russia and America into a war and destroy the world, ironically making all those 2012 prophecies self-fulfilling. Israelis are fucking cannibals aren’t they? Sadly they were created by the British Empire, it set out to “civilise the world” and left the most unstable yet resource-rich area of the world saddled with the most uncivilised, barbaric, paranoid nation this side of, well, yankland. Which they are basically the 51st state of anyway.

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Still they’re not as bad as Zafira owners. One of them nearly fucking killed me today! Thinking it was okay to go 40mph, weaving gently from side to side, on the A14. Only a day after (and exactly across from) where somebody got killed in a crash which I didn’t witness, but which I have arbitrarily decided was caused by a witless, weaving, doddering old twat. Anyway, this one decided to pop up in front of the car in front of me, which before that had been racing down the slip road at 70mph. I left that to take care of itself and looked behind, spotting a lorry “just” far enough away to pull out in front of. I look back again and the doddery old cunt has forced the car in front of me to VIRTUALLY FUCKING STOP as it pulls out onto a 70mph road! There was seriously inches to spare between the three of us. The old git then wanders off in front of me at the next exit (with exactly three flashes of the broken indicator) and pootles up the slip road, rocking gently from side to side as his feeble consciousness wrestles with the choice of two lanes.

He actually went into the same Tesco as me, I thought about looking around for a cop car and hinting that he was drunk. Or, as he was no doubt a dozy old codger who constantly whinges about “the kids who know nothing about history”, stopping nearby and “accidentally” leaving my music blasting out as I got out. The music in question being from Showa 17-19, and fucking awesome. Japanese music peaked in 1944, seriously. I bought a whole set of CD’s of 30’s and 40’s music at the Yasukuni Shrine museum, funding it’s revisionist exhibits to the tune of over £100 (CD’s are bloody expensive there).

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TSUBASA, TSUBASA,

KANGAYAKU TSUBASA

TAAAADAKU HANBATAHOOO

TSUUUUUBASA YO RI!

Don’t EVER buy these!

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In Japan, they have big, lovely pot noodles you can buy. Some of them even have big chunks of dried beef in sauce in them, and taste lovely. Missing them, I got this “beef flavour” one from Tesco. Except it’s not beef, it’s “spicy beef”. And by “spicy” I do of course mean “APOCALYPTIC”. My lips were going numb from merely touching it! No dried beef either.

The seafood and chicken flavours the same company do are nice, though. But I think I’ll have to troll up Mil Road and see if I can vada any decent Japanese ones.

PCCR series 2?

One of my favourite animes is Pretty Combat Communist Rika-Chan. Unfortunately after it’s first run it vanished into obscurity, even fansubs are hard to come by. But then I wandered into 2ch (Japan’s, and the original, 4chan) out of curiosity the other day, and saw this, with a long blurb:

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Obligatory engrish

It looks like it’s on a whiteboard, a picture taken by somebody sneaking into a meeting room? Curiously, the post was deleted. From what I can gather, reading about Lord Haw Haw’s exploits, 2ch almost never delete posts, even when they are taken to court over them, and lose! Unfortunately I didn’t copy and paste the text down for later translation. I’ll leave you to ponder…

Japanese miscellany

These are the very few photos I took in Japan with my phone (dunno why, but all the phones I’ve taken there have had a far shorter battery life. Is the time passing more quickly because I’m having fun, or is it humidity or something?). Most of the time I left it at my hotel, as it doesn’t work there and I was only using it as a clock. I bought a watch after a while, only to lose it in Kyoto somewhere.

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What have they done to deserve this?

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Readers of Danny Choo will get this

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A Hatsune Miku statue, it’s really nice actually, won it in a crane game

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I had 3 goes left, after much pantomime, I realised they were offering to transfer them to another machine, in which I won this!

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The only coffee I like comes in cans and bottles. This is the second best, Boss is the best and several others take other positions. The Starbucks Double Shot we get in the UK is wayyy down the list. BUT climbing rapidly is the Galaxy Double cup one, currently on offer in Tesco (well, some of them).

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The omiyage (it means “biscuity sweety things you take to your work’s canteen when you visit somewhere”) I got. The outer two are from Kochi, and are biscuits. The middle ones are gooey soft tea-flavoured things from Okayama. Though I only passed through Okayama station briefly twice XD.

Bidwells are a bunch of cunts

BEST HOLIDAY EVER!

I got back from Japan late on Friday, having taken nearly a thousand photos (probably) and bought literal armfuls of comics (I had to send some back by post, because my case would have been too heavy. It was less than a kilo under the limit anyway!). More details and picspam to come, mainly on my Things Japanese blog, but I have some more ranty and sweary stuff to say here too.

Oh yeah, while my back was turned the British comics industry came up trumps and launched a new story paper! Yes, the 136-page monthly Pulp Detective is available in WH Smith’s now! It’s also in a few other newsagents, though not one in Coventry, who decreed that it was “too small” and “wouldn’t sell” without even trying it – DIRTY TRAITORS!

Had a troll down the Olympics

Edit: Well this took way too long to get finished and posted, eh? At least I managed it before the Paralympics started XD

I’d taken the day off work, and spent the whole day wandering around London taking in the Olympic atmosphere. And what a great atmosphere it was, too. Apart from that in some of the older, badly-ventilated underground trains, they were ovens! Still could have been worse, it could have rained. The very first thing I did was go down Wembley and pick up my ticket from the box office. There wasn’t many people around at that point, and no qeues at all. The stadium is well decorated for the Olympics, though I suppose it can afford to be. Unlike the other football stadiums it doesn’t “belong” to a particular team.

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There’s also a statue of one of our footballing greats, who helped to win the World Cup on this very site.

I’d been intending to go down the Japan Centre and get a Japanese flag, assuming they would be selling them. But there was also a flag seller on site, and on a whim I got one from there. Also under the bridge at the far end of Wembley Way there was a “soundscape” with clips from the opening ceremony of the 1948 Olympics. Let’s have a DVD of that too, eh BBC? If the recordings haven’t been taped over anyway.

Anyway, I was lucky I got a flag at the stadium, because the Japan Centre didn’t have any! They didn’t have “kamikaze” headbands either. I just got a bottle of tea and some sushi and seaweed. I then wandered around the streets looking for an unused concrete bench that I could sit on to “modify” the flag with “Good luck Japan” and “On yer bike, America!”. In the end I had to use a smelly fire exit in a backstreet near Picadilly Circus. Still the streets looked nice, with all the flags up.

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After that, I decided to go to the Olympic Park, in the hope of watching some events on the big screens that were inevitably scattered around it. Instead of going to the main station for it, Stratford, I went to West Ham and took the about-a-mile “Green road” walk. I passed this interesting, ornate building:

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Which I didn’t take a proper photo of, but you get the idea

No doubt foreign spectators, and a few athletes, wondered what it is. Well it’s actually a pumping station, for sewage! And also my great-grandfather worked there. They used to live right next door to it in the 30’s and early 40’s (my granny was later evacuated, then worked as a nurse in the WAAF). Granny also says people used to come and dump unwanted cats there, and her dad would bring them home XD.

I also got a vada of a bit of the athletes’ village, with surprisngly few flags. There was also a skyscraper attached to one of the blocks, which didn’t appear to be finished! Perhaps that’s in preparation for the buildings being sold off after the games. Considering they are apartments right in the middle of London, with fantastic transport links and some of the best sports facilities in the world literally next door, they are likely to go a long way towards paying for the cost of the games.

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Then the walk went over a bridge, possibly over the river that David Beckham sailed down at the end of the opening ceremony. I got a good view of the main stadium and the, er, red thing.

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I’d just assumed that “anybody with tickets” could get into the Olympic park, but I decided to check only once I was almost there did I decide to ask somebody. Having been told I couldn’t get in with a Wembley ticket, I decided to wander back into central London. I took a DLR train from the “Stratford Town Centre”, which fortunately wasn’t all that busy. I also saw a forlorn, abandoned jazz club. Couldn’t some lottery grant have restored this to retro-styled operation for the Olympics?

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I ended up at London Bridge station, which I’d completely forgotten was right near the Shard.

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Seen starting it’s transformation sequence

Still, up-close it actually looks a bit crap, like an old greenhouse. They’ve also not finished part of the bottom XD.

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Still, it does appear to be resting on Victorian brickwork

After a bit of a wander around, most of which was spent looking for a Lynx Bullet mini-deodorant (like I said, hot trains!), I found a big screen! It was right near Tower Bridge, so I stayed there and watched Jade Jones get through to the Taekwondo final (which she won!). I also watched the award of the first ever women’s boxing gold medal, to Nichola Adams, a Briton who will never be forgotten!

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Oh yeah, also nearby there was a war museum, with my favourite propaganda poster reproduced on the outside:

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Though that one with stylised Hitler faces on wallpaper is also funny.

There was also the flag of a country that has, for various reasons, never actually competed at a London Olympics:

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Anwyay, after watching the big screen for a while, it was time to stroll over Wembley. I took the grey line, which was a bit of a mistake. It still used old trains with seperated carriages, and had lots of stops, at which ever more passengers crammed aboard. It was very hot! I got to Wembley Park again, to find it crammed full of people this time, most of them waving American flags XD. Still there was some Japanese people in kimono who seemed surprised to see me with their own flag. I began to walk towards the stadium, the big pathway now full of people, with lots of groups of Americans chanting U.S.A! U.S.A! There was a few Japanese supporters crowded around a big flag though. I ought to have learned that famous, intimidating Japanese propaganda march and got them singing it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCXWgdDCpQE&feature=related 

I got a little bit confused about where exactly I was supposed to go, the ticket mentioned a “block” of seating, so I supposed they all had seperate entrances. But I ended up going in the main entrance anyway, then walking almost all the way around inside the building. Or as one security guard told me, “It’s quicker to go across the pitch” XD. There was also a display cabinet containing the Olympic flag from the 1948 games, which was rather small and had the rings just painted on. Rationing was still in full force back then… in fact, teams had to bring their own food, as there wasn’t enough in Britain to go round!

After finding my “block” I saw I was in the middle of a bunch of Japanese people… but then realised I’d gone the wrong way, and was actually on my own, to begin with.

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But then I started to get surrounded by Americans XD. Though from the pictures I’ve taken it actually looks like there’s more Japanese people around me, but there wasn’t. The actual numbers of supporters was probably about even, though. Though Americans are much louder, of course. Oh and there was also one of those big flag things that’s supposed to be passed along over the crowd, which didn’t quite work.

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After some equally failed Mexican waves, the teams came out and the game got under way!

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The match didn’t start well as the USA got a goal almost straight away! After that there was a bit of a see-saw battle, with both teams missing a few shots. The US goalkeeper certainly worked harder, though! A lot of their own shots were well wide. At half time (I think, it was a long time ago now >.<) they announced that the attendance was a “record” of 80,306! Which considering Wembley holds 90,000 and this was Olympic Women’s football, is pretty amazing. Though I didn’t catch whether that was a British (sounds realistic) or World (less likely but possible) record.

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The USA got another goal not long after the kickoff, but then Japan got one back about 10 minutes later, so at least I got to shout BANZAI! There was plenty more good shots that were saved, this time both goalkeepers had to earn their pay. There was also a few free kicks given towards the end. Oh also the ref managed to do some stylish ball-avoidance. A certain Ugandan could learn something from her.

Having watched football on TV, I knew that the PA would call out how much extra time there was. However the clock had vanished from the big screen (they were just showing the BBC coverage silently XD)  so I didn’t know how long there was left. I could hear yanks around me going  “call it!” just as there was a tussle in the box, the whistle went and I thought she was giving a penalty, but actually it was full-time!

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I learned from people at work, who had watched it on TV, that actually Japan ought to have had a penalty, because the USA hand-balled in the box. But in a way I’m glad they didn’t, because it would have gone to extra time. I got the second-last train back to Cambridge as it was XD. Anyway, I hung around for the medal ceremony, a comically large podium was assembled for the entire teams to stand on:

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With some soldiers, because of the infamous G4S “oh wait, you said twenty thousand, not twenty?” screwup.

The teams then came out, including Canada who had won the bronze medal earlier that day in Coventry (right next door to a friend of mine, in fact, who was complaining about constant police helicopter activity). Just how many English people were in the audience was revealed when a huge BOOOO went up when they said Sepp Blatter would be presenting the medals. To the comical confusion of the Americans and Japanese, who had just been cheering every name that was mentioned XD.

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After that it was time to leave, to find the road to the station utterly crammed and stationary. As I got a bit further down it turned out there was police horses blocking it, to stagger the number of people going into the station. I also saw a cock-a-knee woman wearing a kimono with Japanese flags on her face, Glad I wasn’t the only British Japan supporter XD. I waffled something to her about Americans wasting good tea, she just seemed confused XD.

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On the way back into the centre, I got the burgundyish line, which has wide, large, upgraded trains with “connected” carriages, making the whole train into one long mobile corridor (like the Tokyo JR and Subway). This was much nicer, and air conditioned too (it was still really hot). Some Japanese people got confused at the あなたの自転車上、アメリカ!writing on my flag XD. I finally reached Kings Cross, and saw one train going to Cambridge that was absolutely rammed. But the driver said there was another going from a different platform that would get there only 5 minutes later. I got a whole 4-seat block to myself XD. Opposite some yanks saying that their opinion of the Japanese performance was “Raugh out Roud”.

After that journey I got back into Cambridge, where my dad had to pick me up from (livin’ the dream). Finally got into bed at half 2 in the morning, to get up at 6:00 for work the next day, hooray.

And tonight I’m going to finish this blog, a comic blog entry (or two), and entries in my paper blog too. Ought to keep me up til maybe half midnight, which ought to be no trouble!