|LIFE IN JAPAN
Hayden hay-chan Majajas
Information System Manager
Time in Japan:
Three and a half years
Where are you from?
What brought you to Japan?
My research. International Law at Chuo University Graduate School of Law by the invitation
of Japanese Government, Mombusho scholar.
How is that going?
Very well, except they don' tell you when you first come here that your two year degree
is going to take four years. So instead of sitting around and doing nothing for the first
two years like other people, I sat down, did my research, wrote my thesis. Now my last two
years are pretty free. I'm in my final year now.
You're involved in many other activities. Can you tell us a bit about them?
Yes. I'm on the organizing committee for the Tokyo Lesbian and Gay Parade, which is on
August 27th in Shibuya and Harajuku. Hopefully we'll have about 10,000 people from all
over the world.. I am the information systems manager and general producer for an event
called Grazia AIDS Charity Party sponsored by an organization called AIDS Care Project.
I've been working for them for two years. Grazia is on every two months, usually in
Shinjuku. I'm also a simultaneous interpreter and translator for ESPN and NHK doing mostly
sports programs. And I also organize club events at various venues in Tokyo.
Could you tell us a bit about that?
AIDS Care Project is a non-profit community-based organization run entirely by young
people, average age 22. It's in its 15th year, operating mainly in Shinjuku's 2-chome
area. We do a lot of prevention and education work in HIV area and STD. A lot of work we
do other organizations don't want to touch. We hand out lubricants and condoms and collect
donations. We operate telephone counseling hotlines, an HIV hotline and gay counseling
hotlines. One hundred percent of the funds we receive go to supporting people suffering
from HIV. We are one hundred percent supported by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. We
have a pretty fantastic tie-up with Okamoto condoms, who supply us with the condoms we
hand out and with Gaywalker.
What's the weirdest thing you've seen or experienced in Japan?
Everything is weird, but the weirdest thing has to be when I was at the Pan Pacific Hotel
in Yokohama, when it was just completed. I was on the elevator and went up to the top
floor because it said "restaurant." It seemed pretty dark when the elevator
doors opened, but we thought that was part of the restaurant. As soon as the elevator
doors closed, it got pitch dark. Nothing was lit up, no windows, no exit signs lit up,
none of us smoked. And the bad thing was we had walked away from the elevator so we didn't
know where the button was. So eventually, someone found the wall and we found the elevator
button, pressed it, and thank god, the elevator came. We got a good look when the doors
opened because there was nothing on the floor. It was still under construction. Why would
they let us go up there if it was still being built? That was definitely weird.
What's your favorite thing about Japan?
Lunch time. No matter where you go, you can always find an incredibly amazing, delicious
lunch deal. That is what I love about Japan. I have like five lunches and no dinner. It's
a great deal. I like to plan my life around lunch.
Recipe for a happy and successful life in Tokyo?
One para-para Shibuya girl, one sexy gay go-go boy, one obasan and one JR station employee
who gives you the run-around for three hours and leave every two months.
Hayden Majajas spoke to Maki Nibayashi
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