|My Web Site -- Japan|
Went to Sakibaru today, the heavenly chugakko by the sea. Since tomorrow is Valentine's Day, we all made and exchanged Valentines. The little elementary school girls were soooo cute, drawing little yellow flowers and pink hearts on their cards. One elementary school boy drew a machine gun on his. They all had to write something in English on the card, so I put some translations up on the board for "You're nice", "I like you", "You're funny". I need to work on my chalkboard penmanship. Several of them wrote "You're fung" to one another. In the junior high class, I gave my spiel about Valentine's Day as they stared stiffly ahead like little zombies. When the teacher asked if there were any questions, one kid asked (in Japanese) "Yeah, what's the life expectancy of a chicken?". (??) Kyushoku was delectable as usual (rice, agedofu, soup). During the bus ride back home, the busdriver gave me some oranges and then when he dropped me off, waved goodbye from inside the bus.
February 18th (Windy Monday)
At lunch, the 3rd year girls gathered around me and asked me the typical questions: Do you have a boyfriend? Do you know Brittney Spears? Who do you think is the cutest boy in this class? I stalled them on the last one until the bell rang. At recess, I went out and played dodgeball with some of them. During recess, there are balls flying through the air every which way: dodgeballs, soccerballs, baseballs, volleyballs. It's a miracle no one's been killed yet. I began to get a bit paranoid standing there, feeling like my head was just an open target for some wayward airborne ball. I sucked at dodgeball and I think the girls were at once amused at me and sorry for me, as if I were their poor retarded cousin. They were very polite. I was always the last one that they tried to get out.
February 20th (Love is in the Air)
Yesterday, I thought that my camera was fixed. For about 2 hours, it was working fine. I thought that the camera fairies had visited me during the night and magically restored its inner mechanical workings. But, alas, I was mistaken. The f***ing thing is still f***ing broken. However, I did manage to get a couple of shots before losing all hope once again. They're kinda blurry, but here they are anyway.
|I took this shot of the city from atop Ogamiyama, a hill here in town that I frequent. I live somewhere in the middle of all that concrete.||Cherry trees on Ogamiyama. The cherry blossoms on Amami are much darker than in other parts of Japan.|
February 22nd (FFF)
Did the question and answer thing again with the 3rd years at Kaneku. Once again, I show the kids just how ignorant I am about basketball and soccer. Out of a class of 40 kids, 20 of them ask me a question about sports. What sports do I like? What's my favorite national soccer team? Can I play basketball? Do I know Michael Jordan? etc. etc. I tell them I like running. The teacher asks who else likes running. Not one hand goes up. I shrug my shoulders and there's this moment of awkward silence during which the kids are probably contemplating what a complete dork I am. They ask me music questions, but usually in the form of "Do you like the Backstreet Boys?" I can't lie, so I just say, "They're very handsome." They always seem pleased with that answer because it sounds affirmative. Kyushoku (school lunch) background music was the Muzac melody to "The Lift is Up Where We Belong". Yesterday it was "The Way We Were" and "You Light Up My Life". For some unknown and probably utterly bizarre reason, the Japanese want to eat lunch to the Muzac sounds of love song hits of the 70's. Just one more of those little delightful mysteries. :)
February 28th (Haiku Zaniness)