Thursday, September 15, 2011

Japan Happy Love

Look!  An actual post about Japan!  Imagine.

So, we have had our school festival over the past few days.  The students, without consulting me, called the festival Fresh Story.  The best part was when they opened the festival with a giant screen projection that said Flesh Story.  I thought to myself, Teenagers doing a 6 hour show called Flesh Story.  This might not be too bad!  I was kidding myself though; I knew what they meant.  I saw skits, the chorus, piano performances, a solo singer, the brass band, lots of dancing and lip singing, a hip-hop dance, a naginata performance (really cool choreographed spear dance), calligraphy done to music, and a fashion show featuring dresses and such that the students made from scratch.  They all looked like cotton candy in various shades, covered in ruffles, but I was impressed none the less.  And lots of back flips.  Japanese boys and men will dress up in skirts at every opportunity.  And they play the explicit lyrics in songs at family events, because no one really has a context for what those words mean. 

Speaking of profanity and the complete lack of grasp, I have to go on a tangent and tell you about the local thrift shop.  It's awesome and it is called Eco-town.  You know, a family place.  The whole bottom floor is toys.  When you go up the escalator to the 2nd floor where the baby furniture is, where appliances and clothes are, they have a little display.  One day I rode up there, and there were two mannequins.  One was wearing a hot pink shirt that said, "Keep On Relaxing Fuck For Your Life."  The other was wearing a baseball cap that said, "Fuck All Y'all."  I am not making this up.  (I have pictures on my phone.  I'll try to add them, but I always forget.) 

Today we had the final day of the festival, sports day, but we had to do it in the gym because it's raining.  I heard that 2 typhoons are coming, but I don't know if today's weather is their fault.  The students are so cute, and although when I first got here, I felt that the students didn' have much spirit, now I've gotten to know them better.  I've had opportunities to see them let loose, and I've gotten learn that they rarely have the social opportunities that we have in America.  They don't have dances and they are entirely absorbed with studying and clubs.  I think that when I go back to America, I might be overwhelmed by the craziness.

My car, which I can't drive anymore because I no longer have a driver's license (international licenses expire after one year, and it's a giant pain in the ass to get a Japanese license), broke down on Wednesday night.  Peter had it towed to our mechanic at 11pm, who apparently lives there, because after a series of ringing bells and talking to an old Japanese guy, the mechanic appeared, gave Peter a car, and said he would call the next day with the estimate.  Japan happy love.  His estimate was about 3/5ths the worth of the car, so we took it to another place and got a better deal.  Peter gave the first car back to the mechanic, and was given another car from the second guy.  No paperwork, no signature, nothing, just, "Here you go, take this car until we are done."  That reminds me of something else I wanted to share... a few weeks ago we needed a new fuse thingie for the lights, but it was Friday afternoon and they couldn't get the part until Monday or Tuesday, so the mechanic took the part out of his own car and put it into our car for the weekend, no charge.  Japan happy love.  I'm still bewildered by how NOT smarmy Japanese mechanics are.

What else... what else... Oh, yeah.  This is Japan, right?  They wear costumes all the time for different reasons.  So where, I ask, are the costume shops?  I'm trying to get ready for Halloween, here.  They don't sell face paint.  MOM!!!!  Will you make me a Halloween costume and mail it to Japan before October 28th??  Someone, please tell my mom to read this.

Oh, Japan, you are too good to me.  Japan happy love.

I've been to (Honshu) Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, (Hokkaido) Sapporo, Otaru, Niseko, (Shikoku) Ehime, Uwajima, (Kyushu) Fukuoka, Beppu, Kitsuki, Usuki, and more!  I hope to go to Okinawa for Christmas: Who is in?!

Also, I really want Knox to start going to Japanese pre-school, maybe when he turns three in April.  But, right now he goes to school with Peter and I know Peter cherishes that time, so we will see.  I just think Knox should learn Japanese while he can!!

That's all for this random update.

From Japan,


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