Friday, June 22, 2007

Who doesn't love variety?

I know I do; whether in meals or blogs it's nice to have a bit of everything. Hence today's blog. First, before I forget, sometimes the best parts of your day are the little insignificant parts that you forget immediately after they occur. This occured to me in the midst of one of those exact moments yesterday and I will now relate it here:

It was cleaning time at school. Not the school that plays Strawberry Fields for cleaning time, the other one. Anyways, I had been playing basketball in the gym with a couple of the volleyball girls who insisted on shooting the ball as if it were a volleyball being set and was returning to the teacher's room when I was drafted into a cleaning group by two of the second year boys. They were kids I liked and who made a concerted efffort to speak english to both each other and me which is much more than I can say for most. The conversation at this particular time went something like this: "Matt-he is (gesturing towards his friend) gargoyle."
"Really, a gargoyle?!" I say with feigned shock.
"No, he is Gargoyle," says his friend again indicating with his hand.
"Hmm," I say.
"Matt...he went to hell tuesday." His friend puts him in a headlock. "He goes to hell after school," he chokes out after freeing himself from the headlock.
"That's too bad," I say, admiring their linguistic skills.
"We are undead."
"Undead?! Let's go to the Nurse," I say and start leading them towards the office.
"No, No," they protest, "We are no undead."
and so on. My favorite is, "he is gargoyle.'

The next thing on the plate is Mt Fuji and the conquering of its slopes. I will not go into too much depth because I want to do a post with photos and I have been having some technical difficulties but let me some at up like this. You think it's gonna be you climbing a mountain but then you get there's you climbing a mountain.

Things i wish I had right now: a stereo, coffee, a street map of Japan that made at least a bit of sense, the authority to convince the Japanese Diet to assign names to streets thus making sensible maps useful, Mexican food, a banjo, a washing machine, curtains, an apple.

Music of recent interest: Folk Implosion, Devandra Banhart, Residente Calle Trece.

That is all for now,


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Elementary visits

I had just chopsticked the last shumai into my mouth when a rapidly gathering circle of elementary school kids began requsting my presence outside for some event. Actually what they said was, "Mato Senseii,," while gesturing at the door. I took this to mean, well, to be honest i had no idea but that is quite usual here. Turns out this particular elementary school occasionally boils large amounts of potatoes and then serves them to the students outside. Now, you wouldn't think anyone would get too excited over plain, boiled yellow potatoes but they were ecstatic and I gave in to the potato excitement pretty quick. In fact in my excitement I even missed the main point of it all, we were to throw the skins from the potatoes into the flower beds presumably to act as fertilizer, luckily I was quickly reprimanded when I tried to eat my skin and made aware of the expectations. The lunch culminated with the delightful coining of a new insult which I sincerely hope catches on. One of the 6th graders, you know how it is when you are learning a new language, was desperately trying to find some way to make fun of a fellow student in English. She fumbled around a bit until she settled quite happily on, "potato ghost."