Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I am officially fat 真に「太い」と呼んでもいい

I was going to British Museum on Monday when something interesting happened. I stopped behind a girl on her bicycle, who had stopped behind a boy on his bicycle, waiting for the light to change. And there were more people on their bicycles behind me, going to school or work or wherever.

This explains why the population of Japan is thin.



It was actually a good day at that school. We had some Halloween fun like passing out candy and me dressing up and scaring students and staff. Ahahahaha!

Here we have a slightly deranged-looking ghost. Japanese ghosts have triangles on their heads. I have heard the reason is a Buddhist principle important during funerals. White devil! ここは少し発狂している幽霊だ。日本の幽霊は頭で三角が付いている。理由は葬式で大切な仏教の原則だと聞いた。鬼佬!

This is some serious bad magic. これは重たいな悪魔だよね。
So then I had a medical exam that every public employee in Ichinoseki apparently has to take. They drew my blood, took my urine (for what? It just contains tea), tested my eyes (shameful) and worst of all checked my weight. 85kg. Yup, no doubt about it now. I have officially crossed the line to fat. I need to play more soccer ... But anyway, in these strange buses outside City Hall, they had me lie down on a bed, then attached wires to my joints and chest, and ran electricity through my body to check my heart! Yargh!
それからはなんか一関の公務員が全員取らなくちゃ健康調査だった。血を取った、尿 も取った(どうして?お茶ばかりが入っているよ)、目の調子を調べた (恥)、そして一番ひどかったは体重を調べた。85キロ。うん、もう否定できない。真に太いと呼ばれる。蹴球をもっとしないと・・・ま、とりあえずこっち の市役所の外の変なバスで心電図検査された!きゃあ!
So what do I do after my official confirmation of fatness? I go to freakin' McDonalds! God! じゃ、本当に太くなったと認めてからどうする?さっさとマックに行っちゃう!馬鹿野郎!

I saw this sign on the way to this morning's school. I mean, who in Japan even HAS a gun besides the yakuza? 今朝の学校に行く時はこの看板を見た。でも日本でやくざ以外は誰が銃を持っているの?
The school was pretty cool though. There are solar panels combined with mini wind generators around the school, and a monitor inside lets you know how much electricity is being generated at the moment, and how much has been generated for the entire day.

And finally, after playing soccer tonight, I noticed this sign at the arena we play at. A little direct, yes, but at least it isn't horrible Engrish. そして最後は蹴球をやってから僕達が居た体育館でこの看板を見た。少し直接だけど素晴らしくひどい間違え英語ではないね。

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I Hate Katakana カタカナが嫌い

So I was photocopying worksheets for tomorrow night's adult English class, and I saw this on the display screen. 明日の夜の大人英会話授業の為に印刷をしに行ったが、画面でこれを見た。So if the katakana loanword coin requires a FRIKKIN' SUBTITLE in order to be understood by all ... why not scrap the katakana AND USE THE GODDAMN WORD THAT EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS? I've taken to deliberately NOT using katakana loanwords in my daily conversation, and some people are confused as heck as to what I'm talking about. Today I asked for a bicycle light, but the woman didn't understand what I wanted until I actually used the light loanword. God.

じゃ あ・・・もしカタカナで書いてる外来語のコインは皆が分かる為に字幕が需要なら・・・なぜカタカナを捨てて皆が分かる単語を使わないのかい?!?!僕 はもう毎日の会話にカタカナ英語を使わないようにしたし、僕は何について話しているか全然分からない人が多いよ。今日は自転車の為の電灯を頼んだけど店員 の女の人が僕が外来語のライトを言うまでに分からなかった。南無阿弥陀仏。

Food prices may be more expensive in Japan but the size of the food is huge. I can barely fit this green onion into my fridge! 日本の食事の値段は高いかもしれないけど、大きさはでかい!この葱が僕の冷蔵庫にあまり入れないもん!

Let's see, what else? Oh, in Japan the phrase "let's" is used without any heed to its grammatical correctness (i.e. you need a verb directly after it, for example "let's go" or "let's do" whatever). So you get interesting incorrect combinations like "Let's English" or "Let's Festival" or possibly "Let's Bowel Movement". I saw this poster under the dairy section at the supermarket next to me.

う~んと、他には?あ、日本で「しよう」の表現が文法を 守らずに使われている(例えば、英語で「しよう」を使えば動詞がイツデモ付けている。日本語で書け ば「行くをしよう」か「祭りをするをしよう」か「便通をするをしよう」も出るかな。隣のスーパーでこの広告絵が牛乳部で懸けていた。

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Do Not Answer the Door アパートの扉を開けるな

Last night was fun. I went out with The Girls (Yamato, Manga, Chibi, and a new one, Car Parts) to Paper Moon and drank two double brown cows and one rum+coke. Mmm. Then it was off to Do-Re-Mi, the karaoke place on Ōmachi that is relatively new and doesn't have rooms that reek of tobacco. I then sang the opener to Sakura Wars using the female modifier to sing in a girl's voice, to the amusement of all save Yamato. As you can see from the ghost, Paper Moon has gotten into the spirit of Halloween. They're even having a party on Sunday night.
昨 日の夜は楽しかった。姫君團隊(大和、漫画、ちび、そして新入生の車部品)と一緒に出掛けてペーパームーン(紙月)に行った。そこで二倍カルア・ミルクを 二枚とラムコークを一枚飲んだ。うま~い。それからはまあまあ新しいみたいドレミという在大町のタバコ臭い部屋なしのカラオケ屋に行った。僕は女性声の機 能でさくら大戦テーマを歌った。皆が大変喜んでいたけど大和はなんか吐きそうだった(笑)。上の悪幽霊の写真を見るとペーパームーンのハロウィーン気が感じられる。日曜日の夜はハロウィーン・パーティもやっている。

In an aside, the thing about Sakura Wars is that I love the artwork and the setting (a steampunk Imperial Japan), but my god I hate the storyline. I've only watched the first few episodes but found myself yawning very shortly afterwards. Maybe the manga would be better.


Finally got home and went to bed around 2:30 and slept too much. I was actually awakened by the NHK Man, who came to say that I wasn't paying for satellite service and he's going to be adding it on to my bill. I don't watch TV all that much and when I do it's mostly just the BBC. I have to learn not to answer the door. Anyway, I think Japanese TV is rather mindless, but then I think all TV is rather mindless. I do like watching Chibi Maruko-chan on Sunday nights, but other than that ... One thing that I hate is all the "foreign talents" on Japanese TV who are ostensibly just there for show, particularly Bob Sapp, the failed football star and fighter who makes a living being a giant black man.

結 局家に帰って2時半ぐらい寝た。寝すぎた・・・実はNHKの男に起こされた。なんかBSをまだ払ってないので払いなさいって言われた。あまりテレビを見 ないし見る時はBBCだけ。本当に扉を開けないと習わなくちゃ。日本のテレビは大体馬鹿っぽいと思っているから・・・まいや、世界のテレビは大体馬鹿っぽ いと思っているね。日曜日の夜のちびまるこちゃんを見るのが好きだけどそれ以外は・・・僕は嫌い事は本当に俗悪美のためだけの「外国人タレント」だ、特に ボッブ・サップ、その就職失敗したアメリカンフットボールとプロレスの奴。現在は日本で「巨人黒人」の生活をやっている。

Oh hey, we just had another earthquake. A notice shows up on TV saying what areas have been affected, the strength of the quake, and a reminder to watch out for tsunamis. I think there was one two nights ago too but they happen every other day or so so it doesn't really affect me much anymore. Heck, I didn't even stop typing.



Friday, October 21, 2005

Enlightenment and 'American Joke' 悟りと「アメリカン・ジョーク」

I saw a spark of enlightenment yesterday teaching some Grade Fours. There wasn't much planned - hell, I used twenty minutes of class time to explain about the Beatles and sing 'Help!' - so I decided to use what little opportunity I had to teach Alphabet Pronunciation.


Japanese kids learn the Alphabet Song. Most of them incorrectly, as the song version most prevalent here goes like this: ABCDEFG HIJKLMN OPQRSTU VWXYZ instead of the correct ABCDEFG HIJKLMNOP QRS TUV WXYZ that everyone else in the world learns. Anyway, I wrote it out on the board and asked if they knew it, to which everyone of course responded 'yes'. Then I asked them if anyone could tell me how to pronounce the first word on the lyric sheet - 'Help' - that I had handed out. No one could.

日 本人の子供達がアルファベットの歌を習うけど、大体皆が間違えて習う。日本でよく聞く版は世界中が習う正しいABCDEFG HIJKLMNOP QRS TUV WXYZじゃなくてABCDEFG HIJKLMN OPQRSTU VWXYZを勉強する。とにかく黒板で英字伊呂波を書いて「誰かがこれ知っているか」と聞いて皆が「はい」と答えた。それで「誰かが歌詞表の一番目の単語 の発音が言える?」と聞いた。誰もが「ヘルプ」と言えなかった。

See, although Japanese kids learn the alphabet and the alphabet song in elementary school, they don't learn the sounds that the individual letters make. So ask them to read a word and they just can't do it. But I have a way around that. I went through the alphabet pronouncing the basic sounds, like the short A (ah), the hissing sound that the individual S makes, and so on. Then I pronounced the letters of 'Help' individually, heh, ehh, ll, puh. heh lp. Help. Then I told them that if there's an English word that you don't know, just sound out the individual letters and half the time you'll be right.

理由は日本人の子供達が小学校でアルファベットとアルファベットの歌を習うのに、字ずつの音は勉強しな い。何かを読んで下さいと言っても何も出来ない。し かし僕は他の道を見つけた。アルファベットを黒板で書いて字ずつの個人的な音を説明した、例えば短いA(あぁ)とSの蛇みたいの音、などなどなど。それか らは「ヘルプ」の発音を字ずつで言った。へ、え、る、ぷ。それからは知らない英語の単語があったら、このように個人的な音を言ったら大体正しく言えるよっ て教えた。

That's when I saw it. One girl's face was flushed with enlightenment. I heard her mouth the words 'So that's how you do it!'. The best thing is that she is one of the kids in the school who, by dint of her physical features, most likely has a Filipino mother. Always hard to be a minority, especially in Japan. But she gets it. She has cracked the secret of English. I hope she is going around attempting to pronounce English signs and stuff.

そ の時は見た。一人の女子の顔で悟りの光が輝いていた。「あ、ソノようにするか!」と半分聞いた。一番いい所はこの子は外見を見ると十中八九はフィリピノ のお母さんが居る。特に日本で「普通」の格好以外の人の生活は難しいだろう。でも彼女はワカル!英語の秘密を解消した。彼女が市内で英語の看板の発音を 言ってみていると願う。

I'm definitely not part of the 'Destroy Japanese, Adopt English!' school of thought, but if you're going to teach a language, do it right. Now that I'm here, this area is going to suddenly turn out relatively competent foreign language students ... the revolution of the Iwate economy is at hand.


Found this T-shirt over at Sinosplice. Excellent. サイノスプライスでこのシャツの写真を見つけた。最高。

Oh and by the way, if you want to laugh until you die, go to this website and read the English subtitles for the Chinese pirate version of Star Wars: Episode III. あ、そしてもし死ぬほど笑いたかったら、こっちのサイトに行って中国のスターウォーズ(ヲーズかな?)第3話の海賊DVDの英語字幕をお読み下さい。

A few days ago, one teacher who was rather fluent in English said how she once told an American man 'You make American joke' after he said something funny, and he then proceeded to get upset. She asked me why. I didn't quite understand. I told her what she said was kind of dumb, but not really offensive. Probably the guy had heard so much that he was sick of it and having a bad day. I explained about how non-Japanese people (who are not East Asian anyway) are repeatedly asked if we can use quicksticks and how it gets annoying after a while. Then it happened to me.

先日は英語ぺらぺらな先生が僕に質問を聞いた。或る日はアメリカ人の男性が面白い(変な?)冗談を言って から「あ、アメリカン・ジョークを作ったんじゃ ん」って言ったけど、彼が怒っていた。どうして怒っちゃうか分からなかったので理由を知りたかった。僕もあまり分からなかった。ま、言った事はちょっと馬 鹿だったと思うけどそんなに無礼じゃないと答えた。その人が多分その事をよく聞いた事が一杯あるのでもう嫌になったし、その日の機嫌も悪かったかもしれな いと思うって言った。日本人じゃない人(ま、東亜人以外の人)がよく「お箸使える?」と聞かれていてすぐ嫌になって疲れちゃうの事も説明した。但し、昨日 は僕が「アメリカン・ジョークを作った」って言われた。

When class begins or ends, kids have to stand up straight and bow to the teacher. It usually goes as 'Stand up! Attention! Bow! Sit!'. 'Attention' is 'ki wo tsuke', which some younger students sometimes mispronounce. So, when the kids were milling about, I wrote 清机, 'pure desk', which would be pronounced as 'kiyo dzukue'. The kids got a laugh out of it. They all know I like to play with the language, especially their names, like calling people named 佐藤 as 'sugar', because satou is a common last name in Japan but also the pronunciation for 砂糖, sugar. But then the teacher laughed and said, 'Ah, American joke!'

授業が始まると、子供達が立って先生に礼をする。普通は「起立!気を付け!礼!着席!」だ。時々若い子供達が「気を付け」の発音を間違えする。で、子供達 が教室で点在している間に僕が黒板で「気を付け」の代わりに「清机(きよづくえ」を書いた。生徒達が笑って「面白い」って言った。僕は日本語と遊ぶのが好 きだと皆が知っている。例えば、佐藤という生徒が居たらその人を大体「シュガー」と呼ぶ。佐藤、砂糖、あははは(機知)。でも、先生がいきなり「あ、アメ リカン・ジョークだ!」と笑った。

This left me kind of stunned. What the hell? How is a Canadian working with the Japanese pronunciations of different Chinese characters to create a joke out of 'Attention!' an American joke?


But then at the end of class he had me hand out American flag stickers to the kids. I really have to start showing the flag more. でも授業が終わる時に生徒達にアメリカ国旗のシールを出して欲しいと命令された。僕は本当に自分の国の国旗をもっと示さなくちゃ。

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Indoctrinate 教え込む

Thanks to Chris for sending me a link to an absolutely hilarious soramimi (mishearing, lit. sky ears) flash about some 80's German band singing about Moscow. It has made my day, the day of my friends, and the day of many schoolchildren. So has Shinbashi.


So let's continue with a litany of pictures accompanied by dry commentary. では、写真と僕の普通の機知の退屈話で続けよう。Here we have a bus stop shelter, which is next to a rather busy highway. Yay for vending machines. The sign reads as 中道バス停待合所 for those interested. ま、国道で走っているバス線の待合所だ。やった、自動販売機もある。

One destination for tourists is the rapids of the Genbikei Gorge, which kind of reminds me of the Ottawa River near my house. It is also the site of a glass company called Sahara which made a crappy theme park across the road from the natural beauty of the gorge. It just screams ... I don't know, what does it scream? Fifties? Not sixties. Seventies, probably. 観光者なら綺麗な所は厳美渓だ。なんか見るとちょっと懐かしい感じがでるーこの渓は僕の出身の家の隣のオタワ川みたい。サハラというグラス会社の場所もこ こだ。渓の自然の美しさの向こう側に醜いテーマパークを建てた。とっても・・・なんだろう?五十年代?ま、確かに六十年代じゃない。多分七十年代を自慢し ていると思う。

I got a love letter the other day from a girl way out at one of the country schools. She wrote, very neatly in hiragana and romaji, that she was thankful for me coming to the school to teach English, and what is my favourite colour, and incidentally her favourite colour was water blue. I will be adopting her shortly. 田舎の小学校の女子から恋文をもらった。とても丁寧な平仮名とローマ字で僕が学校に英語を教えて来てから感謝していたんだし、僕の好きな色はなんでしょ う、そして付随的に彼女の好きな色は水色って書いてくれた。そろそろ彼女を養子縁組する。

Japan is also the home of giant spiders. This one was hanging out in a bus stop similar to the one I posted above. Oh god help. 日本は巨蜘蛛の国だ。この奴は上に見せたバス停の写真みたいの所で休んでいた。天照大神、お助け!

Ok, now I may be wrong. It might be a real 'aesthetic' salon. And the club could just be a quiet bar that gave itself a fancy name. But it's right next to city hall. Hmm. やー、間違えているはずだな。多分本物のエステだ。そしてあのクラブが多分広告する為に自慢の名前を付けた静かなバーだけでしょう。でも、市役所の隣だ。 う~む。
Ok, now this is just the best idea ever. A vending machine coin slot where you don't have to shove coins in one by one. And all Japanese vending machinese accept bills too. さ、これは世界中の一番いい考えだ!硬貨の入れ込みは入らない自動販売機!あ、そして日本の自動販売機なら札もいい!

One of my schools had a culture festival over the weekend, and I didn't go because I slept in on both days. So now I feel stupid because it looks like it was really good. The kids had to do research on various countries and then report their results. According to this one all Canadians live in houses made of wood. Better than ice, I guess. 週末に僕の或る学校は文化祭があった。土曜と日曜に僕が寝坊したので行かなかった。でもまあまあ良かったそうだから僕は本当に馬鹿な恥を感じている。生徒 達が色んな国の情報を調べて小さな表を書いた。この情報通りでカナダ人が木から建てられる家に住んでいる。氷よりいいかな。Japanese kids really like the idea of getting bags of candy that you can eat for months. One kid kind of freaked out when I told him that evil ghosts leave their graves to steal your soul, eat it, and then go back to Hell. I have no idea why. 何ヶ月ぐらい食べられるお菓子を無料でもらう事は日本人の子供達も興味ある。でも、悪い幽霊が墓を出て魂を盗んで食べて地獄に戻ると教える時一人の子が ちょっと怖くて興奮した。どうしてそうになったは全然しらない。
One girl went to Tokyo Disneyland and brought back a souvenir especially for me. I've entered her into the adoption list. 一人の女子が東京ディズニーランドに行って僕のためだけのお土産を買ってきた。彼女の名前をもう僕の養子縁組名簿に記録した。

As everyone knows, as a general rule I hate the school lunch. But not today. Hot dogs wrapped in bacon! And it was still warm! Can there be anything better? 皆がもう知っている通りで僕は給食が嫌いだ。でも今日は違う。ベーコン巻きのホットドッグ!これより美味しい物はないでしょう?!

Oh, and today one of the teachers asked me if I had a better song than the usual 'Hokey Pokey' or 'Seven Steps'. I did. So about a hundred Japanese kids learned to sing the first verse of "Help!". After all, Beatles indoctrination can never start too young. あ、そして今日は先生が普通の「ホッキーポッキー」か「七歩」という英語練習曲よりいい歌を持ってるかと尋ねた。持っていた。で、今朝日本人の生徒の百人 ぐらいが「ヘルプ」の最初の段落を習った。ビートルズの教え込みは若い時に始める方がいいから。

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Silly Patriotism and Don't Call Me Gaijin 馬鹿な愛国心と「外人」と言うな

It's stupid. And perhaps the horrible thing is, I know it's stupid.But I feel a twinge of pride when I see Canadian meat products for sale at Saty, the supermarket that I live beside. And I buy it. And I make yakisoba from it. And it is good.

馬 鹿だ。そして、一番悪い感じは、馬鹿だと知っている。しかし、僕が隣に住んでいるサティと呼ぶスーパーでカナダの肉の発売を見ると、なんか愛国の感じが 出る。そして買う。それからは焼きそばを作る。それで美味しい。By the way, I think the still-present self-sufficiency policy is stupid. By allowing in foreign food products, yes Japan's farmers will go bankrupt, but the consumer will save so much money that they can pour it into investments and make Sony and the electronics companies once again able to compete with impunity.

Oh wait, no, they would just spend it on Louis Vuitton bags and designer Playboy shirts for their kids. So all the extra cash would go to France and Hefner. Not that that's inherently a bad thing, just self-defeating.

I also found this candy for sale. But I suppose it really isn't candy. It must be the opposite of candy. この硬菓子も見つけた。でも実は硬菓子じゃないでしょうね。硬菓子の逆でしょう。
One thing that Japanese kids do, especially the younger ones, is mob you. Japanese children are by the by more physical, or perhaps they are simply allowed to act out natural physical instincts. In any case they are not deterred by someone such as me towering over them. They will swarm and fight over who gets to hold the white teacher's hand. These seven-year-old girls all went nuts when I took a picture of them. I also received a purikura from one girl that I randomly met in the grocery store. Japan's hope is its children - up until they hit junior high, it seems.

特 に若い日本人の子供達がする事は僕に流れ込む事だ。日本人の子供達が大体もっと肉体的に遊ぶ、それとも世界中の子供達の皆の自然的で肉体的な本能は社会に 許されている。取り合えず僕みたいな背が高い人が居ると全然困ってない。誰が白人の先生の手を握ると皆が群がって喧嘩する。この七歳の女子達が写真を撮る 時発狂した。後は偶然的にスーパーで会った女子の生徒からプリクラをもらった。日本の将来は子供達だーま、中学校に入る前に、かな。

After the merger, I've got some really crazy coworkers. One girl just says Iyeyeyeyeye whenever something goes wrong and the sound is hilarious. They will also insert English into their conversation for no reason. I learned a new word for stupid from them - あんぽんたん。


And now we come to the second half of this article - Don't Call Me Gaijin. The word gaijin is not used very much anymore, except by people who hear it for the first time. Gaikokujin is now the preferred word, but I don't like this either. Reinforces the in-out relationship that Japan has with the world. After all, in Canada you don't refer to non-Canadians as 'foreigners' all the damn time. Just "Chinese" or "Australian" or whatever. It would just lump everybody together into the same group when we are in fact all different. Still, as I said before you don't hear it much anymore. Actually, one day when I was at the School of No Discipline one girl said 'Whoa, a foreign teacher!' and another girl actually whapped her and said 'Don't say that, it's rude!' which made me rather happy. If I had a choice, I would like to be referred to as Canadian, or at least 'that white guy'. In my case, perhaps people should call me the Ketoujin, or Hairy Barbarian Foreigner.

よー し、只今よりこの記事の後半に着いたー「外人を言うな!」。「外人」はもうあまり聞かないけど、時々「外人」と 初めて聞く人がよく使うけどさ(僕も初 めて日本語を勉強する時は使っていた)。今は「外国人」が進まれているけどその名称もあまり好きじゃない。日本と世界の内・外関係を強化するだけだね。カ ナダで外国人をあまり「外国人」と名称しないでしょうね。ただ「中国人」か「オーストラリア人」とか。「外国人と言ったら皆が一つの団体に入るみたい;で も、皆は個人的に違う。ま、もう「外人」とあまり聞かないって言ったでしょう。実は無規律小学校に居る時、一人の女子が「あ!外人の先生を見て!」と言っ たけど、隣の女子小生が「何を言ってるの?失礼だよ!」と言ってから翌の子を打った!悪いけど僕はちょっと嬉しかった(笑)。選択が有れば、「カナダ人」 か「あの白人」と呼ばれて欲しいと思う。ま、僕の場合なら「毛唐人」は適当かな(笑)。

So what else is up? Well, the Minister for the Interior Asou Tarou said that Japan was made up of one people, one language, ein fuhrer. The Ainu, Zainichi Koreans, naturalized Japanese (i.e. Arudou Debito) don't count as 'real' Japanese, I guess.

I found this amusing story about a woman who brought her dog onto a subway in Korea, and it shit on the floor, and she didn't clean it up. Just got off at the next stop. The dog thing is prevalent in Japan too.

Got more to say, but it'll have to wait for another day! もっと言いたいけど他の日までお待ち下さい!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Paid for Nothing (maybe) 無目的で給料をもらう(かも)

So today and yesterday I was at the office. No school. Paid to go on the internet and study Japanese/Chinese. Paid for nothing.

Or was I?

The way I see it, it's kind of like management training. Pay the guy to improve himself and it's good for the company. In this case, by increasing my knowledge of Japanese (and I did some Chinese today too), it will eventually be good for Japan in terms of business/economy. I mean, I'm not going to learn languages so I can sit at home. Eventual translation/diplomacy, baby!

So anyway this is my wondrous office. Used to be an agricultural school. The stains from the old sign are still visible above the door.





I brought maple tea with me from Canada. It's actually good. カナダから楓茶を持ってきた。実際は美味しいよ。This was a pachinko parlour beside the highway. In the past week it has been reduced to rubble. Good! これは国道の隣のパチンコ屋だった。一週間の間だけに取り崩された。良かった!
I found a Mickey Mouse doll on the sidewalk on my way to the office yesterday. It must have fallen off some girl's bag. So, I picked it up, fixed the chain, and hung it on the bus stop in the hopes that the owner would see it ... so far, it's still there.  事務所に途中で行く時は歩道でミッキーの人形を見つけた。なんか或る女子の鞄から落ちちゃっただろう。で、僕がその人形を取って鉄鎖を直して持ち主が見 るためにバス停で貼った。でも、まだそこに懸かってある・・・If you recall, I live next to the loading dock of a supermarket. I was tempted to hijack this truck today. 僕がスーパーの隣に住んでいると忘れないでね。今日はこの自動車を盗もうかなと考えちゃった。
So anyway, I found a website that allows you to make church signs ... so I played around with it for a while. Enjoy! では、教会の看板を作るサイトを見つけた。よく遊んだのでどうぞご覧下さい!
And if you want to hear an awesome song, check out hitomi's new single, Japanese Girl, here. Hah, I wonder how long that'll stay up. By the way I saw hitomi in concert and she rocks. そして素晴らしい曲を聴きたかったら上のリンクをクリックして下さい。いつまで添付できるかな・・・あ、コンサートでhitomiを見たし彼女は最高だ。

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Onsen Trip 温泉の旅

So I finally got over my cold/tonsillitis on the weekend. And what happens? Well, one of the students - I'll call her Yamato Nadeshiko, because she acts incredibly traditionally Japanese, like in making food and cleaning up after men needlessly - says she's coming over on Sunday with her friend and they will do something with me. Fine. So they show up early in the morning, around ten - I wasn't even dressed or showered and the apartment was a mess, as usual - and we proceed to debate as to what we should do for the day. See a movie? Nah. How about New Zealand Village? Sorry, I didn't come all the way to Japan to see a New Zealand theme park. Well then, how about an onsen?

I can get behind that.

週 末はやっと風邪・扁桃腺炎が治した。それで何が送る?一人の生徒(とっても伝統的な日本人の女性の男性を世話する行動をするので大和撫子と呼ぼう)が日 曜日に僕のアパートに来て僕に何かをすると宣言した。いいんじゃん。それで、十時ごろ来ちゃって(まだシャワーを浴びてないし服着てなかった、そしてア パートも天災だった)今日はどうすると相談し始めた。映画を見る?断り。ニュージーランド村?すいませんが、ニュージーランドのテーマパークを見るために せっかく日本に来なかった。じゃあ、温泉は如何?


So off we went, driven by Tom the insurance guy, with Yamato Nadeshiko, Manga Girl, and Sexy Chibi in the back. Trouble is, since it was a holiday weekend (Sports Day), everyone else had the same idea and the road up the mountain was packed. What should have taken 45 minutes took 3 hours! When we finally arrived at the onsen the trip had been worth it, though. The water is naturally heated and the smell of sulphur is in the air (eggs). After leaving the onsen we all watched a movie at my apartment (The Fully Monty) after which everyone went home.
そ れで出発した。保険のトムが運転手、そして後ろに漫画女と大和撫子とちび魅力が座ってた。問題は、月曜日は体育の日だったので世界中も同じ考えがあった。 山頂行きの道は大変込んでいた。普通の45分が3時間掛かった。着くのはやっぱりよかったけど。お湯は自然的に温めてあるし空気の匂いは硫黄(卵)が強 かった。温泉を出てから皆が僕のアパートで映画(フール・モンティー)を見た。それで皆が帰った。

On Sunday I went out to a city called Kitakami about halfway between Ichinoseki and Morioka. On the way there I took some pictures that you may or may not find interesting ...

Here we have a bicycle parking lot. None of these in Canada I can assume. これは自転車の駐車所だ。カナダではないでしょう。

Good ol' kouban police boxes. They've taken to writing police in hiragana on the buildings in Ichinoseki. I guess there were too many strokes in the kanji so little kids couldn't find out where the police were. Police in Japan are useless though. I once saw a group of high school kids making fun of the police officers who just stood there and did nothing. I was actually worried about the guy!
あ、交番だ。何か一関で警察をひらがなで書いてあるそうだ。漢字の画数は多すぎ たので児童が警察はどこに居たか知らなかったのだろう。日本の警察は無理だ けどね。或る夜、僕は高校生の団が警察を馬鹿にしていたのを見た。そして警察さんが何もしなかった!ちょっと心配していたよ、実は!For some reason the bus centre here is inside Crayon, the cheap karaoke place. 変な理由で一関のバス情報中心はクレヨンという安いカラオケ屋の中にある。Ichinoseki is still in Japan though, which means there is a plethora of random hot girls. Exhibit A was just waiting at the station. 一関はまだ日本だからセクシーな女性が無闇に乱発する。こちらの別嬪がただ駅で待っていた。Of course, if you're going to wait by the station, the best place is the Three Heads, of some famous figures to come out of Ichinoseki. ま、駅で待ったら一番いい場所は一関の有名人の三頭だ。Need some money? Contact your local yakuza loan shark front company ... named Dick, for some reason. I might invest some money in the loan companies though ... with the interest they charge it's hard not to make some money off of them. お金欲しい?じゃ、近所やくざ組みのローン会社に連絡して。こっちの会社はディック(ちんちん)と呼ぶ。ローン会社にお金を投資するかな・・・ひどい利率 で僕は確かに将来に金返しがもらえると思う。うーんと誰かその意味がわかる?

So anyway in Kitakami I happened upon a rather large shrine. Very nice hand-washing area with the dragon. とにかく北上で結構大きなな神社を見つけた。龍があるやや綺麗な手洗い所だね。
How about an Evangelion pachinko unit? エヴァンゲリオンのパチンコ台は如何ですか?
What goes better with a movie than beer?
This morning I was at the School of No Discipline. Now that all the students know me it's actually gotten a bit better. I actually played outside with the kids for the first time in two weeks. The one place where discipline is like iron is at the morning assemblies, where the kids march out to music. Two extremes, perhaps?
今朝は無規律の学校に居た。生徒の殆ど皆が僕を知っているのでやや良くなったけどさ。実は今日二週間振りに外で生徒達と遊んだ。鉄みたい規律ある所は朝会 だけどね。子供が体育館を出る時はいつも音楽で更新する。二つの極かな?
I saw this at a Subaru dealership on the way home. High in iron, I suppose.