Friday, March 13, 2009

Goodbye Mr. Chips (and beans)

It was a sad day today over at Japanese Confetti, as both Sally and I said goodbye to students that we've taught for the full two years we've been in Japan. It wasn't the last scheduled lesson, but the end of the school year is playing havoc with attendance, and so a lot of students won't be able to make the last class. And thus it was I said goodbye to Yuki*, the second student I ever taught, and the first student of mine who didn't run screaming into a pile of cushions upon seeing me.

Yuki was a curious little fellow; his mother used to dress him up like a preppy extra from a Wes Anderson movie, which, coupled with his round face and old man haircut, lent him a certain gravitas not usually associated with a seven year old child. A gravitas that was all but destroyed the first time he let rip with the ripest, most evil smelling fart this side of a field full of dying cows. Usually Yuki, adhering to the universal principle of 'The next person who speaks is the person who reeks'** would keep silent about his many downstairs explosions. However, sensing that my time in Japan was short, he decided to up the ante last week by turning around and deliberately cutting the cheese into my face. I didn't know whether to stand and applaud or break every bone in his tiny body, so I settled for bashing him over the head with a cushion.

Thus begins two weeks of having my heart broken again and again by a bunch of snotty nosed germ factories in gumboots and silly yellow hats. Sad frowny face goes here ---->.

*Not his real name, because his real name is too hilarious and you'd think I was making it up.
**Japanese translation would be appreciated.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

A Newborn Pony

Imagine for a second (as I'm sure we all have) that you're Hugh Jackman. Internationally acclaimed song and dance man, loved by women and admired by men. You're on the final leg of a seemingly interminable press junket, only interrupted by the sudden urge to host the Oscars. The movie you're promoting is... less than admirable. Scratch that. It's terrible. Waterworld terrible. You're tired of having to pretend that Nicole Kidman is human, and that Baz Luhrmann didn't eat a big box of ritalin before forcing a Mills and Boone novel to rape the cinematographer before shooting started every morning. All you want is a few softball questions and a polite round of applause. And then you find yourself on Japanese TV...

And the next thing you know you're shouting BIG TITS whilst shortly after the doyen of Japanese comedy pretends to be a newborn foal. Japan, we've had our differences but I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. HUUUUUGGGGGGSSSSS!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thomas the Offroad Tank Engine

I'm not sure how much you remember about your kindergarten days. All I can remember is that for some reason I went to two kindys, possibly because I was expelled from the first, and that one of them had a splintery old row boat in the playground (The USS 'lawsuit waiting to happen'). We certainly never had anything as cool as this:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I'll get back to you on that one.

Discussing the floods in Queensland with some students.

Me: In fact, a boy was eaten by a crocodile.
Confused Student: Was it...delicious?

Oh the perils of the passive voice.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

We're baaaaaack!

Well, after almost two years in Japan and a lengthy blog hiatus, I've now saved up enough 'insights' for 61 blog posts, a tell all novel and a poorly conceived and shoddily acted sitcom starring former wonder years teen hearthrob Fred Savage. Coincidentally, we have 61 days left in Japan.

So to kickstart things, here's yet another in the seemingly endless parade of impossible to understand Japanese commercials.

This is an ad for 豆しば (mameshiba), which are these adorable keychain type things which are basically fake edomame bean thingo's, the catch being when you squeeze the bean out, it has an adorable little puppy dog face. How cute, warm fuzzy rainbow hug squadron etc. So what the Dickens is the caper with this ad? Here's my (possibly wrong) transcript:

Cute Puppy Bean: nyyuuuuuunnn!
Salaryman: Eh?
Cute Puppy Bean: Did you know?
Salaryman: Eh? What is it?
Cute Puppy Bean: The inside of a Kangaroo's pouch is reallllllly stinky.
*Salaryman's soul leaves his body*
Salaryman: Thankyou for the delicious meal.#

If you're like me, your face probably looked a bit like this -----> ???! at the end of the ad. I think the prospect of walking the earth as some kind of soulless kafkaesque drone is not what I'd be hoping for after an encounter with a cute little talking bean.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A visit to the doctor

It seems that all I write about on this blog are my doctors' visits. This is probably because other daily experiences that I could write about have all begun to feel 'normal', but going to the doctor here is still pretty strange to me.

I have had a cold or something for a few days, especially a sore throat, so I thought I'd better get it checked out in case it was tonsillitis or something. I decided not to bother with finding an English speaking doctor and just go to the closest medical centre (about 5 mins walk from my apartment).

When I got there the nurse asked lots of questions about symptoms and stuff (which I managed to get through in Japanese with no problem), and she took my temperature and I had to give a urine sample. The doctor could speak a little English. He looked down my throat, and listened to my breathing and said that I had an infection or influenza (I'm not sure which he said) and that I should take antibiotics for 5 days. They then sent me into another room and put some kind of inhaler into my mouth for 3 mins and then up my nose for 3 mins. I had no idea what it was, but I think it was just moist warm air. When I asked what it was, the nurses answered 吸入(kyuunyuu) , which means "inhaler", not very helpful. When I got home I looked up on the internet and it appears that no studies have been able to show any benefits of inhaling steam. Oh well.

So I paid about A$15 and got a paper bag full of drugs. They are colour coded for when I have to take them. I have to take them for 5 days, and there are SIX different kinds of tablet. I have to take 2 kinds of tablet twice a day and 4 kinds of tablet 3 times a day. It was just like getting a showbag. Anyway, I am feeling a little better now, so I'll try and go to work tomorrow.