Thursday, October 06, 2005

Kikai/Japan Idiosyncrascies, Part Yon (4)

It's another pretty warm and humid day in Kikai. I jogged this morning at 6:30 am and it was nice - very pretty outside, fairly cool, pretty quiet. Except the cicadas here are LOUD. Sometimes in OK, they can be hurt-your-ears loud, yes. But it's rare. Here it's most places. I really don't like it and hope it will fade as the weather gets cooler - they get on my nerves. And I can never see them in the trees so as to chuck a rock at 'em. If I could...well, there'd be like 6 fewer cicadas on this island, lemme tell ya!
So we're pretty sore - we've been pretty active this week, including biking 1.5 hours on Tuesday and swimming at a hidden swimming cove (which was pretty cool, truly) and last night we played badminton w/ other teachers at the Kikai High School. That was fun, but today my right hand is complaining. Later today I'm going to this little-kid English time playtime w/ the other American on the island, so as to meet more people and maybe advertise my English classes. Funny that there was supposed to be a lot of demand for that, and I've heard like two people express interest to me and NOone has called me about it, even though I'm easily contacted. Truth be told, I'm not too broken up about it, though - it's less important to me than it was before. Extra yen are always nice, but I'm not too concerned about it.
Aubrey says the goatee has to go before her birthday, which is 09 Nov. Too bad - this'll be the longest I've ever had it. I trimmed it the day after she told me this, but it didn't change her mind. :-D Oh well. It will be strange for the people here, since they've only ever seen me w/ a big ol' dead animal on my chin; what will they think when I'm a clean-shaven man?

OK, latest in our idiosyncrascies log is this:
-I guess this happens everywhere, but this is the 1st place I've ever lived where I didn't speak the language well when I arrived. It has been and remains clear to anyone that I barely speak Japanese. If my red goatee and Western dress doesn't give it away, my blank expressions and apologetic shrugs and smiles should do the trick. Yet there are some people who just like to talk to me. Doesn't matter whether I get it or not - they just keep talking and then hesitating as if to invite me to respond. A perfect example is the wife of the pastor of the only Protestant church (it's a liberal one, at that; more's the pity!) on the island. Twice I was w/ her alone for at least 5 minutes (at the airport, while waiting for friends to fly in) and she talked my ear off, smiling and carrying on, apparently hoping against hope that I would hold up my end of the conversation. Um, sorry, "Wakanai." ("Wakanai" means "I don't understand.")

Last thing - my dad and I are gonna try setting up a video conference for the OU-saxeT game so that I can kinda catch the view of the TV. Don't know if it'll work, but I'm getting up at like 3 am (here) to try it out. I'll tell you how it goes. If nothing else, I'll just stream the radio commentary audio.


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