Monday, October 31, 2005

Kikai/Japan Idiosyncraszcies, Part Sheven

I just tried to post this and it got deleted. So you know I'm really happy to see that happen. And it totally RUINED a good day!!!!!

OK..., I'm over it.
Moving on, it's really nice weather now in Kikai. It has rained for two days but now it's partly cloudy and quite windy. I don't like wind very much but the temperature is very very nice. It's like in the low 70s.
Today I accompanied Aubrey to one of her schools, which is in the town on the farthest point on the island from our town. It takes about 40 minutes to get there on bus and so is a bothersome distance, but it's not like driving from Norman to Edmond, either in stress of driving, speed of vehicle, or straightness of road. We enjoyed the teaching and the kids, and the teacher is very nice. I think she wants me to come back next time Aubrey goes to that school. I don't know when that will be - she goes to something like 14 different schools in the course of about a month. And today the last class ended at 3:00 and we had been prepared to wait for the 4:10 bus but decided to try to make the 3:10 bus at the last moment so ran out to meet it. I guess it came early. So we waited an hour in the cold cold wind, watching some seasoned citizens play GateBall, which is a cross between mini golf, croquet, and the French-seasoned-citizen game called petanque. The wind gets really strong here sometimes and we were really glad when the bus came!

In Kikai, there is no Halloween, which gladdens our hearts. Why? We think Halloween is creepy and annoying.

In Kikai, there is no football, which saddens our hearts (or, more specifically, my heart; I don't think Aubrey really cares).

But in Kikai, there do be idiosyncraszcies. Here's another one:

-When we're on the streets, lots of people look at us for a good long time. I'm OK w/ it and Aubrey is slowly getting accustomed to it. Whenever we encounter a Jr. High or High School student, they almost invariably say, "Herro." I like it and respond w/ "Hello" about half the time and the appropriate Japanese greeting of "Ohayo gozaimasu" or "Konnichi wa" the other half the time. When I go to the high school to play ping pong (twice a week at about 4:30 pm) I always see HS students hanging out. They are always delighted to see me and yell, "Herro. How ahr you?" And I say, "I'm fine. How are you?" And they say (often in unison), "I'm fine, thank you!" Lately we've been trying to ask them tougher questions so as to stretch them - questions like "How was your lunch?" or "What are you doing today after school?" It's pretty fun actually. And it's a whole lot better than them throwing things at me, ignoring me, or beating me up and stealing my cell phone and wallet.

On that note, I bid you all ja mata.

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