Since I can't understand Japanese, most shows I see on TV over here are pretty boring. The only thing that ever seems to be on is the news, cooking shows, traditional cultural stuff or large panel talk shows. I doubt most of these shows would be any more interesting even if I could understand them. The show I'm watching right now however requires no knowledge of Japanese to appreciate. It took me over a year but finally I found something worth watching... late night girly shows! I don't know why I never noticed these great shows before tonight. I guess I always just assumed that they were only for those lucky enough to get more than 5 channels on their TV. Right now a bunch of bikini clad girls are duking it out in various competitions, all of witch seem to involve rolling around on the ground and tearing at clothing. There are two teams, one with orange covering their eyes and the other with purple. Whenever someone wins a fight, they then get the chance to throw a pie in the face of the loser. Really classy stuff. The girls seem to be uncharacteristically mean to one another too. Something I've never seen on Japanese TV where everyone always seems to be super happy, polite and friendly to each other. I hope this isn't the last time I find great shows like this on my TV. I'll definately tune in past midnight more often now.
I was against that whole Iraq war thing until now. Mc Donald's in Iraq... or at least a cheap rip-off anyway. Kind of reminds me of Mc Dowell's in the Eddie Murphy classic 'Coming to America'.
Speaking of the golden arches, I was able to enjoy a nice and tastey Big Mac Seto today in Misawa City. This Mc Donald's is great because all the staff are fluent English speakers. Pretty much anyone in Misawa that works customer service needs to be bilingual since a good chunk the town's population is made up of U.S. Air Force soldiers and their illegitimate offspring. I was in town to check out the annual air show (and fast food) at the military base. The show sucked this year because low clouds prevented almost any planes from flying. The Blue Impulse (Japan's Snowbirds/Blue Angels) did all their formation flying on the ground aboard their cute little jet shaped scooter bikes. There were lots of semi-interesting static ground displays, including a big cargo plane you could go inside just like the ones you see on TV that they use to cart dead soldiers back from Iraq in. There was also lots of chances to dress up in military gear and play soldier. The best part was when I got to see a small 6 year old kid in full army gear learn how to shoot a Stinger surface to air missile. As we were leaving some jets finally took off (the flying kind, not the binge drinking kind). Kind of a final "F You" to the departing crowds I guess. Still, God Bless the U.S. military for making the world safe for fast food!
Who are the Ventures you may ask? You mean you don't know? Well according to their website:
During the 60's, the Ventures outsold the Beatles in Japan 2 to 1! They, more than anyone else, are America's ambassadors of Rock and Roll to the non-English speaking world.
Yup, and they are coming to Rokkasho September 7th. Just a stone's throw from Noheji. I can hardly wait! They are sure to beat the pants off that fake surfer band we saw playing in Onoe a few weeks ago. For now I'll have to settle for this video of them performing live. Now I can only hope and pray for the day that someday Alyssa Milano makes her way back to Japan.
I've been trying to get to the bottom of this whole Playstation BB pay to play online service David mentioned in the comments section before. Since I can't read Japanese, finding out more information from official sources is pretty hard. Using Altavista's Babelfish translation service only gives me 'Engrish' text that is even harder to understand than what my students normally create. After much searching I came upon this blog entry that answered many of my questions. I'm still a little confused though. Is it only new games that are pay to play? For instance, if I had Tony Hawk Underground would I be able to play that online for free? I bought a crapy old 500 yen driving game called Auto Modellista which is supposed to work online. When I try to play a network game however it doesn't work. Since all the menus are in Japanese I haven't been able to decipher any clues as to why. If anyone reading knows anything about what games are pay to play and what games are free (if any) on the Japanese PS2, then I'd love to know!
So today one of my JTE's jumped a class on me out of the blue. Luckily it was a small class of 9 girls, and I had something ready just in case of such an emergency.. Scrabble! I probably wouldn't have even thought of it, but Hugh has frequently told me about the magic of Scrabble and now I know why. The best part of class was when I learned a very important new Japanese word... chikubi, or teat! I explained to the girls the Japanese meaning of the word they just used to get a triple word score by looking it up in my trusty dictionary. They all had a good laugh and then some of them started poking at their boobs yelling 'Teats! Teats!'. Fun was had by all. Especially me.
Here's an interesting article I found that does a good job summarizing the state of English education in this country. My favorite line:
'It would also be nice if we have competent teachers, not like those JET teachers or part-time housewives who come and teach English for 45 minutes once every month.'
Thank God there aren't enough competent teachers or I would be out of a job. Nothing like getting paid to be on holiday! Doin' a third year keeps sounding better and better.
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