Long time no see sports fans!! Not that I can see you now, nor do I assume that all of you are true fans of sport, or think that you come here to satisfy that particular interest. However just in case you have come here looking for some sport here you go:
As usual there hasn’t been much noteworthy activity in the life of the young man known as Gary Furlong. My shoulder is getting better but still has a bit to go before I can begin the second leg of “The Road to Awesome” BUT I weighed myself this morning and I am a full kg lighter. You are now looking at the mean, lean 106kg Gary version 2.0. So I have 3kg to go before I lose the target 10kg after which I shall have to lose another 10kg to achieve “Awesome” in the category of “Iron”. I am currently at the level of Awesome but in the category of Jelly so not really much to shout about.
- Awesome!! In the category of Jelly.
And now for something completely different.
I mentioned monkeys in the title of this wee blog and there is a reason for that. At one of my 保育園 (kindergarden) there is a wee child who we shall call Barry. Barry is a 4 year old Japanese boy with more energy than 4 bottles of Coke at a Red Bull party. He often likes to climb up the side of the slide and swing with one arm over to the frame and attach himself. While many of the other children can do this also, he just has more grace than them, so much so that he kind of moves like a monkey. So the other day I was watching him just dangling one-armed from the side of the slide and said “Barry you are a monkey” to which he replied “I am not a monkey” and that was that….or was it. A few minutes later he was slipping down the slide and as he got half way down he shouted “MONKEY” and jumped from the slide onto me and started hanging off me. I tried to protest by telling him I was not a tree but his comeback was so solid, so witty and concise that I had no choice but to yield: “You ARE a tree!!”, and so I became a tree. This of course was seen by the other children who also wanted to jump off the slid onto the “Tree”. But I knew how to stop it, I would simply stand just beyond their jumping distance and fear would deter them, mwhahahaha..huh? Barry stood defiantly on the slide, he was looking at me, he was smiling and he was poised to jump. No fear crossed his face, I had challenged him and he was not going to back down. Suddenly I was the one filled with fear, and a little curiosity, could he jump that distance? I didn’t wait to find out, I took a step forward and became the tree again. I had lost and Barry and co deserved their tree for a little while at least.
For some reason WordPress has decided that I have to write with a centre alignment for the rest of this post…I’m not sure why but there are many others in the world with more difficult life situations that this so I SUPPOSE I will just have to live with it and not complain!!!
Ok, another slightly funny story has sprouted from the comings and goings of that same kindergarden. Children are animals of instinct, if they want something and don’t think they will get it, they cry. If they like something they will laugh and spit and smack it to death with joy. And if someone is nasty to them they will hit. We tell them not to but is that always right? Children can be shitheads too and I will agree that it is not right for us adults to unleash the smackdown upon them, but can they not discipline each other? If one child has wronged another in a “He really deserves a box for that” offence, should the other child not be allowed to administer said box, the offending child will not repeat the offence and we can take that other child aside later and say “Don’t hit….but well done!”.
So, two of the little ones whom we shall call James and Frank were running around playing and having a lovely time, James had his frying pan and Frank thought a spot on the floor was particularly engaging. As if at once they both thought: “I should very much like to go on the slide” and to the slide they went. I must tell you that for some reason there was a large plastic play block thing, big enough for the littluns to climb on, in front of the slide. James reached the block first, followed immediately by Frank. They jostled a little, James used his head start well and won. As he began to climb onto the block Frank gave him a smack on the back. At this point James reacted in the same that way any person (wielding a frying pan) would react when struck by another. He raised the frying pan over his head and began to turn to face Frank and had he not been thwarted by one of the teachers this story would have been far funnier/tragic.
And now for your entertainment, the alternate ending to that story:
At this point James reacted in the same that way any person (wielding a frying pan) would react when struck by another. He raised the frying pan over his head, began to turn to face Frank and brought it down hard upon his head. Frank, momentarily dazed, watched as James climbed triumphantly up the ladder, this was not over. James reached the top of the slide, thoroughly looking forward to his slippy adventure when all of a sudden, as if out of nowhere, Barry appeared . Swinging from the chandelier he kicked James full in the chest sending him tumbling down the stair ladder. The room was spinning but thought the chaos James saw one thing that sent a wave of fear through him. Frank was standing on the plastic block thing, his faced etched with a mixture of anger and malevolent joy, brandishing what looked like a large doll in his hands. The realisation hit James like a brick to the face. Frank was not holding a doll, he had his hands gripped firmly around the sinuous, monkey ankles of…Barry, and he began to spin. All James could see now was a blur, a death helicopter made of children and he was flying right toward it. Before he knew what was happening he felt something grip his ankles and he began to spin violently. It was over in an instant, James felt the grip loosen and he was airborne, he was weightless, for the briefest moment he felt blissful, then he landed….in a “tree”. I extracted James from my face and set him down. I would have asked if he was ok but he had picked up a piece of lego and started running around aimlessly as if nothing had happened. Just before I left the kindergarden that day I walked over to Barry and Frank and said:
“Don’t hit!!!!……but well done!”
Japanese phone langauge.
This is another thing I find strange about the Japanese language and people. I wouldn’t like you to think that I am bad mouthing Japanese culture but there are two aspects of Japanese phone conversation that don’t really enter into normal, everyday, person to person speech. I’m sure we have similar oddities when we make phone calls. Irish people have the “Goodbye Olympics” at the end of most calls. Nobody knows how many times to say goodbye or if they should be the last person to say goodbye and so it turns into both parties saying “Bye, bye, byebye, byebeybebyebybebebbebbebybybebye. ” I do this too and so I do not find it strange at all but I’m sure others might. There, we have established once again that I am not a big flaming racist. And now onto the scathing remarks about another culture!!! So, when most Japanese people are on the phone they start to accentuate their ‘u’s. This may sound strange but in Japanese (I’m pretty sure) all verbs end in some form of ‘u’ sound. Being in the office means that they will have to be polite and so will end most calls with the phrase ありがとうございます (arigatou gozaimasu) <— see that ‘su’ at the end. When they say this they take that ‘su’ and the turn it into a ‘suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu’. So, what usually sounds like ‘arigatou gozaimas’ turns into ‘arigatou gozaima-Suuuuuuuuuuu’ and so does every other word that ends with ‘su’. I had never heard this before coming to Itoigawa and I found it odd.
The second thing I found odd I think is true of most cultures. When plodding along in the conversation, the person who has been called, just to let the other party know they are still there, will grunt and ‘mmmm’ along and that will be that. Each Japanese person has their own way of doing this. One person I have heard did it by saying “Yes, yes, yes” over and over and over again. That kind of repetitive yessing can get grating but it is the women who win this round. I have heard many who literally moan on the phone. There will be a long ‘mmmmmm’ followed by a few shorter ‘mm’, ‘mm’, ‘mm’s which makes it sound like they are having mildly interesting, but not very enjoyable sex. This is not true of all of them of course but it happens. I once heard a person speaking Italian on the phone and she just kept saying “Si, si ,si”, I felt like going up to her and shouting “SI SI SI SI SI” in her face. I did not.
These guys are great, so if you ignore the really out-of-place song you might enjoy this video. But the creed song has made me want to see this video again because it is very true!!
Ps: Did you notice the new placment of the pictures in this post? Eh? Hmm? I just realised you could do that today. Feels good.