As promised, its time for me to post up some more pictures. I reached 25% of my goal, so I’ll put up 30% or so of the pictures I was planning to post. But these are some of my favorite pictures though, so quality over quantity.
Usually, these posts have pictures of something zany, wacky, or just flat-out weird. And while pictures are good for illustrating the things that we’re lost for words to describe, I also like pictures because of the moment in time that they capture. Memories may get clouded and fade over time, but a picture lasts for as long as you have it.
So this picture post will just be some random snapshots from my first 3 years here. Nothing featuring sea algae with boners or dogs pointing their anuses at the camera, just scenes from my everyday life. If you are looking for the zaniness, now would be a good time to stop reading. Or, at least skip to the very end or something.
I arrived in Japan August 2003. School didn’t start until September, so that left one whole month before I “officially” became a Japanese school teacher. In that time, I worked at the Board of Education, mostly e-mailing friends about how hot Japan was. But one day, the BOE asked me to go to a Children’s Festival our city was having. After all, part of my job was public-relations and interacting with kids, so it made sense.
Unfortunately, they didn’t have any specific duties outlined for me, and as I was fresh off the plane (and even better yet, fresh off the graduation stage!) I really had no idea what to do; I spent most of my time finding isolated places to sleep off my jet lag. I did walk around from time to time, and did actually speak to some kids, such as the ones pictured here.
Just Hangin’ Out
They introduced themselves using perverted names such as “Mr. Cream”, “Mr. Condom”, and “Mr. Sex”; their English pronunciation was so bad, that I actually had no idea what they were saying, or why they were laughing so hard when I repeated their names. Only when one boy used a dirty name in Japanese did I catch on to what they were doing.
Sadly enough, these boys would go on to be the infamous bastards of the Ghetto School, going from mildly annoying in their first year, to dangerously violent by the time they graduated. The one on my immediate left I don’t believe actually finished school at all.
The boy on the far left, however, actually cleaned up his act in the third year, and became a good student. The third year was kind of a mess – a lot of previously good boys had given up on studying and joined the bad boys in not giving a fuck, but this one boy went from bad to good. I really respected him for that, and made sure to help him out whenever I could.
Well, its been awhile, but I’m going to have to dust off the “Japan’s weird, did you know that?” file. Not that the insanity ever stops, mind you, but at some point you just get accustomed to it. Like, it happens and you’re just like “eh, been there done that”. The bar is effectively raised, so it will take some awesomely jaw-dropping shit to really make you pause and go “wow…that’s fucked up”.
So I was dragged shopping somewhere again by my wife. But it was okay this time – my brother-in-law was also there, and despite being male he actually LIKES shopping. So the wife was able to get the male input of “oh, that’s cute!” or “I don’t think that suits you” that she desperately craves for* without having to torture me to do it. Given a stay of execution, I was allowed to go off and sit down wherever I should find a place to sit.
*Despite wanting to drag me along shopping and ask my opinion on stuff, when I do give an opinion she never listens to me. I think I’ve ranted about this before though.
I wandered off and eventually found a bench in what appeared to be a kids section. In front of the bench were those dispenser machines that spit out some cheap $1 toy in a bubble. At first I didn’t really pay attention to them. It was your standard fare – Gundam, something with little girls who have oversized breasts and magical powers, and I dunno, maybe something Disney.
However, I happened to be sitting right in front of a rather peculiar one. It struck me as odd at first, because the animation was so…well…simple. Just this green-pea-looking dude among all the Gundams and lolita bishoujos. It looked like something any 5-year old could draw.
But upon closer inspection, I found that this was peculiar for an entirely different reason. Haven’t figured it out yet? Well here, take a closer look.