A Picture’s Worth Ver. 5.0
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.
Ho Ho Ho!
Me dressed up as Santa Claus for the School of Peace’s English club. I don’t know how or why this came about, but there I am in a Santa suit.
Yes, the Santa suit was bought in Japan. I can’t buy ordinary clothes here but I can find a Santa suit that I can comfortably wear. Go figure. And yes, this is the Santa suit that I was jump-kicked in (was it the same day as the picture? Could have been, don’t remember…).
And as this is the English Club at the School of Peace…yes…Ultimate Sweetness is in the picture. I’m not telling which one though.
Just Hangin’ Out 2
Just me hanging out with some Ghetto School boys. The boy in the center is the Original Cherry Boy, the one who ranted about cheating girls, and then who I found later with a radically different appearance, and dating another “dangerous girl” if for no other reason than “she puts out a lot”. Ah, are we men doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again?
I like this picture because it captures Cherry Boy before he went all sex-crazed yankee on me.
No More Homework…
This is one of the sannensei classrooms at the School of Peace. I think I took this picture the last day of class before some vacation – most kids had already gone home, and I just wandered around the school with my camera trying to perserve some memories. Nothing special about this pic, its just an ordinary classroom.
No Stars or Stripes
The Japanese flag that flew outside at the School of Peace. As the teacher’s room was on the second floor, and my desk was next to the window, looking to my left gave me a pretty good view of it.
I was at my desk one day staring thoughtlessly out of the window, and as I looked at the flag that’s when it hit me – “That’s not an American flag. …That’s a Japanese flag. I’m living in Japan!”
…Ok, yeah, no duh, right? You’d think the millions of Japanese people walking around, lack of crime, abundance of mayonaisse as a condiment, and overall general insanity would have tipped me off sooner than that, right? Its hard to explain, but while I knew I’d packed up my entire life to go live in a foreign country, it never really hit me until then. When one arrives here, we go through a flurry of activity – the first year is mostly just fun, as we experience all sorts of new things for the first time, meet new people, and are generally just overwhelmed by how different things are. We start to settle in during the second year, and here is where many people become very negative about the country and/or people. I’d gone through the roller coaster of emotions, and sitting there that day it just hit me – I’m not in Kansas anymore, Toto.
And man, that was a whole 4 years ago now.
I can only wonder how living here so long has fucked me up. Like, when I go back to America, am I going to have a day where I see something blatantly American and think “Wow…I’m not in Japan anymore!”
…I’m hoping that whatever that trigger is, it involves a nice pair of D-cup breasts in some way or another.
A class of ninensei at Watson’s school. I’d told them to go line up for a picture, and they did what preteen girls and boys do best – neatly segregrate themselves by sex, leaving a fairly impressive gulf in the center. Because, y’know, girls have cooties and boys are yucky and stuff.
I have to point out that this is Watson’s school…because had it been the Ghetto School, we probably might not have been able to separate the boys and girls long enough to take a picture.
Some kids outside engaging in afterschool clubs. I like this picture, because to the far left and far right are perfect examples of how the teachers instructed the clubs – “yeah yeah, do whatever, I’m just gonna chill out here and wish I could go home.”
Maybe it would have been better if they’d, I dunno, let the teachers pick the clubs they had to supervise, rather than assigning them by Quija board or whatever random-as-fuck selection process they used. More often than not, the teacher had no idea about the sport they’d suddenly become responsible for teaching to a group of 10-20 kids.
The notable exception is, of course, Noisy Fucker. I don’t know if he even liked tennis, but God forbid he pass up a chance to talk, into a bullhorn much less! Talking to students, I found that most women (girl students and teachers alike) passionately disliked him…but the boys loved him. Its the whole “we’re getting our asses kicked…but we love it!” Japanese mentality thing. I don’t understand it, never will.
A sneak-peek at the teacher’s room of Watson’s school. My desk was at the front, which is in the background of the picture. My chair has a backpack in it, and is partially obsecured by the female teacher with pigtails’s head.
If you may recall, I hated that desk. Being up-front-and-center made it impossible to sleep, and I spent almost my entire time next to Noisy Fucker. For that reason, if possible I usually left my desk and wandered around the school. Which is usually when I caught the students at their most candid moments, so I guess some good came from it.
In the background and to the far left is the secretary teacher, who somehow managed to forget every freakin’ week that I was allergic to fish. Every week. I mean, I could understand forgetting a few times, or maybe over the course of a few months or something…but I worked there for three years.
So glad she never invited me out for dinner or anything like that.
This is one of my favorite pictures. The guy in the center on the bench all by himself is one of my good friends. Gaijin, in case you can’t tell by the pic. So, the pic can be highly symbolic of the isolation and lonliness that we Gaijin can feel at times here in Japan. That, or LOLZ GAIJIN PERIMITER HAHA!!11
Also, his entire posture just screams out “HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN TO MEEEEEEE?”
Okay, maybe just a little wackiness to close off the post.
The following screens are taken from my new favorite game, Street Fighter IV. They have not been altered in any way – these poses/faces actually happen in-game. When playing, you wouldn’t really notice it, but when captured in a photo…well…see for yourself.
This would win the “Greatest Facial Expression Ever” award…
…If not for this pic.
I can’t stop laughing at it.
I showed it to my wife, who not only found it as humorous as I did, but said “It looks like his face is saying “Huh? Is it in yet?”” …And that’s why I married her, folks. A woman without a good sense of humor is just not worth my time, and my wife is golden.
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