Sunday, May 24, 2009

"He went out and hanged himself and then there were none..."

"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey... stuff.", The Doctor, Doctor Who, "Blink"

Yes, the H1N1 influenza is here, in Tokyo and yes, everybody wears masks. But now for something completely different.

Went birdwatching today in the Tokyo Harbor Wild Bird Park. For me, birdwatching shall forever be associated with Pokémon now, for not only is similar to Pokémon Snap, we actually went in a Pokémon Monorail to the park. The inside, the outside, it was all Pokémon. There was no escape possible from the cute critters. It was the best of times.

In the park, the critters of the flying type were to be found quite easily (and relatively comfortably, as you could sit in birdwatching cottages) and there was some kind of bird festival going on, which meant that besides the fanatic birdwatchers in full get-up, there were also lots of kids taking their first steps into the field, the kids who shall be the birdwatchers of tomorrow. Or something like that. We went back in the cute Pokémon Monorail.

Footnote: I am not turning into a birdwatcher.

Earlier this week, we went bowling with the group of salarymen who stayed at the same Weekly Mansion. They were pretty fanatic, with good scores. My group was just saved from the disgrace of being the ones with the lowest average score (as the losing team had to buy the winning team drinks), but it certainly wasn't thanks to me. Even calling out dramatic quotes like 『ジッチャンの名にかけて!』 before you throw won't help if you just suck at it. Afterwards, we went for food and drinks and learned me some Japanese drinking games which are oh-so useful when you don't drink.

After the salarymen-bowling-drinking-stuff, but before the Pokémon-birdwatching-stuff (everything gets kinda wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey when you're studying Classical Japanese), we went on an excursion to the Naganuma Language School. We are taught at the Japan-Netherlands Institute by teachers from Naganuma, but this time we went to the school itself, where we had a chance to chat with a class consisting of people from Taiwan, Korea, England etcetera about things and stuff. In Japanese.

Also participated in a shortened version of the Japanese tea ceremony. Something else that feels wibbly-wobbly are your feet when you've lost all feeling in them, because you're sitting too long in seiza, the proper sitting position. It is a nasty sensation, to be able to poke with all might in your feet and realizing you don't feel anything at all. Just wibbly-wobbly stuff.

In the not too distant future, we're going to pay a visit to a Nissan factory. And have a Classical Japanese exam. On the same day. Which should be kinda busy. Sometimes, a time travelling blue police box to change whatever you did wrong or to create more time for stuff can be so convenient...


"This is my timey-wimey detector. Goes 'ding' when there's stuff.", The Doctor, Doctor Who, "Blink"

Between said not too distant future and when I first made this post in the past, I also went to a soccer game in Saitama, the Urawa Red Diamonds vs. the Omiya Ardijya. Once again, I am not really a fan of the sport, and strangely enough, once again the last few years the most direct interaction I had with the sport was through detective fiction. And once again, I was amused.

This match was just like with the yakyuu game a derby and while the baseball fans were quite civil, the soccer fans, while certainly nowhere near European standards, were a lot more vocal about the other team. Insert orchestrated animation made with gigantic flags, people with flags who make motions of the stabbing kind towards the rival team and of course lots of yelling and singing. Too bad it ended in a draw, especially as the Urawa Reds had like 6 chances to break through the 1-1 score in the end. No sudden victories like the yakyuu game.

The game does raise the question of why-for-heavens-sake so many sport teams in Japan use anthromorphic squirrel-wannabees as their macottes. It's disturbing.

1 comment :

  1. this is a good read. just to let you know, i read your blog regularly. keep it up. -uncleStone