it's saturday...the first really gorgeous fresh-air day i've experienced since i arrived. i didn't have to put my air conditioner on last night, a cool almost dry breeze blew through the house this morning....ah, saturday. (but wait!) i'd say it's the perfect weekend to Go To Work! (hey, yeah! high five!) and what's worse, work was Sports Day. as the name suggests, it was an entire day devoted to sports. i'm an avid enthusiast of all things unrelated to sports, so i may have come across as a litte unenthused. but wasting time outside for eight hours was a change of pace from wasting eight hours inside. variety is the spice... did i mention i haven't done much in the last month?
the crowd was in a pretty good mood when the whole shebang started. (by the crowd i mean me.) after all, i got to see all the students, all the new faces of the people i'll be seeing every day this year. and it really was a spectacular day. i got a chair next to a bunch of empty chairs (they did fill up eventually) under a tent. there were parades, relay races, japanese hip-hop dances (my favorite), relay races, giant tug-of-wars (or is it tugs-of-war? another favorite), relay races, long long long stretches of time where they were setting up for something so i was bored out of my skull; and then what? another relay race! this made the crowd really crabby and gave her a sore arse for sitting so long.
this little baby kept me entertained for a good while, though. she actually knows how to bow her head in greeting when her mom prompts with "konnichiwa." amazing!
because the sandy expanse that is every school's "field" is so level and smooth (not a whisper of grass in sight), the kids often run in bare feet. a few kids did the usual awkward highschooler things: dropped the baton, tripped and had a humiliating spill into the dust... there were a few highlights, though. the cheering squad for one of the four teams was positively dramatic in flowing black and purple robes and ribbons (mostly guys, actually). their costumes were complete with some crazy native american headdress-style hair. they did a cheer where they moved their arms slowly up and down like big flying blackbirds, and it actually gave me chills. here's the ringleader:
i got a good chuckle out of this carefully-crafted home made shirt. because really, who doesn't love we?
and finally as i headed inside to get my stuff and book it home, i saw the Hummer of japan: Toyota Noah, because by comparison to the shoe-sized cars here, this truly is an ark.