Thursday, August 31, 2006

let's sports together pink

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.


  1. It's Rufio!

    - Josh

  2. Josh, you ROCK. i thought he looked like Rufio too!!!! i guess i can always depend on you to catch those little important things.

  3. It would have been even more fun if I were there because I could start singing that chant that the Lost Boys do, but it would be in English and he would be all confused. And then we could dance around him and crow. And then I'd get kicked out of Japan.

    - Josh again.

  4. Catch you on email; like that your blog site is in your signature green with orange touches--makes me miss the apt on 7th! and having tea with you. A baby who already knows how to bow when 'konnichiwa' is spoken to it is ahead of where I had my kids at that age. She, Rufio and the astounding fireworks are especially memorable. kath

  5. Lauren: What's the rest of the story? You have us hanging on every word -- keen to vicariously share you observations! As I may have told you, when we were expats in Melbourne, initially the sensory input overwhelmed me to the point that I could not read through a one page letter without a break. Its good to hear your sense of humor is intact, it will serve you well on this adventure. Vaya con Dios, bob