thanks to diminishing inseam lengths of jeans and the ineffectiveness of belts on such styles, i realized i have unconsciously divided my pants into sitting pants and standing pants. sitting pants are safe for work and crouching on tatami, standing pants are hot but must be rocked on foot, only on foot. japan is not cool with errant panty bands. side note: the pendulum swings both ways, though, as high-waisted jeans are once again gaining popularity in japan. horrors!
friday was the yearly school barbecue under the cherry blossoms, and i decided i needed to go home and change my jeans unless i wanted to reveal to my new colleagues the plunging curve of my bottom cleavage. not exactly the first impression i wanted to make. since the young teachers i know well are gone to different schools, i was feeling a bit dejected and socially awkward as i tried to find a ride. i felt like such a burden, and i thought several times of just skipping it altogether.
but......last year it was so rad! it's hard to make a barbecue formal, so everyone was really relaxed (read:drunk) and you know, people are much more likely to tell you their secrets under a dark sky. whose secrets could i learn this year? so i bit the bullet and boarded the party bus. i mean, literally, i got on the bus bound for the party. i went straight to the back and met a young newbie named kino. i know many kind and generous japanese folks who would walk a mile to do you a favor, but i would still not describe most of them as warm. kino is warm. his lack of aversion to sitting next to me (and touching me) was truly unique. it was like his third day in town, and he went to great lengths to make me, a perfect stranger, comfortable.
much to my disgruntlement, i ended up at the same grill as mr. wisteria. i prepared myself to be actively ignored, but, what's this? he's looking right at me! i only had to wait four months for him to get drunk enough to talk to me again. in short, we really have good times when we have times at all. he told me he learned the word "yummy" from sesame street! this guy is like 34 years old, and he remembers learning english from sesame street? did they air sesame street in japan? the mystery of mr. wisteria grows and grows. he even told me his favorite character was big bird! ~_~
i stand corrected, apparently sesame (whoa! i keep typing "sexame") street has been in japan three decades. i found this tidbit particularly amusing, "A few established Sesame Street characters also appear in new segments, most notably Elmo, who in the Japanese series has a propensity to cry and is used heavily to deal with emotional issues." hahaha! no, Tickle Me Elmo here! it's Wet Blanket Elmo for japan.
anyway, i romped around with all my new friends, lit with glee that i finally got to talk to mr. wisteria again. maybe, just maybe, we can manage to talk again without beer or awkwardness. the party adjourned, i got back on the party bus, and we headed back to school. i followed kino to his friend's house where the guys argued over who was the most sukebei (lewd) and hentai (perverted). haha...just like last year. after a consultation with my electronic dictionary, mr. templetail told me that the girl sitting next to me had "big boobs." i couldn't resist; i taught him to say "nice rack!" i know, i'm sorry everyone. i could have taught him to say something respectful, but it was just so damn funny to hear him chirp "nice rack!" over and over again.