For Mondays session at Taiko I was 'upgraded' in a sense. That is, I was solely responsible for the beat drum. I suppose it wouldn't be a big deal if I'd been doing Taiko for longer, but with just a couple of months under my belt I'd like to think that quite respectable, nay, impressive. I've been a bassist for a long time now, and any decent bassist will tell you that you have to listen to your drummer! It was strange being relied upon for beat and timing after listening to someone else for so long. I have another performance next week, and then another in a couple of weeks. I know my group want me on one of the lead drums for the latter... I just hope I can get it downpat!
This Saturday being Halloween I decided to tell my eikaiwa group about the origins of Halloween and what westerners get up to around this date. Somehow we got onto the subject of idioms and proverbs, and I mentioned "the world is your oyster." Two of my group looked on fascinated, while the third let a puzzled look flash across her face before asking to "please explain." I tried to make it as easy as possible and said "it means you can go anywhere and do anything, there's nothing to stop you." Another puzzled look followed by "but an oyster cannot go anywhere." Haha! A wonderfully disarming response from a middle-aged Japanese woman.
Some weeks back I was interviewed and recorded for the local radio station. Today I was asked to write a self-introduction for the local newspaper. The guy from my yakuba took a picture of me, as photogenic as I am, and I proceeded to write a short piece about myself, why I came to Japan, and what my first impressions of it were (they always want to know that!). I'm now on the lookout for locals chortling on street corners, waving a photo of me in the air.
Tonight me and Marion drove north to Ina to check out a store that sells costumes. On Saturday we're having a Halloween party at Ben's place and we both were in need of inspiration. Marion found what she was looking for and so did I. It was a little more expensive than I would usually spend on a costume, and er... a lot tighter as well. But you'll have to see it to believe it.
Karate night! This evening we ran through the basic moves and the first level kata. I know it well now and will be going for my first grading in early December. This week we also ordered our gi's. It's a good job we don't wear footwear for it, I'd be reduced to plastic bags! My feet are a 30cm size, and the biggest (XXL / yeti) size here is 28. Ha!
Elementary school today. I'm freakin' knackered. Six lessons back to back of hyper kiddies! I introduced them to my handmade "Make-a-monster" game because it's Halloween tomorrow. Every class loved it, and the students were dragging me to their desks to make personal additions to their warped creations. I'm amazed the teachers also seemed to love it, and were 'ganbarimasu'ing to get theirs done before the end of the lesson. Awesome!
This evening I picked up a cover for the Japanese-style hot water bottle (essentially a big tin!) I found in my cupboard on Tuesday night, as well as 18 litres of kerosene for my heater, sold from the same pump I get my car fuel from. Crazy!
This week has been quite busy, and seemed to have lasted a long time too, but on the bright side my kanji count has just passed 100, I have a party tomorrow night, and next Tuesday we have a day off, so a few of us are heading to Matsumoto to do some christmas shopping! It's all go-go-go in J-land!