Thus Spaketh Takinobori Man.

I never read Nietzsche's, 'Thus Spaketh Zarathustra', but I appreciate the inspiration it has given me for titling this blog entry.

Anyway, today at the elementary school in Nanayama was fun. We had no classes. We went out to the sports field or playground or whatever you call those things nowadays where there was a bunch of ceremonial blah blah blah before we walked up the path next to the river and our world-famous waterfall. After that, everyone ate, the kids and teachers played this and that, and the kids were dismissed.

While I have nothing interesting to say about the above, the walk did remind me of the same walk we at the elementary school took two years ago. I had a conversation with the vice-principal then that stands to this day as a good benchmark against which I can measure the (admittedly limited) progress I have made since then with the Japanese language.

We were in the early stages of our climb when the vice-principal asked me whether I ever had difficulty finding clothes that fit me in Japan. Indeed, I did and do. At five feet, eight inches tall, I am most definitely shorter than the average Western male. For my height, though, I am somewhat thicker than average around the upper back and the shoulders. Compared to a Japanese man, I am still not tall and I am even larger in the above-mentioned areas. As such, I have found shopping for suits to be a particularly difficult task. If I find something big enough for me width-wise, you can be sure that it is a suit made for a person ten centimeters or more taller than me. You can always cut the pant legs to size, of course, but I will still be left with a ridiculously long suit jacket. It is a problem.

More of a problem, however, was my attempt to explain my dilemma to the vice-principal. Right after I spoke, I immediately realized that I somehow managed to confuse 'long time' with 'long' and 'short time' with 'short' (I did not yet know how to say, 'tall', at this point). As such, the conversation came across as something like what follows:

"Jeff, do you ever have difficulties in Japan with finding clothes that fit you?"

"Ah, yes, yes. Sometimes problem is. In Japan, I little bit big man. But I also short time man. Therefore, I need short time suit. But I also need big suit. In Japan, only big suit exist also long-time suit. I short time man but need long time suit in Japan. Yes, that sometimes problem is."

The vice-principal looked a bit confused. I think I scared him a bit and I don't think it was because of my size......