She came for the camphor

Wow, Happy Monday Folks.Following after Tim's really cool session is nerve-racking to say the least; hyper-tension-inducing to say the most. Good thing I have health-insurance.

Sarah suggested I do a daring CIR bio, drawing from my experience at the very, very dark, energy-saving 2nd floor of Kencho, and that sounds like fun.But first, an aside.

I had (have! present!) a disposible camera that I carried with me all year, taking pictures when I felt like it. I finally filled it up at the Oita concert, and just yesterday remembered that I hadn't developed it. When I got home after the stopped-train fiasco (all Saga trains were stopped by the rain), I spent some time looking for it. I looked everywhere it could have been, and then did that thing where you return repeatedly to the place it's "supposed to be" and burrow like some angry animal. I found a lot of stuff I hadn't seen in a while ("Oh, look, that perfume a friend gave me. What's that smell like again?") and ate random food as well ("Forgot I had these peanuts."). What happened next is obvious enough: fueled by all the alchohol in the air from the perfume, my house caught on fire and I, too stuffed to move, couldn't get away. That was my night.


But as for my work life, it's rarely that exciting, though it's often equally unscripted. One of the only fixed jobs I have is to teach English to the currently-mohawked-Governor of Saga. He'll be giving a presentation in Australia in October and I'm supposed to coach him on speaking and teach him how to talk about Saga's many fine attributes. His English is already quite good, and one day he told me this story:




A long long time ago, maybe 50 or 60 years ago, there lived in Saga Prefecture a woman named Yoshi Fukuda. Or perhaps that wasn't her name, perhaps she had another name like Emi Nakabara, or Eunyong Kim, or Danielle Steele, but Yoshi will work. Yoshi loved camphor trees. Nowadays, camphor trees are protected and celebrated because they are the prefectural tree of Saga. But when Yoshi loved them, they were cut down by the moth-ball industry to make moth-balls. The industry was cutting down all the camphor trees in Saga and nobody was stopping them. Eventually, Yoshi had had enough. When the loggers tried to cut down the trees in front of the prefectural office, Yoshi stood in front of the tree and said, if you want to cut down the tree, you'll have to cut me first. Eventually, the logger backed down and agreed not to cut the tree. Soon after, people realized how important camphor trees are to Saga.

Isn't that beautiful? He also tells me lots of blunt stories about Saga's government, good fun!