Fun with Gaijins

Well, here goes. I’m not really sure if self-introductions are appropriate for blogging but I’ve been doing them at work everyday since I got here, so I’m going to do one anyway. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Nirav, the new Saga City CIR. Or at least I was new two months ago. I guess I’m the two-month old Saga City CIR.

I don’t really want to do too much blogging about work, but I do want to mention that Friday was probably the most enjoyable day I’ve had on the job since getting here. Well, not so much the being on the job part, but actually what I was doing from 5PM onwards. Two weeks ago, I was somewhat annoyed when my supervisor asked me if I’d be willing to show up at a sleep-away camp sort of thing going on at the town hall in Hyogo-machi for elementary school kids. I think I’ve spent all of the Friday nights that I’ve been here at some stage of drunkenness, and I was planning on spending that one doing the same. That said, I think it was somewhat less of a request than one of those “you will do as we say” sort of things, and the Chinese girl in my office had to go too (not being a JET I don’t think the city has the obligation to treat her as nicely as it does me) so I figured I might as well.

Basically they said they wanted me to go, talk a little bit about America, and play with the kids. I got there, and half the kids were out shopping for the ingredients for dinner. The rest of the kids at first listened to what I said and we started playing “Red Light, Green Light.” About fifteen minutes later that devolved into a game of tag, which probably would be better described as “Tag the Gaijin.” This was followed by “Tickle the Gaijin as he handles sharp kitchen instruments,” “throw pillows at the Gaijin,” “Take the Gaijin to the Haunted House, Grab His Arm Pretending to be Scared, and Use that as an Excuse to Pull Out his Arm Hairs,” and various other entertainments. Yeah, they picked on me because I'm the big silly caged-panda Gaijin, but I'd rather spend time with kids like that than any of the weirdo adults I meet at work. And there are a whole crapload of them.

In the end I was there until 11, after which I got home, showered, and went to the izakaya under the train tracks. To be honest, probably the most fun I’ve had since I got here.

Last night I rented “Go,” a movie about Japanese-born Koreans. I’d put it pretty highly on my list of recommended Japanese movies. Definitely better than 98% of the crappy new Japanese action movies that have been coming out in the last few years.