after everyone having been worried that sunday would be rained out because of the coming typhoon (and the week of bad weather we'd had), it turned out you couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. it had rained during the night, so while the feild was damn, it wasn't muddy. i liked that because it kept the dirt feild from flying all over the place, like up my nose and in my hair. the day was hot and sunny, the clearest day we've had in weeks. the typhoon weather only started to desend on us just after the closing ceremonies while we were cleaning up. at that point though, a little rain felt good, we were all so hot and sweaty.
the whole of sports day went really well. i got volunteered for the teachers' team in the obstacle course relay race, and we were so far behind when they got to me on the last leg that it didn't matter how i did, hehe. the kids just had fun seeing the teachers running around looking silly. which we certainly did. i also helped out on the women's team for the tug of war. the men only beat us because there were more of them than us!! all the crazy stuff the kids do besides races were the best part. the girls did their crazy complicated dance, and the boys did gymnastics/human pyramid type stuff. here's an example:
the kids marched in their sports group uniforms and did little demonstrations of their sports, like judo and tennis, and that was nice. i have pictures of all these things, and more, but i'm too lazy to post them now. maybe later. the one other picture you do have to see though was from the decorations in the gym (the kids ate lunch with their parents in there, so they decked it out with posters and projects they had made). all the kids had made posters about things like obeying traffic laws, saving the environment, not drinking, etc. one poster in particular caught my attention, though. can you pick it out?
i'd seen it the day prior and planned on taking a picture, and Kelly told me that after sports day, all the posters just get tossed, so i should go help take them down and nab it. and i did it! soon, everyone who visits my apartment will know there is no smorking allowed. whatever smorking is.
if my day had ended there, it wouldn't have been so bad. but after sports day, i had to go to the teachers' party, or enkai. it was one of those things where if i didn't go, they would remember it forever. so i hopped the train in fukusaki and went to himeji to meet up for dinner. that part wasn't so bad, even though most of the conversation was completely beyond me, and the teachers were all proceeding to get very drunk. the food was good though, and since i had to pay about $50 for this party, it's a damn good thing. i thought after dinner the party was over, but OH NO. now that they were all good and liquored up, it was time for karaoke! i'm not sure what hell is like, but it's hard to imagine it being much worse than a small room with a japanese karaoke machine, decorated with a dinosaur motif, filled with a dozen or so drunk, smoking, singing japanese middle-aged men and women. who were continuing to drink, mind you. a lot. they made me sing a madonna song. i don't really KNOW any madonna songs. so i sang material girl very quietly. they asked if the mic was on. it was. i just...yeah, i wasn't into it. after what seemed like an interminable time of drunken karaoke, ending with the japanese version of YMCA, it was time to get the train back home. thank god. but when we got to the station, even though i'd only had one beer about 4 hours before, they refused to let me get into my car and drive home. oh no, that was no good. one of the teachers had his wife waiting at the station, and she was driving everyone home. and that was that. so after i finish this post, kelly is taking me to get my car. ugh.
seriously though, i now understand why drugs are so strictly prohibited in this country. these people shouldn't even have been allowed the alcohol they drank last night. i can't imagine what would happen if they had anything stronger. oh my god. it doesn't SOUND that bad, i know...but believe me, it was pretty terrible. i was so glad to get back to my apartment and talk to kelly, to make sure there was still someone SANE in this country.
but i've done my social duty. let's hope i NEVER have to do it again.