So if you were wondering what happened to chapter twenty… well, it’s coming. It’s about one-third finished. Osaka was a stuff-filled four days, and it couldn’t help but be.
This morning – yes, a Saturday morning – we had our S.G. Primary School Performance Festival 2008.
[takes a drink] Ugh! I’m drinking a 79 yen canned “cocktail” concoction called “SCREW DRIVER,” and it’s completely disgusting. I got it at a discount store. There’s a much much much better Chu-hi drink called “Heart Cocktail,” which you can get in lemon and lime flavours at MaxValu for only 78 yen; it’s tasty and by far the best value around that I’ve found, by leaps and bounds, so get it if you’re around. Anyway, we’re going bowling in a little while, so it’s good to get in some important pre-drinking. I also plan to come home super early because there are things that I need to do, and that I’m trying to stay on a budget of $20 a day. If I want to have money for school in the future, I need to live like a broke bloke.
Where was I? Oh yeah, the special festival. The main pain was coming in on a Saturday, but it was quite a nice show, though.
Later on, contrarily, was a bit of a problematic fit. The errant parents wouldn’t keep lids on their kids, and they had the pluck to run amok. My year fours, Mr. H., and I had been working super hard on our little mini-play “The Mouse’s Wedding,” and while the year fours put on a whiz-bang performance, it was sometimes overshadowed by the three and four year olds who were bouncing around the gymnasium like microwave popcorn. Because of the structure of the gym, their playful exuberant footfalls turned into annoying and distracting booms.
After we had cleaned things up, S. gave us a translation of Ms. H.’s parting words. To my great relief, she had told the parents that having a six-month old cry is one thing – there’s not much one can do about that – but that they should rein in their three and four year olds a bit during the performances. (It’s just too bad she couldn’t have said this before the show. But maybe she did; I’ll never know for sure.)
Like, as much as I like the “let kids be kids” attitude here – holy crap, there’s a time and a place! Couldn’t those parents say in Japanese, “Hey, I know you want to run around, and maybe this is boring, but if you can be quiet now, you can run around all you like after the show is over.” (I mean, give kids some credit – my little sister Ila almost always understood me, even if she did sometimes choose to dismiss what I said!) For the first time in my life I actually agreed with the sentiment “children should be seen and not heard.” But now I remember how much I hated to hear it when I was younger. Of course, the ‘noise’ I was making then was in the form of lightly-informed opinions stated authoritatively with no consideration for the background of the listeners. Still, if the adults wanted me to be adroit in my dealings with them, they could have been far more adroit in their dealings with me. (It was their responsibility; they were the adults.) The people I would blame know who they are, but it doesn’t matter – I was probably outside the realm of what many were accustomed to dealing with.
Getting back to the performance, an even more shocking thing was that Ms. H. had to tell the parents not to smoke on school property. (I wondered why I had heard ‘tabako’ in her homily!) You and I think it should be undersood, but Mt. later said that he had gone to the washroom and exclaimed, “Augh! Some bloke’s had a smoke in here!”
You might remember that last time I was mildly chagrined about having to work an extra hour on aggregate. Well, not only was it a silly thing to have an escalation about (although I get the feeling that, were it not for J.’s general and pervasive skittishness and defensiveness mixed with my own greenness and inexperience, it would not have been an escalation), but we ended up finishing the show just after 11 o’clock, and we were finished cleaning and putting things away before noon with many minutes to spare. So, really, it was quite fair – and I think everyone, and maybe even J. too, has let it go under the bridge. I try to smile or at least look pleasant when I see Ms. W. and Ms. H. because the truth is that I respect them greatly. They’re great models of experience and professionalism. I haven’t had nearly as many issues, with them or even in general, as I had anticipated I would early on, especially compared to how I was feeling just after the opening melee.
Mt. will be coming around in forty minutes to take us to the bowling lanes; capital of him, really. Many of us, I included, would have biked there, but the winds right now are howling. The sports “field” across the street is at times a dustbowl. When I go out onto the balcony, I can barely keep my door from flying open and the wind from making some gusty revisions to my bulletin board.
Well, I think that’s all for now. And let’s see if I can keep this to a $20 day, since Thursday night was a $35 night. I’ll tell you about that next time, after the mundane parts fade from memory I’ll be able to write just the really good stuff. =)
Catch you later,