Teaching In Socks

Sophmorism and Sakura
March 31, 2009, 5:32 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,


The last two weeks have been fantastically hectic–so much so, that I haven’t really had any time or energy to post or document any of the action. Since I’m still short on energy I’ll try and run through the two interesting points as briefly as possible–excluding a haiku format.

1. Of course during a visit from two good friends we found the first vocally xenophobic (or perhaps just anti-American) Japanese person I have encountered since I arrived. In retrospect, perhaps he was just the first one who expressed his disdain in English (I get a variety of looks on a daily basis), I’d know, but either way he was a total J-hole.

Completely unprovoked this fine gentleman was standing alongside a crowded path we were following to a temple in Nara and said, in discernible English, “I will drink Champagne when you leave Japan”. I must first commend him for the risky diss; what if we were French? However, the overall lesson I took from this experience is that this man was an incredibly  intrepid jackass. It takes some effort just to learn how to insult someone in their own dialect, let alone so elaborately. While simple f-bomb would have sufficed, something compelled this man to move further. Great job, Earth.

I was so taken aback my only reply was a lightly toned sarcastic  “thank you”.

In his defense, at least once a year, without fail a stranger lobs and unexpected insult my way; some are more memorable than others. In 2006, while walking in the West Village to pick up a package at  UPS Purgatory, I caught the eye of a man crossing the street perpendicular to me long enough for him to ask, “whatchew looking at fatass?”.

I don’t take these attacks to personally (that would be awful). I see it as God playing Cato to my Inspector Clouseau, keeping me on my toes.

2. Cherry Blossom season has begun. I have the feeling it’s a five week season that can be broken into four stages: two weeks of talking about how awesome the cherry blossoms will be, two weeks of staggered blossom fruition, and one week of talking about how awesome the cherry blossoms were.

Currently, we appear to be ending the second week of build up and anticipation. The few early bloomers light up the mountainsides and streets like fireworks, but it’s obvious by the amount of bare stems and branches that this is just the preamble.  Still the excitement is palpable.

Full blooming trees are often crowded by camera or cellphone wielding  admirers–it’s not a passion, it’s an obsession. An old lady backed square into me the other day as she was staring at particularly elegant early bloomer, and the clerk at my local convenience store has been using it as his stock bit of small talk for the last few days. The hype is to immense for me to really grasp a sense of whether it’s too big a burden for these trees to live up to, or an appropriate amount of brouhaha  for what must be an brilliant botanic spectacle.


1 Comment so far
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And we shall drink champagne when you return! Missed you in Seaside! xo

Comment by Debbie Tchoukaleff

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