I’m back in Japan and I’m receiving the finest Island country welcome a girl could hope for at work: It was sports day practice today! Or maybe just one of the sports day practices today! Actual sports day is on Saturday the 15th (or the 16th if it rains) and we have just two weeks to plan the fucking fun out of this fun time. Actually the planning started a long time ago, and when I got the job, the contract may have been contingent on me being available for sports day. Still, I didn’t know what was going on, I just had a three hour break in the day from teaching for some reason today and I was putting that time to good use trying to drink enough liters of water to turn my pee clear. So on my (fourth or fifth) way back to the office from the bathroom, I pass by the window that looks out onto the sports field which is just a big shadeless, grassless, brown, dirt area, and there were a couple hundred kids squatting there in the sun in red and white bandannas. I could hear one of the teachers saying, “Were you listening? No you weren’t listening, were you?” And I thought, hot damn, this is going to be fun.
I went down onto the field, and here is what I saw: two boys threw up after running a relay, a teacher unveiled a wooden catapult with a soccer ball in it in all seriousness, kids demonstrated how to properly hoist a class mate onto classmates’ shoulders, a P.E. teacher talked to the underweight girls about eating properly in preparation for sports day, and another P.E. teacher admonish the kids for laughing at microphone malfunctions. Closing remarks about the practice and about how hot it was, and about the potential for it to be as hot as it was today on the actual day were carried out in the sun and involved four speakers. Thank-Thank you island country; it’s good to be back.