Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A long hiatus: Sports Festival & Crazy Karaoke

Well it has been quite a while since I last posted. Mainly I just kind of flaked out over the summer holiday and didn't do much "internetting" due in part to a gradual lack of interest. So I thought I would try to get back into the swing of things.

Update time is in order. I am now back at the other school, the one located nearer to the heart of the city I live in. We just finished with 運動会 うんどうかい, undoukai, or sports festival. It was an all day event on Saturday September 22nd. It was hotter than hell and the wind blew up the dust just well enough to cause you to start to hack and cough like Model T Ford. It was so hot in fact that the school put up tents even for the children to shade them from the seering heat. I guess they were afraid some of the kids might die. Normally by the end of September it starts to cool down, but not so this year.

The highlight of the day came actually at night, during the party that the teachers celebrate at the end of 運動会 うんどうかい, undoukai, or sports festival. The party is called 宴会 えんかい and is just a formal banquet for the hard work that teachers and staff put into making the sports festival a successs. Generally there is a lot of drinking, eating, and yapping going on at these parties. And I must say this one was quite on par with the norm.

Big Booger sensei hit the old booze pretty hard and had one wild t
ime. I arrive early and we were given some practice 乾杯 かんぱい, kanpai or celebratory toasts. When I say some, I should actually admit it was 10 or so. As I was like the third person to show up to the party, each successive person was then toasted and I got a good early start on the drinking.

By the time the dinner was over, I found myself heading to a カラオケ karaoke place about 5 minutes away from the restaurant where we ate. By this time almost 80% of those heading to the カラオケkaraoke place were half drunk or even shit-faced. I was one of the later regrettably.

This is where it really took off. I got to see some teachers in a new light that I had never seen before. One teacher, let’s call him Waldo-sensei, stuck out in my mind as being the most entertaining. He was reluctant to get up and sing while three or four times teachers encouraged him to get up and give it ago. Only after a near room racking chant of “WALDO WALDO WALDO” did he finally get up and that’s when it happened.

I never would have believed in my life that I would see a teacher do what this man did but it was a memory I shall not forget for all of a sudden he jumped up on the seat of the couch in the カラオケ karaoke box, he ripped off his shirt, and started to wail! This guy is in his late forties and he is balding, and he was so dark from being out in the sun all day that he looked like a Miami beach bum, but when he ripped off his shirt and started singing リンダ、リンダ、リンダーーー、リンダ、リンダ、リンダ!” I was blown away as this guy was one of the most straight-laced types I had ever seen at our school and here he was singing this song “Linda Linda Lindaaaa, Linda Linda Linda! He was gyrating, swinging, and swaying and his face turned beet red has he let out these uproarious chorus beltings.

And it continued on all throughout the night, until near 1am when we all finally decided to wrap it up and call it a night. By that time I had probably sung six to ten songs and had listened to several teachers wailing on the カラオケkaraoke microphones. It was a night to remember.

The really odd thing is, when we returned to school, everyone acted as if nothing had ever happened. It was an odd experience to say the least. 

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