Sorry kids..its been a long time I know! Gomen, ne! I have been a little busy because (drumroll)….. my time in the Blue Forest is about to come to an end!  I have been preparing a bunch of things recently in order to come home, so basically its like errands galore! (Yuck.)  

The Shinsetsunahitos wanted to send me off with a brunch American style, so they had me invite a bunch of Nihonjin and JET friends to join in the festivities.  It was fun, but it was a hot mess as well, like signing people onto the military base for bruch was a little chaotic, but in the end it was a blast.  Also, my surrogate parents invited Arranged-Marriage-Mom, who was there in full force declaring to everyone that I was going to marry her son at the end of the brunch.

While were outside taking pictures, I tried auctioning off a few of my other friends who I thought would be more suitable, she ended up giving his number to one of my friend’s who already has a boyfriend.  Although unbeknowst to me  two of my other friends walked up to her and said they would be glad to go out with her son to which she replied, “Ummm no, you are not for my son.”

Oh. My. GOSH. What a woman lol.

Anyway, last week I went on an English Camping Adventure with one of my schools.  I had my reservations and felt some trepidation about going, since this is what happened last year:

We get to the campsite.

BlueForest-Sensei is in charge of the first activity with Hermit-sensei and decides to teach 50 students the human knot.

During the activity, which was outside, while checking on each group,  BlueForest-sensei falls into a hole.

Students laugh.

BFS tries to get help from one of the Japanese teachers who happens to pass by during the chaos of kids untangling themselves, because she can’t stand up. (I later learned this was because I tore 4 ligaments in my foot.)

Japanese teacher with poor English walks up to BFS in the hole smiling and points to the groups, “This is an interesting game-u!”

Walks off. 

What the hole was doing there, I wasn’t sure, however after I came back from the hospital, although I didn’t want to go, but they made me, the Camp-site director made sure to tell me, “LOOK! We filled the hole!!”

I stared at them blankly, wondering if I should snidely ask if they also created a time machine as well, but decided that probably would be poor international relations.  They placed me in a private room with a tv.  I think they were afraid I was going to sue them. Thankfully, however, I had 4 JET male teachers there to carry me around that summer, as I was the only female sensei.  This year, however one other girl teacher came to camp, so I was kind of excited not to be the only woman this time.  This teacher also happens to be from Hawaii, so double bonus points for BFS. 

Also this year, I noticed the grass was nice and smooth, no holes at all were to be seen anywhere.  This year I actually got to go to the bonfire, where students conglomerate around a giant raging flame and attempt to roast marshmellows.  After that one of the teachers, Fire-Dancing-Sensei entertains by literally dancing and eating fire for the students.  Then the students light fireworks.

Also random fact, speaking of fire: there are two things I have learned about Japanese people, is that many of them have no concept of danger when it comes to fire and/or road rules.   When my one of my friends came to visit, she was very surprised to see, as we turned a dangerous corner of a major freeway, a ba-chan (grandma/old lady), weeding.  I, however, am quite used to these shenanigans, and thought nothing of it..my friend however was horrified momentarily and scared for the woman’s safety.  I told her not to worry, since in Japan, most drivers pay extra attention to old people, drunk people, children, and people who don’t want to use the crosswalk.  These people who happen to be in the middle of the road at any time of day, are either playing in the street, walking their dogs, gardening, or stumbling drunk (better than driving, I say) in the dark, from a late night party.   Most of the time people don’t get hurt…(except for that one elementary school student who got hit by a driver this past year…she was okay, but flew a few feet in the air).

Anyway, Japanese people also face displays of fire and fireworks bravely, and at the camp the students were mesmerized by Fire-Dancing sensei, who had a long staff which he lit on fire and began twirling around like he was in a luau in Hawaii.  He was quite good at it and even managed to swallow a few of the flames.  

Then, Fire-Dancing sensei asked for a volunteer.   Other-Girl-Teacher-From-Hawaii and I stood next to each other and watched as Fire-Dancing Sensei hit Hermit-Sensei’s hand with a short stick lit on fire.  It did nothing, but when he did it on the other hand, Hermit-Sensei’s hand caught on fire.  All of the students, Other-Girl-Teacher-From-Hawaii and I watched as Hermit-Sensei’s hand became set ablaze.  We aren’t sure if this is supposed to happen or not, however I decide not when Hermit-Sensei fell on the ground so he could put out the flame in the dirt.  Fire-Dancing-Sensei continued and finished the show, but Other-Girl-Teacher-From-Hawaii and I went over to see if Hermit-sensei was okay.   He appeared fine, but told us that all the hair on his hand had been singed off.

The rest of the camp went without incident, and I didn’t fall into any holes, so I was pretty happy with the way things went this year.

Oh, so I also went to see Snow White and the Huntsman this weekend last minute with some friends.  I have only a few things to say in my review of this movie.  Firstly, this movie totally jacked scenes and animal characters from other films, namely Artax from The Neverending Story (Artax scene) and that crazy deer with a million horns from Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke). Ummm…total plagarism.

Secondly, the FAIRIES.   This is what happened when my friend sitting next to me (who I am convinced is secretly RANDALL from the Honeybadger video)  reacted when the fairies showed up:

On screen: Kristen Stewart and that Really Really Hot Actor who no one can ever remember his name, but everyone calls him Thor because that’s the movie they know him from, show up in the land of fairies.  A bird is shown.  Suddenly, a creature that looks like a miniature furry Golum sticks his head out of the birds side.

Friend-Who-Is-Secretly-RANDALL: EEeewww! That’s disgusting. (sound echoes throughout the theatre).

Chunky (American) Lady on the other side of me, gets angry as I try to contain my giggles.

AT the end of the movie RANDALL discusses his fear on the way to the bathroom. “OH my gosh, I shouldn’t have called that lady chunky (she had already left the theater when he had called her chunky)..what if when I get to the bathroom there is this guy who tells me, ‘THAT’S my chunky woman you are talking about!”

Why do random things happen to me in theaters? In London once, my guy friends wanted to go to the opening night of Terminator Salvation, but they also wanted to go to the cheap place in the ghetto part of Camden.  So we got on the Crazy Train (Route 29, AKA “Crazy Train” as it was dubbed by the London Police Department) and saw the movie.

This really big gangster looking guy in a hoodie sat next to me.  At the end of the film, I got up quickly without looking and headbutted him by mistake.  Maybe it was only my imagination, but I think I saw a pair of grills looking down at me when I looked up to see my victim.  I grabbed his beefy arm and asked, “Are you okay?” I mean, I had headbutted him pretty hard. He looked down at me for a second and held his chin, and while I thought I was going to die, he suddenly started laughing and shaking his head and walked off.  Phew.  Lesson learned: Being a compassionate person always pays off, even if you were the one who headbutted them!

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