Sunday, 29 August 2010

Silver-haired angels of the night

By now, cycling home from a bar at 4 or 5am is no rare occurrence (and I would like to point out that I often go out and don't have any alcohol, even if nobody believes that I am sober). And a few times, I have encountered some of Japan's oldest people. Tiny and permanently bent at 90 degree angles from years of torturous tea-picking, these little old people float around the streets, their silver hair agleam in the moonlight, picking up rubbish. As I make my way home to catch some sleep, they greet me with "ohayo gozaimasu!" and I think "it is NOT morning until I have slept".

But what are they doing? Do these people wake up at 3 or 4am and start their day with a stroll through the streets, picking up the droppings of a lazy younger generation? Does this happen every day? Is it a collective effort to keep the streets clean? These gentle geriatrics, perhaps vampires who feast on garbage rather than blood, seemingly swoop out of their homes as dawn breaks, silently making the world that little bit cleaner.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Hachijojima and Disneyland!

Hey people!

So, it's been a long time since I wrote, and I apologise. It's currently summer holidays (or "vacation" as I have taken to saying. Being around people from all over the world really makes you aware of your own dialect, and also makes you unwittingly pick up American words very quickly) - and we Interac employees get five weeks off! This is more than any other person in Japan, including other English teachers. JET employees have to go in through the summer, even though there are no classes, which sounds wonderfully boring, while private language teachers still work right through, with perhaps a week to 10 days off at most. So, everybody hates me for the crazy amount of free time I have.