Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Safety Dance


Despite the complexity of the day, I'm going to make this short - even for me. Here in 2011, I'm on vacation and I'm watching re-runs of Torchwood, the Doctor Who spin-off. It's like the X-files only everyone is bi-sexual. I've never seen the show before, though I have been watching the Doctor for about two years... sorry, current reality intruded.



It's Sunday, October 6, 1991. I'm an assistant English teacher (AET) on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme living in Ohtawara-shi (Ohtawara City), Tochigi-ken (Tochigi Prefecture) in Japan for the past 15 months. I'm like a leader here. Not really, but if there's something stupid you want to do, I'm probably the guy you want to do it with.



I've snuck into museums, broken into a taxidermist exhibit of a forest, slept with more women than you can shake a stick at - most of whom I never learned their name, drunk a lot of booze, slept with my female stalker and done it all without a hang-over. I've been a bit of a bad boy... which is why today it's a bit of weirdness for me.



Today is the International Festival in Utsunomiya-shi (Utsunomiya City is the capital of Tochigi) and I'm participating in a dance festival.



Matthew, my comrade-in-arms, who is an American by trade but is more Japanese than most Japanese, calls me up at 6:10 in the AM. I wake up at 6:30AM, or at least that's when my alarm goes off.

Matthew rides over from his apartment to mine at 7:30AM, and together we bike out to Nishinasuno-eki (Nishinasuno train station) about 25 minutes to the northwest.



My knees are killing me. It's either this bicycle or it's going to rain. Why can't it rain to halt this stupid festival? Why am I doing this? It's not to get laid. And that's why I would do anything, so what the hell am I doing this for?



The dance involves a whole bunch of AETs doing three dances - one to represent France - the Can-Can, one to represent the US of A  - the Hula, and one to represent Canada  - I think it's called line dancing. Dirty dancing I know... Line Dancing - WTF?



The Can-Can goes okay... but when you're knees hurt, you don't really feel like doing any high kicks.



Because Lisa Arnold - the coordinator of this JET dance debacle - is missing, the Line Dance get's screwed up, as we're missing the leader, and we're now one woman short for the guy. Ohhhh, Canada.



The Hula goes well, probably because we have a real Hawaiian - Sienna - leading it.



After some lackluster applause, and every Japanese person in Utsunomiya wanting to shake my hand and talk to me, I have a lackluster lunch and then perform again. This time the whole group manages to screw up the Canadian dance. Not a surprise... it's a stupid dance anyway. But, as the lone Canadian at this event, I am particularly galled and pissed off at everyone.



Do you want a real Canadian dance? Try something the natives do, like THIS or THIS. Both are sexy and both are cool.



I go home with my ex-girlfriend Ashley (who was watching and did not dance) and with Matthew on the train. Matthew goes off to meet Takako, while Ashley goes off to sleep. It's 7PM, and that's a darn good reason for me not to be with her.



I go out to the 4C to chat with some Japanese folk and to try and drown out that horrible, horrible dance experience.



I invite a young lady back to my place, which only partially erases the horrible day I had.



Somewhere this man is behaving badly,

Andrew Joseph

Today's blog title is by Men Without Hats (that's not a safe thing to do around a construction yard - they're being bad): LITTLEPEOPLE. Man... the lyrics are kind of apt! I had no idea until I listened to it while writing this sentence.

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