Thursday, November 09, 2006

Crunch, crunch, crunch!

This afternoon, the entire high school made the trek to a cultural center to see a traditional Ryukyu play, of which I had heard nightmarish things about. People admitted to falling asleep, the teachers said they can't even really understand what is being said, and students rolled their eyes at the mere mention of the play. To begin the afternoon, the students had to walk about an hour to get to the auditorium. They don't have school buses and while some kids took taxis, the majority of them walked. I have done some extremely long walks since arriving, but I had never made it that far. American students would never have walked without threatening lawsuits or just disappearing on the way. The play began with some traditional dancing and then the actual drama began. I thought the students would sit quietly and watch, but they continued to talk throughout the performance. Or at least until the last fifteen minutes. Either they suddenly found the play to be wonderful or they fell asleep. I had another teacher translating for me, but she couldn't understand most of it. The performers take the Okinawan dialect and draw each syllable out with some high-pitch monotone singing. Another teacher said she understood 5% of the dialect. The actual performance was only 45 minutes long and I'll admit it wasn't as torturous as I had anticipated.

What would have helped liven things up a bit would be a performance of John Leguizamo as Captain Vegetable, an amazingly hilarious skit that I watched on Sesame Street yesterday morning. I still have the vegetable song in my head! "It is I! Captain Vegetable!" It's pretty sad how much amusement that gave me. Although I'm happy that I must have had good taste in TV as a child since I was always glued to PBS. I searched high and low to find a picture or a video of the sketch, but can only offer the old-school version. Let's learn!

Speaking of learning, today I had a serious "A-ha!" moment thanks to my Japanese studies I have been doing on my own. I was looking at the announcement board for the English department and saw kanji that I thought I had learned yesterday. It was, in fact, "lunch" just as I had thought. It may seem little, but I'll take any victory I can get. Maybe Captain Yasai (vegetable) should teach me songs to make learning fun!

And here's a picture of me at the Pineapple Park in case your image of me is getting blurry.


Luey Fufu said...

I LOVE Captain Vegetable!

I thought of you yesterday when I heard "Doesn't Remind Me of Anything" by Audioslave. There's a line that says, "I walk the streets of Japan 'till I get lost."


Carly said...

Three cheers for Captain Vegetable!

Joyce said...

what channel does sesame street come on here? i just went to the pineapple park on saturday, and boy is it fun! ive never eaten so much free cake in my life. well, probably i have. the more interesting part was the gang of Boozefighters (its a harley club, ah!) we met there, who invited us to come with them. yay riding harleys!