Thursday, December 07, 2006

Saving the Princess with the Duke

I have never heard a peep from my next door neighbors. I never hear them talking, cooking, opening the door. Some days I wonder if anyone even lives there. The other night at 2 am, I got up to use the restroom and heard some music coming through the walls in the bathroom. It wasn't loud and it took a minute in my sleepy stupor to put together the melody. And then it hit me! Super Mario Brothers! Old-school style. And I could tell that they were in the underground parts because of the duh duh duh duh duh duh. (You know the song) I went back to bed with a smile. Hmmm...I wonder if they have Zelda...

And my other excitement is that I am now a part of the "Synchronized Swimming/Dancing English Department" which will have its debut and only performance at the end-of-2006 party in a couple of weeks. The team has been working diligently to amaze the rest of the faculty with spot-on precision and pyramid-building skills. I've only made one practice, but I must say, there will probably be roses thrown on stage at the end of the performance. Or maybe not. Actually, the dance is amusing in a Japanese way... In other words, in America, it might get a smile or two, but in Japan, people will be rolling in the aisles laughing. Some things just don't translate. One move involves showing "muscles" and the way they do it resembles Pee Wee Herman's "Tequila!" dance. I explained this and it took 5 minutes for the group to regain composure. Anyway, from what I gather, we will be wearing swim caps and nose plugs. The teachers asked me if I have "gogos" and I said, "Gogos? What?!" three times before I understood that they were trying to convey the word "goggle." Oh, right. Guess a trip to the 100 yen store is in order. There is also a move that they do that is called "The Duke" after a famous aerobics instructor or the like. While performing this walk, I asked if anyone else was in pain. It is a completely awkward move and just like the classes at the gym, not natural for Westerners at all. They thought it was quite funny that I was throwing my back out (and my shoulder blade is killing me today, although it might not be related). Hmmmm..might have to sabotage the performance by stepping out of line during the synchronized bit. Revenge is sweet... I also inserted a bit of my cheerleading background into the routine. They originally wanted to make a pyramid 4-3-2 style, but were debating whether this might be a bit too advanced, even for our professional troupe. I suggested we make three little pyramids where the middle person just jumps up and puts their feet on the bases' thighs. The idea fit in perfectly with the music and they are even going to hold up signs to get the crowd going! This party was supposed to be next Friday but they moved it to a Monday evening... Either no one is going to have any fun at the party or I am going to be bringing my camera on Tuesday morning to capture everyone looking their best.

Finally. A gripe. I was told before arriving in Okinawa that it gets cold. I was doubtful, but sent myself a couple of sweaters just in case. It is rapidly becoming the middle of December and right now I am wearing capris and a light shirt. It is supposedly 79 degrees today (11 in Chicago!) and although a light jacket is needed early in the morning and in the evening, I was sweating in class today. At least I can put on one of the sweaters for the plane ride home. I am still waiting for the cooler weather. Maybe in January? Of course, in January/February, our cherry blossoms start blooming which is about three months earlier than the rest of Japan.

3 comments:

Norma Jean said...

Rachel,
Just wanted to wish you Merry Christmas. Have been enjoying your site. Wish I could be there to view the exciting debut of the sychronized English Dept. extravaganza. Sounds like fun.
The decorations are festive. Way to bring a bit of Western civilizaiton to the room.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. Have a safe trip home.
NJ2

Joyce said...

cookies! we've got chocolate-coconut pinwheels, sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, and cappuchino crinkles on the menu! unfortunately, due to our limited time tomorrow i'll be mixing up the dough for half of them tonight, since they have to chill for many hours. decorating cookies is more fun anyway!

tothe-t said...

ewwh...sorry bout that :) guess it's a matter of perspective. I'm FREEZING! Merry Christmas..Have a safe trip home!!