I love the few days I get to teach at elementary schools.

Today I was at Yoshihara Branch school, a very small place with a nice wooden charm about it - not at all like many school buildings I've seen in Japan. The kids are of course, fantastic. They respond to everything, in the way that small kids do, with energy and wit and ready comprehension, but even more so when they're responding to something as odd and different as a gaijin like me.
As always I ate lunch with the kids and was served a dish by a concerned looking teacher. 'Kujira daijyobu?" she kept saying. I looked at the plate. 'Yeah, I guess so'. Meanwhile my memory was riffing on some Japanese trivia I'd once read:

"Gojira, or 'Godzilla' in English, is an amalgam of the Japanese words for 'Gorilla' and 'Whale'."

So I discern that I'm being being served either a majestic endangered primate or a majestic endangered sea-going mammal. Common sense ruled for the latter. I ate it. With all eyes on me. In a cruel twist of irony I had in fact been surfing the website of the IWC the night before and wondered what the commission chairman would make of my current mastication. I got it down and declined seconds. More for the kids, I reasoned.

Whale in belly I played dodgeball under an unforgiving sun which brought mosquitoes in it's wake and read 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' - a book I grew up reading - out loud several times. Then I fielded questions about pets, my favourite type of car, the length of my 'chinko' and if I liked strawberries.

I love Japanese elementary schools.

Why this pigeon decided to roost here, of all places, is beyond me. This loudhailer is very much active, and even without that there doesn't seem to be much headroom available:


Anonymous 匿名 reckons...

I love elementry schools too. They think, I'm the sh#t, even though I'm really not :).
When are you coming to kyoto again?

11:37 午前 JST  
Anonymous 匿名 reckons...

I forgot to sign my name!


11:47 午前 JST  
Blogger Indri reckons...

Are you sure it wasn't majestic endangered giant monster meat?

I see that it is time for you to read the Slate article on eating whale. Bon appetit.

4:42 午前 JST  
Blogger pik reckons...

Richelle, I am astonished that you forgot something.

Indri, thanks for the link. Very funny. Slate put's it very well.

9:32 午前 JST  


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