Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Reunited... and it feels so good! Merry Christmas!!

Please click on this link before reading the following post: http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=b5UsW13-hNE

In 3 days, I will be reunited with my best buddy, my partner in crime: Jee Unit Gagnon. I will finally be able to reconnect with Montreal and to talk my slang with someone who will understand me. We’re meeting in Bangkok, in familiar territory, but it will feel weird to meet him after 5 months apart. I’m giving him special props on being the 1st one to come all the way here to see me.

Then (as if that wasn’t enough) we’ll be reunited with Seb. So the Quebec tornado that hit South-East Asia 3 years ago will be ¾ reunited. We will miss a very important part, the blond welding part. But I’ve been told he might come in April-May, which makes me very very happy. However, it will not be the same without him. Miss you gros cochon... Who will tell girls that he needs more wine, when all he actually wants is wind? Who will be the richest man in Thailand bitch? We will try and have fun even if you are not there, but it will be difficult. I’ll be happy to listen to some Sans Pression, talk hockey and gossip on all the people I’ve left behind. I can’t wait! So Seb, Jee, get your popcorn ready, because the Bouc Masqué is INCOMING!!!

So yes, I’m going on a well deserved vacation, after all these classes, after all these weekends of mayhem. It was needed, as I’ve been lacking some enthusiasm at work recently. I needed to recharge the batteries. WITH RED BULL!!! Nah, I’ll be watched so that I won’t fall back into some bad habits I have kicked. But it will be cool to leave the cold of northern Japan for the white sandy beaches of the Andaman Sea. Also, it will be cool to travel with my Miyagi friends. And as if THAT wasn’t enough, I’ll be meeting up with Jennifer Tuck, my Montreal friend who lives in Okinawa! It promises to be a kickass vacay-cay...

So before I go, I want to wish each and every one of you a very merry Christmas, a happy new year. I wish I was with my friends and family, in the snow, but I’ll still be in good company. It could have been even better but we’ll work on that for the next vacation......

Thank you for reading me for my first 5 months here, it might be hard to post from there but I will try, if not, well reconnect to this blog in January... Oh by the way, my Christmas gift to myself: I just submitted my papers to stay a second year. A big decision and I’m certain it was a good one! I’m not going to name names but (mersmcpidajuliebenhbombmomdadcarobigangelaeddycharlotteaméjessalexandallofyou) it will give you plenty of time to come, whenever you want!

Merry Christmas! It will be my first non-white Christmas... Maybe the Obama effect hit me all the way here!

Love you all, visit me any time.

Pierre-Yves

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Noyeux Joelle (never gets old) et Bonne Année à tous mes lecteurs...

Je vais rejoindre mes amis Jean-Luc et Sébastien en Thaïlande pour 17 jours. Nous allons aller prendre du soleil sur les îles paradisiaques de la mer d’Andaman. Je m’en vais en terrain connu, puisque j’ai déjà visité Koh Phangan et Koh Tao la dernière fois que je suis allé en Asie du Sud-est. Il manquera seulement Ben afin de compléter la désormais célèbre tornade québécoise qui à frappé la région en 2006. J’ai invité tout le monde qui travaille au Japon (ou presque) à se joindre à moi. J’ai donc convaincu 4 de mes amis de la préfecture où je travaille, et mon amie Jennifer, une ALT montréalaise qui travaille à Okinawa, sera là également avec 5 de ses amis. Ça promet!!

Y’à des gens que j’aurais bien aimé avoir avec moi, des gens que j’aime ici et à la maison, mais j’imagine que ce sera pour une prochaine fois… J’aimerais vous remercier de m’avoir lu pendant ces 5 premiers mois de mon aventure, une aventure qui vient (probablement, si ils acceptent) de s’allonger de 18 mois puisque j’ai remis mes papiers afin de rester une deuxième année!! C’est mon cadeau de Noël à moi-même! Je suis tellement bien ici, mais je dois avouer que je m’ennuie terriblement de vous tous, surtout quand arrive le temps des Fêtes. Je pense donc à une possible visite éclair l’été prochain, mais je préfèrerais que vous veniez me voir, ça serait plus exotique!

Je vous embrasse tous, je vous souhaite un Joyeux temps des Fêtes! Je pense à vous, à la neige et je réalise que ce sera mon premier Noël non-blanc.

P-Y xox

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Elementary school !!!!

I started teaching at elementary schools last week. It was draining but so rewarding! All day, I had kids running after me, jumping on me, asking me to go play outside with them. When I was teaching, I had the most attentive crowd ever. I realised I’m getting used to the bored faces of the junior high school students who don’t really care about English. With elementary school children, there is a problem if they are not listening to you... which is exactly what happened to me last week, with one of my students.


So on my way to the elementary school last Friday, the dude that picked me up says something in Japanese... I understand the words ‘Influenza’, ‘very bad’, ‘lot of sick pupils’, ‘wash hands’... I stay composed and I look at my teaching plan and all 4 of my classes are based on greetings. Western greetings that is. So I’m thinking to myself: 'there is an Influenza epidemic, and I’m about to shake hands with 40x 4 children. Smart move P-Y'. I decide to go with the initial plan and spend the day shaking hands with snotty children. Half of them are wearing those masks, sometimes around their necks, sometimes on their head. A lot of them are coughing; I’m starting to imagine all the crap that’s floating in the air. But everything goes well. My last class, all the children are all ears while I’m miming an Eskimo that is shooting down a polar bear. 39 of them are saying stuff like ‘oooooh’ and ‘aaaaaah’ when I tell them the tale of the time I built an igloo, covered with polar bear fur, under the aurora near the North Pole. But this one girl seems phased out, she’s about to fall asleep in my face!!! What the hell? I’m like ‘whatever, she’s missing out on my story about the time I went fishing for seals between two icebergs’. But then, I see her shoulders jumping a little. ‘Is she crying?? Man, she must be moved by all my Canadianessss’. That’s when I smelt the characteristic odour of PUKE. She puked herself listening to me! She was so thrilled by my odyssey, she couldn’t bring herself to run to the bathroom and be sick in there. Me and the teacher, we put gloves on, picked up the vomit and the teacher brought the poor girl to the nurse (side story, none of the kids screamed and freaked out, they all acted as if nothing happened.... damn Japanese!). I never stopped my stories; I actually told them those gloves reminded me of the time I had to prepare fish for an entire tribe in Northern Quebec.


After the class, when the teacher came to apologize about the other victim of the Influenza, I told him I was apparently immune to puke. I was a flight attendant, I’ve seen a lot of it... Or maybe, just maybe, I’m ready to be a dad??? lol, probably not!

Now let’s just hope I’m immune to Influenza!

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J’enseigne dans quelques écoles primaires depuis deux semaines. L’histoire que je voulais vous raconter, vous devrez la traduire puisque je n’ai pas le temps de le faire moi-même. Cependant, j’ajouterai que de voir tous ces enfants, ça fait en sorte que je m’ennuie des deux plus beaux enfants sur la planète.

Vos cadeaux ne Noël s’en viennent mes chéris.

Je m’ennuie.

J’ai hâte de vous voir!

Uncle P-Y xoxoxox


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mr. Clean


Cleaning time fascinates me...

It’s a 25 minute period in the afternoon where the kids move the desks around and clean the floors, windows and blackboards. Sure, some of them are lazy and all, looking like a bunch of Montreal City employees, leaning on their brooms and mops. But just the fact that you can trust these kids with bottles of Windex, canisters of kerosene and enough dangerous products to blow up the whole neighbourhood, is amazing. If this was North America, you’d find 5 guys in a bathroom, mixing up stuff to create a new drug. Hell, maybe I would have been one of those! lol. You’d also find a bunch of dummies smoking next to the kerosene
.


Sure, the school is nowhere near as clean as my high school back home, the bathrooms stink and there is rust here and there. But that’s not the point. To me, it just shows how much respect they have for their school, teachers and, to a larger extent, country. Would the kids do that nowadays in Canada? Pff, puh-lease, asking the question is giving the answer.



Also, it makes for good pictures:





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Pendant l’après-midi, les étudiants de toutes mes écoles doivent nettoyer leur école. Comme une armée de concierges, ils se promènent avec le Windex, les balais et les squeegees afin d’éliminer toute trace de malpropreté. Certains d’entre eux ont l’air d’une bande de cols-bleus en train de remplir un nid-de-poule (lire: foutent pas grand-chose) mais la plupart font un minimum d’effort, ce qui fait une différence considérable. Si c’était le quartier Centre-Sud, il y en aurait 5 dans les toilettes en train d’inventer une nouvelle drogue de synthèse avec les produits chimiques fournis par l’école.
C’est assez fascinant de les voir aller. Je devrais rester assis à mon bureau et relaxer mais je préfère les regarder faire. L’école est relativement sale, les toilettes sentent mauvais, mais c’est pas ça le principe… Je trouve que ça démontre un immense respect pour leur école, leurs professeurs et (toute proportion gardée) leur pays.


En plus ça fait des photos le fun :


Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Fugitive

I have always been called a fugitive. I like to run away... it's me!

I really didn't know the exact reason why I came to Japan... Maybe I ran away from stuff back home. But even if I did, who doesn't run away?? Maybe I (somehow) knew I'd meet the greatest group of people, these 4 month old friendships that I know will last for a loooong time. I knew I'd visit Japan a lot, a country I couldn't afford otherwise. But the thing I didn't expect is... the kids.


Man these kids are just off the hook. They are simply amazing! I must be doing something right, because they make me feel pretty good about myself, which is (believe it or not) something that didn't happen often enough in the past 10 years. So to all the kids, even if none of them are reading this: Domo Arigato

Pierre sensei















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Mes amis m'appellent le fugitif. C'est vrai que j'ai fui pas mal de choses dans ma vie. Ils (mais surtout elles) me l'ont tous dit: Jessie, Julie, Mers, Jee, Ben, Amélie, Alex, M-Ève.... tout le monde me l'as dit. Mais c'est ma façon de régler mes problèmes. Je ne sais pas exactement ce que je cherchais en venant ici, à l’autre bout du monde, mais ce que je sais, c'est que je suis une meilleure personne que celle qui à pris l'avion le 27 juillet... (4 mois!!!)




Peut-être, qu’inconsciemment, je savais que j’allais rencontrer des gens qui, en 4 mois, ont réussi à me convaincre que nous allons passer le reste de nos vies ensemble… Peut-être que je fuyais l’amour (désolé), peut-être que je le cherchais (hello), who knows? Je savais que j’allais pouvoir visiter le Japon, un pays que je n’aurais pas pu me payer avant. Ce que je ne savais pas, c’est que les élèves à qui j’enseigne allaient me faire grandir autant. Ils me donnent l’impression d’être quelqu’un d’important, un feeling que je n’avais pas ressenti assez souvent au cours des 10 dernières années. Et ce feeling d’accomplissement, il me fait un grand bien.



Alors à toutes les Natsumi, Eri, Yuka : Arigato Gozaimashita!


P-Y (le fugitif)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Top 3

Le Japon est fou de top 3. J’ai visité déjà 2 des 3 plus belles chutes du Japon (bof). La plus belle montagne du Tohoku (wow), tout est classé en top 3. Ce weekend, je suis allé voir un des trois plus beaux châteaux de l’île d’Honshu. En arrivant sur place, je trouvais ce château suspect. Il était trop blanc et à l’intérieur, il était fait entièrement de bois qui me semblait plutôt récent. Après avoir consulté la brochure, nous avons réalisé que nous étions dans un château construit en 1994. 1994! C’est pas un château, come on! Si ça c’est un château, y’a plein de châteaux sur la rive-sud de Montréal. Mon école secondaire est un château. Chez Mado sur Pie-IX : château. Le loft : château! Le Loblaws sur Mont-Royal : château! Anyway, quand moi pis Simon avons réalisé que, depuis la construction de ce ‘château’, le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge n’avait pas gagné la coupe Stanley, nous avons songé à la mission kamikaze. Mais finalement, on s’est ravisés.

On a ramené 7 personnes dans mon appart et on failli tout brûler. Après deux nuits à l’hotel PYfornia (ou Pytz Carlton, ou château Jacques-Daniel), moi, Jill, Eeva et Matt, nous sommes allés visiter une statue de ‘Bouddha’, à Sendai. Elle avait l’air bien, une sorte de monument grandiose, construit à la main pendant 200 ans au 6e siècle. Mais finalement, c’est une statue construite en ciment, en 2 mois, sur le bord d’un terrain de golf. Mais bon, en bonne compagnie, après un weekend de relaxation/débauche, je m’en balançais pas mal. Après avoir passé un mois à courir partout dans Miyagi, ça faisait du bien de passer une fin de semaine de 3 jours autour de Sendai. J’ai quand même eu la chance de manger de l’Otonominaki, aller chanter du karaoke, aller patiner, faire du purikura, passer mes nuits au chaud et me ressourcer dans un onsen. Je ne suis quand même pas à plaindre!

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Top 3 waterfalls in Tohoku... Top 3 scenic spots in Miyagi... Top 3 onsens in Japan... Top 3 sushis at the conveyor belt sushi spot... Top 3 fuel efficient cars... Top 3 train stations... Top 3 reasons not to ride your bicycle when it’s minus 2... Top 3 ways to torture Ponyo... Top 3 ways Ryan O'byrne can screw the Habs over... I tell ya, Japan is CRAZY about top 3’s! In the Lonely Planet and in all tourist information booklets and pamphlets, they list the top 3 in everything.

Well this weekend, I visited a couple of official top 3’s, and we probably created other top 3’s as well. We went to Shiroishi castle, one of the 3 nicest castles in Honshu... As soon as we got to the castle, something was fishy. Very suspicious even. Maybe it was the perfect beams of wood, maybe it was the hard wood flooring or maybe it was the perfectly balanced (feng-shui) lighting. This castle, albeit beautiful, was a scam... Looking at the brochure, we read that this castle was built in 1994, at the exact place where a castle used to be back in the days. But come on, 1994!! The Habs haven’t won a cup since they built that castle (which made me and Simon want to burn it down)! If I want to see fake castles and ‘authentic’ samourai houses, I’ll rent a Disney movie...

I’m complaining (because it’s one defining trait of my personality apparently) but it was still a great day. Actually, it was a kickass weekend! My home was transformed in a hotel. We almost burnt down the neighbourhood and managed to break my shower, but man, Hotel P.Y.Fornia (or the Pytz Carlton, or Motel Shitsureishimasu, or Chateau Jacques Daniel, or Auberge de la Ghetto) was the place to be! Monday (day off for Culture Day), me, Jill, Matt and Eeva we went to a giant white statue of... Buddha (?) that, from downtown Sendai, looks amazing. On our way there, I was wondering if it was built by thousands of Japanese men in the year 1345 to honour a great battle or something, and that it was maybe a great example of the Japanese efficiency and bla bla bla... Turns out that the statue is between a golf course, a parking lot and a supermarket, it’s pretty recent and the people that live near it pretty much hate it, it’s made of cement and it’s pretty pointless really. BUT! In a weekend where everything was pretty much AWESOME, I guess I really didn’t care about it. We skated, went for karaoke, ate okonominaki, did purikura, went with the flow, went onsenin’, got crunk, talked chavs and Jazz (not placed in order of anything). And now, I’m this much closer to meeting my friends in Thailand and I got 2 things on my mind...
Shitsureishimashta!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Schizo

This country is so technologically advanced... it freaks me out all the time. With the help of my new time travelling machine, I will give you a transcript of the conversation I had with my brain yesterday. It’s got drama, action and all that jazz... Ch-Ch-Ch-Check it ouuuut:

Well that was a pleasant Skype conversation, albeit long, but it could have went forever for all I care. Thank you Black Mamba. I just told you: 'You have to go day by day you know? Carpe Diem...' Well to tell you the truth, some days, I get scared and I think I might go home to my friends and family. You guys are my new family, and my new friends. You are so right, what if something would happen and fuck it all up?
It also doesn’t help that last year, at this exact moment, I was roaming the streets of Montréal (drunk) with my friends and with Princess Madeleine (Miss you söt). Waking up alone and freezing doesn’t help either.

But what am I saying??? Of course I’ll stay. You guys make me laugh; we have so much fun... I’m healthier, richer, and we look out for each other. We’ll lose a few angels in July but it will still be okay.... right?? (Please tell me I’m right). Also, the Canadian economy is crap, my hockey team suddenly stinks, my best friend is threatening to replace me with the first monkey she sees and it’s way colder back in the 514. Maybe I should just move somewhere else? Caiiimbridge and the UK sound good, Scandinavia as well... Maybe I should go somewhere really random: I hear Easter Island is a great place to celebrate Hanukkah. Or New Zealand, Nadine could help me with that.

Man if I move somewhere, I hope they have Red Bull, Onigiri and Black Thunder. The Holy Trinity, the 3 food groups: Rice, liquid cocaine and chocolate. Wait? Am I delirious, who the hell am-I talking to? Is that Date (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_Masamune) looking at me in the corner? Oh Oh, maybe I should have opened a window when I started using the kerosene heater. I wonder if they have 7/11’s in heaven? Who am-I kidding, I’m going straight to hell anywaaaaaaZzZzzzzzzzzzzzZz...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Meanwhile, in the ghetto...

Pourquoi Calixa Lavallée? Parce que ma nouvelle école est au centre de Natori, parce que les jeunes qui y étudient sont, pour la plupart, dépendant des calories fournies lors du repas du midi. Parce qu’ils ont des uniformes déchirés, des sacs d’écoles en lambeaux… (Maintenant que j’y pense, un grand homme m’a déjà fait remarquer que les étudiants de Calixa-Lavallée n’ont pas de sac d’école). Parce que les étudiants sont moins respectueux, moins souriants. Surtout les garçons de 3e année. Je n’ai pas aidé ma cause en étant le coach de l’équipe de soccer qui les a écrasés 4 matches de suite.

Sinon, les filles me pourchassent, me poussent dans un coin et me posent des questions plutôt personnelles pendant les pauses. J’ai mis les plus gangters de mon bord en leur montrant le contenu de mon IPod. J’essaie de leur raconter Montréal-Nord, Ahuntsic Zoo et NDG mais les mots ‘Ghetto’ ‘Bum Rush’ ’67 Saint-Michel’ et ‘black on black’ ne sont pas des termes que l’on nous apprend lors d’un cours de japonais 101…

Je les aime bien malgré tout… sauf 1. Je lui ai donné le surnom de ‘jeune pédé’. Il a pendant les 150 minutes de cours que j’ai donné dans sa classe depuis mon arrivée. J’imagine qu’il passe ses nuits à lire des mangas… Peu importe, je serai heureux de le voir passer la moppe dans un McDo. La prof avec qui j’enseigne ne veut pas intervenir, donc j’ai entrepris de le garder éveillé de toutes les façons imaginables. Mais je commence à être à cours d’idée… Il me reste encore 19 jours de travail avant de partir en Thaïlande! Anyway, je suis ouvert à toutes suggestions.

J’ai peur pour la sécurité de mon vélo mais j’ai une gang de rue à mon service si jamais quelqu’un décidait de le voler. Le nom que j’ai donné à ce regroupement de jeunes voyous : Pachinko Panda 9. C’est moins beau et ça sonne moins bien que les Amimaux ou les Aigles du Collège Jean-Eudes mais ils sont moins beaux et ils sonnent moins bien également!

No one, I repeat : NO ONE messes with the Bouc Masqué.. lol


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How sweet it is to work in a school that reminds me of the neighbourhood I grew up in... This school is in the center of Natori, I see the cranes all around while I’m teaching. Some kids look poor, others look just filthy, but most of them are in love with me... It helps that I come in the morning looking like a white Ol’ Dirty Bastard. I get off my bicycle and there is a gang in the corner, trying to impress me. I walked straight up to them and I’m like ‘WHAT??! You wanna start something’, and then I make them listen at my IPod, show them some gang signs and BAM!!!! , I have the street gangs on my side!

Once again (3 schools on 3) the girls think I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread. They ask me all kinds of questions that cannot be repeated. Of course, there are some bad sides to all this. The first school was perfect on all levels, the second one had a family atmosphere to it, but the kids at both schools we’re pretty respectful and funny. I have to admit that the 3rd year students in this school, they pretty much SUCK. I have one in particular who has been sleeping through all my classes (3), wearing his G-Unit winter jacket. I’m so very insulted by this, but I was told a million times that we can’t do discipline here. So I walk around the class and ‘accidentally’ kick his chair. Also, I sometimes ‘accidentally’ lift his desk up in the air, or pull it quickly. The dude is a straight up loser; he probably reads manga until 4 am, that’s why he can’t stay awake. I’ll be happy to see him clean up a McDonald’s washroom for a living. I’m looking for other solutions, the Japanese teacher I’m working with, she’s going with the ‘Meeeh, what can I do’ approach. I’m looking into it, maybe I’ll drop chalk in his hair (or gum), maybe I’ll tie his shoes together or maybe I’ll just keep treating him like the loser that he is.

Either way, it’s kind of fun to work in an inner city type school, changes the routine I had. And after school, I can walk the 2 minutes that separate me from the batting cages and go unwind there. And if one of these fools touches my bicycle, well I got my posse running 15 deep who will be looking for the a**hole!

To quote the Wu-Tang Clan: P-Y sensei ain’t nothing to fuck with... lol

Friday, November 14, 2008

Old school

NOTE: I was asked to post more often... I will try and satisfy my fellowship (BTW, got the numbers from blogger.com, I have had 7500 hits in 3 months, Dayum!) And now, because all these people are reading me, I will try and quench your thirst! Now only if you guys left some comments sometimes. Shout out to the ones who do!

I just finished a 4 week sting at the ‘Beach school’. The beach school (Yuriage JHS) was fun, but it was the smallest school in town, only using half of its classes. And in half the classes I gave, half the classrooms were empty, you diggg? (Come on, get your calculators out...) It was a little depressing to tell you the truth. I felt like I was a teacher in one of those villages really far from Montreal, filled with old people and the random teenager (like my mom’s village). It baffles me because it is in the nicest part of town... View on the ocean and the mountains, it’s just a little far from the center of the city, which might explain the exodus (like in my mom’s village). I was seating across from Kita sensei, who is the most beautiful music teacher of all time, if all my music teachers in high school looked like that, I would probably have 10 Grammys today.

I had a great time, the staff and the kids we’re amazing. I must admit that the level of English was VERY low (starting to sound a lot like my mom’s village). Not a single soul in an entire class could answer the question: ‘When is your birthday’! I was pointing at me, saying: ‘My birthday is January 20th’. Then, I pointed to the calendar and named all the months.... And then I was pretty aggravated so I went back to the usual suspects: ‘What’s this?’ ‘Do you like Ponyo?’ ‘What’s your favourite color?’. So if in 6 years, you meet a Japanese kid somewhere and all he can say is: ‘I like Ponyo, this is chalk and I like purple’ Well you know who to blame!! The teacher, he was feeling bad, then again, he looks like he had 7 Valiums during the break. Lucky though, my other teacher was the bomb! His name is Fujimura, he’s like 7 feet tall, he shaves his head and he wants to go snowboarding with me and his wife... Bring it Dogg!
The vice-p
rincipal invited me to the best gyutan (Cow Tongue, a Sendai specialty and a very delicious one too) restaurant in Sendai on my last day, along with his wife and teenage daughters. I was impressed, because in this country, it’s not something very common to invite a simple teacher like me, when you are the big Man... He picked the best of the best, made me drink the best sake, in a special local way! He paid the 13 000 yens bill too, which made me feel pretty shitty, but hey, what would Jesus do?

In 3 days, we’re talking about my new school, aka the school they based the movie Dangerous minds on...

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Note : 7500 clicks sur mon blog en 3 mois. Vous pourriez laisser des commentaires bande d’ingrats!! Moi qui croyais que je me parlais tt seul… Anyway, je vais essayer d’écrire plus souvent. De toute façon, il commence à faire froid, je crois que je vais devenir de plus en plus frénétique… so watch out!!!

Je viens de terminer mes 4 semaines dans l’école à la plage… Yuriage JHS, c’est la plus petite de mes écoles. 200 élèves, dans une école qui pourrait en contenir 600. Les classes à moitié vides. C’était un peu déprimant des fois. C’est dans un coin de la ville reconnu pour son port, donc ils veulent tous devenir pêcheurs, donc ils n’en ont rien à foutre de l’anglais (comme à Causapscal). C’est dans le plus beau coin de Natori mais c’est loin de tout, ça me prenait 25-35 minutes de vélo pour m’y rendre, à un tempo incroyable et sans arrêter aux lumières. De mon bureau, je voyais la plage et les montagnes. En prime, j’étais assis en face de Kita sensei, pis Kita sensei, c’est aussi beau que plusieurs plages pis plusieurs montagnes. Si mon prof de musique au secondaire avait ressemblé à cette femme au lieu de ressembler à un bonhomme Michelin homosexuel (désolé Monsieur Simard) je serais peut-être en train de me servir d’un de mes Grammy pour boire du Saké! Anyway… le niveau d’anglais était assez bas, voire même pitoyable par moment (comme à Causapscal). J’avais un professeur qui sortait probablement de plusieurs dépressions en ligne et un qui est un surfer-snowboarder de 35 ans, 7 pieds le crâne rasé! Trop cool, j’attends juste de me joindre à lui sur les pentes!

Mon principal-adjoint m’a emmené manger du gyutan avec sa femme et ses 2 filles à ma dernière soirée. Du gyutan, c’est de la langue de bœuf, et c’est une spécialité locale… C’est vraiment très bon! Il a payé la facture, une chance parce que ça monte vite une facture dans ce pays… La prochaine fois que j’enseigne à cette école, c’est en février. J’espère bien que la température va remonter, parce qu’en ce moment, fait pas chaud!

Dans 3 jours, on parle de ma nouvelle école… celle qui me fait penser à une version japonaise de Calixa Lavallée!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ups and downs (and other Mine park randomness)

Currently sitting at my new school, looking back on yet another crazy weekend. I will probably want a new liver for Christmas.

So I went to Mine Park in Northern Miyagi... Seems pretty relaxed and normal right? Well it’s anything but normal. We spent an hour walking in an old lead mine that was transformed in a ‘theme’ park... We saw: robots, a sake shrine/wine cave, fossils, an Egyptian theme room, a plastic Biosphere and a room where there was a plastic foetus in a ball, with a heartbeat playing louder and louder every second, complete with electric balls of light....It was awesome and weird. Just watch the movie my buddy Will made.
You’ll see what I mean. You have to go on my Facebook profile and click on ‘Videos of P-Y’ under my profile picture. Then click on the video : ’Mine Park or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Fetus’ It's worth every minute of it! (The video got 6 thumbs up from Ebert and Roeper)


Aside from that, we transformed a Chuck Norris movie into a drinking game, I had dinner with a bunch of people that are linked only by Facebook, was dragged into a bar by a crazy woman who took me in a headlock, got in a heated argument with a dude that looks like Kurt Cobain, took a taxi home (alone) feeling very aggravated, went to a Vegalta Sendai game in the most random World Cup stadium ever, built in the middle of nowhere and was attacked by a stray cat.
Now, how the hell did I fit that into 48 hours... I guess it’s talent.

Oh and by the way, Total count: 31 beers, 2 Vodka Red Bull, 0 girlfriend

Don’t look for me next weekend. I’m staying home

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Je suis assis à mon bureau dans ma nouvelle école et je repense à mon weekend de malade. Je vais avoir besoin d’une greffe de foie pour Noël je crois.

Mon weekend à commencé par une soirée de gars dans le Nord. Nous avons écouté un film de Chuck Norris (Invasion : USA) et l’avons rendu intéressant avec des restrictions d’alcooliques. Exemple : chaque mort suspecte = tu bois. Le lendemain, nous sommes allés à Mine Park. C’est une mine désaffectée qui à été transformée en ???
En fait, c’est vraiment n’importe quoi. Ça valait le 800 yens pour entrer. Regardez le film (suivre les indications en anglais en haut)
À part ça je suis aller souper (très agréable) avec des nouveaux amis, gracieuseté Sylvain et Facebook. J’aurais dû retourner chez nous par après… Mais bon, le reste de la soirée à été un F-I-A-S-C-O. Hier, je suis allé voir un autre match de Vegalta Sendai mais c’était à 45 minutes de Sendai, dans le milieu de nulle part. Un stade construit pour la Coupe du Monde.


La fin de semaine prochaine, je m’enferme chez nous

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Nikko BABY!

Shit son!


Japan is a country with a rich history... Man, I pass by stuff that might be older than Canada every day! This past (long weekend) I went to Nikko. Nikko is: ‘a sacred site that stretches back to the middle of the 8th century. <...> the grandeur of Nikko is intended to awe, a display of wealth and power by a family that for 2 ½ centuries was Japan’s arbiter of power’ (Lonely planet). Well me and my crew of fellow JETS, we visited pretty much everything we wanted to visit there. It was beautiful; we saw great waterfalls, visited amazing temples, did yoga with a Buddhist freak, wood carved like champions, took baths naked outside while looking at the lake and the mountain and ate way too much Black Thunder (amongst a lot of other things). I was in the most beautiful place, that sometimes reminded me of Switzerland, sometimes Quebec, with a little touch of paradise. And on top of it, I was with the most amazing group of people...

I want to thank the Jet programme for sending me here with people that I get along with perfectly. We were 8 this weekend, and all of us bring a different dynamic to this group, which makes it... well it makes it entertaining, hilarious, always fun and... just plain perfect. These guys are my friends, my family and I know that when we will all go our different ways in 9 or 21 or 33 months, I will have a great group of friends I can go meet anywhere in the world, at any time, and that we will have amazing stories and experiences that we will remember for the rest of our lives. So to all of you, from Perv Will, to Nelly Furtado, to Ginger spice, to the girl that always calls me an horrible man, to Dan the Man, to the sweet kiwi and the always hilarious Canadian-Finn: Thank you!


Thank you for letting me hang out with you. Thank you for being who you are and for accepting me into your lives, even if I’m the most crazy, stupid, drunk, disrespectful, obnoxious, slow witted French-Canadian guy that you will probably ever meet.
To all of you, Merci and Irasshaimasse!
Love you all.
P.S. : If I ever get a black baby, I will call him John McCain

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Memoirs of an immigrant


Growing up in Montreal-North, it happened a few times that I felt like a visible minority (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visible_minority wow will you look at that, it’s a term we only use in Canada...). That sentiment was short lived because I was on a bus or whatever but it’s not as if I was a REAL immigrant. Especially with my private school uniform... Anyways, It’s not where I wanted to go.
What I wanted to point out is this:
Here, I am the immigrant. And it’s not like I live in a country where there are enough of us to start opening up our own schools and have our own supermarkets. There will never be a Little-Québec or a Little-Italy in Sendai. N-E-V-E-R. I am a white man in a sea of Japanese people (I heard that 99% of Japanese residents are 100% Japanese.........). Often times, except when I’m with my wonderful Gaijin friends, I am the only white boy in the area. In Natori, we’re like 5, and I know all of us. I’m getting used to all this attention.

Here’s a common situation:

- I’m at the Max-Valu (my supermarket) and I pass by this mom and her 3 year old daughter. I always look so lost at the supermarket it’s not even funny, so I’m in my own world. The mom, she will glance at me (of course, especially if she’s hot) but the daughter, she will stare at me as if I had 6 arms, and she will keep staring until:
A) She runs into something or
B) Her mom will tell her to stop staring at the Gaijin. It’s pretty funny. They seem intrigued to know what a gaijin eats. They look in my basket...

You want other cases? Here you go:

- My (girl) students ask me: ‘How do you prepare your hair, do you curl them every morning (lol)??’ Euuuh, It’s natural baby. 100%. I step out the shower and it dries like this. It’s magic! They tell me I’m really surprisingly good with chopstick!!! I tell them I was probably born with a gift. I kick further then them, I throw harder then them, I can bat a baseball like a champ and I felt like Happy Gilmore at the driving range last week .. It’s actually pretty fun; this attention... it’s something I’ll miss when I get back to Quebec.

BUT, the next guy who follows me to the bathroom, takes the urinal next to me when there are 40 others and stares at my cock, I’ll freakin’ PEE ON HIS LEG.

That is all.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Soccer day in Miyagi

You might not know this but...
...I used to be a pretty good soccer player.


I was an elite player, a feared player with a reputation that preceded me far outside the island of Montreal. I could play with the best of them, and make the best of them look very bad, from my defensive position. I still can but it’s not the same... Years of violent play, of not being careful, caught up to me. I’ll always play and whenever there is a ball around, I go nuts. Now whoever has seen me play, knows how it goes down: If you see me running towards you, well its either gonna be your legs or my legs, but most probably, it’ll be your legs. And there is a slight possibility that your face might get some, and a 100% chance of me laying over your motionless body, crying face, insulting you and calling you a girl while I’m at it!
I broke more limbs than Uma Thurman in Kill Bill!!

I even broke some poor girl’s leg when I was a pre-teen.
I broke the arm (open fracture, guitar student... sorry man) of one of my friends.
I had a guy come up to me in University, telling me I broke his tibia 3 days before his summer vacation in Italy. You get the point... I hope.

Well I went to a J-League game here, between Vegalta Sendai (our team) and FC Ehime. A beautiful world-class stadium that the Italians used as a practice field in the 2002 World Cup. 25 000 people, beautiful day, drunk as hell. And it got me wondering what if...

What if I did like my best friend Mers and got a scholarship?
What if that stupid motherfucker Marc Mounicot didn’t cut my ass (on a plane, one week before the biggest tournament of my life, real smooth ASSHOLE!) and send me home feeling like a loser?
What if I ended up playing in front of 25 000 people screaming my name in a foreign country?

Maybe that was what I was supposed to do. Everything happens for a reason. I still think Marc Mounicot is a major DOUCHE. Vegalta won 1-0. I’m not missing one more game. They showed us on TV, in the middle of the Japanese hooligans. Most of my students saw me on TV, apparently we were all over the news...
It didn’t take long, I’m a local celebrity... lol
Thanks Chris, beautiful day!

Peep this:

video

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video

Le post en français est réduit. Parce que si vous parlez français, vous connaissez probablement tous mes exploits en terme de soccer. Si vous ne les connaissez pas, je vous suggère de lire ce qui est écrit ci-haut…

Je suis allé voir un match de l’équipe locale. On a bu un nombre incalculable de bières et je me suis retrouvé dans la section des supporteurs. Eh bien, apparemment moi et Chris et Jason, on était de tous les bulletins de nouvelles. C’est clair qu’on était tough à manquer. 2 blancs, dont un qui porte un espèce de chapeau de fourrure en forme de grenouille.

Un très très beau stade. 25 000 personnes, construit pour les entraînements de l’équipe italienne qui jouait à Sendai. Le stade Saputo est beau mais le Yurtec stadium est juste fou
! Les clips, c’est un exemple de l’ambiance qui régnait pendant 90 minutes.
Parce qu’ils ont gagné, 1-0.

Jusqu'ici tout va bien

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Take me out to the ball game!

Ok so last time I went to a baseball game, I was in high school or Cégep I think. I really have no passion for baseball, the best memories I have are linked to the fact I started playing soccer while waiting for my brother's baseball games to end... BUT, my friends, America's past time is something else in Japan. I went to a game between the Rakuten Golden Eagles (from Sendai) and the Hokkaido Nihhon-Ham Fighters (!!!) at Kleenex Stadium last week ! First of all, watching a game outside, on a crisp autumn night is really fun! But when you add:

-Japanese girls carrying kegs of beer on their back, kneeling in front of you (yikes) to pour you the golden elixir right in your cup!!

-Crazy Crazy mascots that would make Youppi! look like an intellectual

-Blowing up (phallic shaped) balloons and throwing them in the air in the 8th inning (see video)

-Crazy chants and intense cheering from the 25 000 people crowd

-Being the only white guy in the room and thus, getting my picture taken with people who think I'm a star

My japanese friends I went with had brought a jersey and a cap for me, I looked like a real fan. I even had binoculars. All I was missing was the portable radio... In the end, the Rakuten (Internet company) Golden Eagles got their asses kicked by the Nihhon Ham (Ham company) Fighters. It finished 17-0, 28 hits against 8... Yes my friends, it was a BLOWOUT at Kleenex stadium (HAHA!!)

But it made me realise... baseball can be fun, if we had built a decent stadium, it could have survived in Montreal. Nothing like being outside with friends on a chilly fall night. RIP Expos!

Enjoy the video of the release of the penis-shaped balloons (and how intense that girl in front of me was):


video


As you can see, I had a BLAST!





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Moi pis le baseball, ça remonte à loin.

J’étais assez jeune quand j’ai commencé à encourager mon frère dans les parcs de la province. À regarder des parents de Montréal-Nord étaler leur grâce et leur classe dans les estrades de magnifiques cités comme : Pointe-du-Lac, Lac-Mégantic et Saint-Donat.


C’est lors d’une de ces nombreuses parties de balle que j’ai découvert le sport qui fut une révélation pour moi : le soccer.


Mais la semaine passée, je suis allé au Miyagi Kleenex Stadium voir un match entre les Rakuten Golden Eagles (de Sendai) et les Hokkaido Nihhon-Ham Fighters. Un match dans un stade ouvert, avec 25 000 personnes, par une tiède soirée d’automne. Et bien, le baseball au Japon, c’est vraiment l’fun! Les raisons :

- Les beer girls qui se promènent avec le baril de bière strappé dans le dos, qui s’agenouillent devant toi pour te verser le précieux nectar dans ton verre.

-Des mascottes qui ferait en sorte que Youppi! à l’air de Denise Bombardier.

-Gonfler de ballons phalliques et les laisser partir à la 8e manche. (voir le vidéo)

- Hot-Dogs et bière remplacés par sushis et edemame.

- Une foule de 25 000 personnes chantant et encourageant les 2 équipes

Mes amis japonais m’avaient emmenés un chandail et une casquette. J’avais l’air du fan ultime. J’avais même des jumelles… il ne me manquait que la radio portable! Score final 17-0 pour les visiteurs!! Les Rakuten (compagnie internet) Golden Eagles n’étaient pas assez forts contre les Nihhon Ham (compagnie de jambon lol) Fighters.

Les Fighters faisaient MOUCHE à chaque tour au bâton au KLEENEX stadium…

lol




Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Giving thanks

L’action de grâce a été différente cette année.
Habituellement, c’est une dinde avec ma famille, un autre occasion de boire du bon vin et de manger la soupe de ma mère… (Oooo la soupe de ma mère). Cette année, je suis allé visiter la 3e plus belle chute du Japon (BOF..) et nous sommes allés se faire un imonikai. On fait chauffer de l’eau avec un feu, sur le bord de la rivière, et on se prépare une soupe avec pleins d’ingrédients plus ou moins identifiables. C’est une bonne occasion de boire de la bière avec plein de monde! Ils sont plus ou moins habitués de voir des blancs faire ça, c’est une activité qui n’existe que dans le nord du Japon. J'étais encore une fois le seul représentant masculin, donc, j'étais en charge du feu! Mais nous nous en sommes bien sortis, comme des pros je dirais! C’était dans un croche de la rivière et c’était vraiment très beau.
Après, Eeva nous avait invité chez elle pour le souper, La dinde fut remplacée par des steaks et elle nous a servi des patates pilées et des courges et on a bu du vin… C’est ce genre de journée qui font en sorte que cette expérience est vraiment vraiment le fun. Ce sont de belles journées entre amis, on est au bout du monde, carefree et on parle de nos différences culturelles et on se demande qui restera 2 ans, qui restera plus longtemps…
Ça fait déjà presque 3 mois que je suis ici, c’est fou. J’ai de la misère à le croire, bientôt Noël et la Thaïlande!

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Thnaksgiving is usually celebrated with my family, drinking good wine, eating my mom’s soup and a turkey.
Well ... Thanksgiving was different this year. We boarded Rufus (Issy’s car) and headed for Japan’s 3rd most beautiful waterfall (Meeh). It’s the rest of the day that became special. We went for an imonikai. You go by a river, and start a fire, and cook a potato-miso stew. I was drinking beer with the Angels, talking about life and our future and just having a really fun day outside. It was a beautiful fall day as well, where you can wear a t-shirt with a scarf. The girls could clearly see I was nervous because of my new school I was starting today, and they were pretty patient with me, I was a real pain I think! Then we went to Eeva’s for our Canadian Thanksgiving! We had steaks, mashed potatoes, wine, pumpking-courge and great cake. She really is, the hostess with the mostesssss. My thanks are given to her, for making me feel like I have a family here.
We’re starting to ask ourselves how long we’re gonna stay here. It’s almost been 3 months already! Crazy! Hard to believe, that in 2 months, I’ll be ready to leave for Thailand! Loves it!

Irashaimassse!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fooled... once again

Je vais au supermarché avec ma liste hier. Je rentre au MaxValu, à 20h, avec l'intention d'acheter plein de trucs, mais surtout, de la VIANDE. Je suis un carnivore. Je veux de la viande. J'achète du poulet, qui semble mariné dans une sauce intéressante. Je rentre à la maison, heureux de mon achat. Fais cuire le morceau de volaille alléchant. Me prépare à déguster le poulet, remarque que la texture du poulet semble suspecte. J'ai faim, donc je passe outre et je mange....
Sacré tofu, c'est la 2e fois que tu me fais le coup... Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.... C'est quoi la prochaine?


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Went to MaxValu yesterday, had to buy stuff (kabbi Killah, potato thingies...) But mainly, I wanted meat. I felt like I needed that meat you know? So I bought chicken, already marinated. Went back home, happy, whistling on my bike, thinking about how good that chicken will be... MMmmm Mmmmm goooooood! I cook the stuff, set up my table (aka that messy table where my computer is) notice from the corner of my eye how suspicious the texture of the chicken is. I'm straving so, who cares right? Eat the chicken... and then it hit me. This chicken, is tofu pretending to be chicken.... Fuuuuuuuck! If it is tofu, why is it sold next to the chicken? And why, why would someone buy tofu? It's crap. I swear, it's the 2nd time I get fooled, and hopefully the last. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, what's the next one?

tofu...pfff, gimme a break

Sunday, September 28, 2008

This is why...... (in video!!!)

This here, is some videos of why I love this country. This weekend, it was the sports tournament in Natori. All the schools were competing in all the sports. To encourage their school buddies, all the students come to tha gym and sing these ''songs'' (sounds more like a war cry to me). Just check out the videos, 5 minutes of your life... You won't understand. You'd have to be a rock to not be motivated by this.

Singin' to the masses 1:

video

Singing part 2:

video

The soccer team:

video

Oh! That's funny I sing to statues all the time too!! (when I'm drunk):

video

On our way to the tournament (we won, it was obvious no? With a coach like me):

video

Victory chant to thank the supporters (ultras):

video

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tokyo kicks your city's ass .

Tokyo is the shiznit!


The subway and train map will make most men go insane. And it confirmed something I doubted, Montreal is really really late! Or is it Tokyo who’s very very futuristic? I took a shinkansen (high speed train) and got to Tokyo in 90 minutes. Wayyy better than the 6 hours bus!

Me and the angels, we went out both days and we found the world’s most fucked up bar: Bar Lockup. I got handcuffed to our hostess who lead me to our cell...... Then, we ordered freaky drinks coming in test tubes with syringes and eye balls in them. It was CRAZY! The day after, we took a stroll, stopping at shrines and high-end shops (Gucci, Dior, Vuitton, Armani, Salvatore.... they are all here) before renting a swan-shaped peddler boat thing on a lake! I know, I’m a whore. It was amaaaazing!

It’s hard to describe a city. I’m no Sinatra you know? So you’ll have to visit I guess! Just Shinjuku station is enough to make a grown man cry. I could have rolled up in a corner and died! Speaking of death, I was awoken by an earthquake on Sunday morning. Always a freaky feeling. My 3rd one now!








Anyways, amidst the Tokyo insanity, you can always find small islands of relaxation, hidden in between the theatres and the 5 floor Chanel stores. You really have to see it to believe it! One thing is for sure, my brother should not let his lovely wife go there, because he might lose her forever ;-)


See you soon Tokyo!
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Tokyo, metropolis par excellence!




Un réseau de métro et de train qui vient confirmer tous mes doutes : Montréal à beaucoup de retard. À moins que Tokyo ne soit en avance? Who cares really? Nous avons pris un shinkansen. Le trajet en train prend une heure 30 minutes. En bus : 6 heures!!

J’étais bien entouré…je suis parti avec Eeva, Jill et Isobel, nous sommes sortis dans Shinjuku les deux soirs. Et check this out : nous sommes allés dans un bar qui s’appelle Lockup. Le concept : c’est une prison, on est entrés, je me suis fait menotter à ma serveuse (HAWT DIGGITY!) qui m’a emmené à ma cellule. On a bu des drinks avec des seringues et tout et tout… C’était sick! Le lendemain, on a visité plein de trucs, on a loué un pédalo en forme de cygne(voir facebook)! How romantic! Je n’ai jamais vu autant de magasin de grand luxe. Tout le monde à un magasin ici! Tokyo, c’est une ville étourdissante et fascinante. Je ne peux pas vraiment lui rendre justice. Il faut le visiter. La station de train de Shinjuku, la plus achalandée sur Terre, est indescriptible. C’est assez pour rendre quelqu’un fou! Je pourrais me mettre en boule et mourir. En parlant de mort, j’ai été réveillé par un tremblement de Terre à 7h am dimanche… Toujours spécial. Mais c’est mon 3e là!

Peu importe, malgré la folie et la frénésie tokyoïte, on peut retrouver des coins de sérénité à travers l’insanité. Nous sommes allés visiter des shrines qui étaient très relaxantes et qui sont parsemées au travers des théâtres Kabuki et des boutiques Louis Vuitton de 5 étages. Faut vraiment le voir pour le croire. Une jungle de néons et de gratte-ciels entrecoupée de temples shinto et de parcs magnifiques.

À bientôt Tokyo!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm going going back BACK to Tokyo TOKYO!!!!!

I'm boarding a shinkansen in 90 minutes with my PY's angels.... I'm going back to Tokyoooooo!
Will let you know how it went!
Sayonara

P-Y!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sweet sweet Internet

Je suis finalement connecté sur Internet à la maison…
Je dois avouer que ça fait du bien. Je suis sur fibre optique donc je peux downloader Pulp Fiction en 5 minutes si ça me tente! Et je peux maintenant lire à volonté toutes les nouvelles sur le coup de patin de Latendresse ou sur les performances de Carey Price. Mais surtout, je peux utiliser Skype. Lors des derniers jours, j’ai eu des conversations live avec les gens que j’aime partout autour de la planète. Et ça fait vraiment du bien. La distance est un concept bien futile maintenant car je peux apparaître dans votre salon à n’importe quelle heure.

Au plaisir de vous parler

P-Y

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

I finally have my Optic Fibre Internet.
Man is that fast! And I love it. It means a lot of things are back: poker, rds.ca and many other things...lol!
It also means I can now communicate with the people I love! In the past days, I have had live conversations with Skype with many people. I have talked live with Montreal (duh), Okinawa (exotic), Stockholm (missed ya) and Paris (oui oui). And I guess I was waiting for this for a while. It made me feel better. Thank you for being at the end of the line. It’s good to see you all!
I know home is where the heart is but when I talk to you I can’t help but think home should be where YOUR heart is... I know we’re far and that things always change but I always want to go back in time and relive those days we had together. Nothing can change that.
Man it’s about time they invent that time travelling machine, eh?

Tack så mycket

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The dark side of Japan

Natto + Ponyo

Not everything is AMAZING in Japan. I know I know, it doesn’t seem that way if you’ve talked to me in the past weeks. I’m having a great time. I feel good and I’m getting in shape and stuff but you know, there are some suspicious things in the land of the rising sun. Here are two examples… :

Natto:

Natto is fermented soybeans. Yes, it already sounds delicious I know. You are supposed to eat them. They’re freaking everywhere here. Man, there is even Nattomaki and Natto ice cream… They sell Natto in supermarkets, in little white unnamed boxes, so there could be Natto in your fridge and you wouldn’t know it. And then one day, you’re like: ‘Well my fridge is empty and I don’t feel like going to the supermarket… Oh look, a little white box in the corner of my fridge, I wonder what it is? It has to be tasty, we’re in Japan…’ you take the box, open it and WHAAAAAAAAAAM! It hits you! It stinks SO BAD that it could kill a medium sized Golden retriever. WOW Just fuc*king wow! You have to read the story on Wikipedia on how they first decided to eat that… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natto .
Did you read it? They used to feed that shit to the horses maaaaan! The horses!! Well they made me try it some days ago and I’d rather have all the stuff that it’s supposed to prevent than to put that stuff in my mouth again. Give me blood clots, heart attacks, pulmonary embolism… Give me all that at the same time! I’m never ever ever ever touching Natto again, not even with a 10-foot pole. I feel sick just writing about the damned thing.


Ponyo:

Ponyo attacks another one of the five senses: hearing. Basically, Ponyo is a dumb movie about a fish (possibly a gold fish) that runs away from home gets stranded somewhere and gets rescued by a boy… bla bla bla. If it interests you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponyo_on_a_Cliff . My problem is not with Ponyo itself. I mean, to me Ponyo is just another annoying animation movie. NO! My problem is with the song… I open the TV, I hear : ‘Ponyo Ponyo Ponyo Sakana no ko’. I go to Daniel’s school festival, the brass band plays the Ponyo song! I’m on the train, this hot chick has a Ponyo ringtone. Supermarket: Ponyo song. It’s everywhere!! It’s even in my dreams at night… and in my head during the day. I call all the students Ponyo! I’m not sure that I’m gonna get thru this folks... Ponyo might win the battle. And I wonder what’s worse actually: Ponyo or the fact that you can’t spell Ponyo... without PY.

To listen to the Ponyo song (you have been warned): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ez67yfbZwl8
I told some people that, on the annoying scale, it's higher than the ketchup song, the crazy frog and the macarena all mixed
together.
Enjoy,
PonYo

Friday, September 5, 2008

Not a VIRGIN anymore!!!!

Oui, c’est finalement arrivé!

Ça faisait longtemps que j’attendais ce moment… On a bu quelques bières et c’est juste… arrivé!

Je suis content que ma première fois ait été une petite, pas une énorme. C’était vraiment le fun comme feeling, complètement différent. Ça n’a pas duré longtemps mais OH BOY, c’était bon!

Au début, je ne réalisais pas ce qui m’arrivait… Je me disais dans ma tête : ‘Wow, c’est vraiment en train de m’arriver… Ma première fois! Il paraît que je vais m’en rappeler toute ma vie…’. C’étais assez excitant!
Ça fait assez longtemps que j’en parle, ça devait arriver tôt ou tard. Je suis pas mal satisfait, je m’en suis assez bien sorti. J’en tremble encore!

Quand ce fut terminé, je me suis levé, et j’ai envoyé des messages textes à mes amis! Maintenant que la glace est brisée, je peux le refaire souvent, il paraît que beaucoup de soirées se terminent comme ça ici.

Incroyable… c’est le seul commentaire que j’ai à faire à propos de mon premier ………………………tremblement de terre!!

hahaha

Mais à quoi pensiez-vous?
Bande de perverts


P-Y

;-)



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Yes, it finally happened! I’ve been expecting it for a while now.

We had some beers and then it just… happened. I’m happy that my first time was a small one, not a HUGE one! It was such a special feeling, unlike anything I’ve felt before. Oh it didn’t last long, but it was good!

;-)

At first, I didn’t realize what was happening… I was thinking to myself : ‘This is it! It’s really happening’. I was overwhelmed. It was very exciting.

I’ve been talking about it for so long now, it was bound to happen sooner or later.I feel pretty good about it, it’s like I’m still shaking inside…
I was pretty proud, I got thru it like a champ! I sent text messages to a lot of my friends after!Now that I broke the ice, I don’t mind having a lot of it. Apparently it happens often here!!


Man, I’ll never forget my first……………................... earthquake!!
lol


ps: you pervs… what did you think I was talking about?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Work-Work-Work-Sleep-Drink-Work REPEAT

Donc je travaille des heures de japonais... Je commence vers 7 :30 et je quitte habituellement vers 18 :00. J’ai parlé à beaucoup de mes collègues ALTs et je suis un de ceux qui travaillent le plus fort. J’ai 22 cours à donner cette semaine et ils ont coupé une période pour aider les jeunes à préparer le festival. Je me trouve pas mal discipliné et je suis plutôt fier de moi. Mais je me demande si toutes ces heures ne me dirigeront pas vers un éventuel état d’épuisement… Bof, on traversera le pont (en espérant qu’il n’y ait pas de clown dessus) quand on sera rendu à la rivière, right? Et bien hier, il m’est arrivé quelque chose d’assez impressionnant, qui rend toutes ces heures supplémentaires superflues… :

Ça fait donc deux semaines que j’aide 4 jeunes filles à se préparer pour un speech contest entre les 4 Junior High Schools de Natori. Je n’ai jamais assisté à un speech contest mais je me suis basé sur la grille pour perfectionner le tout. Donc j’ai travaillé la prononciation, la mémorisation et j’ai incorporé quelques gestes. Je n’étais pas convaincu de nos chances de faire bonne figure parce que Daniel (l’autre ALT de Natori) me disait que les jeunes de son école était assez impressionnants. En plus, il avait l’avantage du terrain car le concours était à son école (Nicchu). J’avais un cours donc je ne pouvais pas assister au concours. J’ai écouté les filles une dernière fois et je les eu ai dit : ‘Gambatte kudasai’ (Bonne chance) ‘I believe in you') et ‘Otsukaresamadeshta’ (Bon travail). Donc après l’école, j’étais à ma deuxième job (assistant coach de l’équipe de soccer) et je suis en train de me dire que je suis trop vieux pour courir avec des jeunes de 12-13-14-15 ans, je vois les filles, des parents, deux profs d’anglais se diriger vers moi. Ma première pensée fut : ‘Bon j’ai fait quelque chose de mal et je me fais déporter’. Je cherchais donc le moyen de fuir rapidement et je me demandais quelle identité utiliser cette fois-ci (Max Power, Mr. Tempura ou bien Bouc McSay). Mais NON! Elles venaient m’annoncer, toutes souriantes, qu’elles avaient écrasé la compétition et qu’elles participeraient donc à la prochaine étape. Le directeur de l’école montre les plaques à tout le monde et tout le monde me remercie. Je ressens quelque chose que je n’ai jamais senti de ma vie (possiblement de l’accomplissement) et je crois qu’hier, j’ai vu pour la première fois tout l’impact que je peux avoir sur ces jeunes. J’ai dormi avec le sourire…
Bonne nuit.

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So I’ve been working like a Japanese. By that I mean that I get up and I’m at my desk at 7:30 in the morning and I rarely leave before 18:00... I haven’t spoken to anyone who gives more classes than I do. I’m giving 22 this week, and they took a class out of the schedule because of the upcoming school festival. Heck, I’m working hard which, if you know me, is rather surprising. I have a lot of discipline and I’m pretty proud of myself. BUT, if I wanted a crazy life of long shifts, I would have followed my amazing brother’s footsteps, right? Well I don’t know. I expected this but I’m not sure I expected to give 4-5-6 classes a day. But something happened yesterday which made this all worthwhile:


I was practicing with 4 girls for a speech contest between Natori’s 4 Junior high schools. Well I have never ever seen a speech contest so I just worked on pronunciation and memorisation and whatever else was on that grid. I’m serious when I say that I wasn’t too convinced about their performance because Daniel (my Natori ALT partner) was doing the same thing with his kids in his school and he kept telling me that his kids rocked. And he had home field advantage because the contest was held at his school (Nicchu). I had a class so I couldn’t even go but I helped the girls in the morning and told them: ‘I believe in you’ ‘You are going to kick ass’ and ‘Otsukaresamadeshta’ (Good work). So yesterday, I’m working my second job (assistant-coach of the soccer team) and I see the girls and some parents and a couple teachers coming towards me... My first thought was: ‘Oh snap, I did something bad and I’m getting deported’. I was trying to find the nearest escape route and thinking about which disguise I would choose for my newest fugitive adventure (Bat-O-Man... Homeless-O-Man.... or the ever popular Ambiguous Wo-Man) but NO! They were super happy and they crushed the competition! Now, they have to go and participate in the Sendai Area speech contest... I was feeling something I’ve never felt before (may be pride but still has to be confirmed). The principal was stoked, he showed off the plaques to everyone and they kept thanking me... I guess that yesterday, I felt for the first time what being a teacher can be like and let me tell you, it pretty much kicks ass...
Good night!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Observations...

1 : The question is not : ‘Will I get hit by a car’ but rather : ‘When will I get hit by a car’

Man!! these cars driving on the wrong side of the roads are freaking me out. And the driver is on the other side... What is up with that! I’m there on my bike and I look right, left and behind me, I’m going insane. It doesn’t help that I add to the difficulty by having French electro-pop cranked up in my Ipod!

2: Riding a bike with an umbrella is an art, an important skill in Japan and a good way to make sure I get hit by a car soon.

Look, I ain’t gonna lie. It’s raining some days. And I have to ride my bike for the next year or so. And everyone else is doing it here, so I’m doing it too dammit! I have a mountain bike (thank you Bill, it is the nicest bike in town!) and I ride to school. I have a school bag, a soccer bag, an umbrella and an Ipod in my neck. I’m probably violating 15 japanese laws at once but it’s a risk I have to take.

3: Wearing a funny (often misspelled) t-shirt is ok here.

Would you walk around town with a t-shirt that says ‘First blow job’ or ‘bet you can’t even sail’ or ‘What want now! When it want!’ or ‘Dojo master plan fan’ or ‘Rock guyz you’?? Well over here it’s ok. And next weekend I have a party at Eeva’s where we have to wear one of those damned stupid t-shirts. We call this amazing English: Engrish... They have a lot of difficulty with the letter L here. Anyways, I think I found my t-shirt. That party will just be GOLD!

4: I will probably get told I’m good with chopsticks 1,000,000,000,000 times.

Heck I heard it too many times already. Sometimes, I feel like sticking one in my eyes just to entertain them.

Sad fact, Japan imports 50% of the hard wood on the planet, mostly to produce chopsticks! 130 000 000 pairs of chopsticks A DAY are used over her. CRAZY!




1- ‘Est-ce que je me ferai frapper par une auto’ n’est pas la question… C’est plutôt : ‘Quand-est-ce que je me ferai frapper par une auto’

Les autos roulent du mauvais côté, le chauffeur est aussi de l’autre côté!! Je suis sur mon vélo et je regarde à gauche, à droite, derrière… Je vais devenir fou. Tellement stressant! Faut avouer que je ne m’aide pas: j’écoute du gros Daft Punk pis du Yelle dans mon IPod en même temps.

2- Conduire un vélo avec un parapluie est un art au Japon, quelque chose d’important à maîtriser et une bonne façon de m’assurer que je vais me faire frapper par une auto bientôt!

Je ne vais pas vous mentir, il pleut des fois! Et le vélo est mon moyen de transport principal, juste devant le train. Tout le monde conduit son vélo avec un parapluie donc je vais le faire moi aussi (J’ai même vu une petite de 12 ans conduire son vélo pendant une averse en parlant au téléphone… )!! J’ai un gros vélo de montagne, un sac à dos, un sac de soccer, un parapluie et un IPod dans mon cou… Je brise peut-être 15 lois en même temps mais bon, au pire je me fais déporter et on passe Noël à Sainte-Flavie ou à Chibougameau!! (Ou à Maisonneuve-Rosemont……)

3- Porter un t-shirt mal épelé ou vraiment ridicule ici, c’est correct!

Moi dans le 514, je me promènerais pas avec un t-shirt qui dit ‘First blow job’ ou ‘bet you can’t even sail’ ou ‘Want want now, when it want’ ou… you get the point. Ici, c’est encouragé, mon amie Eeva organise même un party ce week-end où l’on doit porter un de ces t-shirt. C’est aussi un Purple Jesus party, c'est-à-dire que l’on emmène tout l’alcool qui traîne dans nos appart, on le mix dans un bol géant avec du jus et on se saoule jusqu’à ce qu’on puisse marcher sur l’eau… ou mieux encore, jusqu’à ce que je puisse changer l’eau en vin.

4- Je vais probablement me faire dire 100 millions de fois que je suis bon avec des baguettes.

Je l’ai entendu trop souvent déjà… Des fois, j’ai le goût de m’en enfiler un dans l’œil pour les satisfaire!

Pour terminer sur une bonne note… le Japon importe 50% du bois franc de la planète. La majeure partie de ce bois est utilisée afin de produire les 130 millions de paires de baguettes utilisées quotidiennement. C’est vraiment déguelasse. Mais moi je fais ma part grâce à mon frère et ma belle-sœur, j’ai les baguettes réutilisables les plus fresh de tout le Tohoku!