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


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!


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...

Friday, November 21, 2008


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 ( 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


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, 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...


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


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