Monday, December 21, 2009
When we came to Japan, we were told this was also for internationalization. Well I’m internationalized now. And for the sake of cultural exchange, we decided to create a club to celebrate our one true love, drinking. Every Thursday we drink and change the world, we talk about how to save the planet and discuss poetry and Renaissance music…. (well at least that’s what I remember on Friday morning). I’m going to Vietnam and Laos with these two clowns for Christmas. As offensive and annoying as they can be, these dudes are really good people. When I go back to Montreal next year, I’ll surely be looking for some guys who have as much drive and determination (for drinking) and hope that my friends will still have what it takes (to tell me how metro I am with my V-necks). If they don’t, I might wanna climb in there (on a plane) and go back to my life of nomihodais and Genie.
(To get a sample of the South African accent, click on : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLPSo86NZDI&feature=related )
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I’ve been in hostile conditions in my 20 year soccer career. I’ve played soccer in PEI with winds strong enough to make a baby fly. I’ve played in snow in Québec city. I’ve played in hail, during floods. I’ve played in front of hostile crowds waiting for me off the field. But seriously, playing in the dark is the dumbest thing. For an hour I chase an orange ball that ceases to exist as soon as it’s 10 meters away from me. Then it reappears and I start running around with it and then it disappears again. I was sure my night vision was getting better and better everyday… until today. I just got hit by that stupid orange ball right in the nose and got my first nosebleed in… forever. So I came back to my desk and Ms. Nakamura laughed at me and I told her that the first thing I will buy when I win a million dollars is lights for the soccer field. Clever as she is (she’s a clever one) she asked me: 'But Pierru, what will you do if you don’t win a million dollars?' (I told you she was clever)
So I told her… (In a performance that would have won a world championship of Guess-tures) 'I’ll just buy one light and hang myself from it'
She almost choked on her coffee... always have the last word people. It’s the first rule of life.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The lions of Japan don’t rule over the savanna as they usually do where they normally live. The lions of Japan rule the street. They walk around, dressed in black, wearing shoes 5 sizes too big, and they hunt for prey. Like most of us single males, they hunt for women. Their biggest weapons are the cans and cans of spray net that they put in their hair, and their questionable fashion sense. I’m not a lion, I had hair that made me look like a lion at some point, but I have other weapons then cans of spray net. On the street, I’m a nobler animal… I would say I’m something like a drunken leopard. A panther wearing a v-neck. A really classy hyena.
Like many animals looking for easy prey, The Japanese lion walks around in a pack. Two or three lions walking around the nightlife district, using their radars to spot wounded, (really) short skirt wearing Japanese chicks. When he finds such a thing, the lion then separates from the pack and starts following the girl around with, (most of the time) little to no success.
Let’s not kid ourselves, the Japanese lion exists because of the success it has had sometimes. If some dumb girls want to date a really awkward looking dude, whose hair could maybe hurt her in intimate situations, it’s her problem. But it really makes you wonder: who the hell decided such a hairstyle was acceptable, and also, should we be afraid that people like this might appear on the streets of Europe and America someday???
Be afraid of the Japanese lion, be very afraid… Wouldn’t you want to punch one in the face today?
Thursday, October 1, 2009
When I got home last summer, some people told me I was more mature. It felt quite good to be lauded as a person of great maturity, for the first time in my life. I felt like a respectable individual, you know, the type of guy you could lend your car to and not worry that I might send it to the bottom of a lake (If that type of guy had a driver’s license, which I don’t!!!). So what happened?? I guess that when I turned to the glorious age of 2_ last year, I might have just gone over the ‘maximum age to get mature’ point. I guess I had a conversation like this with my brain:
(Brain): ‘Alright big boy, you are now 2_ in physical years and 15 mentally, maybe it would be time to grow up and become mature eh? What do you say we start acting like grown men?’
(Me): ‘Fuck No dude!!!! 14 ‘til I die!!!! Woo Hoo! Where’s my beer? Yeah! You can’t spell Party without P-Y!!!’
(Brain): ‘Listen up you little hoodlum, you’ve been making me insane with all your partying… You do realize that you have been a bit of a partyboy for almost half your life now? Do you know what the life expectancy is for people with your lifestyle???’
(Me): ‘Life expectanWHAT?... Brain-dude, are you making up words again???’
(Brain): ‘Life ex-pec-tan-cy… If you keep this up, you won’t make it passed 35. Race car drivers have a better chance to see a Montreal team win a Stanley Cup than you do… Is that what you want?’
(Me, realizing the fatality of the Brain’s last statement): ‘Woah, I guess you’re right. Maybe I have been going a little overboard. Where should I start?’
(Brain): ‘Well for starters, you could start wearing your pants like a normal person, everyone can see your ass!!’
(Me, complying): ‘Alright DONE. I feel like a new man! Where is the closest museum so I can go look at paintings and pretend to see the true meaning of it, you know, like a grown-up, boring person?’
(Brain): ‘Shut up and have one more beer’
Version 2 AKA The actual story behind my new-found maturity
During my vacation in Montreal, some people told me I looked more mature. For the first time in my life, I felt some pride about being a mature guy. I felt like a respectable individual, you know, the type of guy you could lend your truck to and not worry that I might use it to go pick up a prostitute on Ontario street (If that type of guy had a driver’s license, which I don’t!!!). So what happened??
Well yeah, some people told me I ‘looked’ more mature…
I guess these people have never heard about JETLAG!
Woooo Hooooo!!!! 14 ‘til I die!!! You can’t spell PARTY without PY!
Later, I’m off to my weekly Thursday night all you can drink party!
Friday, September 18, 2009
The week after I came back fom Canada, I went out with some people and we went to 2 or 3 bars in Sendai. We were quite the group and I’m usually never the last one to leave because I have to take the stupid last train. But that night, everyone left before me, a good 90 minutes before the last train. So I stayed at the standing bar. There was a good crowd, some ghetto ass folk I never met before so I said ‘Fuck It’ I’m staying’. Ernie, the owner of a bar in Sendai (Aptly named Ernie’s bar) was doing a good job of convincing me to miss the last train and continue partying. But, as I do 90% of the time, I came to my senses and decided to run and catch the last train.
I got a seat on that train, which is quite the feat, because it’s usually full. 5 stations to my station, 18 minutes. I tried reading my book, but I was quite drunk and I always hated reading on moving things (Ok, I was drunk). So I closed my eyes and fell asleep. I woke up a minute later and decided to put an alarm on my phone in case I fell asleep again. Closed my eyes only to we woken up by a train driver in an empty train at the end of the line. This being the last train, I quickly realized that I was in trouble. I was in a town called Shiroishi, often called Shiroshitty. It would cost me a good 150$ and up to go home by taxi. So I did the only thing a person like me can do when they get stuck in a situation like this: I stole a bike. It took me a long time but I finally found a bike that was unlocked. I rode around and discovered the darkest corners of Shiroishi, testing this new bike to see if it could survive the long ride home (about 2 hours, on a good bike). When I realized that this bike wasn’t locked for a good reason (It was as shitty as Shiroshitty), I decided I would shift my priorities. I had to spend the night somewhere horizontal. I looked for a love hotel: None. Not even a bench. Not even a park. So when I crossed the bridge I came to the conclusion that for a GHETTO event, I might as well sleep like a ghetto boy: Under the bridge.
I slept on the sidewalk, under the bridge. For an hour. Then I laughed for an hour, thinking my mom would be proud. Then I rode the shitty bike for an hour. Then I spent 40 minutes in a convenience store because it was cold outside. And then it was time for the first train. The moral of this story?
A moral? What do I look like? Hans-Christian Andersen? Just don’t fall asleep on the train like an idiot.
Yours truly, the village idiot
ps: I returned the bike… but in a different place. Beware. You never know where Montreal-North ghetto boys might be walking.
Friday, September 4, 2009
It is in my nature to be interested by freak natural phenomenon. Probably because of my university background and the interest I’ve always had for anything remotely resembling a natural disaster. I remember freaking my friends out when I told them I couldn’t wait for my first earthquake. Just when they thought I couldn’t be stranger, I go and tell them I would enjoy having survive to a ‘Big One’. One where I could help with the rescue of my poor neighbors trapped under the rubble. And then they would give me the keys to the city, and then I would go on the Today show and marry Carmen Electra. You know what I’m talking about, right?
Anyways, we are indeed in typhoon season now and the typhoon number 11 (Goldorak or Morrdakk or some stupid name) promised to be a big one. The TV people kept talking about it, my teachers were talking about it. I started to get pretty excited!
‘Man, a typhoon! And they say it will come in around Sendai… And I live near the coast! Yes!!!’
My excitement only got better when I got an e-mail from the Canadian embassy telling me to be careful, to stay away from coastlines and to expect pouring rain and high winds and to watch out for landslides… YEAH! Kickass, a landslide! I wasn’t asking for so much!
It started raining at like 2 pm. When I left school at 5, they told me to be careful and that they might call me if the typhoon makes too much damage and that I might have to come in later than usual.
‘My oh my!! This all sounds like a great time… I can’t wait!’
So I told my friends I’d be on my balcony looking at the spectacle, waiting for the disaster to happen! Well at 10 pm I got bored, it was just steady raining since the afternoon. I went to bed and woke up at every hour, on the hour to maybe witness the end of the world. At 2 am, it wasn’t even raining no more. What a load of bullshit. Woke up at 6, everything was… normal. I went to school under the sun and asked my teacher (Mr. Shoji):
‘Hey, what the hell happened with that typhoon?’
‘It went away’
AWAY???!!! What the fuck man? It’s not a stray cat. It’s not a cold sore. It doesn’t just GO AWAY!
‘It flew away’, he repeated.
Well I’ll be damned, I guess that in Japan, a typhoon is just a weird bird or something. After the FIASCO that was the solar eclipse, I get screwed over with a typhoon now. Bring on the earthquakes, because last time I checked, I still wasn’t married to Carmen Electra.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
La prochaine fois, ce sera moins une ‘course contre la montre’. Il y a aussi beaucoup de gens que j’aurais aimé voir davantage mais j’espère qu’ils comprennent que je ne suis pas un super-héros.
Donc après les très populaires statistiques lors de mes vacances avec Ben, voici mes …
STATISTIQUES DE MON PÉRIPLE MONTRÉALAIS :
Animaux tués pour me nourrir: 30 et plus (Merci special au Pied de cochon)
Nombre de rondes de golf jouées (et gagnées): 3 (C’est pas grave Ben)
heures de sommeil en moyenne: 5
Nombre de fausses boules pongnées aux danseuses : 13 (J’ai amené ma bière à l’isoloir pour la dernière)
Argent donné à l’osti de dentiste: 775$
Argent perdu au casino: 80$ (C’aurait pu être pire)
Bixis empruntés: 4
Jours de pluie: 1
P’tits P’tits P’tits spectacles : Eh Boy… Who knows?
Nombre de fois où j’ai dit à ma nièce que c’est la plus jolie : au moins 80
Pourcentage du staff féminin qui à de fausses boules au Boston Pizza de Mascouche : 100% (Je recommande)
Nombre de fois où j’ai entendu ‘Pis le Japon?’ : Au moins 60
Nombre de Bud Light Lime consommées : 3
Nombre de Bud Light Lime que je vais avoir dans le reste de ma vie : 0 (déguelasse)
Argent dépensé : Beaucoup trop
Note générale sur 10 : 18
Merci, ce fut parfait
My vacation in Canada was nothing relaxing but it was a great time. There are some people I would have liked to see that I didn’t see but I’ll be back soon enough to see them.
Also, there are some people I would have liked to see more but 16 days was a short time. I hope all of them understand that I love them and that I’m not a superhero.
So after my Golden week vacation stats, I give you my
CANADIAN VACATION STATS:
Number of animals killed to feed me: over 30
Number of rounds of golf, and number of rounds won: 3-3
Average hours of sleep: 5
Number of strippers touched: Secret
Money spent at the (FUCKING) dentist: 775$
Money lost at casino: 80$
Poker games: only 2
Bixis ridden: 4
Rainy days: 1
Times telling my niece she is the cutest thing ever: at least 80
Times I’ve unintentionally pissed of my best friend Maryann: 3
Number of girls that have fake boobs at the Mascouche Boston Pizza: ALL OF THEM (I recommend)
Number of times I was asked 'So how is Japan?' : at least 60
Number of Bud Light Lime I’ve had: 3
Number of Bud Light Lime I’ll have after this: 0 (its seriously bad)
Money spent: Waaaay too much
Overall feeling: BEST. VACATION. EVER.
Thank you all, it was Perfect!!!
Saturday, August 1, 2009
It's a pretty cool video.
I am going home for 2 weeks so to those who read this shit... I'll either see you in 3D soon or I'll see you when I get back
Friday, July 17, 2009
Dans un pays come le Japon, axé sur le travail et la performance, il est normal de voir certains phénomènes crées pour compenser le stress que vivent ces gens qui travaillent des heures impossibles. L’hôtel capsule est un de ces phénomènes. Mais il ne s’agit point de ce que je voulais aborder ici. J’ai eu le privilège d’être initié lors des derniers mois à Rilakkuma. Vous connaissez tous Hello Kity mais Rilakkuma est définitivement en train de rattraper Kitty dans le cœur des jeunes Japonais. Kuma veut dire Ours (Bear) en Japonais et Rilak est une merveilleuse traduction de relax. Rilakkuma est donc un Relaxing Bear. La plupart du temps, il nous est montré en train d’écouter de la musique, de dormir ou même en train de manger. Il à un acolyte, Korilakkuma (qui est blanc et un peu plus petit) et ils se tiennent avec un oiseau jaune. La plupart de mes étudiants ont quelque chose à l’effigie de Rilakkuma et j’ai commencé à trouver que cet ours avait une bouille sympathique et je dois dire que j’ai quelques trucs Rilakkuma. J’ai visité l’appart d’une amie l’autre jour et sa ‘chambre’ (je connais des gens qui ont de plus grosses salles de bain que cet appart) est un sanctuaire rempli de Rilakkuma. Oreillers, draps, oursons, tapis. TOUT! C’est elle qui m’a fait comprendre le paradoxe de Rilakkuma. Elle travaille 10-12 heures par jour et elle a 6 jours de congé par mois. Elle dort 5 heures par nuit et trouve le moyen de jouer au handball et de sortir un peu. Elle devrait être cliniquement morte mais elle trippe sur cet ours qui relaxe. Je crois donc que les Japonais (et surtout les Japonaises) aiment cet ours parce qu’il vit la vie qu’ils aimeraient avoir. Mais aucun Japonais digne de cette nationalité ne pourrait se permettre de passer ses journées à dormir, manger et écouter la télé (Bonheur Social) donc ils se réfugient dans des sanctuaires dédiés au Relaxing Bear.
Bon…si c’était moi, je deviendrais probablement fou et je lui crierait ‘Criss d’ours sale, t’aurais pu faire la vaisselle au moins, BOUGE ton CUL.. Fais de quoi! Ah pis t’es encore avec ton ami Korilakkuma et cet oiseau de merde!’ avant de tout brûler et de virer fou. Mais bon, c’est des Japonais et ils aiment ce genre de conneries.
In a country like Japan, based on work ethic and performance, it is normal to se some phenomenon created to compensate the stress that live people who work over 80 hours a week. Capsule hotels are one of those things. But I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about Rillakuma, the ‘relaxing’ bear. Hello Kitty is the champion with kids but Rillakuma is quickly gaining up on the cat. He’s a relaxing bear cuz he doesn’t really do much aside from eating, sleeping and watching TV. He has a best friend, Korillakuma (white and a little smaller)and together, they chill with a small yellow bird. Most of my students have something representing Rillakuma and I know that a lot of bedrooms are plastered in Rillakuma gear. I think that Japanese people like this bear because it lives the life that they would like to live. But no Japanese people could live such a life so they go home and sleep 4 hours a night in their relaxing bear sanctuaries.
I know that if it was me, I’d totally become schizo about it and I’d go home and be like: ‘What you looking at you stupid bear? I look tired? Well you’d look tired too if you worked 12 hour shifts just to come home and have you, your stupid white bear friend and that bird, eating all my food and watching TV!!! DO SOMETHING! I Hate you you fucking relaxing bear’ (And then I’d grab a knife and stab them all and burn them)
But Japanese people love that kinda crap!
Monday, June 29, 2009
Then again, you never know what can happen. I could get married and have a truckload of babies and never come back home. But I have been teaching from this book called ‘NEW HORIZON’ which is what most of the Junior High schools use in Japan and now, I have just come full circle and I’m pretty sick of it. The first lessons I gave when I arrived were about a girl named Meena, she’s from Nepal. Because of the money from her foster program, they built a second well in her village and all that crap. It’s exactly the kind of stuff that they want to hear over here. Some people just want to be told how awful it is elsewhere to make sure that they never move from their comfortable little lives. Well last week, I started telling Meena’s story again and teaching infinitives.
I must have said the sentence : ‘Thanks to your help, our village has another well’ 150 times since last August. I surprise myself daydreaming about Meena falling to a painful death after an unfortunate ‘accident’ in her Nepalese village. It would spice things up. Make my life more interesting. The target sentence now is: 'We are glad to have a chance' Well it could now be: 'We are sad to see that Meena is at the bottom of the well'
The kids would love it. They don’t even understand 75% of what we say anyways. Who are these clowns that wrote this textbook? I should be one of them, even if I have a clown phobia. Here is what I would do:
Unit 1: Let’s learn Braille
My idea: Let’s go to the peep show
Unit 3: Our sister in Nepal
My idea: The Nepalese accident
Unit 6: Family rules
My idea: My first hangover, or how I lost my virginity in a campground at 12.
I’m telling you, It’s GOLD. or maybe I just need a vacation! Well Hot Damn I'll be in Montreal in a month and 3 days!
Monday, June 22, 2009
The doctor assessing my results was talking to me about tattoos and all before he broke it to me. He scanned his head to find the best possible English to tell me the straight facts: ‘You… are a little fat’. Well what do you expect? You guys feed me rice and bread like there is no tomorrow. You take me out drinking all the time. You force feed me all this stuff and I try to sweat it out by biking every day, rain snow sleet tsunami doesn’t stop me. ‘A little fat?!?!’ Pff. We all gained weight here but I’m seriously out of solutions. A west coast cleansing diet maybe. What’s that you say? Stop eating bread? NEVER! Try telling Amy Winehouse to stop smoking crack! I’ll go on a salad diet maybe. I’m open to suggestions. My friends back home can call me Doughboy, it’s ok. My students telling me I’m ‘chotto metabolic’, it can fly. But this was the last time a Japanese doctor would tap me on the back before telling me I’m a little fat. I’ll start throwing up if I have to!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Moi et Ben, à la station Akebonobashi, une station mineure parmi les 168 stations de métro de Tokyo. (N’oubliez pas que par-dessus tout ca se trouve 141 stations de train)
Ben – J’ai faim, on va manger où?
PY – Shinjuku? Shibuya?
B - Shibuya, ça me tente…
PY – Man… tu vois le black là bas, je pense que je le connais. Parle moi comme un vrai québécois en passant à côté de lui.
B - T'es malade man, pourquoi tu penses ça? C'est pas parce que tu viens de Montréal-Nord que tu connais tous les noirs P-Y
PY - Je te le dis maaaan, just do it.
B – (à la Elvis Gratton) Ok, Faque les breaks ont pété sur mon char avant que je parte, ça m’a coûté une beurrée…
C’est à ce moment que nos regards se sont croisés… ‘P-Y?!?!’
Ooooh oui mes amis, le monde est petit, on est à Tokyo, une ville de 12 millions de personnes, et je croise un mec qui habitait en bas de mon ex-blonde : Myrrha. Faut le faire.
En plus, j’ai vu mon amie Isobel 3 fois en deux jours, par hasard! Une dernière : lorsque nous étions au camping dans le sud du Japon, une fille m’accoste en me disant que je lui semble famillier… Nous étions dans le même avion qui nous a emmenés au Japon.
De deux choses l’une :
1 - Je suis vraiment beau et populaire, et tout le monde accourt me voir n’importe où sur la planète.
2- Le monde est vraiment VRAIMENT petit…
je vous laisse choisir
Friday, May 29, 2009
Some days, kyushoku means ‘best thing EVER’ and some days I wouldn’t feed this stuff to my dead dog Porthos (RIP mon chien). It usually consists of some kind of meat (or fish), a soup (often miso based), a salad (or ‘salad’), rice (or bread on Tuesday and Thursday) and a milk. On special occasions, we get some form of dessert and some dry seaweed to put on our rice.
So here is an example of a good kyushoku: a nice piece of salmon, some cole slaw type salad, and chocolate chip bread. Here is a bad example of kyushoku: an entire small fish, complete with skin and eyes, looking at you like it just came out floating of the Exxon Valdez spillage, a konyaku salad (*BARFS*), a soup with 5 quail eggs in it and hot milk.
If they really want to make me sick, they will throw in some natto in there.
The picture seen here is my lunch for today. Shrimp gyoza, some noodle type salad with cucumber, rice (in the metal thing), a weird texture soup and some nuts mixed with small fish. A 8 on 10.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Au total, plus de 4500 km de route (aller retour) que nous avons fait pour nous rendre jusqu’à Yakushima. Nous avons été ensemble pendant 16 jours et il a pu me mettre à jour à propos de tous les derniers potins concernant mes amis et la vie en général. De mon côté, j’ai essayé de lui prouver que je pouvais parler un japonais de plus en plus fonctionnel. Je vais le revoir dans 2 mois et qq jours, ce qui sera encore une fois très plaisant.
Le voyage en chiffres
Heures passées dans des autobus de nuits : 49!!!
Nuits à l’hotel : 4
Nuits en camping : 4
Nuits dehors dans un buisson : 1
Piqures de moustiques sur un seul avant-bras et main : 16
Nombre de Hummers aperçus a Kyoto : 1
Nombre de cerfs agressés à Nara : trop
Nombre de belles filles à Osaka : beaucoup trop
Poutines : 1
Nombre de fois ou Ben a dit ‘SUMIMASEN’ : 673
Nombre de combinis visités : 127
Tortues géantes qui pondent des œufs apercues : 1
Nombre moyen d’œufs : 50
Prix d’une douche froide et sale dans un camping : 100 yens
Références au roi heenok : 1258
IPods : 1
Chargeurs de IPod : 0
Heures de musiques : 2
Heures d’impertinence : (24x16)
Thanks le gros, c’était parfait. T’étais même pas dans l’avion que je m’ennuyais. T’as tenu ta promesse, je l’oublierai pas
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
So Japan, with its rich history and culture, is the perfect place for these people. Imagine visiting a country that was closed-off from the rest of the world for so long; everywhere I go, I can witness history. Sometimes I close my eyes and feel like a samurai in the 14th century:
- I visited temples with impressive architecture, some made of wood that is older than my own country.
- I visited remnants of the American bombings during the 2nd World war.
- I visited castles that once protected whole villages from other tribes.
- I visited mausoleums where entire families of samurais and nobles are buried.
Well I am lucky to have, in my own apartment, a piece of Japanese history. YES! I’m not kidding. Someday, I will start charging people to come and take a look at it. But it is a secret, do not tell anyone. It is so PRECIOUS, that some people have tried to steal pieces of it.
All right, I know you are dying to know what I’m talking about sooooo...
Well people, I give you: My shower.
This sorry excuse for a shower is really the most aggravating thing about my apartment. It’s a big apartment, a free apartment but LORD JESUS, I have NEVER seen such a crappy shower. The rumor says that Marco Polo once took a shower in there on his journey on the Silk route. To start it, I have to push a button and rotate it anti-clockwise. At the same time, I rotate another lever clockwise until the red gauge goes in the red matter (to make sure I have enough gas to heat up the water)..... Then, I have to turn and push two more buttons. Look, I’m not going to lie, it took me one month to start doing it without the paper telling me how to. It’s a really really bad shower and sometimes, I dream that my apartment catches fire and that I’m actually pleased because it means I can have a decent shower. I have seen better showers in CAMBODIA. I spent my entire winter naked, pushing and turning knobs (not my knob, of course) while freezing my ass off.
Sometimes, I wonder why on Earth I would want to live in this country for another year. Especially when I know my brother is probably taking a shower in a 10 jet, rain sensation shower that may or may not involve robots.
It’s just a really shit shower. Thank you, I feel better now.
Monday, April 6, 2009
So now that I am sitting at my desk and my liver is failing me, I feel it is my duty to tell you about a Japanese custom. When having dinner or parties, you cannot, under no circumstances, fill up your own drink. EVER. Usually, if the people sitting next to you are efficient, your glass will always be full. You need to be a good neighbour too. I have developed a sixth sense, I scope the table and look for glasses that are less than 70% full and BAM, I get up and serve people like a trained waiter. And when I get back to my place, my drink is full too. It’s a great system because it gets the party going and it’s super-polite. But also, it’s a bad system because you can be responsible for getting people drunk. My co-worker was sleeping before the end of the party because of my efficient service, and when he woke up, he looked like a cooked lobster with really really blood-shut eyes.
This is the conversation we had in japanese:
‘Are you alright?’
‘Pierre-sensei, you made me drunk’
‘Well I was just being Japanese’
‘Well maybe you should be more Chinese (?!?! I don’t get it, drunk talk, he was laughing)
‘...hmm... ok. You want another drink buddy?’
And he fell asleep again... I win
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
This being Japan, the next school year begins in 13 days. I had to sit through countless farewell ceremonies and speeches. Pretty interesting on a cultural point of view, but it was pretty boring actually...
Anyways, my predecessor and Daniel’s predecessor used to get these two weeks off... Vacation. Free time. Spring vacation. Haru yasumi. Do whatever you want. Don’t come to school, it’s useless. You would just sit around and be a waste of air and space. Go and live, discover Japan and get paid while you do it. Well we have just been royally screwed, because this vacation just vanished in front of our eyes. Apparently, they think we can be useful in some way. I don’t know what the deal is but it’s ridiculous. I should set up a webcam and show you. I have to fight not to fall asleep. My desk will be spotless. My computer is clean. My computer!! I don’t have internet so it’s stupid. I play Minesweper and Hearts and Solitaire. It’s aggravating because they know I have nothing to do, but because they are Japanese, they will never come up to me and tell me to go home because they are masters at pretending to look busy when they aren’t.
I think they want to force me to take paid leave but it’s like a challenge to me now. I want to keep as much as I can. I might need them:
I already know I need two days for my national holiday: 1 to get drunk, 1 to deal with the arrest and post bail.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Yeah, I know you’ve never heard of it. It is simply the biggest scam ever. In Japan, Valentine’s Day is on February 14th, and it’s a day where women buy something to all the men they care about. So men don’t have to buy anything and just receive. I was very happy when I heard that. I’ve never been the kind of guy who goes out and buys stuff for Valentine’s back home. In fact, my mom has been on the ball every year, buying me chocolate at every occasion. She even sent me some good Lindt choco-crack to Japan... I love my mom! But when I started seeing signs advertising White Day a week after Valentine’s, I was puzzled. ‘What is White Day?’ I wondered. ‘Maybe it’s a day where they can bash on white people, better stay at home on March 14th...’ And then I wondered: ‘March 14th...hmmm’.
You got it folks: White Day is the opposite of Valentine’s Day, where men are supposed to give back (x2) to the women who gave them presents. So let’s say a teacher gave me a box of chocolate containing 30 little hearts, she should get 60 from me. Some girl buys me a Porsche, I buy her a Lamborghini. A girl gives me a 10 inch pizza, a Golden Retreiver, a key chain, a 6-pack of Sapporo and tickets to the Icecapades, I give her the keys to my apartment. It’s just simple math really. HAHA
Man I hate White Day. It sounds so pure and pretty, when in fact, it’s so evil and nasty...
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Of all the things I have learned in Japan, the skill we call ‘pretending to work’ is the one I have practiced the most so far. Especially at some of my schools, it is truly... an art. I see real experts here, just walking around, with paper in hand, grumbling at the copy machine or cutting and rolling pieces of paper. At first I couldn’t do it, I just stared at them and wondered what the hell they were busy doing, especially since I had absolutely nothing to do myself. But then I started feeling bad, so I started doing it too.
You should see me now; I get people telling me I work too hard. The first trick is (now listen carefully children): wherever you are walking, walk fast, but always with something in your hand. I use my agenda or anything written in French so that if they trap me, they won’t understand. The next trick is: if you are sitting at your desk, always look as if you have the biggest of headaches, with a pen in hand (or better yet a pen AND a highlighter!) and always have as many papers and books in front of you. Every 10 or 15 minutes, pretend you are looking for something for 5 to 7 minutes and breathe a sigh of relief when you find the ‘paper’ you had ‘lost for a second’. Now the two next steps involve computers. First, if you have Internet access (lucky you) the trick is to open a Word document or two, and to leave them open all day long, on top of other windows. Next, put your laptop screen as dark as possible, so that people can’t creep up on you and check out what you are doing from those nasty blind spots behind you. Make your Internet windows smaller and always have that Word document taking up the majority of the space. It sounds crazy but I’ve had MSN messenger webcam sessions because of that trick! If you don’t have Internet (like me right now at this school), start a blog and write some posts when you are dying of boredom... Also, write your e-mails in text so that when you get home, you only have to copy and paste them, which gives you more time to play online poker or watch Lost while eating ice cream (now you know what I’ve been doing during my winter weeknights!). Anyways, it sounds crazy but I’m actually applying all those things right now... it’s MAGIC!
I feel bad because I could have used this skill before. Instead of building castles of boxes at the Adidas store in order to block the camera view so I could just chill and sit for hours, I could have ‘pretended to work’. Instead of calling in radio shows and flirting with any girl with a pulse that worked with me at Urban Outfitters, I could have ‘pretended to work’...I’m telling you, it will save your life, and make your day go by faster! Thank me later
Friday, February 27, 2009
So we woke up at 6, after 4 hours of sleep, and headed out west... After driving forty minutes, Dereck’s car, the Bravo, decided to stop working and we were stuck on the side of the road, with no mountain to climb in sight. We were near a train station but the next train was 90 minutes later. That’s when Dereck remembered this mountain he went to with his teachers. We walked there and we went up as high as we could, and headed out in the forest with our ‘snowshoes’. I had powder up to my waist and it was snowing like crazy. So we walked (very slowly) up a hill and rode our snowboards and decided to go up another hill and that’s when we discovered ‘The Playground’: a slope of virgin territory never discovered by mankind, which was perfect for snowboarding. It was meters of fresh, dry snow... if you looked up the word ‘perfection’ in the dictionary, it would probably feature a picture of this place. We spent the day going up and down, vowing to return as soon as possible. We came back to Sendai and partied the night away, with our head full of beautiful memories. I fell asleep (drunk as hell) with 2 bags of ice on my knees but a smile on my face...
Moi Simon et Dereck, nous voulions gravir la 2e plus haute montagne de tout le nord du Japon, en raquettes, pour la redescendre en snowboard. Nous étions mal équipés, mal préparés et ils annonçaient une grosse tempête de neige. L’amie de Dereck, une miss météo de la station locale, nous à vivement déconseillé, nous traitant même au passage de ‘fous’ et nous incitant à la plus grande prudence.
Lorsque nous nous sommes réveillés à six heures du matin pour réaliser qu’il neigeait abondamment, nous avons rempli le van et nous avons commencé à conduire vers la Mer du Japon. Après 40 minutes sur la route, l’auto de Dereck (une Bravo) à décidé de rendre l’âme au milieu de nulle part. Après avoir paniqué un peu et pensé que c’était la fin d’une bonne idée, Dereck s’est rappelé qu’il avait fait du snow dans une montagne avoisinante. Nous avons donc décidé de s’y rendre, et qu’une fois en haut, nous sortirions du sentier pour aller trouver quelque chose de plus intéressant. Après 10 minutes dans de la poudreuse jusqu’à ma taille, je commençais à trouver que c’était une mauvaise idée et que toutes les blagues que j’avais fait sur ma mort prochaine allait peut-être se concrétiser. Mais après un heure de recherche, nous avons trouvé la Terre Promise, un spot que nous avons baptisé : ‘Le Playground’. Un flanc de montagne sans arbres, avec des mètres et des mètres de neige jamais découvert auparavant. Nous avons passé la journée à descendre et remonter et descendre et remonter, c’était de toute beauté. Je remercie le ciel de m’avoir fait rencontrer ces deux mecs, qui me poussent à faire des choses que je n’oserais jamais accomplir. Ce soir là, je me suis endormi (bien saoul) avec de la glace sur mes genoux et un sourire accroché au visage…
On est loin du mont Saint-Bruno sti
Sunday, February 22, 2009
The other must have is for the sweet tooth: TAYAKI. It’s a fish shaped pastry filled with either cream (ku-li-mu) or red bean paste. My favourite is the cream one. They have line-ups outside, as if I was buying smoked meat at Schwartz! Apparently, they serve it all over Japan, but the Sendai version in apparently the best (That information comes from a very friendly, but probably biased source of mine). So that will be stop number 2 for everyone who comes and visits.
So yeah: I lost weight when I got here, but have quickly gained it back
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Je suis allé à Hokkaido, l'île la plus septentrionale (le géographe en moi ressort) du Japon. Au menu, Sapporo Snow Festival, Snowboard à Niseko et bière, beacoup beaucoup de Sapporo! Voici les photos!
Friday, February 6, 2009
But the reason he really aggravates me is this: in the past 6 months, 50% of my 1700 students (read: all the boys) have told me ‘Yes we can!’. They think it’s hilarious, I think it’s actually pretty laaaame. When you think about it, it is a pretty meaningless 3 words when it comes out of the mouth of a Japanese 9 year-old. I wondered: ‘Maybe I look like him...’ but NO.
So I’m guessing it’s a geography thing. As a geographer, it pisses me off that these kids think that Montréal, Québec, Canada is the same thing as Nashville, Tennessee, USA. On the other hand, when my soccer buddies learned I was moving to Japan, they said: ‘So you’ll hook up with a lot of Chinese girls you piiimp??’ (so so wrong). When I pointed out that Japan and China are quite different, they impressed me with the fact that the only thing they knew about Japan was the movie ‘Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift’. I just wish Obama had chosen a better slogan, something in the lines of : ‘P-Y you rock and we wish you were the king of the world’ or ‘P-Y can’. That would have been bitchin'!
I think I need a vacation, which is why I’m leaving tonight, on a boat, to Sapporo! Yeah! Snow festival, parties and snowboarding at Niseko (http://www.niseko.ne.jp/en/) are on the program....for five days.
You know you’re jealous.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Omiyage is the art of gift-giving. It is the worst scam since Valentine's day and Halloween. I wouldn't be surprised if Nestlé is somehow behind this.
When I arrived from Canada, I gave maple flavoured whiskey (40$) to a guy I haven’t seen since, who is now retired. Just 5 minutes ago, I gave 20 dollars worth of cookies to my co-workers because last weekend, I went snowboarding an hour away from here, in another prefecture. So because I ‘travelled’ I had to buy 2 packs (38 staff members and teachers at my present school) of waffled cookies in a nice little individual wrapping, to show them that I appreciate them and that (even if I never really was thinking about work) I was still thinking about them enough to dish out 20 bucks for them. I could have bought a lot of beer, a lot of electricity to make my apartment warmer but noooo, I have to bring back cookies for my co-workers. So in addition to the 120$ I spent in Canada for the various important people I met when I first got here, I have spent another 150$ on gifts from Tokyo, Yamagata-Zao, Zao, Naruko, Nikko and next week, I will buy some more from Sapporo because I am going to the snow festival up there.
How many times have I received omiyage? Maybe 4 times, some random energy drink that tastes like cherries and some shitty mochi... COME ON!
Oh and that’s not all, every time someone invites me for dinner to their house, I have to bring something, so yesterday, I brought 15$ worth of chocolate to a man who has diabetes (and no teeth). He invited me and Daniel to his house because he is the host father of the Australian kid at my school. So according to my calculations, at the end of those two years, I will have spent 600$ on cookies and chocolate because I get to travel because I don’t have a wife and because I’M NOT A PSYCHOPATH WHO WILL SHOW UP AT 6AM ON A SATURDAY MORNING FOR KENDO PRACTICE!!! I’m sorry, I’d rather go snowboarding... and buy cookies to tell you I’m sorry.
P.S.: I still love you Japan, you just piss me off sometimes... xoxox
Thursday, January 22, 2009
‘Ahh Natsumi has Influenza’ or
‘This class is half-empty because of Influenza’ or
‘Influenza is really bad this year’ or
‘You wanna go see that new Sylvester Influenza movie: Texas Influenza massacre? I hear it’s pretty influenza’ or also
‘Would you like some Natto with your Influenza?’
I feel like I’m teaching to a bunch of Asian Darth Vaders. They all have masks!! So as if I wasn’t flashing enough, I’m one of the 5 people in school that isn’t wearing a mask. I was told that they wear masks to protect themselves and to protect others. It’s just a bunch of crap if you ask me... As soon as they come to talk to me, they take off the mask and come inches away from my face. I had a snotty coughing girl sitting a meter from me for 50 minutes yesterday and I was like ‘Oh Oh, I’m in trouble’ but I woke up fine... Maybe it’s my beer a day (or 7), that is (are) keeping the doctor away?
I think the masks are great, but I was told that they think it’s weird when gaijins (foreigners) wear them. But I’m so tempted. They have Hello Kitty masks, Reebok masks, plaid masks, houndstooth masks, argyle masks, Louis Vuitton masks, Lilo and Stitch masks. It’s a fashion statement, as well as protection. I also think it has to do with the fact that deep down, these people are all ninjas (It’s a secret, don’t tell them I told you). But man, I’d be so cool if I had a Burberry mask, or even better, a Montreal Canadiens mask!
Friday, January 16, 2009
My best buddy left me this week, after spending 17 days with us in Thailand and 7 days in Japan. You know, it was already hard enough to tell him good-bye in July; I had to go through this again 6 months later. With a teary eye, I was walking in Akebonobashi towards the subway station and I was wondering again why I put Thailand and 7 days in Japan. You know, it was already hard enough to tell him good-bye imyself in this situation.
This guy has been around me for almost half of my life. He knows everything about me and was there for most of the crazy shit I’ve done in my life. We have always been there for each other and it will be the same for a very long time. The past 6 months have been wonderful on a personal and professional level, but it felt so good to see him and Seb and to ask them what was going on with Hugo, MCP, Ben, the poker crew, the Habs...
All those things and all these people I love, is it worth spending another 18 months away from them? Well the answer is: most probably. I mean, these 6 months have been a real eye-opener about myself, and what I want and what I can become. I have learned a lot and met some great people. And when I was left by myself after Jee’s departure, I was on the shinkansen and I decided that yes, I will definitely stay, but also, I will definitely go spend 10 days in Montreal, whether it be this summer or next Christmas... But I also realised another thing, this roller-coaster of emotions is only starting, whether it’s deep conversations in my freezing apartment or the painful good-byes coming up next July, this was and will be an interesting year...I miss you Jee... see you soon my brother!
Mon meilleur chum est parti du pays du Soleil levant, pour aller rejoindre les nôtres au pays du (avertissement de) froid intense. Ça m’a fait du bien de le voir et de passer du temps avec lui, parler de nos amis et du Canadien (Lecavalier… n’importe quand sti). Les 17 jours passés au Pays aux milles sourires (Thailand baby) la semaine au Japon (Tokyo will never be the same) m’ont fait un grand bien. Mais c’est la deuxième fois que je dois lui dire ‘au revoir’ en ne sachant pas trop quand je vais le revoir… C’est pas facile de laisser partir ceux qu’on aime, pour aller faire tourner, des ballons sur son nez, ouuh oouh ouuh. Non mais pour vrai, des fois je me demande vraiment pourquoi je me suis foutu dans une situation pareille. Mais en même temps, cette expérience m’a appris beaucoup de chose sur la personne que j’étais et la personne que je suis en train de devenir. Les prochains 18 mois vont être une succession d’adieux et de moments très forts et difficiles. Je vais devoir m’y faire.
Friday, January 9, 2009
- Swimming 18 meters deep with my friends and discovering that there is indeed a world under there. It was magical, thank you Antoine and thank you Jacques Cousteau.
- Being with my friends from Montréal, just talking our slang , as if I never left town. Listening to gangsta rap on the balcony of our bungalow in the jungle. Playing Settlers on a rooftop, with a small special event...
- Spending quality time with my friends from Japan, creating legends (King Tablette the First, Bumfight, the Medieval Pig...). Enough inside jokes for 18 months!
- Meeting the Thai Bob Marley, complete with words of wisdom: ‘My neighbours you know, they think I’m special... I build a big fire you know... to hide the smell. Because early in the morning man, I like to smoke some BIG weed...’ Whenever I’ll feel stressed or sad, I’ll just think about that man… You can’t make this shit up!
- Losing Jenn, my Montreal friend, because some asshole can’t light a firework properly. We were just chilling on the beach on New Year’s Eve when a fugitive douchebag lit a firework that attacked all the people that were at that bar that day, including me. I showed I come from the ghetto, as soon as it started going towards us, I ran away! Jenn didn’t, and she ended up in a hospital...
- Coming back tanned, but not tanned enough
- Some kid hustled 200 bahts (6,73$ CN) from me by calling me a ladyboy in front of my friends, before beating me at thumb wrestling. Asshole.
- Most expensive night: 250 bahts (8,50$ CN)
- Cheapest: 125 bahts (4,25$ CN)
- Pair of true religion jeans: 590 bahts (20$ CN)
- Red bull: 10 bahts (HEAVEN: 0,34$ CN!!!!!!)
- Eating in a dirty alley in Koh Phangan, full meal with beer: 100 bahts (3,40$ CN)
- Price of fruit shake, made of fresh fruits, in front of you: 25-30 bahts (0,94$ CN)
- Fake Ray Bans: 100 bahts (3,40$ CN)
- I saw a guy buying 2800 bahts (96$ CN) of helium balloons on Kao San Road, just to release them, that guy is now in the Hall of shame of idiots.
Overall, it was a great vacation. It felt so good to be with my Montreal buddies. It took the pain away from not having a white Christmas. Thai food is good, but it’s far from my brother’s turkey and my mother’s stuffing (and soup, and Alaska pie). I would have appreciated having my niece sitting on my lap, while I listen to my sister-in-law entertain me. It won’t be a real Christmas until I relive those. But this: the palm trees, the buckets, the friends, the stray dogs… it was the next best thing.
PS: This blog will start going again, at the same rate as before, sorry to have kept you waiting ya’ll
Bonne année à tous! Voici mes vacances, racontées pour vous:
- Faire mon cours de plongée… C’était la meilleure idée que j’ai eu depuis longtemps. On découvre un nouveau monde à 18 mètres de profondeur. Les coraux, les couleurs, les poissons, le sentiment d’être sur une autre planète. C’était vraiment magique! Merci Antoine et Suzanne…
- Passer du temps avec Jee et Séb, parler du roi Heenok, de Montréal, du Canadien… Chanter du Sans Pression en étant écrasé dans un hamac un 26 décembre… ça c’est gangster! Merci les gars, ça m’a tellement fait du bien.
- Avoir crée des légendes avec mes amis japonais. Bumfight l’itinérant, Le cochon médiéval (aka le chien le plus laid sur Terre), long live the king. Assez d’inside jokes pour 18 mois!
Points faibles :
-Perdre Jenn le 31 à 23:30, parce qu’un imbécile sait pas allumer un feu d’artifice. La pauvre à passé le coup de Minuit effrayée, avant de se rendre à l’hôpital, brûlée. J’aurais pu y passer moi aussi, j’ai eu un instinct de survie exceptionnel quand j’ai vu les feux exploser partout autour de moi… C’était ASSEZ ordinaire mettons.
-Revenir pas assez bronzé, la faute de mes cours de plongée et de la météo…
Quelques stats : (voir l’article anglais ci-haut)
C’est un voyage que je méritais, et qui m’a fait le plus grand bien. Je remercie mes amis d’être venus, ils m’avaient dis, quand j’ai quitté, qu’ils viendraient et ils disaient la vérité. J’ai ri, j’ai fait le party, j’ai pensé à tout sauf au travail. Ils ont réussis à me faire sourire malgré le fait que j’étais triste d’être loin, dans un Noël qui était tout sauf blanc. La bouffe thaï est excellente, mais c’est pas mon traditionnel repas de Noël. J’aurais aimé être avec ma vraie famille… Ben là j’étais avec ma 2e famille, ce qui à fait que j’ai passé des Fêtes que je n’oublierai jamais.
PS : Le blog repart, au même rythme qu’avant, donc revenez souvent!