Wednesday, March 26, 2008

When the Unordinary Becomes Ordinary

O hisashiburi desu ("it's been a while"). After talking with my father the other day (thanks Pop for the inspiration-i.e. guilt trip), I realized that I had been neglecting my duty as a member of the Internet community-to fill up cyberspace with as much useless and uncorroborated information as possible. It's like being part of the wikipedia posting regarding wikipedia's wikipedia.

I've been thinking a a lot as to why I've been so loathe to post something and have come to the conclusion that this strange experience of mine has now become not-so-strange anymore. I duck on the train. I don't get lost. Even talking in broken English/Japanese, accompanied by a pantomime that only Mummenschanz could dream of, has become routine. My version of the "toilet paper face" guy works really well when at the dry cleaners. Actually, in some ways I've become the MacGuyver of words, albeit without the electrical tape and Swiss Army knife. To tell you the truth, I think I'm a robot. Or perhaps it's like when Superman goes to Bizarro World and meets Bizarro Superman. Me become Bizarro Pat. Forget about verb tenses, articles, and the like...

Well, here are a list of things that I should have posted about since my last entry:

1. Merry Christmas!
Okay, so this stretches the timeline of even the most Orthodox of churches but forgive my indulgence (and no 95 Theses either). It seems that Santa isn't prejudicial when doling out gifts. Apparently, you can be Buddhist and/or Shinto and still take part in the Christmas celebration. All off the gifts but none of the guilt! Also, it wouldn't be Christmas without "Christmas Cake" which is white or chocolate cake with cream icing and strawberries. As with most Japanese versions of western traditions (i.e. the heated toilet seat with laser targeted "shower"), Christmas Cake is a major improvement over it's predecessor, the Fruit Cake. No one will hide a Christmas Cake under a couch in order not to eat it.

2. Happy New Year!
This one is self explanatory although I do feel bad for the Old Year. It is left out every time.

3. Happy Valentines Day (Feb 14th) and...White Day (March 14th)!
You're thinking, "I know about good ol' St. Valentine but what the he#$ is White Day?"

Originally called Honkey Day, this holiday celebrates the contributions of white people, particularly really, really white people without rhythm. Like Ralph Reed...Well, maybe not. Actually (and truthfully), White Day is another Valentine's Day but was conceived by the Japanese National Confectionery Industry Association in 1978. Fair enough to assume that it wouldn't be the Japanese Diabetic Association. Ahh, the power of special interest groups.

In Japan, Valentine's Day is the day when women give chocolate to men. White Day was created to increase chocolate sales in Japan...oh, I mean it was created to let men reciprocate the great act of giving the gift of chocolate.

4. Happy Easter
The death and resurrection of Christ has not caught on over here. Not even the Easter Egg hunt or Peter Rabbit. I'll give it a few more years to catch on. In the meanwhile, I will have to import Peeps and Paas egg dye. There's plenty of fake grass over here already.

In the event that I am unable to conjure up the mental fortitude to send out another post, I'd like to wish you all a Happy Memorial Day, Independence Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Flag Day, Groundhog Day, etc. for the next 10 years or so. That should do it, right?

Be well,