Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Three Hour Special!!

Today I got my alien registration card which I have to admit looks pretty spiffy. It's got all this Japanese on it and holographic parts so based on my knowledge of Pokemon cards, I know it's got to be rare. Other than that I didn't do a whole lot today. Except! I watched an hour or so of this three hour special of some show that had a whole bunch of really random, but amazing things.

When I first started watching, I was on my way back to my room to deposit my shaving equipment when a line of a few hundred people all with a person on their shoulders caught my eye on the TV. I'm not very good at estimating, but they took up most of the length of a sports field and then proceeded to walk the width with people on their shoulders. It's a little hard to explain how exactly they were standing... there might have been two rows on the bottom and... well never mind, it was impressive, just take my word for it.

After that there was this guy who had like 200-300 cell phone charms, which are pretty popular in Japan and are just like little doodads or stuffed animals that you can dangle from your cell phone. This guy's were all stuffed animals and he had some sort of harness system in order for them all to stay attached when he lugged them around town.

After that was an interesting segment where they were looking at the name plates on front of people's houses and finding ones that had weird spellings (in kanji) and they tried to figure out how it was pronounced before eventually asking the person. Most of them were practically puns or just really obscure ways of saying things. One person's name had the kanji for "three" three times 〔三三三) because their birthday had a bunch of threes in it or something. Another person's name was just written with the kanji for "one" (一)and their name was "Nimae", meaning "before two". Someone else's was two numbers and it was named after the coordinates of a move in shogi. It was pretty amusing seeing Japanese people not know how to pronounce the names either and when I could understand it, the explanations for the pronunciations were interesting too.

From there, there was a girl who could repeat stuff that people said backwards very quickly. It's a bit easier to do in Japanese because of the syllabic letters. So if someone said "arigatou" (thank you; a ri ga to u), she would say "u to ga ri a". One kid tried to trick her by saying something that made a funny word (I assume) if said backwards, but she realized it and just stared at him with this unamused look on her face. After that was a 90 year old guy who had huge diaries that he has been keeping for 56 (or was it 65) years. They're also picture diaries with hand drawn pictures and comics of various things with comments by them.

Then it went to Korea where someone had made a statue of a kid poking another kid in the butt with the other kid howling in pain/surprise. After that was a segment on crane games with one that they found that had some sort of root in it. The machine was set so that the crane didn't just drop the prize in the hole, but put it on a slide which went down to a platform that moved in and out so that if enough things piled off it'd push something into the prize box. After 100 tries and 10,000 yen (more than $100) the guy finally was able to get a root. Next was a newspaper delivery guy who threw the newspapers over walls and up to three stories high, landing them right in front of the doors. Then there was a sort of amusement park ride in the middle of a city that was big and round with seats along the edge, but without seat belts or any sort of restraining devices. Once the people got on, it spun around and bounced up and down and everyone just had to try to hang on. After that was a guy punching bricks on the ground until they broke and finally a 91 year old man who maintains a fire (or at least the fire area) that's been there for 790 years, which I find hard to believe. There was more too, some less interesting things like big edible sea slugs, but I stopped watching after my host dad changed the channel.

So that's Wednesday. Hopefully tomorrow goes better than past Thursdays... I really hate conversation class.

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