Thousands of Miles from Home


Learn to Play

Last Saturday night was a geetar-playin' brouhaha at the Saeki household. Jirou-sensei indulged me with a lesson, free because I teach him english (and sell his drugs at school). He is a funny guy, and most of the lesson is spent laughing, anyway. He taught me "Furusato" on the guitar, a famous Japanese folk song that my previous english students in Tama taught me to sing. Maybe the people at my next host family will teach me the base line and I'll be set.

After the lesson, two english teachers from the Okayama area, Scott and Amber, came for their first guitar lesson from Jirou. I had met Amber a few weeks ago at my host mother's english lesson and Scott at the Okayama Internation Center on a school field trip. Scott and Amber had never played the guitar before, so Jirou showed them the basics while I helped translate his japanese into english. Using two chords, Jirou taught a crude version of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Have You Ever Seen The Rain?" Probably the last tune I expected to hear in Japan, but I'm up for anything these days.

After a finger grinding hour of play, everyone retired for dinner. Oden and Okonomiyaki, with Anko rice balls for dessert. Mmm...mmm...good, just like Campbell's Chunky Chicken Soup. After dinner Tomoya and Takurou played a shinkansen board game that I couldn't quite figure out. Although a whole board game dedicated to a bullet train does sound mighty exciting.

Earlier in the day, Andee and I took a trip to Okayama so he could buy last minute items before returning to Malaysia. We did a whole lot of agressive window shopping (although finding very little), then Jittan met us for Purikura, coffee, and cake. I left around 2:30 to meet my rotary host counselor back at Kawai-san's house to discuss Moday's tour of Mitsui shipyard, my planned trip to Tokyo, skiing on Daisen, and possible journey to EXPO 2005 in Nagoya. That evening Andee came to eat dinner and consequently stayed the night. He purchased a lava lamp in Okayama, so we fired it up but couldn't sleep due to the intense green glow. Although it did look neat (something about that lime green lava lamp in a tatami room). And then the fun began...


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