I have made a new milestone here in Japan: I got sick for the first time.
It was interesting how it happened. Well, more the story of me with the doctor rather than the story of how I got sick. I have no idea how I got sick. But I'm gonna assume I got sick while at my home stay. My host father at the time was, not without some irony, mind you, a doctor. He began to quiz me of my symptoms when he first noticed me looking sick.
"Do you have a sore throught?"
"Do you have a cough?"
"Do you have a stuffed nose?"
"Do you have a fever?"
"Feels like I do"
"Hmmm... must be allergies."
What? Excuse me, but didn't you just describe to a T the Influenza virus? The same Influenza virus which is going around as we speak, the same Influenza virus which schools are sending flyers home about? The same Influenza virus which your wife has and which half the kids at my school have? I hear it's going around. In fact, it's one of the suspected killers of famous (or infamous) porn star Anna Nicole Smith. What? They are killing our porn stars with bio-terrorism? Must be Al-Qaida! They've gone too far this time. A senator is one thing, but leave alone our porn stars! Raise the bomb shelters! Lower the bombs! Raise the warning level to super-delux-extra-tripple-super-red! IT'S WAR, I TELL YOU! WAR!!!!!!!
Okay, enough of that. Keep in mind that these are the insane rantings of a quite litteraly sick mind.
Back to the main story. So he lables my flu a bad case of allergies (which I have never before had in my life). In my mind I'm just like "Okay, I'm not going to argue with you, because you went to medical school, and I didn't, but I'm pretty sure these aren't allergies." But he calls his son, which was rediculous because his son lives next door, about my "allergies." By the way, his son is a specialist in ancent Chinese Medicine. I mean, I guess I could have just gone to some crazy witch doctor and had him say:
"Take these beans and this herb and mash them together in a bowl. Then wrap it in this leaf, sprinkle this magic powder on it and smoke it three times a day"
But that's not what happened. What happened was, because his son didn't know the anatomy of the white man, he couldn't say for sure if I had allergies. So he said Chinese medicine was good. So his father, who I was with, if you remember, goes over to a cubbered and pulls out these pills. Now, I was thinking, because it was ancent Chinese Medicine, it would be some crazy herbal tea, or accupuncture, or whatever. But nope. It was a few pills. So the good doctor says to me "take this one after every meal, this one once a day, this one along with the first one, and this special one every time you have to down any pills." The last one he only gave me three of.
Now, in my mind, I'm thinking "Can't I just wait for my natrual immune system to kill this virus, or allergies, or whatever?" I guess not. So now I'm on like four or five different drugs right now, which have probably been fueling this whole blog. If you did, in fact read all the way to the end, or even to these words, you are a very incredible human being, and I thank you for your time that I have just wasted.
I love it so much. It's so different from American food and tastes so much better. Let's talk about some of the differences.
One obvious difference is that we eat with "hashi," or as Americans call it, "chopsticks." This was perhaps the most difficult obsticle for me to overcome. I started off trying to use them, but was quickly corrected by my host family. So I had to start from scratch. They in fact put me up to some weird bean training where I had to move dried beans from one plate to another. I must have done it fifty times.
Another such difference is less known to people. Japanese food is served on many small plates, not one large one. And you pick up and hold the plate while you eat. That's good manners. Some more good manners are having both hands visible while you eat, turning your chopsticks backward to pick up something from one of the serving dishes, and slurping. That's right. Slurping. Man, I can't cout the times I was cought accadentaly slurping at home in America and my mom saying "I don't want to hear you eat. What will they think in Japan?" That I am a very polite person, apparently.
I love the Japanese fish. Cooked, fried, boiled (did you know that they used to boil people who deserved the death penalty? Can you imagin? I mean, boild to death! Shit!) raw, you name it, I'll eat it. One time, acctualy, many times, I ate a whole fish. Head, body, tail, everything! It'S just sooo good.
I was eating crab the other day and thinking of how barbaric it must look to other crabs. I mean, scooping out the meat with little forks, slurping it out of the shell, it must be horrible. But then again, they shouldn't talk because I think some crabs eat eachother. Then again again, if not, they shouldn't talk anyway because crabs can't talk.
Ice cream here is the best. Like, in America, the Ice cream is all hard and too cold. Here, it's so soft and it doesn't hurt your teeth when you try to eat it. They call it "soft cream." Green Tea flavor soft cream is the best. If ever you get the chance, have green tea flavored soft cream, or even ice cream. It's still good.
Now there is much more I could talk about, but I can't because I'm having a brain fart. may or may not post soon.
I've been doing some thinking lately. Who, besides my family, would know or care if I died tomorow? I mean, seriously? Who would give that much of a fuck? I really started thinking about this when, in the middle of my freshman year, somebody at my school died. I don't know who. I remember thinking: "Who is he?" I remembered him a few days ago when I was thinking about how it is almost like I am dead to most people in America. Who cares that I am gone?
I want to be the kind of person who has crowds of people at my funeral. But I can't do that unless I do something great. It's almost like your existance doesn't matter unless you are an amaizing indavidual. Because, unless you have an impact on the world, all you are doing is wasing space. It sounds harsh, but if you don't do something, what good are you to this world? And think about it. Have you done anything to make this world better? So that when you die, people will say: "you know that (name)? (name) was a really cool person. Terribly sad to see them go." Is that you?
I suppose this is just my way of finding my purpose in life. Many people find it through God, or their work, or their passion. I want to be remembered for something great. So I came up with the phrase that I used in one of the song lyrics I wrote:
"If you died tomorow hope somebody would care now
Because your life is not worth living if you don't know how."
I hope this leaves you with something. Although, I know I am going to get criticizm for this. How or why, I don't know. It's just that whenever I read comments on other peoples blogs or my own, all I can see are criticizms. It's like the opposit of "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" is true on the interent. So if you don't have anything nice to say, you know what to do. (please ignore all misspellings and grammar issues)
Teruhiko (my host father`s son) found some kanji for my name. It`s Dan-kan Ma-kyuu.
The first part, "Dan", means "man". The second part "Kan" means "big-hearted" or "generous.
Makyuu has two more kanji. "Ma" means "a very long time" maybe even "forever." "Kyuu" means "True" or "truthful."
So "Dankan" in it`s entierty means "man with a big heart." I dunno. I think it`s quite fitting, though you may dissagree. "Makyuu", quite litteraly, means "forever true." I like it.
Yep. Apparantly, durring this time of year Japan has Typhoons. Typhoon (or taihoo, as it is called here) are kind of like hurricains. Okay, they are hurricains. The one going on right now is taihoo 13, but it`s not gonna be where I am right now, although it will be stormy where I am. And these things are dangerous. Apparantly, 1 person is missing, 20 people have been injured and 7 people have died where the typhoon is. But I`m okay. It shouldn`t affect me, so no worries!
hello. Yeah, here I am. In Japan. Eating ham. But no Spam.
Okay, enough of that. It`s been a while, but I got here safely. Sort of. The sort of is because I don`t understand a word people are saying. Even now, there is a conversation behind me, maybe about me, maybe not, I`ll never know because I have no clue what the hell they are saying.
School is great. I`m like a rock star without the music. when I walk in the halls, people wave at me and are like, "hello, duncan!" in their huge japanese accents.
I am also making friends super fast. The first day, I must have met the entire school, which I did because i had to give a speach in Japanese to them all. It was evil of them. But cool.
For those of you who don`t know, here is a list of major things for me while I am here so far. (not in order)
1. People only speak Japanese
2. I only speak English
3. I am the only one within 50 miles that is while
4. I am friends with the entire Kendo club (i gotta say, it`s gonna be useful one day)
5. I am in the Kendo club
6. Food here is awesome and crazy at the same time
7. I can`t think of anything for #7
8. My host family is the best, is huge, and so nice.
9. DON`T, FOR THE LIFE OF YOU, EAT "AIYU"!!!!!!!! god help you if you eat aiyu....
10. I have nothing else to say.
I saw something interesting on the tube just now. It was a Shell gas company commercial. They were advertising a prize give-away thing. You know, where they have you buy something of theirs and it gives you a chance to win something. Usually, it's some sort of money prize. However, they weren't giving away money. Oh no. They were giving away gas. A life-time supply of gas. What the hell. I understand why they chose gas, but come on. What does that say about our country when we replace money prizes with gas prizes? Right now, in the United States of America, we value gas more than money. It sounds shallow when I say it like that, but my god! And it's not just Shell. I've seen car companies do this, I've seen internet advertising do this, I've seen other random companies do this. Which leads me to this war. If our country is so fixated on gas that we have to give it away as a prize, someone in the government must have realized it. They've realized for years. They also knew about the attacks on 9/11 before it happened. There are documents to prove it. So I guess some genius thought: "The Middle East has oil, we need oil, and some terrorists are gonna attack us, so....." and this guy put two and two together, and here we are in Iraq. In fact, pretty soon were going to invade Iran as well. There was an article in Rolling Stone about it. Iran has oil, too. It seems to me that the government values gas more than the welfare of our country. The big companies value gas more than our country. It shows in our news, in our advertisements, in our fuckin' defecate for the war. It's obvious everywhere.
I'm sorry if I've been rambling, but I'm pissed off. And all over a commercial, too. Well, I'll let you take away from it what you will. I'm sorry if I've pissed you off or riled you up. I was just rambling.
Something just occurred to me... All the songs I listen to have incredibly meaningless lyrics.
Led Zeppelin were stoned half the time, so that was obvious why they didn't make sense.
Trivium simply sing, or rather, scream words that just sound good when you scream them. Which they do a lot.
Also, as far as I know, My Chemical Romance just sing about being sad. They have one formula for all their songs and they do different renditions of the same lyrics with different music.
Now I do listen to stuff with meaningful lyrics... kinda. Like Queen. And... System of a Down... if you call anti-system down-with-the-government type lyrics meaningful.
I guess I just appreciate musicality more than lyrics. Which is bad because as a result my lyrics suck, and that's what most people like in songs.... which means unless I get someone to help me write lyrics to my music, I won't have a snowball's chance in hell at becoming even kind of famous. Then again, it worked for Zeppelin...
I have found that this summer I have been extremely bored. I dunno why, but I am. I think it has something to do with the fact that something so crazy is coming up in a month or so, and it's kind of like the calm before the storm. Any how, I have found the only thing that saves me from this terror of the "summer time blues." She is my love, my passion, my life! She is.... my guitar. Okay, so my guitar isn't a she. It isn't a he either. In fact, I haven't decided if is a boy or a girl. I think it's a boy. Yeah, I'm pretty sure my Ibanez is a boy. But my blue squire is defiantly a girl. Any how, because music is my passion, it's the only thing I've found that has saved me from the doldrums of non-school life. If you are finding you have a similar problem, I would recommend finding a passion that you have and doing it as often as you can. My other passion is acting, but lets face it, you can't really act when you are the only one at your house that's involved in it. Either way, find a passion. Now stop listening to me preach and go out there and do it! (super corny ending)
I think it's really cool that one day after I post stuff, I have 6 comments. That shows the coolness of elowel. Well, I will be off in... on August 20th. I will miss everyone while I'm there. Will keep posting, so it'll be like I'm talking to you directly and indirectly at the same time. That way, no one will be left out. I feel good about the way this went. Thank you.