Atsuko was off to work early and we breakfasted with Shinichi. It was the first time I have ever had hotdogs for breakfast. Tasty.
We had a show at a Saitama juku (cram school) and armed with a box of CDs we braved the rush hour trains and did our best impersonation of sardines. We arrived at Mizonuma Community centre and met the juku teacher, a former flight attendant. It only took 30 minutes to remove the sliding doors between the two tatami rooms where we were to perform.
The juku show was..... interesting. We were told there would be a few younger children but that the majority would be between 6 and 9 years old. We began the show and discovered that half the kids were about 4 years old (or younger) and had attention spans to match. Fortunately Genki English is catchy enough to motivate these little tots, and even though there was a fair bit of 'shushing' required we pulled it off.
Afterwards we had an interview with Ms Nagao from the Japan Education Newspaper. We went to Doutor. Reporters like interviews with us because we keep them amused for hours. We like interviews with reporters because they buy us lunch. No, really we had a good time too - Ms Nagao was really cool, and knew her stuff.
After the interview I went for a haircut. 1000yen, 10 minutes. When I walked back into Doutor Richard started laughing. In the interim he had opened the package we received from the juku teacher as a token of her appreciation. It contained:
- a bottle of Hardy Brothers wine from Australia
- jam tarts
- a chocolatey Danishy thing
- half a loaf of bread
Richard was tired, and had a cold, so he decided to stay in. I had promised to meet up with Denene and the other JETs, and a friend of mine now living in Tokyo - Jo Pyrdon.
I caught the train into Roppongi - the suburb of Tokyo where non-Japanese gather en masse of an evening and give themselves and the rest of the world a bad reputation. Only one in ten people was Japanese. I found Denene and company and we retired to Propaganda Bar. I met some Aussies from Yamanashi and danced to Men at Works "Land Down Under". Met even more Saitama JETs. Caught up with Jo and her boyfriend Masa. Spread the word about Genki English. Had a Guinness.
We moved to Bar Isn't It. After six weeks living in the Genki Mobile it was great to get on the dance floor and have a boogie. The Saitama JETs were no slouches in the groove department either. Denene was very gregarious - she affectionately bade farewell to every dance partner. For the record, I didn't dance with her - her dance card was already full.
For more details of the evening please feel free to email me personally. This is, after all, a children's site.
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