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Will's tour diary
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First day of the Kumamoto Midyear conference. We squeezed everyone, resplendent in their business suits, into the Genkimobile and zoomed off to the conference centre. We met our contact person Glory and snuck into the preliminary speeches .

There was an announcement that the keynote speaker would not be avaialbe - his wife was giving birth to their first baby and he was at the hospital. The Board of Education guy who was explaining this didn't sound at all understanding:
"I don't quite know why the speaker couldn't come. This speech was organised a long time ago. In Japan people have babies all the time - we don't consider it a special thing"
Full marks for empathy.

Seizing the opportunity I suggested that Richard do his Genki speech. No problem. We jumped up in front of the crowd and Rich bounced around with his mega-genki pep talk for 10 minutes, to rapturous applause. Not wanting to end on too high a note the guy with the sympathetic view on paternal responsibility decided to give his own speech. It was one of the most amusing speeches I have heard for a long time, but not because he intended it to be. One gem:

"Do you have a pen? Have you a pen. That makes me crazy"

Dropped into the press club and asked them to drop by. Back at the conference centre discovered that we weren't allowed to have the press - rang up and said "oops". Found out too that we would be presenting in the same hall as two other presenters, with only a thin partition separating us. Knowing how loud our seminars get we entered into protracted negotiations for a different room, and eventually Glory was able to swing it for us.

Took the gang home and then caught the train into town where the Kumamoto JETs led us on a tour of Kumamoto City nightlife. At the first bar I had a long overdue boogie while Richard dealt with the numerous drinks people were buying for him. We moved to a new bar and at some point I remember going and finding a ramen shop where I tried to pay twice. Back at bar No. 2 the complimentary drinks had caught up with Rich - he had fallen asleep. I helped him make it out to the street where he sat down on the gutter, looking worse for wear and shivering. It was a defining moment - his genk was gone. Rushed him back to Guy's and put him to bed.


email: will@genkienglish.net

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Opinions expressed in this diary are personal views of Will Jasprizza. They do  not necessarily represent those of Genki English, especially where he is  making jokes which sounded better at the time!!! Please be understanding!


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