Will's Tour Diary - updated daily (ish)!

Will's tour diary
- What? Why? When? Where? - Shows - Seminars


We had a show in Kagoshima - right down near Sakurajima - so we were up at 5.30, said goodgye to Kevin and Geoff (they were to make their own way to the airport) grabbed breakfast at Lawson and zoomed down the expressway. Sunrise as we sped through Miyazaki Prefecture.

We met our ALT contact Michael, in a carpark in the town of Kokubu and he lead us to the tiny town of Tarumizu, perched on the bay of Kagoshima within sight of the still active volcano, Sakurajima. it was still early, and we didn't fancy just sitting around the school killing time, so we drove to a spot by the sea and watched the volcano.

The principal was wearing a funky pink shirt and so gained my instant respect. He presided over a tiny school - 27 students and 8 teachers - and everyone was amazingly welcoming. In restrospect we should have gone to the school earlier!

Given such small numbers we did just one show for all the kids and the teachers joined in too. What they lacked in numbers they made up for in enthusiasm - they were super genki, with lots of kids calling out comments and cracking us up - they completely pre-empted my koala/kangaroo joke, and when Richard asked them what the biggest festive occasion in England was the noisiest kid yelled out "Rice-pounding festival?".

Lunch was a riot - everyone together. I decided to stir the kids up:
(holding up the milk) "This cow juice is delicious!"
"It's not juice - it's milk"
"It's juice!"
"No it's not - it's milk"
"Wait a sec - if you sqeeze an orange what do you get?"
"Orange juice"
"And if you squeeze an apple what do you get?"
"Apple juice"
"Well, when you squeeze a cow.....?"

The school nurse, a cute teacher by the name of Tamura Sensei, obviously appreciated my joke - looking in my direction she cupped her right breast and sqeezed it. Eyes wide, I just cracked up. The rest of lunch was nonstop jokes as we hung out with the kids and made as many food related puns as we could (if you want to be a big hit at lunch time, learn some really bad jokes and tell them - often!)

Later, in the staffroom, the teachers were equally as entertaining. Tamura Sensei confessed that she wanted to come on tour with us. Perfectly understandably - good looking young teacher in a small, sleepy town meets two handsome strangers in a van ...... I naturally had had no objections, but there was the small issue of her job. The other teachers gathered around and chattered away glibly for ages . Everyone was so kind and entertaining that we didn't want to leave, but they had classes, and we wanted to see the volcano. Mike came with us and we set off.

Sakurajima. Once an island in Kagoshima Bay, there is now an isthmus formed by lava from an eruption some years back, so we were able to drive all the way, through barren rock forests, to the highest viewing area. Smoke escaped from points all over the mountain and reminded us that Sakurajima was not dead, only sleeping. Mike explained that the local school kids practice swimming across the bay to Kagoshima City - in case one day they have to do it for real.

Down at the base we hit the onsen - one custom I like about Japan is getting naked with people you have just met. Then we drove back to Kokubu where we had dinner with Mike and his girlfriend (an Aussie JET). It was a tonkatsu - battered pork - restaurant with all-you-can-eat-cabbage. The waitress and I both discovered that I can eat a LOT of cabbage.

Long drive back to Kumamoto. My eyes hurt from the strain of concentrating on the road, and possibly from the heater. It was cold. It was even colder in Tomochi where we moved in with our latest host, English JET Staisha Stubley. Staisha loves her town but confessed that it annoys her that people do steal her bras. We took over her apartment with our washing, hanging it everywhere. Tomorrow we are going to her school. If we don't freeze to death tonight!!!


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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