Last week I took my first road trip without a Japanese (read: literate and therefore fully competent) person in the car. It was mostly just a shopping trip and I can’t say anything overly exciting happened.
I did get my foot in a second-hand store – and if you know me at all then you know THAT was exciting for me! I came home with a children’s book and a traditional game called iroha karuta. If you know me at all then you’ll also realize that even though I can’t read Japanese, I was thrilled to see the instruction booklet intact in the box. 😀
From the little I can gather, this is how it works: a bunch of cards with the Japanese alphabet on them (hiragana only) are spread on the floor. A neutral observer (?) reads the lines of a traditional poem and the two people playing try to grab all of the syllables of the poem’s lines and arrange them before the other person. I have yet to try it obviously. I need to coerce either a four-year old Japanese kid or another fresh immigrant to join me. Or maybe I could just blindfold the other person. That should even it out. Hmmm…
I also happened to buy a pair of magic pants. I didn’t know it at the time, because they look like regular old lined slush pants. Actually I think they’re pretending to be ski pants, but I’m Canadian and I know proper ski pants when I see them!
They came with lots of tags of course. Which how I discovered that they’re magic.
From left to right, the tags read:
“Comfortable On and Off.” YES! I prefer to be comfy without pants too! Thank goodness!!! This is the brand name, by the way. Comfortable On and Off. It ought to be a lingerie line, really.
“Nothing Messes With It.” They’re Teflon-coated. There’s a website even: www.nothingmesseswithit.com Please click on it, please. Just to see.
“It absorbs sweat and it changes into heat generation. This is original advanced technology.”
Whoa. It absorbs SWEAT and changes it into HEAT. That is not advanced technology – that’s magic! I have magic pants! What a deal!
Something that doesn’t seem like a good deal are the beautiful leather backpacks all the schoolchildren have. They cost roughly $700 for a genuine leather one (and the pleather ones are still around $400). I thought I’d get one of these as a present for someone back home…NOPE! Here’s a picture of some little ‘uns on their way home from school, showing off some pretty backpacks and Japanese schoolchild style in general.