Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Metro Manners, Salarymen and Fires

This will be my first Xmas/New Years' season in Japan, but I've been told, by numerous Japanese people, that soon things will be winding up as far as good times go. With year end parties (very common with Japanese companies) about to begin (throughout December) I've been told that I can expect to see huge crowds in Kobe's drinking areas and lots of really loaded people stumbling about. Most of them will be office workers and "salarymen" getting knackered to celebrate the "out with the old and in with the new."

This afternoon I was surfing around some news in Japan and came across this poster. The Tokyo Metro is already gearing up for this years' festivities by posting subway "manner posters" throughout the city's underground network!

The perfect way to ring in the New Year!

Check out this VERY entertaining video that explores the "salaryman" drinking culture in Japan. It's from a BBC television show called "Adam and Joe Go Tokyo."

"Adam and Joe Go Tokyo: Salaryman night out"

"It's a field trip day!!" Wow! A long time ago, when I was new to the teaching business, I used to think field trips would be wonderful. They'd be an easy day compared to the juggling one normally has to do in the classroom when teaching. A great chance for both teachers and students alike to get outside of the school and stretch our legs.

Now I know...I was a fool. With more experience under my belt I realize that field trips are often far more stressful than any day I the classroom. You are out of your element and so are the kids. Normal routines and rules seem to fly out the window and often chaos begins. Head counts, squirrely kids, general confusion... a wonderful recipe for ulcers!

Luckily today wasn't one of those days. I went with my class to a fire department. It was a cool little trip. We were able to experience an earthquake simulator as well as look at some cool fire trucks. I was in charge of a happy group of kids.

The only disappointment was that we were scheduled to ride a fire truck, but once we got there, they told us we couldn't. The weird thing was, the kids were far less disappointed than I was!

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