Saturday, January 17, 2009
My name is Garto, Harry Garto pt. 4
Well this part 4 of my Japanese story and by now i'm guessing you are thinking why is the name of the stories "My name is Garto, Harry Garto"? Before i just tell you i should point out the fact that i hate it when Australians go overseas, mainly America, only for a little while and they come back with yank accents. Its funny because it doesn't matter if they go to different part of the states they all come back sounding the same, or what they think an American should sound like. Its embarrassing i think, and i know some may disagree. But i know people that have lived in America for years and still managed to keep the aussie accent. People like Ben H and Greg R, i mean they lived year for 5 years and longer and still come back sounding the same. I mean if i went to America i would lay the aussie accent on thick and be saying "G'day" as much as i could.
A got little side tracked then, i know. But, what you have to realise in Japan is that when you say some Japanese words you have to speak with the correct elecution or basically say it in a Japanese accent. The word for thankyou in Japanese is ar-ri-ga-to. Say it now to yourself in a Japanese accent, yeah thats how your suppose to say it, and i had this conversation with Ben E one night when we went to the markets for supplies. Do you have to say Japanese words with the right accent for it to be understandable? I decided to put this to the test. We got to the checkout and i got my pocky and coke scanned, payed my money and and as i got the reciept i let out the biggest "ar-ri-ga-to" in a nice big aussie accent. After i said this, the group i was with started laughing and we all began saying it. Then we realised that it sounded like Harry Garto, so now for the rest of the week when we needed to say thankyou we just said "Harry Garto".
This next section could be called sabotage, as the most unteamlike act was set upon yours truely one night. Early on in the week Ben E said to me that i should get the entire team to dress in kimonos to dinner one night so that we could emerse ourselves in the Japanese culture. Before we went to Japan i posted a picture of Ben E on the Wheelcats page of the facebook group. It was from when he used to play for Willetton when he was 19 years old. Unfortunatley my dearest mother decided to help Ben retaliate by giving him a picture from a basketball game i played when i was 16, the picture showed me wearing Wanneroo Wolves and bearing the whitest skin you had ever seen. I think one person even likened me to Napolean Dynamite. Mum, we have unfinished business. But i thought if Ben was going to use my mum against me i thought it was only fair that i use his dad, Len, against him. I emailed Lenny and said we were putting a surprise together for Ben and asked him for some photos of his childhood. Lenny came through with some great pictures with Ben at 14/15 sporting the best short shorts i had ever seen. I decided to post one and see how we go.
So back to Japan, and one night i had "oraganized" (or nicked, depending on where you come from) a whole heap of kimonos (basically bathrobes) and handed them out to the team to wear to dinner that night. I was running a little late to dinner and i was frantically trying to change in to my kimono to make dinner on time, god forbid if the manager is late. My room mate, Sticky still hadn't got changed and he went into the bathroom and told me to go on without him. I thought fair enough as he was feeling a little ill from that day, so i started to make my way downstairs. Half way down the elevator and i realised that i hadn't seen anybody else on the way to dinner, as i had on previos nights. My stomach all of a sudden twisted and got the awful thought that i was getting stitched up. The master had become the victim. I walked down the main hallway and had a lot of Japanese people snickering at me, (it was a 5 star hotel that we stayed in) and they were all dressed in formal clothes. So i swallowed my pride and walked into the restaurant only to discover that the entire team was dressed in normal clothes. PUNK'D. Ofcourse everyone was laughing, i had a giggle and thought bugger it, im here, i dont care what im dressed like, im gonna eat. So i grabbed a plate and began to load up from the buffet, until a waiter came up to me and told me that i had to leave as bathrobes were only for the bedrooms. As i threw down my plate and stormed out, the laughs subdued as people thought i was really pissed. Apparently Ben E at this stage was worrying about what my reaction was going to be when i returned, if i did return at all. On the way back up to my room i passed Sticky who was in hysterics laughing at me, i sayed a few passing words, got up to my room, got changed and came back down. When everyone had realised that i was fine we all started to have a giggle about what had just happened. I called a truce with Ben, and decided that enough was enough. Except for every single other Cat that could't have slipped me a helpful hint. Mark my words when i say that when i strike back, i strike back harder and faster. But i will just bide my time for now...
One thing that springs to mind at the moment is the breakfast and lunch food. Breakfast was great each morning for me, once again it was buffet style. They served eggs in every form, bacon, sausage (very convienient for our muslim opposition), waffles, fruit and french fries. Yes, i said french fries. Now, the Japanese as you could imagine eat rice, fish etc for all their meals including breakfast. So i really felt as though the Japanese didn't have much of a concept on when certain foods are eaten in western culture, rather than all the time in their culture. Nice try but i reckon it was a nice change to have french fries for breakfast, as you can't usually get them till after 10:30am at McDonalds. Now for lunch, everyday we were given lunch in a cardboard box, it was all cold. It ranged from sandwiches, cold spaghetti, mushed meat in tacos and a strange little sausage on a chicken bone. A few questions came to mind with the sausage bone, 1- how did they get the chicken bone in the sausage? 2- how did they get the original chicken off the bone? I personally hope no one had consumed it off the bone then it gets passed on to have a second purpose in life. None the less it was bloody tasty. Also the box that the lunch came in had an inspirational card inside with a different message each day. I can't remember what they said at the moment but i do remember that they were full of spelling mistakes and sentences that just don't make sense. A little dorky, but its just the small things that put a smile on your face each day.
We are slowly making our way through this epic story, but if your still reading that means im keeping you interested. So i hope you keep reading. Until next time...