June 1998 – email7

From: Gary Ploski
6/23/98
Subject: what’s up? i no no. u no?
To: Gary Ploski  

        I’ve been to Kashima. I’ve been to the budou god’s temple. I’ve been to school. I’ve been to the deepest parts of my mind. What do all these have in common? ANSWER— “I’ve been to…” Indeed there is one more thing—- they’re all true.

        This past weekend I was awoke at 4:30 so that I could meet a group of people at Asaka 3-chu for a 5:30 departure. Yeehhaa. OUCH! The day before I had gone out with Kazi, chillin out maxin. Sure Ya did batman – let’s go to the video tape.  We basically chatted and stuff about the World Cup. Oh how great it is! We are lovin it! Gooo teams!

        Anyway, I met up to go to KASHIMA – home of the Antlers!! (a J-League team – my favz) We didn’t go to watch a game though. We went to a budou event. It was something that was absolutely incredible! An 82 year old dude, SCARYYYYYY GUY!!! he is/was! He was yellin and yellin!!! People were trying not to anger him anymore than he was. YIKES! This guy was incredible with the sword! He cut through 4! Count em 4 rolls of bamboo!! During the day some ppl couldn’t cut through 1!!!! This guy cut through 4!! AND, he cut through bamboo! Dry bamboo — the stuff is really solid! Swooooosh – right through. Clean cuts. Absolutely incredible! Amazed I was.

        Here’s the kicker. My camera’s battery died on me just as I was about to take a picture of him!!! What a kick in the pants! OUCH. I was able to buy a battery later, but that was when I arrived at the temple later on. Bummer. Have to hope I get a pic from someone else that went. I can only hope.

        We spent the day in Kashima and eventually returned to 3-chu, where I found my umbrella to be gone. That’s right! MY FIRST UMBRELLA STOLEN!!! Oy ve!! I can not (said with a british accent) believe it! Well, I can, but it blew me away that it happened at school. Actually know that I think of it… this was my second umbrella ot have been stolen from me. The first…. happened within the school! The same school. I brought it into the school, put it with all the others, returned to get it at the end of the day to find it was… gone. HUH!? So, those are my umbrella incidents. Yipppee yeah. wowzers.

        School is been what I’ve expected it to be… cool. 3-chu was the BOMB!!! I had the most fun at that school! I competed in one event during “sports day”. The student teachers and I ran the 800m relay. I was the anchor. We came in….. last. The batton was dropped during the second lap… from there… it was over. The 3rd graders took it to us. What a day. IMMMMMEDIATELY after I finished I had to go to elementary school. Soo, I had about 13 minutes to get my stuff, then ride my bike up the biggest hill I know of in Asaka toward 2-sho. I got there …… at 3:00. Club started…. at 3:00. We (the teacher and I) went a few minutes late. I was pleased with my bodies reaction to how much I pushed it. My legs did hurt for a few days after, but it was worth it.

        Classes were also spectacular. I worked with student teachers — all of whom were 21 or 22. It was very cool!!! I worked with the experienced teachers and the student teachers at the same time. Talk about full circle. A true taste of fun. Those teachers and I are getting together before I leave as well. A very cool thing, lucky lucky.

        What’s next… Who knows… Only youuuuuuu can make an ice cream soda… eww eww ewww… onnnly you can make an ice cream float…. sorry, old tune got in my head. think it’s called “yummy day”.

        Times have been tough over here. Lots of bad things lots of good things. What’s to happen when I get back? I’ve already been thinking about my soon to be experienced ‘reverse culture shock’ upon settling down in CT. Boy is that gonna be fun. Yuck. irimasen!!! Dewa, what do I do? Nothing but live my life over here in JPN because this is where I am. I have conquered many things and that is one that I’ll be able to conquer. Just give me some time.

        This time has been most interesting. I’ve learned a lot about ppl and myself. I’ve also been able to find a few new goals for myself to follow. Gotta keep it going, no rest for the wicked. No rest, period. One must continue to push oneself to test limits, to test…. oneself. Rest… no thanks – not for a looong time anyway. A holiday is always good.. if you learn something during the holiday. ‘Push it. push it realll good.’  have a crazy day in the land of the learned. ciao cito ppls happy.

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