Friday, October 26, 2007


Hiroshima and the Sea

Where do I start...

The Peace Memorial Park is probably the first stop, maybe even the only stop, for many people visiting Hiroshima. This is a great place to people watch. Especially the foreigners. The truth is, people get very confused about how to act here. Many people feel extreme guilt, like somehow they, as Americans, are personally responsible for the atomic bombings. So you've got your groups of confused foreigners. It's Japan, so you've got some local touts, dressed in either over the top hip hop clothes, or cowboy/metal/biker styles trying to pull people into hostess bars. There's random bands that set up along the river to play whatever music they feel like. I even saw some British high school students, and this one boy was obviously trying to line up some pussy for later. All while their teacher read about dead children and the origami cranes that represent them. So yeah, this place is good for watching randomness.

But seriously, you should pay your respects and honor those who lost their lives in this tragic event. Spend some time reading all the plaques, most of them are in multiple languages. Walk down the Peace Boulevard. Follow the signposted walking routes. Read the plaques. Look at the pictures. Remember that photo of San Francisco in 1906 after the big earthquake and fires? The picture where everything is destroyed?

Memories of local history lessons and 5th grade class reports. This looks worse.

Infinitely worse. Not caused by a fault line or a volcano or god because he hates gays. Caused by people. People watch here. You will see a lot of emotion. A lot of people trying to understand. And thats a good thing.

There's a castle in Hiroshima. Rode the motorcycle around it, maybe I'll go back, but most likely not. I'm gonna assume the castle is a replica, and not the original from centuries ago. Just a hunch.

Actually I'm sure I won't go back. Japanese castles all look the same to me.

A random ride up and down random streets led to a random mountain with amazing views.

Hmmm... my review of Hiroshima is kinda crappy. There's lots of shopping. Hooray for shopping. I went in the Adidas store. They didn't have my size.

Oh yeah, I checked out the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art. There are 2 modern art museums in Hiroshima, this one looked to be better, but I'll go to the other one one of these days.

Their permanent exhibit is only a couple hundred yen to see, and it was very good. It explained (I was in Japanese) the valuing process of art, and the pieces were set in monetary value order. Seeing amazing pieces for a fraction of the value of hideously large ones really brings things into a different view. Not very crowded, this museum is set on a hill in Hijiyama park. I recommend it.

Oh, and it only takes 10 minutes from Kure on the toll road to get there! That's doing like 100km/h, which is kinda way above the limit. But 100km/h is seriously slow (60mph).

Life in Kure is very relaxed, but I'm also feeling stress at the school here. The children are kind of out of control. This is proving to be difficult for me, to actually have to deal with the kids. At all my previous schools, it seemed that a threat of no stickers would snap the students back into learning mode. This is what I call a zero-stress threat. Saying or doing anything negative in life produces stress. A sarcastic threat of withholding Hello Kitty stickers can hardly be counted as something negative. I'd even go so far, at my Kawagoe school, as to say I was going to tell a kid's mom that he was being bad. That always worked. And since Brian Sensei ain't no snitch, the actual action being threatened here would never occur. Presently, none of these style threats work in the least. I have to resort to Do you want to wait in the other room? This threat is actually valid, and feels negative to say. So I've got 2 classes that are like this, just out of control. But they are special classes so they each happen 3 times a week. And they are first thing in the morning. In Kawagoe, I'd play balloon toss with 1 year olds and their moms, then go to lunch and have a 3 hour break every day. Now I have a crazy class, 3 hour break, another crazy class, and then my regular classes.

But, in the end, it's all worth it for quotes like this:

Brian - "What should we put in our witches soup?"
N (8 years old) - "Dog pee!!!!"
H (8 years old) - "and dog poo!!!"
N (they are twins) - "and dog puke!!!"
H (they are girls) - "Yeah!!! Dog puke!!!"
S (another girl in class) - "What's dog puke?"

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