I've always had a fascination with Japan. If you've been here long enough, you probably already knew that. I've declared it here more than enough times and it's safe to say more than half the stuff I write about these days on Sprocket Ink has something to do with Japanese weirdness. That fascination seems to have only been growing over the years and now I'm starting to think my lifetime of excessive exposure is starting to chance me and I'm becoming more Japanese than Trinidadian.
First off, there's Japanese anime. I love it. I love it hard! This is actually where it all started for me. I've been into it for a really long time and I'm not talking about since it became mainstream popular here in the western world. I've been watching anime ever since I was about 5. I blame my father for this. Back when he had the video rental business, he fed me a constant supply of Japanese cartoons, mostly because it was what kept me quiet and not torturing Younger Sister# 1.
I was an... um... active child.
At least, while in front of the TV, I wasn't left up to my own devices. Trust me, that was bad.
Probably still is...
Arising out of all the Japanese anime was JPop. In a post I did a while back I declared (with much shame) that I had something of an addiction to the Japanese musical art form known for being performed by really high-pitched Japanese women in school uniforms and Japanese men with a tendency to wear too much eye-shadow.
DON'T JUDGE ME!!!
Anyway, I've been a fan of it for a long, loooong time and that hasn't changed. In fact, it's fair to say that my JPop obsession has also gotten worse over the years (don't ask me how many of these songs I actually keep on my mp3 and listen to on a regular basis. Just... don't...)
Like I said, I wasn't proud of this and I secretly feared someone finding my collection one day and outing me. At least I wasn't proud.
That all changed when the world was taken over by the KPop smash hit (the Korean version to JPop), Gangnam Style. Everyone's listening to it. It's on all the radio stations. Even here in T&T!
True story: Twice I've heard more than radio DJ's say something like, "I don't know what this song's about, but here's the hit Gangnam Style".
Now Asian pop music is going to be the next big thing. Soon it'll be all the rage with the kids and I won't have to be ashamed anymore. (Shut up! It'll happen!) Just you wait and see. Then I'll no longer be a freak. I'll be a trendsetter!
Another warning sign is that people just seem to sense it. It's like they can see anime-geek emanating from me like a glowing aura (or maybe I should change my ringtone). More than once over the years I've had people I barely know have asked me if I'd ever been or will go to one of the locally held anime conventions they hold every year (if I did I was expected to dress up in cosplay and provide photographic evidence). The answer has always been no, but only because I'm desperately trying to hold on to the last shred of decency and self-respect I have. But I want. I really, really want to.
How bad could the whole cosplay thing be..?
|Um... Okay, forget the cosplay.|
But here's what really worries me... I'm thinking of learning Japanese, people! Seriously! Don't let the writing fool you. I have a hard enough time with English. Now I want to learn a whole new language. By the way, by "thinking" I mean I've already found a school that teaches it, found out how much they charge and on what days they teach the course.
I think I need an intervention.
What's worse, is that my wife isn't really helping. By that I mean she's being supportive. I know, right? What's wrong with her?! The other day I told her about this program being run by the Japanese embassy where locals can go to Japan to work, teaching English on one year, renewable contracts. It was just harmless conversation, mind you. I had just overheard someone talking about it in the barber shop. But to my surprise I hear...
Mrs. C: So are you going to sign up? I'm so ready to start over somewhere new it isn't funny.
I never expected her to actually suggest I sign up.
Bad! Bad Mrs. C!
You guys should have a talk with her. You're supposed to be my enablers. She's really treading on your territory, when you think about it..
Of course, I'm not going to. At least, not now. I want to finish school before I even consider any major move like that. That gives me about three years to kick a thirty-year obsession. It could happen. Right?
But... now I'm actually considering it. If-if I do eventually go there, you there'll be no hope for me, right? I might as well just start abandoning chairs and learn to use those hole-in-the-floor squat toilets now. On the bright side, I bet I could totally rock a hakama.
|What? It's airy.|