December 24 2000

Subject: Mele Kalekimaka! (I can write that in Japanese)

Date: Sunday, December 24, 2000 4:52 AM

“‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all thru the aparto, not a creature was stirring, not even a cockroach.”

“Chris wasn’t nestled snug in his futon, as he still had cleaning to do”

“Visions of sugarplums were not dancing in his head”

Argh. That’s enough of the literary Chris. While I was out riding today, I was trying to figure out words that would rhyme, but as you can see, I’ve failed miserable. Not a poet be I. I was going to work in the nonfunctional refrigerator and the wonderful hot shower, but couldn’t do it.

Since I’ve been asked this question a couple of times, let me ‘plain Xmas, Okinawa style.

I figured, that since Japan isn’t a Christian country, there wouldn’t be Christmas like we (“we” being Americans from various states) know it. It actual kept me going thru the hot summer. “Well, summers almost pau, then winter which will be cooler, and no Christmas folderol”. Oh, Chris, you stupid, STUPID boy. Was I mistaken.

I think it was around Halloween the infestation began. Daiei had these little stunted plastic trees. Small display, I figured, no problem.

But then, more and more I started to notice Christmas stuff. Stores started decorating with Christmas motifs, and I began to see lots of “Happy Christmas” and “Merry Chistmas” (had to stop and think, “Happy Christmas?” is that proper English?) signs everywhere. Mos Burger, a Japanese McDonalds, has “Merry X’mos” as their theme this year.

Then those damned dancing Santa’s sprouted overnight like the worst pimple outbreak ever suffered. I really find those things annoying…

AND THE MUSIC!!!!!!!!!!!

Christmas music has to be real low on my list of music I like. Real low. But of course, everywhere is playing it. English as well as Japanese. The first fifty times I heard “Jingle Bells” in Japanese, I thought it was bearable. Now, I start drooling uncontrollable and start punting invisible dancing Santas. I was in the hardware store this afternoon, and they had the dancing Santas ( I keep typing “Satan”) and they were playing Japanese Christmas carols. Oh, the potential for serious mayhem was very high. I think my lack of Japanese language skills is the only thing that saved me from an international incident. “Excuse me, where are the Husquanavana chain saws???”

Lots and lots of decorations. On the streets, in the stores, everywhere. The punk moped gang (I’m not kidding) wears Santa suits and freaky makeup when they drive around. I expect that at 0:01, 26 December, it will all be taken down in true, efficient Japanese style. Anyone want to bet?

Today was Christmas Eve. In Japan, it’s actually more important then Christmas Day. Xmas Eve is a “couples day”, like Valentine’s Day. So couples all over the place today. “Humm, dancing Santas, Japanese Christmas carols, happy people in love….” If that isn’t a recipe for ritual dismemberment, I don’t know what is.

My place is clean. While I showering this morning I scrubbed the bathroom. Yesterday I cleaned and did laundry. I have a kickin’ plastic Christmas tree that I didn’t put together right, so it’s all lopsided. I think I’m ready for the “Parental Tour 2000” to kick off tomorrow at 10:30. Haven’t figure out quite how I’m going to amuse the parents, other then “here’s the key to my apartment, here’s my business card, don’t get lost, smile a lot.”

Been invited with the parents to several “parties”. One of them is at my favorite English teachers apartment. She’s the one whose wedding I went to. Her sister in law is going to be there. *Sniff*, smells like set up to me, as well as her male teacher friend who likes to refer to me as “cute”. If he hits on me, “Mom, go kick his butt!” Hahaha. Sorry, the potential for trouble is very high.

Christmas is not a holiday here, so it’s a work day. My boss (borrowing some Aussie English) is a legend, so he’s like, “you worked a lot for the conference. Don’t come to work.” (I can take a hint).

Then there’s a national holiday that starts 29 December and work doesn’t start till 4 January. I think.

Anyway, thanks for the cards and what not. I’m a little sad that I’m here, far away from my friends (sniff, sniff). But I’ll have my parents to pick on, so that will help.

I told one of the dancing Santas at the hardware store to take care of all my friends this Christmas, and I swear, he winked at me. Please, all of you have a wonderful Christmas. And if you don’t, please let me know, I’ll go back and boot his dancing Santa ass into low orbit.

Chris

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