“i’ll go get a ring”

11/8/11   –   8:05

Again, sorry for the lack of postage. I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but it’s really hard to remember that I’m actually in school here. That is, until all of my classes decide to give me presentations, tests, and papers up the butt from now till the end of the semester. Really though, I’ve gone through worse academically so 頑張らなきゃ. Things will be alright.

But this entry isn’t about me, really. It’s about my host-sister and how she’s starting the rest of her life! Haha. Yeah, I knew my host-sister was getting married in November but I didn’t imagine I’d be invited to the ceremony. Here’s how the invitation went:

           Host-mom: “Are you doing anything today?”

           Me: “Er, studying. Probably.”

           Host-mom: “Will you come to Naho’s wedding?”

           Me: “Uh, YES?”

And so it went. My only job was to man the camcorder. So I donned my fancy-ass gunmetal gray express shirt, straightened my black skinny-tie, and set to work prepping my camera. You see, semantically speaking, I was a “wedding photographer.” And when I checked in the mirror, I thought I looked like I fit the part. However, outside of fantasy-land lawl, I was actually just a person who takes photos at a wedding. Aka everyone. And that’s fine. At least I got to go :P

Unfortunately, due to the fact that I indeed had a video camera in my right hand, I had to fumble around trying to take pictures with my left. The resulting blurriness made a lot of shots unusable, but here’s some of the ones that maybe sort of turned out okay.

The wedding was pretty awesome. It was held at the Ritz-Carlton Osaka and it was spiffy as hell. My senses were bombarded with the おしゃれ[oshare] (adj.) high-class–aura right when I stepped in the elevator to get out of the parking garage. Expensive wood, crystal, and fancy paintings of European people everywhere.

Naho’s wedding ceremony went just as any other western wedding would, except everyone was speaking Japanese of course. Also, there was a brief period before the actual ceremony where everyone sat together in a room and the two sides of the family were introduced to each other one by one. I think that might have been a Japanese thing.

Here’s a rough translation of what host-dad had to say about me:

“I’m sorry everybody, this person isn’t really a relative, but here we have Ryan! Our exchange student! … From Florida!”

And everybody laughed and smiled instead of pelting me with [fancy Ritz-Carlton] rocks so I think I wasn’t completely out of place.

I did, however, commit a stone-able offense later on. So I was sitting on the inside row so I could film everything better. Then host-mom told me to switch with grandpa sitting a few pews behind me. So I took the shortest path–which took me into the center aisle. When I sat down next to cousin Masako, she told me, “you weren’t supposed to step there! It’s the bridal path and now it’s no longer virgin.” And then I flushed red and apologized to Masako which doesn’t really make sense but… yeah. The actual wedding photographer did it later so I took that to mean I’m in the clear.

Anyway, Masako was probably the only one that saw and we laughed it off and got back to normal conversation really soon afterwards. We talked about how it was odd having a white priest at this Japanese wedding. Masako said that foreigners usually take these kinds of jobs part-time to make some extra money. They do it 3 times a day and get around 20,000 yen which is about $200. My original thought was that it would be good if I could land a job as a weekend wedding priest like that. But then I realized that perhaps a brown priest that speaks English and can memorize a Japanese script is probably not as desirable as a white priest that does the same. Damn.

Whatever, the wedding ceremony was beautiful and I had a human moment and almost 泣いちゃった’d. It was actually a really cool experience. All the little things and light family dramas that happened throughout were amusing. Everyone was giving host-dad a hard time about the length of his hair [he’s sporting the shaggy look] and he was complaining about it real-time on Masako’s facebook. Some of the kids were playing with Naho’s dress. Naho’s husband was anxious when the attendant was giving him instructions right before the ceremony. These are all the things that the language barrier does not separate and it was sort of awesome to see that.

Congratulations Naho and husband! [I actually didn’t get his name] I wish you both the best even though I tainted your bridal path! And congratulations also on your baby boy! I won’t be there in March to celebrate the birth, but again, best wishes :D

~ ~

Various other happenings:

– School Festival

I’m sorry I don’t have pictures from this, but I was a dumb and accidentally reformatted my SD card before I could transfer the files to my comp. Bleh. But yes, the school festival is an entirely student run affair that lasts two days and encompasses the entire university. Every club is represented and they all sell food or host performances in order to raise money. [Try to think about Kaleidoscope month at UF, condense it into two days and expand it to include every club at our university. Yeah. Not as grand as the image you probably have in your mind, but similar.] And it’s all good food too for really cheap, so I was especially happy. Some of the UF students also performed for the festival, participating in a K-Pop dance show that was very well done. I’d post a video but again, the whole SD card situation ;_; Ah well.

The band was selling the Korean equivalent of お好み焼き, chijimi, and I bought some to support. I also spent a whole bunch of time hanging with them because they all had to stay there and help at the booth all day and it doesn’t take 60 people to run a food stall.

Here’s my comment on two of the freshmen. Their names are Issei and Zawa-chan and they’re best friends. Issei is in percussion and is from Osaka. Zawa-chan plays trombone and is from Kyoto. I feel like they’re a great comedic duo because they always make jokes off each other and they complement each other so well. Issei is かっこいい and rough around the edges where Zawa-chan is more reserved and exudes some sort of refinement. Despite the differences, they get along great, which I enjoy because that’s my stereotype of Osaka and Kyoto respectively. Osaka is urban, rough, and fast-paced. Kyoto, while also urban, is more laid-back and clean-cut. But they can both speak general Kansai-ben with each other without missing a beat.

Which brings me to a manga I’m currently reading that I’m pretty into. It’s called ジャポニズム47 [Japonism 47] and it anthropomorphizes every prefecture in Japan and draws them according to their stereotypes. I find this highly amusing. Japanese people probably don’t, but that’s their loss. It’s like if somebody made a comic that took every state in the US and made characters out of them. Wouldn’t you find that interesting if not hilarious? Yeah, right? Thought so.

~ ~

– I didn’t even know they had these in Japan, but a pride parade closed one of the main thoroughfares of Osaka on Saturday. Saori and Mai went and marched with them but I had carillon practice so I couldn’t go. Well, in actuality, it started raining a bit on their parade… And it didn’t stop… But neither did the parade. So despite the ongoing rain, I guess there was still a rainbow. [ahurr. hurr]

~ ~

– Grace’s happy birthday karaoke extravaganza was a success! Happy burfsday, Grace! I’m sorry if I ended up just yelling at the microphone again. I had fun and I hope you did too.

In addition, I coined a new phrase while talking with Saori. 「パンダマンを探せ」[pandaman wo sagase]– (v. phrase) Find your pandaman! It references Julia’s theory that you can’t fall out of like until you fall in like with someone else. I find it highly ironic that in order to get over my brief, light interest in original Pandaman, I have to find a Pandaman. ワハハワハハ.

~ ~

– Oh yeah! The Kyoto Imperial Palace was opened to the public for one week last week so host-grandpa told me to go. And I went. Honestly, as historically significant as the place was, it was super crowded and looked sort of like all the rest of the palaces and temples that I’ve seen. The garden was beautiful though. It was sort of like when I went to Versailles. It was so crowded and hot that I couldn’t enjoy anything. Despite my lack of enthusiasm, here are a couple of photos I took. It really is a beautiful place when it’s not full of… everyone.

One Response to ““i’ll go get a ring””
  1. Anonymous says:

    grace here, too lazy to log in

    but i had a great birthday, thanks! :D sometimes you & julia were so loud it made my head hurt, but overall it was good lol. even when you’re loud you’re a lot of fun tee hee. i guess the microphone just made it worse ya na~

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