Monday, 20 July 2009

Genghis Kong vs. Koreans

Hello readers,

I've been meaning to write to you for some time, but just didn't manage to get around to until today. Much has transpired since last I wrote, possibly most significantly I finished Japanese school. Well, tentatively. I may decide that I actually haven't yet finished Japanese school, but we'll get round to that in a little bit.

Over the last week or so of school, rather than studying hard I was mostly fooling around and doing a few fun and exciting things, but to be brutally honest since school ended I have spent most of my time going to awful parties where I have a fairly rubbish time but get very drunk. This has led me to be feeling awful and miserable most of the time, and now that I have just got out of my nocturnal alcoholic cycle, I've picked up a bloody cold from one of my friends. Bastards.

In terms of fun things I've done recently which were actually worthwhile and memorable, there are a few. A couple of weeks ago I took part in the TKY Centurion event - a large, organised, (spurious) world record attempt at the largest centurion drinking game ever. For those of you who don't know, the centurion is a fairly simple premise - one shot of beer every minute for 100 minutes. "A shot of beer? Pah! That's less than nothing!" I hear you cry, and you are correct. However 100 shots of beer really is quite a lot, especially as a hundred minutes is not a very long time. Assuming the shots are 25ml each, this amounts to 2.5 litres of beer (about 5 pints) in one hour and 40 minutes. However I have a feeling that a standard shot in Japan is actually 35ml, making it more like 6 and a half pints in 1h40. Needless the say, the levels of drunkenness were quite high that evening.

Oh, and you are not allowed to stand up or leave your seat for any reason. Expecially not to urinate. This can put a significant strain on the ol' bladder, as I'm sure you can all imagine.

You can visit the official website here (if you scroll down to 'photos' and click on 'kato' there's a bunch of pictures of us in there), and see my name listed among the victorious centurion champions. I know for certain that more people completed it than are listed there, but either way it was a world record attempt fail. Firstly, it was not very closely policed so people could have easily cheated, and secondly Guinness said that it was irresponsible and dangerous to encourage this kind of drinking behaviour. Which is true.

Anyway much merriment was shared by all at the centurion. Incidentally, our centurion team included a pair of very sexy Japanese identical twins. Yeah - that's not just an Austin Powers joke, there really are sexy Japanese identical twins out there. I was just surprised to learn that they hang out with me, of all people.

Anyway, centurion finished, two from our table finished it successully. (Possibly three, actually, but I'm not sure. The third guy spent so much time snogging another guy that was with us that I think he must have missed a few shots along the way, but I think he made it to 100, sort of). Everyone's drunk, party's over lets head home. The two gays head off for the gay district, the two twins head home, leaving me, my (American) friend Nate and his (Japanese) girlfriend Mana. Mana at this point is very drunk. So drunk that she can hardly walk, and is tumbling around the street shouting that she hates us.

Now unfortunately this does not look good to the casual observer on the street: two large and relatively sober Gaijin leading a completely drunk Japanese girl home, and the Japanese girl shrieking and hitting them. In fact it looks to passers-by very much like we were trying to date-rape her or something.

Just then a small asian guy (presumably Japanese) comes up to us saying "Hey Gaijin! Where you going? What you doing with her?" and then asking Mana (in Japanese), "Hey girl, where are going. Do you want know these Gaijin?" to which Mana responded with a loud "FUCK YOU!" in English. (not very helpful)

It's worth pointing out here that Mana is completely crazy and can be rather a belligerent drunk.

The guy continues pestering us and we try to explain ourselves - with Mana continuing to be distinctly unhelpful - and eventually he leaves us be, but as we approach the crossing I look over my shoulder to see he is still following us. Mana is still reeling about the place and occassionally shouting or hitting Nate, and can't stand on her own so Nate is holding her own to keep her up, and the little asian dude comes up to us again while we're waiting for the lights to change, and is being really quite aggressive now, grabbing at Mana's arm and pushing at Nate, so I just stepped up behind him - I don't like fighting, I was just hoping that my bigness might get the little scrote to fuck off - at which point he goes off on one: shoving my chest screaming in my face and just generally trying to start a fight.

Just as I was thinking that it's particularly ballsy for one little asian dude to pick a fight with two big Gaijin, two of friends appear who had apparently been waiting across the road. What a fucking set-up! Clearly their game is for the one guy to pick a fight with a big guy, and then the other two guys come in to back him up and have a jolly-old beat down on the guy.

Fortunately, though, it seemed that one of them was willing to throw the first punch, and I sure as hell wasn't so eventually I managed to talk them down and we just walked home, but it still rattled me a fair bit.

Obviously we were a little pissed off with Mana, who could have easily just explained to them in Japanese "No, this is my boyfriend, this is my friend, we're going home", but afterwards when we asked her why she hadn't done this she just said "I don't wanna talk to him. He was a Korean anyway, so he's a Gaijin too!"

Well great! Thanks Mana, just as long as we don't get beaten up by Japanese people you're totally willing to let us get beaten up by Koreans? You're so thoughtful!

She was very apologetic the next day, and as I understand it Nate is actually pretty good at fighting, so had it come down to it we might not have actually been on the receiving end of a beating, but still - a very sout end to an otherwise very fun night.

Still - I'm putting that down as the first time I've been the victim of a racist attack! Cool - I can tick that one off the list of 'life experiences I never really wanted to have'.

But anyway, no harm no foul, I guess. It could have been worse.

Ignoring that, I carried on doing to do (like Betty Boo) and eventually it was the last week of school and I was taking all my final exams. The exams were all pretty easy, I would say. The only one I have got back so far I scored a fairly respectable 98% on, although that wasn't a language class taht was my Manga and Anime class.

Now the reason I say that I have finished school, but maybe not, is that I basically didn't do any of the work for the classes that I don't have to pass. The way the year abroad works with Sheffield University is that you have to pass all the Japanese language classes you take, and then you have to submit a 6000-word research paper, but any other extra classes you take at your host university make no difference - you can fail them or you can get an A, and no one will care. For some reason, unlike in most Universities I know of where the essays are usueally deu in the middle of the term and the exams are at the end, for my classes everything was due all in the same week - I had about 6 essays and 6 exams all in the same week. Putting aside the fact that my time management skills are miserable, I have also been suffering miserably with insomnia these past few weeks and I spent most of my last weeks of school in something of a daze from lack of sleep. Therefore I took the executive decision not to do any of the essays for classes I didn't need to pass. I did all the work for my Japanese classes and hopefully will have passed them with a decent grade, but I did none of the final papers for my three other classes, because it doesn't matter if i fail them.

So as it stands I have finished school (woop woop!) with 4 passes and 3 fails (boo!). Although I do quite like the fact that I have finished school, this rather lacklustrre ending has left a bit of a bad tastet in my mouth, so I'm thinking I might now write all the papers and submit them late. Even if they are so late that they can't be counted and I fail the class anyway, it might make me feel a little better about the situation. I've made a start on a couple of them actually, but i'm sure you can understand it's difficult to motivate yourself to write a paper which makes no difference to any part of your acamdemic career, except perhaps your self- esteem.

Yours nose-blocked-uppedly,
Genghis Kong


(P.S Sorry very wordy today - no pictures. I'll try to be more interesting tomorrow)

1 comment:

James said...

Nice, congrats on more or less finishing your year abroad then. Incidentally, what did you do your 6000 word Sheffield project on? I'm pretty sure that they've scrapped that for my year, but I still have to confirm this.

Oh, and what level Japanese classes did you take there - is it worth me actually doing some revision before I go so I get put in a higher class or not?