Today in school I had the joy of experiencing the listening and writing tests that were supposed to have taken place last month, but which were rescheduled because of the earthquake. I say experience because the phrase ‘took the exam’ would be libelous. The listening exam in particular was about as enjoyable as sitting through, well 30 minutes of a language that you don’t really understand.
This evening I went to go and see ‘The Fighter’ at a cinema in Shinjuku. Aside from the fact that Japanese cinema prices make England look cheap (even a student ticket cost me over a tenner), the cinema experience in Japan is heavenly. The seats are spacious; no one uses their mobile phones; and no one finds it necessary to explain the Brechtian nature of the script to their neighbor, in fact no one makes a noise of any kind for the duration of the film. The one downside to this is that when a Gaijin with a laugh like a witch on helium finds something funny, he can hear his shrill cries echo around the amphitheater, cascading against the walls like a bag of kittens being drowned repeatedly. Thankfully the Japanese are far too polite to say anything, and even if they were I would simply assume that they were inquiring as to why the cat was in the fridge.