And now for something completely different. When reading other expats blogs, they always seem to have something profound to say about life in Japan. Well ok not all, but some. Mine so far is mostly about Kyudo and trying to get my other class going or a small local trip. Not the big travels, sights, eateries, oh well, someday. For now it is mostly finding my place in this society and not being a young English teacher or the high-tech gaijin salarymen. This narrows my options alot. So whilst in search for other options and developing my martial/musical path the opportunity came to get some basic training in tree and shrub trimming. This is something one does not see everyday on other expat blogs.
Today was good weather to be out. On the chilly side at first so I dressed warm for the expected chilly morning breath of winter on the bike ride over to the meeting place. The good thing about the bike ride beside the small carbon footprint, it once the blood gets moving from all the leg and waist action it gets pretty warm… mostly. unless it is ridiculously cold, which thankfully it was not!
The meeting place logically turns out to be a park which is reasonable since the training is about trimming greenery. The guy who signed me up for it at the Silver Center was there, I saw him first off, rather he saw me first. This was good since I did not know for certain where the meeting spot was located. As it turned out out I was the first student there. Meaning I out did the Japanese on being on time/early. This may have made a good impression.
We stood around whilst everyone slowly came in. There was about 16 or 18 in total. We were split up into small groups with a leader, after roll call and group talk. I was a bit concerned about my Japanese level so I had my iTouch to record. Turns out it was un-needed. Once we were in our groups I got what was explained and shown enough to do it. It was not really complex at least the shrub trimming. I had done some before so it was not a big deal. I only got a minor adjustment because I was being too gentle, because I thought that was style. Anyway, I got it and rolled with it, “like a boss” as they say these days.
After some clean up there was the tree trimming after the lecture on using the ladders. This was more complex, the trimming, not the ladders. I was not that clear on the trimming details. I got some, then watched the master, did some more, and watched. I think I did ok. They where doing park trees so, it was not like a high price client.
After lunch which I went to the mall for and had Ketsune udon, I was sent off to work on my own after a while so I figured I was ok. After a while just before cleanup to go home, an older gent gives me some more guidance on a detail. I listen, did not understand, but watched what he was doing whilst talking and got it. That was a fine point that now made sense. From his age I figured he was more experience than the teacher of my group. It was kind of him for the guidance. I know look at trees in the yards around town different. Kind of like how one looks at posters and stuff after studying Graphic design. It was a good experience regardless. I may get my own little pine tree Bonsai going as an addition to my Zen Yard.
Lastly was cleanup then we waited. One guy who had spoken to me earlier asked me a few questions. He spoke English. There is usually one in a large group like this who can do basic English and likes the chance to practice. He was a nice guy, a few years older than me. He wished me luck as we parted for the close of class. I said my thanks to the in charge people and the sign-up guy said he would call me. I guess I did ok, and he meant he will call if there is some work. I could get into this kind of job on a part time bases. It could be hot in the summer, but still they take break and one would be working mostly under a tree , at least part time. Anyway I know he, the guy from the office took several pictures of me whilst working. Good PR for the center to show some diversity. No doubt the only foreigner to be there..ever!