Squirk's Overseas Experience

The tales of one Kiwi returning to Mother Britain and exploring the Big Wide World... without being eaten by a shark.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

In-flight entertanment

My flight from Auckland to Japan was fairly uneventful, but I was being a good little blogger and taking notes the whole time. Sadly, it took about five months before I began typing up these notes, but I hope you'll enjoy these slices of life anyway.

A cute little Japanese girl peeking over the seats seemed to be playing peek-a-boo. She wasn't part of the scheduled entertainment but it was cute nonetheless.

I almost lost my passport after a scolding at customs. I just wanted an excuse to wave my British passport around but the customs lady told me I should use my NZ one when I'm in NZ.

The in-flight movie was Coach Carter, and it was suprisingly moving. It made me wonder, though: is the sport is everything culture it depects real? Is it unique to the USA? The credits at the end were accelerated, too. Surely an unnecessary touch?

There was a Japanese special feature shown on the flight about how to properly enjoy shochu. I'd never heard of shochu before, but it seems to be a spirit made from any one of seven different bases. The base ingredient ranged from rice (like sake) to brown sugar (like no other beverage I've heard of). Apparently men are meant to drink shochu on the rocks while women drink it mixed with hot water.

There are special pots especially for the stuff! At the really fancy shochu bars, they make drinking glasses out of blocks of ice. I imagine you'd need gloves to drink out of those! At the end, the man in a white suit that had been telling us all about this wonderful beverage stood up from his throne and pointed at the viewers. He said something in a commanding voice but there were no subtitles to translate for me. I hope he didn't want me to do anything important, because he looked pretty angry.

Another Japanese show is one that I took great pleasure in watching seemed to be called Kaisoh-Taishow or Masquerade. It's not an easy one to explain, but I couldn't find much reference to it online so I'll try my best. As far as I could tell, it was a game show where teams dress up in colourful costumes and perform remarkably elaborate visual effects on stage. If you've seen the video floating around the Internet of Matrix Ping-Pong, you'll get the idea.


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