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November 2003 - My Name is Debu

* I was talking to my coworkers one day.  I don't know how this came up, but I was telling everyone how most of my friends back home call me "Dave" instead of "David."  I explained that Dave is short for David.  They understood cuz they do the same thing with Japanese names.  Anyways, when you convert David into the Japanese phonetic system, it sounds like "Deibiddo."  When you convert Dave to the Japanese phonetic system, it comes out like "Debu."  It turns out that "debu" is a Japanese slang word meaning "fat / chubby."  I enjoy that a lot.  I keep introducing myself as Debu now.  I get lots of good reactions.  I love this stuff as it motivates me to keep studying this language.
* I went to Tokyo a few weeks ago and had a total blast.  I went clubbing in Roppongi till 5:30 am, had a great dinner in Shinjuku, and did a little shopping in Ginza.  It was really cool being in that town on vacation for once.  I had previously always  associated that town with tons of work.

* Last weekend I hiked up Tottori's Kyusho Mountain.  The hike was a really strenuous climb up thousands of stairs.  It was funny cuz the only other people I saw along the way were really old women.  They just cranked up the mountain like it was nothing.  I was like, "Damn!  What the hell is in the tea these old women drink?!  Give me some of 'dat!"
* A friend of mine here showed me the Animal Park--a really small park with a few animals to look at.  They had monkeys there, so I was really happy.  The monkeys really smelled bad, so I didn't look at them for very long.  They also had this rooster that wouldn't shutup.  I cock-a-doodled along with him.  People kept looking at me.  They also had a random raccoon there.  That was kinda cool.  Then they had this huge cage with tons of rabbits and guinea pigs.  I swear those rabbits were reproducing exponentially in there.  You turn away, then look back, and there will be like 20 more rabbits.
* McDonald's continues to be a fun and interesting experience for me.  I went this one time last week and the clerk asked me some new question I didn't understand.  She said, "Esu, Emmu, Ellu?"  I'm like, "What the F does that mean?"  Then she points to the S M L for "small medium large" on the drink menu.  I'm like, "OOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHH!!!"  S M L?  Ok!  So I say "large" in Japanese.  Now I have to say "Ellu" (aka L) to get the large size. Whatever, man!  The last time I went I said, "Ellu...Watashi wa Amerika-jin desukara, ellu onegaishimasu."  Translation: Large...Since I am an American, large please.
* I'm not yet completely used to this small-town life.  It's kinda cool cuz there are never lines or crowds anywhere.  You go to a bar on a Saturday night in Tottori and you will be able to find a table no problem.  I go grocery shopping on Sunday and there's only 1 other person in the check-out line.  You just walk-up to the counter in McDonald's and order.

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