četrtek, 30. avgust 2012

Bolaven And Tembin

Bolaven is a region in Laos, while Tembin means Libra in Japanese (てんびん座). I'm not yet interested in traveling to Laos and I still don't care about constelations, so I prefer to think about them as TC1215 and TC1214, respectively.
Tropical Cyclone 1215 was quite a powerful one, reportedly one of the strongest ever to hit the Ryukyu islands in Japan, so the alarms in Korea were really dramatical, the president in person issued a warning and perhaps saved a lot of lives. We were lucky, being few hundreds of kilometers from the eye, no real damage, no flying roofs (like it happened here during a winter storm), just damaged crops. We fixed or moved anything that could fly or be overturned and took care also about ourselves to not be swept away by the storm. I made again a gargantuan dinner with tons of spaghetti in homegrown salsa (made with homegrown tomatoes, onions, garlic, hot peppers, oregano and basil, olive oil and salt the only bought ingredients), oven-hot bread (actually it was ricecooker-hot), spicy potato croquettes, pickled eggplants, tomato kimchi, fresh tomatoes and Yong Ran brought fresh hot green peppers pickled in hot red peppers paste. We inreased our weight also with liters of Korean beer and Japanese umeshu.
Since we were so well prepared we went to sleep relaxed. Some of us too relaxed. I was the great moron (as usual) for I was the only one to forget to close the window. When around 4 AM the howling wind woke me up, half om my room was already looking like a small swimming pool.
It was only in the afternoon that I resolved myself to check the fields.
Not a single sorghum plant was spared. The tomatoes were all badly battered and some pepper plants decided to move somewhere in the woods. The ginger and peanuts were unaffected. Anyway there was nothing to do at the time because the storm hadn't calmed yet and we had winds with gusts of about 100km/h. The next day it took me a few hours to some repairs and try to salvage what it could be. All in all, we were lucky. Folks here told me later that years ago, when a typhoon passed very close, the wind uprooted so many trees they had firewood for two winters.
I read a heartbreaking story from Japan, where two boys were swept in the sea by the waves. The mother jumped in the sea to save them, she jumped to her death, while the boys were later saved, mostly unharmed.
In Korea, one woman died because the wind blew her from the roof. WTF was she doing on the roof? Saving her laundry? Surely she was not saving her children - in this case it would be on all newspapers fronts. Another woman was killed by a tile, blown from the church roof. As I always said, never trust the Church! To increase the death toll of the typhoon were the usual willing Chinese. Two Chinese fishboats sunk near Jeju island, probably thinking that the warning of the Korean authorities was just some imperialist propaganda.
And today I'm writing this in the midst of TC 1214, there was some heavy rain in the morning, wind almost none. Yet another day to spend indoors, watching anime.

ponedeljek, 20. avgust 2012

The Tale Of One City

I'm loosing my grip on reality. It's not like I'm going insane (I never was sane in the first place), it's just that I don't really care what is happening to me anymore. I do care for the tomatoes and I'm still coking a lot, but it's just too hot to go to the village. It's two weeks since I came back from Japan and in all this time I went to the store only once to buy two beers. So instead of drinking I watch a lot of anime. I mean really a lot. One month ago my list of watched anime said 105 anime with 2560 episodes (equivalent to 45 days and 8hours of wasted time in my life), today the counter is at 135 anime with 2975 episodes (52 days 22 hours wasted). As it goes for everything I do I even watch anime with a sort of obsession. I want to know everything that is to know about them. I went so far to download an anime from 1945, Momotarō: Umi no Shinpei (Momotaro's Gods-Blessed Sea Warriors), the first Japanese feature length animated film. Technically can be compared to the present production, it lacks only colors and bigger eyes ("invented" in the 1960s by the mangaka Osamu Tezuka). It's a propaganda movie that features brave Japanese animals (soldiers of the Empire, of course) that are protecting Asia from the barbaric hordes of Allied soldiers. It ends with a victorious Japan and everyone lives happily after. I knew it's a propaganda movie so I wasn't pissed of by the bullshit it was serving. I just wanted to write something. Not about the Unit 731, the Comfort Women, cannibalism or other war crimes.
 It's a tale of one city, Nanking - 南京大屠殺.  
Warning: explicit graphic material.
If you ask Japanese revisionists, the tale never happened. Those who don't deny it are calling it Nanking Incident. Outside Japan is known as the Nanking Massacre or The Rape of Nanking. Historians still argue (they always argue) about the number of victims, but it's estimated to be between 200 000 and 300 000. More than in Hiroshima and Nagasaki together. They were not killed by pressing two buttons to release atomic bombs. It was a craftsman work, done by hand. The mighty Japanese swords used in contests who will behead more prisoners.
Maybe the Japanese steel wasn't that good since lots of civilians were burried alive.
As always, the worst came for the women. Because raping a woman is not enough, not if you're a proud Imperial soldier. After the rape you have to kill her, but not mercifully, you have to mutilate her. In most cases stabbing a long bamboo stick in her vagina.
And children? They were cut open so the Japanese soldiers could rape them.
It went on for six weeks, day after day, night after night.
Prince Asaka was commander of the Japanese forces but he never faced the Nanking War Crimes Tribunal - he was granted immunity by the General Douglas MacArthur. Hisao Tani was the only officer prosecuted for the Nanking massacre (and executed). General Yasuji Okamura was also convicted of war crimes, but was immediately protected by the personal order of Chiang Kai-shek, who retained him as a military adviser for the Kuomintang.
Which remindes me, the above mentioned Unit 731, which was a facility to research biological and chemical warfare... a facility to freely experiment on humans with incredible tortures... after war, again General Douglas MacArthur secretly granted immunity to the physicians of Unit 731 in exchange for providing America with their research on biological warfare. The members of Unit 731 and other experimental units were allowed to go free. Masami Kitaoka continued to do experiments on unwilling Japanese subjects from 1947 to 1956 while working for the National Institute of Health Sciences. He infected prisoners with rickettsia and mental health patients with typhus.
The same people that were so willing to drop atomic bombs on (mostly) civilian targets were very unwilling to prosecute the real criminals. Because they are all the same.
I hope the all-loving God is happy.

sreda, 01. avgust 2012

Baka Goes To Japan

I'm really looking for it. Troubles. It started in Busan. I'm so fucking clever that I don't want to listen to people's advices. When I bought the ferry ticket I just told the guy that I already know everything concerning schedules and so on and went drinking on the roof. Sure that boarding starts at 7.30PM I came (already drunk) at the gate at 7.40 to find the hall empty and the gate closed. 7.30 is the boarding closing time. Luck was on my side since the employees haven't left home yet and in a split second everyone, including customs officers, was back at their job. They also called the ship that an idiot has yet to board. Not to mention how embarrassing it was, the worst had to came. The duty free shop was already closed. No smokes, no alcohol. I mean the cheap ones. Will have to buy them at Japanese prices. Urgh. At least the ferry saved me some money - I bought smokes from a vending machine with duty free prices and without age verification. Drawback - it accepted only coins so I was buying lots of snacks from another vending machine that accepted bills and returned me coins. Which gave birth to another trouble. Since I had no more beer I opened the 1.8 litre bottle of soju and went to the smoking room where I woke up at 4 in the morning and after surprisingly little effort found my cabin and had two hours of decent sleep. Hangovered as hell I went through the Japanese immigration in a blink, just couldn't believe it, then got stuck at customs. Literally stuck. I have no other words for the woman working there so I'll call her a bitch. Because that is what she is. A mean skinny bitch. I do know what are the duties of customs officers. I was prepared to give up on my kimchi smuggling attempt. But she didn't give a shit about my kimchi, soju and other Korean food and drinks. No, she spotted the Japanese snacks. Fucking suspicious. How come you have Japanese snacks with you? Didn't you just arrive in Japan today? Well, my lady, it happens that the ferry is Japanese so they sell Japanese stuff on it. Really? Why they sell Japanese snacks on the ferry?
I was speechless. I looked her straight in the eyes, searching for any sign that she was making fun of me, that she was trying to piss me off, whatever, but no. She was on it for real. And I didn't know what to answer. I really don't know how to explain why on Japanese ships they sell Japanese snacks. So I stayed silent but she was not giving up. She really wanted an answer. She demanded it. I felt sort of like I was waiting for Godot and I told her that I suppose that a Japanese ship is loaded with snacks in Japan, not in Korea. Nice shot, she was happy with the answer. Next she wanted to know when I left Slovenia. One year ago, more or less. And where is the stamp in your passport that will prove it? Huh? What? I have not a single stamp from Slovenia in my passport, only Japanese, Korean and from Hong Kong! Saying that I fly from Italy would equal to another hour of idiotism with her so I went with the EU zone shit, no borders and the like. Lucky again. Why do you stay in Korea? Easy one, I practiced this lie a lot so it came naturally to say that I have a Korean girlfriend. And why do you go to Nagasaki? Easy again, I go to visit a friend. BANG. The bitch doesn't know the difference between a friend and a GIRLfriend. I saw her turning from her emotionless to an icicle. So you travel between them all the time? Hell no, you got it wrong, lady, it's not what you think, I have a MALE friend in Nagasaki and... Too late. She already decided that I'm a male pig, and a gaijin on top of that. And we repeated the routine. When did you leave Slovenia? When will you go back to Slovenia? What is your occupation? Do you have any brothers or sisters? Where do they live? Can I check again your bag? On and on and again. She didn't bother to check my reservation in Akari. No, she really jaust wanted to make my life miserable. And she was good at it for something like 20 minutes or more. She would probably go on for more, but it happened that in this time all the Cammelia passengers went through the customs on the other gate, I was the fucking last one, hostage of the bitch. She noticed it too and finally let me free.
Few hours later I was in Nagasaki, really hot, first stop was the liquor shop, next door to the hostel. Sixpack of Kirin, then yelling into the Akari reception, HELLO, THE DRUNKARD IS BACK. Joke wasted, nobody at the reception. But they did hear me, Tomoko and Kaz were in the kitchen. Kaz also wasted my sixpack joke, he welcomed me with cold beer from the fridge. Dag san, welcome back, we have many beers for you and the day after tomorrow we will have a party for you!
More beer, soju, umeshu,  a visit to Kentaro's place and there I blacked out. Last thing I remember is me drinking beer at Kentaro's, next is somebody shaking me. I open my eyes and I see the street. Actually the first thing I saw were the streetcar rails. I was sleeping on them. And a police officer was waking me up. I have no clue where I was, but for sure I got lost after leaving Kentaro's bar. And at some point decided to take a nap in the middle of the street. Baka. The policemen were really nice. Their English was really poor, but they did their best and they actually gave me lift to the Akari in exchange to check my documents. They even apologized for bothering me with ID check. When they wished me oyasumi I bowed really deeply and fell on my face. It was 4 AM and it was a call for a beer on the Baka Bridge.