Earlier this year, the beloved and I caught some action on the slopes of Hakuba in the Nagano Prefecture. We also happened to be there on the weekend the village was celebrating its 50th birthday.
As you can imagine, the celebrating was rife. There was a big event at the bottom of one of the ski runs scheduled for the Saturday night. So we arrived to find lots of stalls, stacks of beer and a huge stage set up. There were a few hundred people with us, waiting in anticipation for the big surprise display at the end of the night.
So after some introductory drum beating came the raffle. This was the world's longest raffle. EVER. It went on and on and on and on and on...and when you are standing in snow, at the bottom of a ski field with the temperature hovering around a freezing -12C degrees, it got VERY cold very fast.
So then Ronald McDonald took to the stage. Or so we thought. He looked like Ronald. He sounded like Ronald but his name was Donald - because using a name like Ronald in Japan can be kind of cruel (go on, ask a Japanese person to say Ronald McDonald). And why was Donald there? Well Maccas has a restaurant at the top of one of the slopes of course and we realised Donald was actually there to warm up the crowd. Literally. He got us moving in a hail of red, yellow and burger patties. At first we gaijin were just standing there saying "What the..." But then we realised we were too cold to think anymore and had no choice but to join in.
Donald saved the lives of hundreds that night!
Labels: Engrish Janglish, Japan, That's Japan Baby, Travels