Friday, July 22, 2005

A breadbasket of bees

What do you call a group of bees?

I know it's not a “gaggle” or a “school”, and I'm fairly certain it's not a “herd”.

Maybe, it's just a “swarm”.

In any case, I'm in such a state of euphoria, exhaustion and ecstatic relief right now that if the most powerful and influential Leader of Semantics knocked on my door now, it would be a trying Sirens' Song test of will-power to not throw the Book of Mormon at his kneecap and a toothbrush at his left eyebrow.

A “swarm”(?) of tiny old Japanese women bees just showed up at my apartment with sponges and mops and soaps and hoses and funny little striped yellow gloves. They whipped through three years of worthless crap and grime in under three hours, like they were a “flock”(?) of humming birds, and my apartment was just their early morning pollen appetizer.

The Japanese really know how to get physical labor-leaning tasks done fast. And impeccably! But, throw anything that requires an amount of actual decision-making or a pinch of critical thinking in, and you'll be tit-deep in paperwork and meetings for the good part of a century! Just another one of Japan's beautiful contradictions.

After the buzzing “crew”(?) of bees zipped out, I sipped humid air in a room of red tape for an hour. Sign here. Fill out this form. Join the International “I love Japan” club. Write your contact information on seventeen different forms. Are you now, or have you ever been a member of Korea?

But, honestly, though… A big Cheers to the Bee Team! Had I asked my friends to help me clean, we would still be sitting around, joking and musing, and occasionally saying “Yup…that over there… it'll have to be taken out to the garbage...

Thanks Kato -san for having introduced me to th Bee Team!


frustratedwriter said...

Wow, I wonder if they would want to fly over to Texas...

Winston said...

"...tit deep.." hahaha :) --- I like that!

I wonder what it means to ask if you've ever been a "member of Korea". I guess if I started asking you to explain every strange sentence though there'd be no fun.

Rabin said...

Forms are somethin else. Especially the ones that come in triplicate and quadruplicate. I think its a larger conspiracy to get us all to keep writing boring stuff again and again so taht our brains stop funtioning rationally (hehe ok..thats me on a heavy dose of insomnia and coffee)

-c said...

frustratedwriter- Careful what you wish for. Those speedy bees could be there any second!

winston- Due to a good bit of history, Japanese people still harbor a bit of a prejudice against Korea. It's a common sentiment here, to blame everything from weeds to trash on the Koreans. I was simply laughing about this blatant stereotype, and sarcastically joking!

r.- I think I've been brainwashed already! I'll be a 97 yr old woman, following the form instructions... where do I sign next?