Sunday, August 07, 2005

Let's Learn Japanese: Gokiburi


Girlfriend and I have had a rude awakening recently. We now find ourselves thrust into a demographic where we did not always belong: People with cockroach trouble.

My first two years of Tokyo life passed with but one cockroach sighting (in Ueno Park one cool autumn evening, as I was playing my guitar...the only living thing that stopped to listen was a cockroach). Wait, make that two; I saw one in a McDonald's in Shinjuku once.

About a month ago, Girlfriend and I were watching TV when she suddenly shrieked, "Gokiburi!" And all at once, my utopian illusions of cockroach-free living came crashing down around me like so many Triangle Shirt Factories. Fast forward to last night, when another six-legged friend showed up on top of Girlfriend's inkjet printer, and then again this evening, when a third appeared in almost the same place.

In each case, I dealt out swift justice in the form of a well-aimed shoe/magazine/health insurance documentation package. But there remains the troubling rule of thumb I have heard so many times whenever the conversation turns to pest control (and you'd be surprised how often that is): For every cockroach you see, there are thirty you don't. Second most often volunteered factoid is that "they can fly, you know."


Looks like tomorrow's schedule will include going to the drugstore to pick up some roach traps called Gokiburi Hoi-Hoi (which means "Here, Roachy, Roachy!").

By the way, today's my birthday! You owe me a beer.

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