What do you think of getting up at 7am, heading down to the bank parking lot near your home, and doing exercises in public to a tinny tune played on a tape-deck? Not your idea of summer holiday fun? Well, 'rajio taiso' or 'radio exercises' are a time-honoured tradition in Japan. You've probably seen whole parks-full of Chinese doing it on TV.
It's not done here to such a large extent, but some companies do it, and school kids on holidays (and their long-suffering mothers) are encouraged to join in, to maintain a regular schedule. It is organized by the 'Kodomo Kai' (see July 11), and the children are furnished with a postcard with the dates of the holiday, and one child takes care of the stamp pad and stamps each child's postcard.
Today was the first rajio taiso of the summer break, and our first experience ever. I set the alarm to a killing 6:40 - until Amy got sick I was waking up happily at this hour, but it only took two weeks of her being off for my natural slug-a-bed state to take over. Lena was even harder to shift than myself, although Amy leapt out of bed with her usual early-bird exuberance. Lena was still sleeping, in my arms, as I joined the circle at 7:02, much to the amusement of the others.
I got her on her feet in time for the end - it turned out to be only one song! So much for the 'exercise' component. Aerobics it is not. Amy also didn't join in, she saw her friends and suddenly went shy.
I'm not sure if it'll do the trick yet in fixing my schedule - I went back to sleep on the sofa for half an hour!