Ten statements, seven true, three false. Which ones are false?
- My best subject at school was Latin.
- I studied medicine at university.
- I have an Advanced Singing Certificate from Trinity College, London.
- My default sitting position has always been seiza, even as a child.
- I've met Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, Luciano Pavarotti and Mino Monta.
- I've ridden on a horse, an ox, an elephant, a camel and an ostrich.
- I've eaten bat stew and mopane worms.
- I illegally crossed the border from Zambia into the Democratic Republic of Congo in the company of a diamond smuggler.
- I hope I can spend the summer of 2020 in Wakkanai, Hokkaido.
- If I could live anywhere in Tokyo, I'd live in Okutama (link and link).
I won't be able to respond to your answers until Monday. Go ye forth and guess.
Answers added Tuesday 10 September:
Answers added Tuesday 10 September:
The false statements are 1, 3 and 7.
1) My best subject at school was biology! If you're surprised that it wasn't a language, take into account that you can get a full score in biology, but not in a language. The latter includes essays, and no essay is ever perfect. (You can theoretically get a full score in maths, too, but I never could count.) That explains why …
2) Yes, I studied medicine at university. (This one threw you for a loop!) I didn't finish it and I never qualified as a doctor, but I was a medical student for a while. When I was a teenager, I had no idea what I wanted to do after school. Or rather, I wanted to do everything! So I went to Career Guidance Counselling at the University of Stellenbosch. They did hours of IQ and personality and psychological tests and then pronounced … medicine! I was shocked, but decided that I would apply for the notoriously-difficult-to-get-into medical school. If I were accepted, it would be a sign from the gods that I was meant to be a noble person who saved lives. Well. It was neither the first nor the last time that the gods and I had serious communication issues. I enjoyed parts of the course, but I missed words too much, so I changed to linguistics.
3) I can't sing to save my life. I'm the worst off-key croaker in the history of the universe. It's truly gruesome.
4) I have photos of myself as a child, sitting seiza in the garden, watching TV, on a sofa reading a book.
5) True. I forgot to add Muammar Gaddafi and various other warlords.
6) Easy one. True!
7) I'm surprised that you didn't identify this one as false, given that I openly admit I'm the world's most finicky eater. I was offered both, but I declined. The bat stew was in the Kumasi area of Ghana, but I'm still not sure whether it was bat or rat. Also, mopane worms? Mopane worms? Me?!
8) True. It was a rather jolly jaunt.
9) I'm going to get into trouble about this one, especially from Sarah, but you need to think metaphorically, add 2 and 2 and get 7. I wrote this post just after it was announced that Tokyo would get the 2020 Olympics, and the image of hordes of tourists filled me with horror. Wakkanai is metaphorically at the end of the world (Japan = world, of course), so that's where I want to go. Yes, it's cold, but that simply proves how much crowds terrify me. Except that I've already changed my mind: I'll spend the summer of 2020 in Fukushima. Though … hmm … I wonder where the Olympic equestrian events will be held …
10) I'm definitely going to get into even bigger trouble, especially from Cecilia, but there's Tokyo the central city and then there's Tokyo the prefecture. The best – the only! – area in the central 23 wards is the shitamachi, but if I had a helicopter, I would live in Okutama and fly to my work in Tokyo every day. I was born a country bumpkin in love with mountains and I will die a country bumpkin in love with mountains. (NB, if I had a helicopter, which will never happen, so I'm very [very!] happy to continue my love affair with the shitamachi.)