My friends, it has been a long time since I posted. When I last wrote in this journal I was young, innocent. I was about to embark on my exams (of which more another day, when the wounds are less raw).
Accept my apologies, many apple blossoms have fallen in the orchard since those days.
I have graduated, though. I am now a fully fledged Ninja (Junior Class, Order of the Shape of the Pear). I have also completed my first assignment. Gratifyingly, it was not, as predicted by Brother Niguri, as a sideshow attraction in a Las Vegas brothel, but as a bodyguard on a sensitive diplomatic mission. (Brother Nigiri failed his exams and is repeating his final year, minus a few digits. As his superior, I like to make sure that he pays close attention to The Way of the Cleaning of the Latrine on Curry Night, in accordance with the teachings of the Ninjitsu on the proper use of the toothbrush.)
I was sent with a delegation from our country to Sweden on a fact-finding mission about possible arms sales. The facts we found are that the Swedes are a nation of pacifists whose main weapons appear to be tax levels on alcohol. The whole mission was a disappointment. The Swedes had no guns to sell us and in any case did not share our view about Luxembourg being a threat to the security of South-East Asia.
Things might have gone better had it not been for a terrible faux pas involving our delegation.
Mercifully, my role was to be quiet and look harmless - unless there was any threat in which case I was to snap into action in a blur of knives, teeth and half-chewed bamboo. Sister Bento, however, had a crucial role as official translator as she has undergone years of specialised language training. (Why we needed a translator when all concerned were fluent in English eludes me).
At the official reception on the first night, our ambassador was introduced to the Swedish king. The head of our delegation delivered an eloquent and polished speech pointing out the importance of respectful relations between our countries (especially in the field of things that go BANG).
It was a crucial moment. The ambassador then turned to Sister Bento, the signal for her to translate, in accordance with the teachings of the Ninjitsu. She bowed before Carl XVI Gustaf and said: "HURDY. GURDY. PUT. THE. CHICKY. IN. THE. POTTY."
She paused and then went on: "HURDY. GURDY. PUT. THE. CHICKY. IN. THE. POTTY."
It seems her "extensive foreign language training" consisted of watching the Muppet Show over and over again.
We are now at war with Sweden.