02 April, 2013

"Even cats and rice ladles"

Yesterday was the first day of the new financial/school/church year for Japan. I went to the gym, as I usually do on a Monday if I'm free. It seemed like "every woman and her dog" were there too. Whether it was because it was the first day of the year or just because they knew that it would be raining the next two days, I cannot tell.

But I can tell you that, while I didn't have to wait long to get on the circuit, there were no spaces open on the circuit for longer than about a minute the whole 45 minutes that I was in the gym. Additionally there were at, all times, least 5-10 women stretching after their work-out and another half a dozen women waiting to be weighed and measured (this Curves does that only during the first seven working days of the month, no appointments).

It was a hopping place, and all of this in a space about half the size of a normal Curves in Australia! Tokyo-ites are fabulous at smoothly working in such a situation. For this country girl, it gets a bit claustrophobic.

However, it does give me a chance to introduce you to another Japanese idiom. I'm proud of myself, this is one I know but my husband didn't, but then my "101 Japanese Idioms" book tells me it is a female phrase anyhow.
"Neko mo shakushi mo"   
This literally means "even cats and rice ladles". Above I used an English equivalent, "every man and his dog". Other phrases are "everybody and his/her mother/brother" or "every Tom, Dick and Harry".  In other words: a lot of people!


Catherine said...

"Even cats and rice ladles" - I love it! So funny how cultures use different and odd things to say the same thing.

Hope Curves empties out a little - at least, only rice ladles and no cats :)

April said...

The "people" version of "everything and the kitchen sink"?