5.19.2005

A listless, pointless day. Another eight hours sat hunched at a desk in a staffroom at a school I don't particularly like. Despite being contractually obliged to involve me in four lessons a day I'm lucky to get more than two at this place. The kids refer to me as gaijin all day. Foreigner, outsider. Whatever. Not their fault they don't know my name - they never see me.
There are exceptions, of course, but this school has constantly made me feel small. There seems to be an assumption that because I'm nowhere near fluent in Japanese it follows that I'm incapable of achieving anything.
Thus the new head of English asking me to come in early so she could do my photocopying for me, despite the fact I worked at the school well before she rotated in and despite the fact that Japanese photocopiers are, surprisingly enough, just like English ones.
Hence the laughter when the deputy head announced in the morning meeting that he would have me make a speech in Japanese. He announced this in Japanese assuming I didn't understand. I did.
Hence the surprised exclamations when it is discovered that my girlfriend is Japanese. 'Really!?' Yes, really, I've taken one of your women and you're not getting her back. We're going to procreate and spawn a demon breed of halflings who'll overrun the country, taking your jobs, building ghettos and eventually insisting on the right to vote.

There are sheets I must fill in every day and send to my supervisor at City Hall at the end of every month. At this school the dates and my name are written in for me and the sheet explained in detail. Thanks. My name had briefly eluded me. So kind of you.

Japanese is I'm told, despite following rigid grammatical rules, one of the most difficult languages in the world. English ranks as one of the easiest. Fact. Apparently.
I've studied Japanese for 6 months and now I just about know what's going on. Most Japanese people study English as a compulsory subject for at least six years and yet most seem unable to make a complete English sentence. This is not a criticism, just an observation.

Give me a fucking break. I'm tired of being patronised by not just Japanese people but other 'gaijin' too. We all have to start somewhere, let's not forget that.

Fuck. This is nonsense. A bad day I let get worse. Right now I'm hating the world and it's hating me back and all I really wanted to do was talk, just talk to someone, anyone, in a language I can express myself in. Maybe even, god forbid, get a hug.

There's not enough beer in all the convenience stores of Japan to make it right tonight.

This post has been a trough. Tomorrow there may be a peak. Also, it may rain.

1 Comments:

Anonymous 匿名 reckons...

Take it easy on yourself...you don't give yourself enough credit for what you're doing. Just the fact that you are there and have been for this long facing all the unfamiliar things that I can only guess about puts me to shame. Don't think I could ever be brave enough to do it. Be strong, the mood will pass...they always do.

5:19 午前 JST  

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