They Don’t Know Me

Monday, September 11, 2006

The street outside my window has a metal grate that covers the drain. It runs across the street and every time a car drives over it, it makes a clanking noise. I thought it would get annoying but I’ve gotten used to it. I don’t hear it when I’m sleeping so it’s all good.

My alcohol tolerance has gone way up! I was expecting it but I’m still surprised all the same. I usually drink with someone every night. That’s just the way it works. It get’s expensive though. If I go out to a bar, there’s a sitting fee usually a little less than $15. Then the drinks are around $6. But the more you drink the less they cost so it’s actually better to drink more. Also, if you’re a regular at a certain bar, which most people are, they will lower the price as well. Man, bar owners must make a killing!

Personally, I prefer a night at home with some friends. I’ve always been that way. But houses don’t work the same way here. Most people don’t entertain in their homes because they are so small. So everyone always goes out.

I don’t entertain because there’s nothing here. I refuse to watch movies with friends on my lap top and I don’t even have a decent couch! I could kill someone about this couch but that’s a different story.

Saturday, I showed my Japanese family a bit of my home movies. The DVD worked and I was thrilled about that! It means I don’t need to get a regenless DVD player! Whoo!

Anyway, they saw movies of me from when I was about 6 and 7 years old. I actually didn’t talk as much back then because Sarajane was a big camera hog. Everyone who watches it wonders why I don’t talk more. They know that I talk incessantly and super fast! But when my Japanese family saw it, the father noted about how much I talked. He said that I spoke so much! Why don’t I talk that much now?

That made me sad. Not at the time, but on reflection, I’m quite sad. But it also gives me something to shoot for!

This family of mine, I love them, and they love me. But they don’t really know me and I guess I don’t really know them either. We’d both like to think that we have a common understanding but I’m realizing more and more that it’s very shallow. They have no idea how much I love to talk. I didn’t even realize how little I was speaking to them. I can’t tell them how happy they make me, though I know they know. I can’t tell them about my day, though they get the general idea of it. I can’t tell them my million and one stories, though I’m sure they’re just waiting for me one day to let the knowledge flow.

It gives me even more of a drive to learn Japanese so I can tell them everything! Everything I’ve been thinking and everything I’ve been doing and having problems with and enjoying! There’s more to me than what foods I love!!!

And speaking of food, it’s gotten to the point that I need to calm down!

I love food so much that I’ve been spending crap loads on it and I’ve been eating way too much! I swear I’m going to get fat if I keep this up! If I’m not working or sleeping, I’m usually eating…or shopping for food.

Actually, I tried to make my lunch today and it made me late for the bus. I totally missed it! Luckily, there was one 20 minutes later (instead of the usual hour later) so I wasn’t actually late but I wasn’t on time either (if that makes sense).

Regardless of how bad my home made lunch turned out to be, Kae made me lunch and it made my day. I wonder if she knows how much it means to me. I’ve told her, but maybe I didn’t use the right Japanese. Maybe the words weren’t powerful enough. She knows she means a lot to me.

Actually, after school, her son, Ikuo who is 22 also, drove me home. He was going to Tosayamada (about 20 minutes by car…40 minutes by bus) because he has a job there. I didn’t understand what he was talking about when he told me what it was that he does. I just nodded and pretended I understood. He’s a nice guy. I think I could get used to having a family again ;)

I’m enjoying my classes more and more as I get to know the students and become friends with them. If I’m in a good mood, I can lighten the atmosphere in the classroom and it makes all the difference. Sometimes, it’s just difficult because the students at Odochi just don’t care!

As for Tosayamada, I have only taught one day there (ironically since it’s my base school and I’m there more than Odochi). Tomorrow I have some lessons that I hope I do well on. They should be the last of my introductions. After that, I’ll probably be staying after school to work on my lesson for Thursday.

First of all, thank god I don’t have to worry about my English Conversation class this week! They are holding a welcome party for me so it’s going to be eating and drinking and no lessons! After that, on Thursday I am going to be doing an honest to goodness real lesson with my integrated class. They are really smart and college bound and they enjoy English…a bit. They are all Juniors (2nd years) and the class is a study of culture and general things, it just happens to be in English. It’s not a real English class so that means it’s not a normal lesson (though none of them seem to be). The point of all of this is that on Thursday the news crew is going to be taping that specific class so I gotta make it look good! Hence, I am staying after school so I can work on it. I won’t be there Wednesday because I’m going to Odochi and I refuse to leave it until Thursday and then wing it if I don’t finish in time.

Eh, it gives me something to do. And if I play my cards right, I can get Daikyu out of it. That’s vacation time for working overtime. It’s required and my school is really good about following the rules but it all depends if someone notices that I stay after and how much time I actually stay late!

There have been these cars that drive by all day long blaring campaign slogans for an election that finally happened Sunday. Thank GOD! It was so damn annoying to hear these people saying good morning and thank you in super polite Japanese without actually saying much of anything else. I would hear it while I was trying to sleep at 9am on a Saturday morning or when I was trying to conduct a class. They were never ceasing!

My Japanese is getting better as well. It’s all about the vocabulary baby!

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