Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Last of July

July 25th and 26th Mon-Tues

A week of nothing at work. I have these notes on things I noticed during the day. One of these is the weird little race around the staffroom that teachers will do to avoid each other. It’s as if there isn’t room for us to possibly walk past each other, so as soon as they see me coming they’ll take the first corner they see at a run in order to walk around the opposite side. It’s something I’ve started to be guilty of doing too, but struck me today as looking hilarious and absurd.

Found somewhere in the school is a rotten bento. For some unknown reason it is brought into the staffroom. Every teacher stops to open it, inspect it, and make a comment on it. It smells.

As I’m marking, I lift up a sheet while eating and shake some crumbs off of it in order to continue. One of my teachers starts laughing and miming smearing food and making coffee rings all over his. The secret to adulthood is that there is none.

27th Wednesday

Only Muqing and I at Jodo, which is unfortunate as the Senseis finally get a good look at how awful I am at it.

28th Thursday

Extreme Kendo. “Today, we sweat. Tonight, beer.” He makes me keep going long after I would have given up, long after my body has started faltering. I like that he does this, and that I can do it.

After Kendo I go out to a work enkai. We drive for miles out into the jungle until we reach a tiny wee house in the middle of Jurassic Park. The entire meal is meat. I eat my first raw chicken, thinly sliced. It’s okay. Best not to think about it. Then they fry literal hunks of pork fat, called “collagen” -for your skin. We leave the place reeking of fried meat. My Kendo teacher comes and sits next to me and talks to me for awhile about Kendo. I understand basically nothing but try to talk back which is cool. We get the same car back to the city, and again converse in rando Japanese/English. When we communicate, it’s like, the fact that we are trying IS the communication. Nothing else really gets through, but it means a lot to try.

At the Nijikai, I drink shochu. When asked to sing I find “Follow Me” by Uncle Kracker. What a blast from the past. This is a wonderful karaoke song, as it stays pretty much in one range the entire thing. When I have finished my kendo teacher comes and clinks my glass and makes everyone around me do the same. Haha. I love adoration based on fear.

29th Friday

To work. I’m hungover but there’s nothing for me to do anyway so it’s fine. I read from literally 8.30am to 4pm. At the end of the day I feel motionsick and disorientated. Reminds me of being a kid and spending weeks reading.


Do stuff in the city. Not really sure what. Convenient time to fall off the note-taking wagon.

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