I think I mentioned before, I went on a “date” once with one of my English teachers, the one with the big-headed boyfriend. I’m not talking about his ego; I mean the actual size of his head.
While we were out, I got an email from one of our students, an ichinensei boy. He’s kind of a bad student, and actually the younger brother of the worst ninensei bastard, but he will actually listen and do his work from time to time. So I don’t think he’s too bad. I ran into him on the street one day, and as luck would have it, my cell phone went off. He then asked me to give him my phone’s email, and at the time I couldn’t think of an excuse why I couldn’t. If you’re wondering why I would hesitate, well, exactly what I feared would happen did for the first few weeks. The only messages I received from him were either “Penis!!!” (in katakana English of course, so “Penisu!!!”) or “Waist-shake!!!” “Waist-shake” being the word they invented for sexual intercourse. I’ll explain that one some other time.
This time though, he was actually emailing me with English questions. I was happy that he seemed to be taking an interest, even if the questions were a little strange. He was asking me how to say things like “love,” “forever,” “special friends,” stuff like that. I told my teacher who sent the messages, and she too seemed happy that he was working on his English in his free time.
I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here.
One night I was up late watching some TV show about sex in society. This particular episode was about breast sizes. It claimed that Japanese women’s breasts have been getting bigger over the past 10 years. They pointed out that there are fewer A-cups and more B and C-cups than there used to be. Keep in mind that Japanese sizes are one cup below American, so a Japanese B-cup is an A-cup, and a Japanese A-cup means she has the chest of a little boy. They speculated that the cause is the introduction of more foreign foods into Japanese women’s diets, particularly McDonalds (brings a whole new meaning to Super Size Me). They also speculated that by the year 2008, there would be no more A-cups in Japan, and more B and C-cups. D’s even. The men on the show were, needless to say, thrilled about this.
Japan is a breast-loving country. This is the one thing I have in common with Japanese men. Another entry on my list of Japanese oxymorons: the men here love breasts but the women just don’t have them. I’ll see a C-cup every now and then, but it’s pretty rare. It’s actually kind of depressing, but I’m learning to live with it. With pretty much any girl who develops a decent set, her family may as well just pull her out of school because she’s got a career as an actress/model/porn star guaranteed. In fact, the only big-breasted girls I see are the ones on TV. It makes me think that Japan sends out scouts to scour the cities, plucking young, ample-breasted maidens off the street and rushing them to Tokyo to wear bikinis and bend over a lot in front of cameras.
I was asked to give a talk to a class of sannensei about my winter vacation. They were supposed to listen, and afterwards we’d give them a fun quiz to test their listening comprehension. I talked about traveling. I said I liked to travel, especially on the trains. I am stared at a lot by old grandmothers, and sometimes they talk about me, too.
After my talk, we gave the quiz…I asked “What do I often like to do?” One boy raised his hand and in earnest, answered, “Grandmothers.”
I think we really need to work on their listening comprehension more.
Mousey tried to kancho me today. This was kind of surprising, as I hadn’t had any attempts in a while.
You see, kancho is mostly an elementary school thing. I’m grateful to say, kids grow out of the “Hey! Wouldn’t it be fun to stick my fingers up someone’s butt?” phase somewhere around 12-13 years old. So it’s rare to get any kancho attempts from the ninensei or sannensei. The ichinensei on the other hand… While they’re not particularly prone to it, they might bust it out for special occasions. Like “welcoming” the new foreign teacher. April is particularly dangerous, because that’s when the ichinensei enter Jr. High School straight from elementary school. New school, new asses, it’s like unlocking hidden levels in Ass Raider or something.
Some people like to say, “Another day, another dollar.” Being in Japan, I’d like to say, “Another day, another yen.” Unfortunately, my version goes something like, “Another day, another game of dodgedick.”
This particular day, it was the same boy who’d once clapped his hands together and said in English, “please!” after I denied him an opportunity. Class ended, and he came up to talk to me about something. When the conversation ended he started lunging for my stuff. Complete with “ching!” sound effects with every attempt.
He was particularly motivated this time, and came at me pretty hard. I had to catch both his arms, and with those restrained he tried to use his knees to get a feel. I mean, I can understand setting a goal and going for it, but this of all things?!
The insanity isn’t just limited to kids. No no, the teachers can often be just as baffling.
One of my English teachers was this really nice lady, a mother maybe in her 40-50’s. Like Ms. “Spread Your Legs” she had one of those infamous books of (apparently) colloquial English expressions. I think her first one was when I asked for a day off, and she said, “Oh, yes yes, of course. Oh! (thinks about it for a second) No problemo!” She seemed really happy she was able to incorporate colloquial English into her speech, and I didn’t have the heart to tell her we stopped saying “No problemo” sometime in the 80’s.
The next time, I was leaving for the day, and she said, “Goodbye! See you tomorrow! Oh! (thinks about it for a second) Hasta la vista, baby!”
Another time, I was sitting next to her while she thumbing through the book. She suddenly turned to me and said, “It’s hotter and muggier than a sweaty dog’s fur today, isn’t it?”
I’d really like to meet whoever it is who writes these books. I’ll bet good money they speak neither Japanese nor English. They’re probably French or something.
Sadly, this teacher was transferred to a new school last March. I really miss her. Hasta la vista, baby.
More wonderfulness from my kids.
One day I was working with one of my favorite teachers in the ghetto school. Her English is great, and she’s really Americanized, as showcased by the random expletives she’ll hit me with. One day after a noisy class, she sighed heavily and said “Oh man, those fucking bastards wouldn’t shut up!” Imagine this coming from a Japanese woman and you’ll understand why I was floored.
In an ichinensei class, one boy was heckling her the whole time. He kept saying that she should marry me, because she’s still single at 27 and she doesn’t want to die alone, right? She gave him a harsh, “Shut up kid,” in Japanese, and this almost worked. A few minutes later, he leaned in and asked her to come closer, which she did. When she was close enough, he asked, “Are you still a virgin?”
The smack she gave him was instantaneous. I mean, the words had barely escaped his mouth and already her hand was on its way back from having whacked him. I’ve never seen anyone move that fast.
But then she turned to me and, in English, says “Can you believe this kid?! How old does he think I am? Of course I’m not a virgin!”
And they always say the Japanese are a reserved and private people.