Gaijin Smash

Japanese Teachers Say the Darndest Things

Posted in Blog by gaijinsmashnet on January 15, 2005

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.

* * *

One of the teachers at the ghetto school was another nice lady who had most of the little bastard ichinensei boys in her English class. In December, a bad flu rolled around and a lot of students were out sick. Even teachers were catching it…myself included. Bah.
So I was talking with this teacher about the flu, and she said, “But you know what? Those little monsters, they never get sick! It would be so nice if they got sick and missed school. When I’m sick, I try to cough on them, but they still don’t get sick! Maybe being a little monster protects you from the flu.”
You know though, she does have a point. If only I’d known during my school days…maybe my grades would have suffered, but I would have been incredibly healthy.

* * *

At the ghetto school, they often send the teachers who have a free period to patrol the hallways and make sure kids aren’t randomly walking around or generally causing trouble. One day, one of these teachers came into my ichinensei English class. Although the kids weren’t causing problems, I guess he found the lesson interesting enough to stay for awhile. This guy is pretty eccentric, and that’s an understatement. The lesson we did was “What do you have for breakfast?”
Two Weeks Later (emphasized for emphasis) I was at this school again and there was some kind of school-wide sports competition. I was standing outside, and the teacher from before wandered over to me. He then said something to me completely unintelligible, in Japanese or English. I did manage to pick out the word “sunny”, so assuming he was talking about the weather, I responded that yes, it was a sunny day, but clouds were moving in and it might rain later. He gave me a weird look and walked away.
After the activity ended, he pulled aside one of my English teachers. She then came over to me and, with a strange smile on her face, asked if I remembered the conversation I’d had with the other teacher. I said yes (since it’d happened less than an hour ago). She then said “Well, he asked me to explain that he likes sunny-side up eggs for breakfast, I guess that was a lesson you did two weeks ago.”
Wow. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really, really, really happy he was willing to not only talk to me, but try it in English no less. But who just walks up to a person and blurts “sunny-side up”? Two weeks later no less? He must have been waiting for me to come back so he could say that.
Well, if we ever end up having breakfast together at least I know what to buy him.

* * *

I have quite a few teachers who are young girls, first years, in the 21-24 age range. One of them, at the ghetto school, is really nice. A bit quirky, but still an all around good person.
We went out on a “date” once (just between friends…she has a boyfriend and at the time I had a girlfriend). During the date she was telling me about her boyfriend, so she showed me a picture she had on her cell phone. “Oh, he looks pretty cool,” I said.
Her face turned completely serious, as she said “Not really. His head is too big.” And I can’t stress how serious she was here, as if this pained every waking minute of her life. To prove her point, she showed me another picture and said “Look! See? Way too big.”
I already feel bad for this guy. I mean, nobody likes to get hit with break-up lines, but I can just see her one day coming to him and saying “I’m sorry, this just isn’t going to work. Your head is too big.”
Another time, we were talking about marriage or something, and I said “Well, you can marry your boyfriend, right?” She shook her head and said, “Maybe. But, if I marry my boyfriend…” Here she paused to think of how to say what she wanted to say in English, and in the interval my mind finished the sentence for her – “…our children will have big heads.”
I’m not even sure of what she really said because I was too busy internally stifling my laughter.

* * *

I think I mentioned one of my teachers before, she’s really Americanized and her English is pretty good. I hear her using slang and cursing all the time, and it never fails to floor me. You’d think I’d get used to it at some point, but nope, each time she finds a new level of shocking.
The last time, we were talking about my (sort of) ex-girlfriend, and in frustration, she said in earnest “Man! I hate it when bitches like that get laid and I’m not getting laid!”
I would like to remind you that this is a Japanese girl speaking English as a second language. I don’t hear that kind of stuff often from American women. I couldn’t believe it. Later that day, I was still reeling from that when she showed me she was capable of upping the ante.
She came by my desk to talk, and we were talking about being single, and I said that it seems like when you are actively looking for someone people don’t want you. Her face lit up in agreement, as she said “I know! It’s like I’ve just got this aura around me that tells everyone ‘I just want to fuck!'”
Maybe she was trying to tell me something.


17 Responses

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  1. Ian said, on June 9, 2006 at 12:06 am

    Haha, your stories are awesome.

  2. jak said, on June 9, 2006 at 8:37 am

    clearly the americanized teacher is trying to give you the goodies. women dont talk about sex w/ men that they wouldnt give it to.

  3. Alex said, on June 9, 2006 at 8:48 pm

    I love your work! Incredibly funny.
    I can’t wait for some of the new editorials. I have been reading your work for a few years now, and I’m happy that more people will be able to read your work thanks to the new site.
    Thanks for all the laughs,

  4. Ae said, on June 10, 2006 at 12:39 pm

    Lol and I thought the Japanese were mostly reserved

  5. Dave said, on June 10, 2006 at 4:58 pm

    Reminds me of two books I saw in the japanese (as in, learning the language) section in my local Borders. First was one of the books that you mention at the start, covering supposed slang terms in Japanese (although I have no idea how accurate, and wouldn’t be likely to trust it in any case) The second one?
    Making out in Japanese. Complete with intertwining male/female symbols on the front. All I could think of was how annoying someone would find it if you kept talking in the middle of it (well, that and the idea that it’s teaching Japanese equivelent of Grease era pickup lines)

  6. Jade said, on June 10, 2006 at 7:49 pm

    At first, I thought this blog was totally lame (having never come across it until it joined the FAN). Now, I’m finding it to be really charming and quite funny. It’s a totally different genre from Max’s work and arguably the most unique on the FAN. I look forward to the new stuff!

  7. Matt said, on June 11, 2006 at 1:36 am

    Awesome, I love this entry.
    Keep reposting them so I can keep reliving them.

  8. KenneyL said, on June 11, 2006 at 6:17 pm

    Hahaha! Priceless. I remember reading some of your stuff a while back, but i somehow forgot you. Glad you made it to FA. Looking forward to reading more from you.

  9. DyobolikaL said, on August 19, 2006 at 11:50 pm

    I hope you boned her. Since, she wanted it so bad.

  10. Annie said, on August 29, 2006 at 10:22 am

    You guys are forgetting something – this is JAPAN. Home of the porn section in the newspaper and mandatory really loud camera sounds on the phones because of the rash of stealth upskirt-on-the-train pictures that popped up. She might not want to give him some cookie.
    But then, she is Americanized enough to talk like that, so she should know what the fuck that means.

  11. Yann said, on September 7, 2006 at 9:59 pm

    Do you ever make funny mistakes when you speak Japanese ?
    One time I called in sick at my school. Having just checked my Thai dictionary for “to have a cold”, I’d misread the tone and said “I can’t go to work because I am a temple”. The puzzled school secretary made me repat a few times.
    A friend, who was apparently tone deaf, would invariably say “please let me fart” instead of “excuse me”. Her pronounciation usually worked better when she was trying to get people out of the way on the bus.
    Finally, I learned that my name has a phonetic equivalent according to my Thai dicionary. “Yaan” means “enlightment”, which I thought was pretty cool.
    For a few years though, I couldn’t understand the giggles that would often occur when I introduced myself to people, especially young girls. I thought maybe calling myself “enlightment” sounded pretentious. Or simply weird, just as if I introduced myself as “Enlightment” in English or any language..
    It turned out that, spelled differently, “yaan” in Thai also means “sagging”. Which finally explained the regular occurence of this conversation I’d been having over the years (mostly with young girls) :
    -Hi, I’m yann
    -(Big smile) Really ?

  12. Toukitoshi said, on December 15, 2006 at 3:57 pm

    this is great my sis found this for me so iv’e been reading it and its crack up funny but seriosly thier doing what i cannot learning english and being able to talk in it with out worrying what thier saying or double checking thier probley doing more good luck teaching.

  13. Anonymous said, on December 28, 2006 at 12:30 pm


  14. Anonymous said, on December 28, 2006 at 12:30 pm


  15. Anonymous said, on February 1, 2007 at 4:35 am

    You ever see that episode of Seinfeld when Elaine was told she has a big head? There were pigeons flying into it and stuff.

  16. Anonymous said, on February 1, 2007 at 4:35 am

    You ever see that episode of Seinfeld when Elaine was told she has a big head? There were pigeons flying into it and stuff.

  17. Anonymous said, on February 11, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    The last teacher sounds like Ms. Yukari from Azumanga Daioh.

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