Gaijin Smash

Boomerang

Posted in Blog by gaijinsmashnet on October 7, 2008

When I quit being an English teacher, I sort of figured I’d never have another occasion to enter a Japanese junior or senior high school again. Yes, kids of my own may be looming on the horizon, but as I’ve said before, I refuse to let any offspring of mine so much as set foot in a Japanese junior high school. …If you’re wondering why, just thumb through the archives for a little while, I’m sure you’ll see why fairly soon. So with me planning to move my own kids back to America before even getting to JHS, I figured that my very last class would be the last time I’d ever be in a Japanese school.
But as life loves to remind one, never say never.
Japanese high schools usually hold a “School Festival” day, where the students make shops, exhibits, put on shows and performances, etc. Sort of in the spirit of the Culture Festival held in junior high school, but a little bit more involved. As I was a JHS teacher, I never got to go to any HS school festivals; my only knowledge of them came from what I’d seen on TV and in anime and what not. However, I went to my first one a few weeks ago. Why? I received an invitation from Moeko to go to her high school’s festival day. I hadn’t seen her in a while, I had nothing else going on that day, and the HS is a 10 minute bike ride from where I live, so there was really no reason not to go.
I showed up on the morning of the festival and Moeko came out to the gate to give me my ticket. I hadn’t seen her in over two, almost three years, but she really hasn’t changed much. Maybe gotten a little taller, that’s about it. As a high school sannensei, her class was going to be working a food booth. As such, she was busy with preparations and couldn’t really hang around with me, so I wandered around the school by myself checking out the various events. As I took off my shoes at the entrance, it occurred to me that for the first time in over two years, Az-sensei was back.


…Is that Kancho Senseโ„ข that’s tingling?
…Nah. This is a high school, not to mention that I wasn’t these kids regular teacher, so it would have been pretty rare/exceptional for me to have been exposed to any Kancho or Dick-Dodging incidents of my past.
First I paid the ninsensei floor a visit. The ninsensei have to put on some kind of show/exhibit within the confines of their own floor and classrooms, so with these constraints they usually end up doing haunted houses or coffee shops. One group of boys, highly interested in my presence though, invited me to come to their class. They’d made a firing range. They constructed all sorts of rubber-band guns and rifles out of chopsticks, and had set up various targets around the room for guests to shoot at and potentially win prizes for hitting the mark. …Again, here is that Japanese ingenuity that’s remarkable at the JHS and SHS level, but somehow gets soul-sucked out of them when they become members of the Japanese workforce.
As I take a chopstick rifle and aim at a target, I hear one boy say in the background – “Uh-oh, this could be trouble. Is this guy American? He looks American. I bet you he’s going to hit every target.” Because, you know, we Americans all own guns and are expert marksmen and stuff. …Ah, blunt, candid outbursts – how I’ve missed you so. Turns out the boy didn’t have to worry much, as I only hit a few of the targets, which was enough for a few pieces of candy.
As I was taking aim, a few girls came up behind me, also curious about me. They wanted to talk to me, but as usual, had no confidence in their English abilities. With my old JHS students, I spoke with them plenty in Japanese. But sometimes, I like to hide the fact that I understand Japanese, especially in new situations such as these. While it is potentially a wasted opportunity to interact with the youth of Japan…for me its incredibly fun to get to hear what people are saying about me when they don’t think I can understand. One thing I love to do though, is to actually answer questions that have been asked in Japanese, in English. Now, one might assume that, despite me answering the question in English, the fact that I understood the question at all shows at least some level of Japanese comprehension. One might assume that…but for the vast majority of Japanese people, they just don’t get it. These girls were no exception.
Girl (Japanese): I wonder who he is and where he’s from. I’d at least like to know his name.
Me (Turning Around, English): My name is Az.
Girl (E): Oh! Nice to meet you Az. My name is (whatever it was, forgot already).
Me (E): Nice to meet you.
Girl (J): Well, I could do a greeting at least. But I don’t know enough English for anything else.
Me (E): Aw, c’mon…you’re a high school ninensei, right? You can do a basic conversation, right?
Girl (J): Its different…I mean, in class we practice with other teachers and students, all Japanese. But you’re the real deal! It makes me nervous.
Me (E): You don’t have to be nervous. This is a good experience!
Girl (J): Well, I guess so. (To her friends): I just wish I could actually communicate with him more.
I have to wonder if maybe its not a delayed reaction. Like maybe a week later she was just sitting in the middle of class and all of a sudden thought…
Girl: Hey, waitaminute! I was talking in Japanese but he was understanding what I was saying!!
Speaking of high school girls, I thank my Lucky Charms that I wasn’t a high school teacher. Just that day, there were a few girls (just two or three) sort of looking at me and making subtle passes. I had girls who had crushes on me back in junior high school (remember Snuzzlebunnies?), but those were easy to turn down because, well…they’re just kids! In JHS the kids are from 12-15 years old, and that’s just too young no matter how you slice it. But in HS…a ninensei girl will be around 16-17 years old. That’s almost 18. I can’t imagine having the willpower to consistently turn down very cute, more-or-less legal girls over a several year basis. It just goes against my basic male programming, is all. I don’t know what the legal age of consent in Japan is – I’ve heard conflicting reports ranging around 17, to even as low as 13. Not being a Professional Pedo-Bear, I haven’t bothered to look into it. To me, it seems like its only illegal if someone really wants to make a case against you. Since I’m a Gaijin, I’d probably get the death penalty.
Of course, we American men have to be extra super sensitive about the age thing, because American law will prosecute your ass to the full extent of the law if the girl is 17 years, 364 days, 23 hours old. Again, I have no interest in children (I feel that this can’t be said enough), my tastes actually run towards older women. But sometimes you get a hot young girl sniffing at your door, she’s almost old enough, and the fragile male psyche can only take so much. My old roommate in college used to say “if you have doubts about fucking a girl under 18…just fuck two and add em up!” I think he was joking…I hope.
I was talking to another Gaijin guy about this, and he was telling me that if possible, many high schools avoid hiring foreign male English teachers for this very reason. As he put it – “I can’t argue with that, I’d like to say I wouldn’t be tempted but Lord knows I’ve had my weak moments in the past. You know, back in America I’d hear people talking about this Chris Hansen guy and “To Catch A Predator”. I had no idea what it was until I watched an episode one day. I was watching it, and as I sat there, I realized – this man is my enemy.”
***
Aside from Moeko, I did run into a few other former students of mine. There was a boy in the ninsensei hall who I recognized as one of my former students. He was thrilled that I remembered him, and it also seemed to boost his Cool Points Standing among his peers that his JHS ALT actually remembered him. I also found the little sister of the girl who once said she wanted to kill herself over entrance exams (I think that’s the “My Kids Are Emo” entry…). I’d only been her teacher for half a year, but she’s very, very similar to her older sister so she was easy to remember. She also hadn’t really changed much, except for gaining a few centimeters in height. She helped me to navigate a maze that her class had created.
I also ran into……….Penis Boy! Yes, Penis Boy from the School of Peace. Unlike Moeko or the sister of suicide girl, Penis Boy had changed drastically. He’d been a little runt of a kid when I last saw him, but now he’d grown to an average height, and was now – dare I say it – actually kind of cool. He looked like one of the actors or musicians that Japanese girls go crazy over. I told him he’d grown up and become pretty cool, and he said “Az-sensei, you’ve always been cool.”
I’m sure many of you are wondering if there were any grouping or fondling incidents, but there weren’t. Penis Boy has grown up. It was sort of a startling reminder to me of how quickly life can change in the short span of 2-3 years. Penis Boy very well could have been the male heartthrob of his entire class. I couldn’t help but to wonder about this later on, imagining Penis Boy surrounded by a group of girls…
Girl 1: Hey, we saw you talking with that cool Gaijin that was wondering around.
Girl 2: Do you know him?
PB: Yeah, he was my English teacher back in junior high school.
Girl 3: And he remembered you? Wow! You are so cool! You must have left quite an impression, even in JHS!
PB: Yeah. Not a day went by where I didn’t try to grab his penis. I’m certain he remembers THAT.
I didn’t get to talk to Moeko much, as she was busy with her preparations for her class’s booth. I did manage to find her and say goodbye before leaving. Later by mail, she apologized for not having been a better host. I was just glad she invited me at all. It was kind of fun to become Az-sensei again, even if only for half a day.
————————————————————————————–
Thank you everyone for the donations! As you all matched the photography costs of the wedding…as promised, I will put up as many photos from the wedding as possible! I’m still waiting for the pictures to come back, so when they do you can look forward to an entry + photos about that.
For the next drive, I will offer the full story of what happened at my workplace. Its not something I’m inclined to talk about here, and I wasn’t going to, but I noticed a few people seemed to be interested. So again, I’ll open up donations and if there is enough response, I will write about the events that lead to me quitting my job. Please take note that again, this is optional content – regardless of whether I do the story or not there will still be updates with other content on the site.
For donations, please Paypal to azrael@outpostnine.com, or click here.

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62 Responses

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  1. TitTat said, on October 7, 2008 at 1:25 am

    Awesome! You updated! I can’t tell you how nice it is to wake up to a shitty, pissy day and see a nice, glowing post from Az. How was the wedding?

  2. MrShawn said, on October 7, 2008 at 1:37 am

    Yes your back. Nice post.

  3. draglancer said, on October 7, 2008 at 1:43 am

    Good to see you visiting your teacher days. Nostalgic times eh? Keep em editorials chuggin’ out. I look forward to those pictures too. ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Liv said, on October 7, 2008 at 1:57 am

    Hi, Az – congrats on the wedding! It sounds like the school festival was fun. I have to admit, my Kancho sense was tingling FOR you as I read your entry. I’ve developed one of my own since I’ve been teaching … or, rather, a breast grabbing sense.
    You know, I’ve noticed that if you respond to the kids in English when they speak Japanese, they don’t quite get it for a long time that you understand. They need to hear you speak to them in Japanese and even then, they’re stumped. I have a few friends here who speak Japanese quite well. The kids get so confused and ask them, “Are you half Japanese? Are you from China?” Gaijin can’t speak Japanese, silly rabbit!! My Japanese is nowhere near as good as yours, but I can still listen in once in a while and hear what they’re saying about me. For example: I’m not funny and I have white hairs. As if I didn’t know …..

  5. Ewan said, on October 7, 2008 at 3:50 am

    Hey hey hey hey waitaminnit! This story is all well and good, but how did the wedding go? That’s what I want to hear!
    After not hearing anything for a few weeks I was starting to think there’d been some kind of horrific accident.. (some would argue that getting married is, in itself, a horrific accident..).
    I hope the wedding went well, it’s always good to see new editorials from you!

  6. Joe said, on October 7, 2008 at 4:25 am

    Getting hit on by high schoolers…your livin the dream Az!

  7. CF said, on October 7, 2008 at 4:33 am

    “Grouping incidents”?
    [thinks back to the “Skanks ‘R’ Us” Incident… ๐Ÿ™‚ ]

  8. code monkey said, on October 7, 2008 at 4:41 am

    Wow, sorta leaves with a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, doesn’t it?
    I used to be a teacher but it was a sophomore college class in my super senior year (five-year course)so no nostalgia points when I see my former students.
    I wish I’d get a warm and fuzzy feeling too.

  9. David said, on October 7, 2008 at 5:21 am

    As far as I understand it, the legal age limit in each prefecture is set by them – they’re all something like 13 or 14. However, the government passed an over-ruling law that makes it 18
    Could be wrong tho

  10. j said, on October 7, 2008 at 5:32 am

    “I have to wonder if maybe its not a delayed reaction. Like maybe a week later she was just sitting in the middle of class and all of a sudden thought…
    Girl: Hey, waitaminute! I was talking in Japanese but he was understanding what I was saying!!”
    Nope, if she is like mine ๐Ÿ˜› Haha you know at the end of books how they sometimes write what happened after everything settles? This post kind of seems like that, good to see Penis Boy made a change for the better, maybe decided that girl bits are better than boy bits? ๐Ÿ˜›

  11. Eclipse said, on October 7, 2008 at 6:04 am

    Yo Az,
    Congrats again on your wedding. Based by your comment about the photos, I guess it’s safe to assume that things went well. I’m sure you’ll tell us in due time. It’s good to see that you’ve left a positive impression on your students. Have you ever thought about being a teacher at a university? Thousands of Japanese exchange students come to America to go to school. You would be a perfect transition teacher/professor for these types of students. Plus you wouldn’t have to worry about the pay. That or do the inverse and teach Japanese at an American university in Japan (like Temple University in Tokyo). Either way you get more mature students and (better yet) more pay. Not to mention the Military/Embassy schools you could teach at in Japan. Just something to think about…

  12. final said, on October 7, 2008 at 6:18 am

    Aww, good to hear from Moeko again.
    Btw, I named my WoW char after her.
    The Moeko’s Owl post was my inspiration.
    Moeko of Solace, Aerie Peak (EU)

  13. Aris said, on October 7, 2008 at 6:28 am

    I’ve said this before but… you really need to make this into a movie manuscript. You could be the English teacher in japan equivalent of ‘My big fat Greek wedding’.
    I know you can do it – and you appear to have some spare time on your hands, and certainly have the talent to write this.
    At the very least, make a book. Check out ‘The Waiter’ – he started as a blog, and wrote a book and is now on the New York Times bestseller list.
    http://waiterrant.net/

  14. an asian gaijin said, on October 7, 2008 at 7:46 am

    first comment on az’s site
    dude, you SHOULVE become a high school teacher, i would too, too bad im not white or black, which would be a major plus

  15. Spectre said, on October 7, 2008 at 7:49 am

    Looooongtime reading, first time commenting…
    Been waiting for something new since the big day, congrats and all that
    Will post again after reading, just wanted to take all the glory from those “First!” guys
    FOR SPARTA!

  16. Steve said, on October 7, 2008 at 7:55 am

    There’s still a lot of penis-grabbing in Japanese high schools. I don’t really understand why boys grabbing other boys’ penises isn’t more frowned upon over their. And why the hell to they always invite you to their schools over there? Here’s how an actual encounter with some high school boys that transpired for me in an arcade in Tokyo.
    Jap-boy 1-You’re really good, American.
    Jap-boy 2-Yeah. How did you get so good at Street Fighter 3, American?
    Me- You can cal me Steve. And I just played a lot at home and a few tourneys.
    JB 1-I don’t think I can say ‘Steve’.*
    Jap-boy 3-American, did they ever release the third version of Street Fighter 3 in America?
    Me-Yes. And like I said, you can call me Steve.
    JB 3-No, I can’t say that.
    Me-Huh? I don’t understand.
    JB 2-Do you wanna come to our school tomorrow?
    JB 3-We’re doing this cultural thing. We could exhibit you.
    Me:Huh? I don’t understand.
    JB 2-I don’t think you would even have to talk. We could just talk about cowboys and stuff.
    Me…
    *He said my name perfectly, the little shit.

  17. Stan said, on October 7, 2008 at 8:28 am

    Hi, Az. Nice to travel with you through your old stomping grounds. So sweet of Moeko to invite you. And great story about the conversation with the HS girls. I really wonder if it will hit her later that you understood her. That’s really funny. I was at dinner with some of my girlfriend’s friends and one of them asked her in Japanese if we were going to get married and was stunned when I told him I had understood the question AND her response. You’re a roll model, Dude. By the way, just discovered that Bob Sapp dude via the web. What’s his story. He’s really runny in a strange, strange way. Does he speak Japanese? Congrats on the wedding and be well.

  18. Deathseeker said, on October 7, 2008 at 8:37 am

    Hey man i really hope you end up getting a really cool job
    If your interesting in games and stuff theres a really cool website
    http://www.gaijingamers.com
    Check it out .. Only gaijins allowed

  19. Harris said, on October 7, 2008 at 8:55 am

    1st one to comment!
    Just to say, I’ve been a fan for a long time, and your editorials have always been entertaining if not inspiring in some way.
    Looking forward to seeing your wedding pictures ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. BlacKaTeer said, on October 7, 2008 at 9:30 am

    Man after graduation i’m takin a trip to Japan for some cultural exploration before college…But as far as I can tell, the girls there (especially around my age) suffer from Just-her-face rather than but-her-face, and since i’m a body-oriented person i dont think i’ll be interested…
    But its cool that you got to see Moeko. Did you ever get to talk to her about the owl at all?

  21. Jon Helgi said, on October 7, 2008 at 9:47 am

    Congrats and good luck on your endeavors. Nice to hear from Moeko.

  22. well! said, on October 7, 2008 at 10:12 am

    no way…no way they could not realize you understood Japanese! I can’t believe it!

  23. Beoulve_Black said, on October 7, 2008 at 10:13 am

    first time ever getting the first comment (i hope) ๐Ÿ˜‰
    anyways, this is really cool in that it kinda makes me let go of that “screw it…i could care less about my HS days” attitude; it’s nice that your ‘better’ days in japan have come back to brighten things up a bit.
    PS
    you just conveniently added that “you’ve always been cool part,” didn’t you! don’t lie! jk, i do second his comment though

  24. Willow said, on October 7, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Hi Az,
    been a while since I’ve had the time to enjoy reading you. And as such I just wanted to comment on a few that I just read:
    -if I haven’t already done so, here is a big Congratulations from France.
    -old job: I hope you get your last paycheck. I was wondering if you can (as you would in the US or Europe) ask for compensation for the prejudice you’ve suffered when you raise this with the Labour org?
    -shopping: couldn’t possibly agree more. Ouch.
    -baby: patience is a vertue, and given the price of diapers (as an example), having a salary (and if possible put some cash aside) is a must.not that it necessarily applies to you, but may I suggest you read a blog called ‘Get rich slowly’?

  25. Gino said, on October 7, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Have you considered about when you will move stateside with your brood offspring little family when you do eventually have a kid? Because if you are going to wait awhile to save up money, then maybe you could go back to teaching again. It would only be a few more short years of hell JHS.

  26. Dunn Deegan said, on October 7, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Hey Az,
    It’s always nice to see some of your former students and how they are doing. Especially if they were your favorite, or at least memorable students!
    Just last weekend one of my favorite high school students served my girlfriend and I at a restaurant in Seoul. I was really surprised to see her, but it was nice being able to talk to her and see what she was planning on doing in the future.
    Also, if you think it would be difficult teaching high school girls at your age without making any advances….I started teaching high school at the tender age of 20. Holy crap, was it ever difficult keeping in line. Perhaps that was a test from a higher power. So many of those girls wanted me…(I like to believe)
    Thankfully, I’m in an all boys school now and I don’t have to worry or even think about high school girls. Even better, I’ll be home after xmas for good! (I think)
    It’s good to hear you made it back to check up on the progress of the (educational) seeds you planted, and at the very least…Penis Boy is percieved to be cool.

  27. giniro said, on October 7, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Oh my gosh.. believe it or not that last sentence just made me go, “Awww!!” I swear to god, there should be an anime adaptation based on your blog, and this entry would make the perfect ending to season 1, if not the entire series, im not even kidding.

  28. Anonymous said, on October 7, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Ohayo AZ, Glad to hear about Moeko again its great to hear that you are happy. Hopefully you can get a job soon. Has this visit rekindled a longing for teaching english?????? I guess only time will tell

  29. Anonymous said, on October 7, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Ohayo AZ, Glad to hear about Moeko again its great to hear that you are happy. Hopefully you can get a job soon. Has this visit rekindled a longing for teaching english?????? I guess only time will tell

  30. Joe said, on October 7, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Az, without a full update, can yo uat least tell us if they caved in and give you that final paycheck, or have you been eating ramen for the past month?

  31. shinraunit said, on October 7, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    “My parents have come to Japan.”
    This HAS to be a gold mine! Please tell me you’re going to write about this in detail soon!
    By the way, your chat with the high school girls reminded me of my earlier encounter with one of the maid cafe girls from my trip to Japan early this summer.
    Maid (in English): I’m sorry, but we are closed today.
    Me (in Japanese): That’s okay, this place seems a bit scary anyway.
    [Maid looks confused.]
    Me (in Japanese): This is my first day in Tokyo.
    Maid (in English): Aaah, okay. Well, you should come back tomorrow.
    Me (in Japanese): Why is your English so good?
    Maid (in English): No, I speak… no English! At all!
    Me (in English): But you’re speaking English right now!
    Maid (in English): No English. Hold on, I will get you someone who can speak English…

  32. Franton said, on October 7, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    HI Az,
    Sorry to be a pest but the paypal linky no work for me ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    If you do ever go back to teaching, just remember what the late great Paul Newman said about adultery. “Why fool around with hamburger when you have steak at home?”
    Being American, you can appreciate good steak surely? :p

  33. Anonymous said, on October 7, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    Come on Az, how about a drive for the Honeymoon pics! Anyways, congrats on getting hitched and good luck to you and the wife.

  34. Anonymous said, on October 7, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    Come on Az, how about a drive for the Honeymoon pics! Anyways, congrats on getting hitched and good luck to you and the wife.

  35. Ivan the Terrible said, on October 7, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    Optional content for donations rather than strictly relying 100% on the warmth and fuzziness of our hearts? Ouch.
    You’re becoming a better businessman, Sir Az, but I can’t see any scenario where the increasingly flow of cash from this optional content doesn’t end in full-frontal nudity and pics of sex with barnyard animals. Heavingly gratifying from a cash point of view, but what does it profit a man to pay the rent and lose his soul?

  36. Shuya said, on October 7, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Yeah…not the most money on my part here…but I really tried. =_=;; I e-mailed you once…but I wanted to show my support.
    …maybe it can buy you ๆ—ฅใฎไธธๅผๅฝ“…?? // Sorry~

  37. Mel said, on October 7, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    I still remember reading about Moeko’s owl.
    That was a sweet post.
    As for the pics,
    are you hiding your faces so as to remain anonymous?

  38. Andrea said, on October 7, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    Hope the wedding went well! At the bookstore where I work, we recently started carrying a Japanese candy called “Kancho”. I am slightly afraid to eat it, but bought a box anyway in your honor.

  39. Kakui Kujira said, on October 7, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    The bit about the girl thinking, “Wait a minute…” reminds me of this:
    A mate was wandering around the mountains. He is fluent in Japanese and was having a chat with an old fellow. After few minutes, the old fellow said he didn’t know what his grandchildren were whinging about when they complained about how hard it was to learn English. My mate asked what the old fellow meant and he replied that English must be very easy, because here they were speaking English and the old fellow had never studied it.
    This puzzled my mate because they had in fact been conversing in Japanese. The Japanese tend to be surprised by foreigners speaking any Japanese at all, let alone fluently. Despite seeing heaps of non-Japanese people on TV speaking excellent Japanese, it was more logical to the old fellow that he had all of a sudden, without study, come to be able to speak English than for a foreigner studying for years to learn Japanese.
    The human mind is a wonderful thing, but at times it can be way too flexible. Fancy believing that a foreigner cannot learn your language, but that you can instantly speak a foreign language.

  40. Stanley said, on October 8, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Thanks, Kakui. Such a funny story.

  41. tekuno said, on October 8, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    I’m sure somebody’s already pointed it out, but:
    GTA
    Great-Teacher-Az
    I was soooo happy today to find that you had written a new blog, btw.

  42. Civil Engineering student said, on October 8, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    Does Japan have, and have you considered, applying to teach at an all male High School?
    Without the girls around, maybe the boys wouldnt be all the weird/idiotic, as there would not be girls around to “impress” with said weirdness/idiocy.
    P.S.
    Transformer stop motion clip. No racism intended.

  43. Nii said, on October 9, 2008 at 9:27 am

    As an engineer, I am REALLY interested in how they made the chopstick rifles. Please describe the construction in more detail or take a photo or something. =)

  44. Ultimate_jesus said, on October 9, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    So, is Penis boy “Watson”, or is that another kid?
    Nice to see that he’s become a real man. Must’ve been contact with Az’s genitals that did that to him.

  45. L. said, on October 9, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    As much as I want to hear the story about your workplace, is it really wise to post it if you have ongoing legal-type conflict with them?

  46. Jonadab the Unsightly One said, on October 10, 2008 at 6:45 am

    You know you’re eventually going to end up working at a Japanese school full-time. You can try to deny it, but you cannot escape it. It is your destiny. (Of course, it might have to be as a janitor or secretary, since I’m not sure they’d give a full-fledged teaching position to a gaijin, even with the master’s degree and all the paperwork…)

  47. Corey said, on October 11, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    Sounds like you had a good time. Moeko seems to be one of the few students you’ve nicknamed that I still remember. Moeko’s Owl was just that touching. And then of course there’s Penis Boy, who’s also impossible to forget for pure crazy-ness.

  48. Ren said, on October 11, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    Oh my god, it’s so funny when stuff like that happens. When I used to work in a Japanese Supermarket, I had a lot of customers who would get nervous and fidget (and all but run away) while trying to speak to me in English even though I was answering/conversing in Japanese. But oddly enough, if I spoke to a person by phone, no one would seemingly know the difference, though my phone Japanese is terrible. I never understood that…
    Then comes the questions: “So is your mother Japanese? No? Your father?”

  49. NeN said, on October 12, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    I’m only 19, so I don’t think it’s too creepy for me to still have any attractions towards underage girls. The “age of consent”, as I see it, is in itself an arbitrary number, in no way universal, and holding no real meaning on its own. Of course, this isn’t to say anything goes. The existence of such a line in the sand is necessitated by the fact that humans are, quite frankly, in many ways impulsive, arrogant, naive, and short-sighted.
    In my view, there are two things, primarily, which determine when a girl is “of age”. First is sexual maturity of the body, and second, development of character and maturity of the mind. This, obviously, will vary from person to person. It’s not inherently wrong, but it’s dangerous to leave this open to interpretation.
    I’m actually a person who doesn’t agree with sex outside of marriage. But that’s my perspective, if we narrow the subject to the relation of sex and age.

  50. Skarredmind said, on October 12, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    I bet you’d make the big bucks by doing a post on the octopus ๐Ÿ˜‰
    LOL at the “First Post” spaz about half way down up there.

  51. Paperfairy said, on October 12, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Hm… if we were to cough up enough money, would you finally write about The Octopus?

  52. Mage said, on October 13, 2008 at 12:48 am

    Hey Az,
    I’m a long time reader, but a first time commenter. First off, I just wanted to say congratulations on your wedding! It’s so great to hear about it, and your girl sounds like a really wonderful lady.
    Secondly, I wanted to tell you that I’m in Japan now because of your blog. I’m a high school foreign exchange student, and I’ll be here for a year, and I’m currently living in Matsudo. I wanted to thank you for writing such a fun and candid blog. Your warnings and stories helped me a lot to prepare for the craziness that is Japan.
    So yeah. Thanks a ton, and I look forward to hearing more from you in the future!

  53. MrMickS said, on October 13, 2008 at 6:24 am

    Its not just the Japanese that have this strangeness around language. Whilst working in Zurich in Switzerland I found that if I gave in my passport before opening the conversation to check in to a hotel then they’d talk exclusively in English, regardless of the fact that I was speak German. If I started the conversation first in German they would talk in German until they saw my passport at which point they would change in English.
    As with many this is my first time posting, despite having been reading for years. Congrats on your marriage.

  54. tensai said, on October 13, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    AZ…Why don`t you just give in to the dark side?
    Just become an english teacher while updating your curriculum vitae, with other stuff courses or something like that… go get your 1 kyu..
    The best of luck man, I really enjoy reading your posts…and congratulations to you and your wife with the wedding ( I hope it was really nice )
    till next time… bye bye

  55. Kyle E said, on October 14, 2008 at 1:36 am

    I doubt this will get read. But I’m a Japanese major and I just have a kinda random question. Perhaps ask your wife or something. But do you have an “accent” speaking Japanese? Like if someone were to hear you read a script on the radio or something would it be obvious you weren’t a native speaker?

  56. Florian said, on October 16, 2008 at 10:30 am

    Nice article, glad to hear about some of your old students again, specially Moeko.
    Btw, age of consent according to national law in Japan is 13. See here:
    http://www.interpol.int/Public/Children/SexualAbuse/NationalLaws/csaJapan.asp
    Though some prefectures have higher limits.

  57. Joe said, on October 20, 2008 at 3:45 am

    Hehe, I just saw that the next episode of a show I’m watching has the title “่—่‰ฒใฎใƒžใƒ‰ใƒ‘ใƒผใƒ†ใ‚ค”
    I remembered your old JLPT level 1 test when I saw that. I guess people DO use the kanji for indigo on occasion, but this is the first time I remember noticing it. And I have no idea what sort of mood the color is supposed to convey (opposite of rose-colored?).
    The wretched thing sure has a lot of strokes in it, though. Trying to puzzle the stroke order out of that when I don’t even know most of the radicals is pretty much impossible ๐Ÿ™‚ How are you even supposed to remember that? The top is the fence thingy, the bottom looks like prison bars, the middle-left looks sorta like a car running into a wall (that takes imagination) and the right-middle is two with a little extra. Or something. Though I guess the pieces (like the prison bars) must be used in other kanji I don’t know very well like ็Œ› (fierce) which happens to be on the same page as the kanji for cat, making me wonder why cat has the radical for dog in it…
    This crazy language sure is weird. How did you ever learn it, again?

  58. MUFUCKIN AARON said, on October 20, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    ITS MUFUCKIN AARON AGAIN. WHERE THE FUCK YOU AT, AZ?
    I miss you and your stories. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  59. Jason said, on October 22, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    How old is Moeko now? I’m fifteen an a big fan of yours. Mind sharing Moeko’s instant messaing contacts with us, for those younger fans who want to get to know her/you?

  60. Loner said, on October 23, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Man, I know how you’d feel. I used to teach girls around 15-18, and some of them made it pretty hard for me to resist xD
    It’s a dangerous threshold to cross

  61. Alex said, on October 24, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    I seriously doubt Az would go round handing out kids personal details to random people on the internet -_-
    In fact I think I remember him mentioning in another entry that he wouldn’t even point out Miss Americanized in a photo if there was one.
    But anyway; congratulations on the wedding! Believe me I’d donate if I could ๐Ÿ˜ฆ (translation: if I wasn’t a broke student)

  62. NeN said, on October 27, 2008 at 1:17 am

    You can hit the sack with a 13 year old girl, but you’d better stay away from pictures of her hitting the sack until she’s 18. Another oxymoron?


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