Monday, November 22, 2004

What I've been up to lately
I've been doing a lot of writing on this weblog lately, but I haven't really wrote about my own life or what I've been up to in the past couple weeks.
Not, of course, that it's any information anyone couldn't live without, but since this is my weblog after all I thought I'd just write up a bit.

post election blues
Needless to say all us liberal expatriots were a little upset after the election. We've all been complaining to each other about it.

I was also called upon to talk to one of my 9th grade classes about the election result. As with the previous time something like this had happened, I was given no advance notice. I went to class like normal with the Japanese teacher, and she said to me, "Why don't you talk to them about the election in America." So, as before I was caught a little off guard but I did my best. I said a lot of the same things I've written on this weblog (well, minus the swearing). The students listened nicely.

Funny things that have happened
The first of these is only funny to me in retrospect, but I really nailed my head on the door frame on the way out of school a couple weeks ago. These fucking Japanese doors are always so low.

I think I've actually hit my head less than many of my other ex-pat friends here, which I attribute to the fact that since I'm tall even by Western standards perhaps I'm just a bit more used to watching my head. But the thing is you can be careful almost every day of the year, but it only takes one time of not paying attention to really whack your head on the way out the door. (Okay, and I'm just a Clumsy idiot who tends to be prone to do this stuff).

Most of the door ways in the school are actually okay for me, but the entrance way in and out is very low. Some days I have to leave the Junior High School after lunch to teach classes at the elementary school. The transition time doesn't have as much cushion as I would like, so often I'm in a hurry. It was cleaning time as I was leaving, so I was in a hurry, juggling all my books, and trying to say good bye to all the students who were cleaning as I rushed out the door. WHACK.

I actually hit the door hard enough that I fell down, and my head starting bleeding a little. The students initially started laughing, but then noticing that I wasn't getting up very fast, and wasn't being very talkative, they asked if I was angry at them for laughing. Which I wasn't really, but at the moment all I could think about was how much my head hurt, and I was in no mood to be like, "No, it's okay kids. I feel great."

I told a friend here about that story, and he agreed that there really is no graceful way out of that situation. "You just have to cover your face and go to the car," he advised.

On an unrelated note: my cell phone bill has been a bit higher than normal recently. I went into the shop to ask why. The clerk punched in my data, than she agreed that my cell phone bill the past few months has been a bit high. "Have you been using the cell phone more than usual?" she asked. Yes I had. "Well that's probably the reason it's a bit higher than," she responded.

Again, I related this incident to a friend, and he commented, "Boy, you must have felt like a real idiot then. Did you just get up and leave at that point." Pretty much I answered. "And then you hit your head and fell down again on the way out, right?" That would have been the perfect ending.

One more story: I was on a crowded train last weekend heading into Nagoya city. Fashion in Japan, as I've written in the past, can be a bit over the top and it is very interesting to watch. So I wasn't surprised when 3 high school girls dressed as hamsters got on the train. It quite frightened the young child next to me though, who kept crying out, "They're scary! They're scary!"

Her mother tried to calm her down. "It can't be helped. The train is too crowded. There's no where else we can go." But the child got more and more upset until the mother had to appeal to some of the other passengers to switch places with her.

So, there I am, standing on a packed train, 3 girls dressed as hamsters to my left, a terrified child to my right. I guess maybe you had to be there, but I was laughing to myself about that scene for the next couple days.

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