Thursday, January 13, 2011

Higgledy Piggledy

I've been adding thoughts now and again to a big ol' gumbo pot, but haven't really stopped to make any coherent sense of them.
                    .....I have no intention to.
One order of spicy bayou noggin glop coming right up.

December 22, 2010
It is my last day of school. I should probably be very excited, but I am too tired to be anything, really. This morning I went to my favorite elementary school with half of a plan. I threw some Christmas cards at the kids after my jalopy of a lesson puttered off the road and began smoldering. One of my Philippino girls addressed her card to me and drew a picture of a rabbit, entitled 'labitto'. 
                                                                                                                  Now isn't zat adoraber? 
They all seemed to enjoy the cards, but could definitely tell that Ms. Sarah was a hot mess. Well, fools, it's December 22nd and I'm still at fricken-fracken work so... your English proficiency didn't make my list of priorities. Grumbling did, though.
So now, with all of that silly teaching business out of the way, I'm trying to hash out a letter to a co-worker. She asked me point blank how she could become a good teacher. Wow. That's a big question, isn't it, sugar britches?

This new white out is a wet dream.
My eye is twitching.

January 12, 2011
Out with the old, in with the same old. 
First day back at work, and am finding myself readjusting easily. Much more spirited than when I left, too. The 3 days leading up to my dutiful return consisted of a 2 day commute back to the village, 3 am bodily wake up calls, and indefinite news from my gynecologist. So this first day back has been astonishingly... better than horrible. 

Being home made me rethink my plans for staying in Japan a little bit. I miss driving through open fields, chatting with strangers and my mom's cooking. 
I gained 4 kilos in less 2 short weeks.
I do not miss the uncertainty of where that food comes from, though. 
                                   Questionable meats, 
                                                                    produce that has been sprayed and shipped and stored. 
I prefer the way Japan does it – local, fresh and seasonal. You can't get everything you want when you want, but there is a greater spritual connection to food that is close to you. Also, there's less worry that those chicken nuggs you're indulging in came from a three-headed chicken sideshow. There are a lot of things, like food, that Japan has right. But I love where I'm from and continue to love it exponentially the longer I stay here. 
                                    Home is home. 
Home is where originality is prized, and 'the nail that sticks out' is NOT 'the one to be hammered down' (←creepy proverb award goes to you, Japan). 
Home is where I can see good music for cheap and beer is delicious. 
Home is where I can make a follow-up appointment with a gynecologist who speaks my own damn language.


January 14, 2011
It is Friday! First three days back, K.O.!
During the fourth period I showed some of my teachers pictures of my winter vacation. Umegaki Sensei told me that she wanted to “peek into (my) elegant life.” heh... HA. I showed her and Keiko-chan some photos of Michigan and some from the family cruise. They had a lot of questions, and seemed really curious about the islands we visited.

I tried to explain that most of the people we met were lovely, but some situations were a little tense. They seemed to vaguely understand when I talked about socio-economic racism, but I doubt very much that they've ever experienced it. 
While in Barbados, my aunt and brother and I decided to hail a peddle cart back to the ship because Eric left his shoes on the beach. The driver was kind enough to allow three passengers aboard the two-passenger carriage. We shot the shit and asked if he could instead drop us off at a bar near the ship. He said he knew a place that would charge us three dollars a bottle as opposed to six. When he pulled our chariot into the middle of the local hang-out, we were greeted with hostile ogling. We carried on despite, and shared 3 or 4 rounds with our driver. When it was time to leave, we thought someone might be kind enough to take a picture of the four of us. Not one person would take our picture. Not one out of 30 people. 
I can see how it might be frustrating to lay witness to daily hoardes of over-ripe, nigger-fearing penny-pinchers invading your home. They're coming to crowd your beaches, clog your toilets and buy a few trinkets, then it's right back to Crackertown. I get that. But on the flip-side of the coin, I treat everyone the way I want to be treated. I'm convinced that our driver took us to that spot in part to test our metal. We succeeded but unfortunately, the locals didn't. They let hate best them. 

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