Tuesday, 18 December 2007

PostHeaderIcon Why don't you...?

Tuesday is usually my busiest day of the week as I’m pretty much out my house from 8:15am-8:45pm with just over an hour’s break all day. I’ve usually got a full schedule of classes and then need to prepare for my adult class in the evening. Today it’s the same length of time but with nothing to do. It sucks to be honest and I wish I did actually have all my classes today.

Although I’m pretty tired as I went to another end of year party shindig last night straight from work. This time it was for Nick’s (Aussie/Kitagawa/5 mins away) adult class and we share some students so I was asked along. Dave (Aussie/Nahari/3mins away) later joined us too straight from Okinawa. These things are always enjoyable but I find it draining at times and like to have an hour or two to myself after work. They’re pretty rocking old ladies though and I got to talk to the other guys who I haven’t seen in a bit. Noah was due to attend as well but he was too busy trying to cook the live crab he had in his apartment. It’s making me laugh thinking about it. I went around yesterday to check it out and when we took the lid off this bloody massive thing started moving about and opening its ‘Aliens’ like mouth. I wonder how he got on with that. Also, he gave me a present that his dad sent me from America which was really nice. He mentioned that he reads my blog so I thought I would give him a ‘shout out’ as the cool kids on the internet say… so cheers Noah’s dad.

I was looking in my bag just there and had totally forgotten about a really nice Christmas card I got from one of my adult students. I felt really bad about it because I should have put it up last week. She has a young family and is from the same part of town so I’ve talked to them a few times at events and stuff. I’ll take a picture of it later on along with some others I’ll add. I’ve realised I’m writing too much these days, pictures are always better aren’t they? As I was reading the card I noticed that everyone that knows me fairly well in town calls me by my first name Craig/
クレイグ instead of Hunter/Hanta/ハンター. I feel as if I have created my own little system of politeness in a country that already has it. I wonder if I’ve confused everyone with my name at times.

“So westerners use first names all the time unless it’s quite formal and then it’s Mr.?”


“Right… but you want us to call you Hunter? Does that mean you are Mr. Craig?”

However, if I needed any justification for this change then I got it the other day when I overheard something in the office. Someone at the front desk was asking what my name was and one of the guys replied with Kureigu (the katakana pronunciation). The man then went “eeeeh? Kure, Kuregi, Karagu, Kreegee” and it brought those first few weeks back. Ach aye, I do miss hearing my name in a rough Glaswegian tone occasionally.

It has also come to my attention this week that when a Japanese person is suggesting something to me then they say “Why don’t you blah blah?” I’ve realised I’m not used to hearing those words in that exact context. I think people usually say things like “You could do this/that?” and “Do you want to…?” There is nothing wrong with the English of course and I'm just not used to the hesitation after “Why don’t you…” You see, I’m only used to hearing it in the context of “Why don’t you… **** off?” so when my principal says those three words, part of me wants to shout out the remaining two out of habit.

Indeed, when I do go back home I might provoke someone I know just so I can hear them scream in glorious Glaswegian “Craig! Why don’t you **** off?”

It will be wonderful.

P.S I have managed to refrain from swearing thus far so hence the stars.

Yes, she is my student. It basically says "Craig sensei (that's me), please receive/have a fun/enjoyable Christmas".

My 'wee diddy' Christmas tree.

My 40 pence corner. Although I did buy the sake lampshade out the ¥100 store.


Gale said...

found your blog through my blogcatalog discussion. it's pretty crazy that you're teaching in japan, one of the countries i've been planning to visit for years! the account of your stay at japan so far is pretty interesting, and i hope you had/are having a wonderful christmas over there. stay in touch on the blogosphere, you can find me at www.maleadvicecolumn.com !

Daniel said...

Nice card, it's nice to see the advent of card-consumerism hasn't hit Japan and people still actually make their own cards.

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About Me

I am a 24 year old Scotsman currently teaching English to Japanese schoolchildren. I live in a small town on the east coast of Kochi prefecture.