Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pull My Strings

Just the one blog today... I'm doing too many things at once: writing a piece for work, watching a movie, playing Final Fantasy XIII on my PS3, and making myself dinner, as everyone is out.

So... let's look back at October 7, 1991 in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan where I am still an assistant English teacher (AET) on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme.

It's a Monday and it's raining. I'm feeling tired still - probably more of a mental thing, or an alcohol-fueled binge thing. Whatever. I don't ever get hang-overs, and I only seem to need about 5 hours sleep to function what I consider normally.

I'm at Ohtawara Chu Gakko (Ohtawara Junior High School) for just two days, as I then get to watch a team-teaching demonstration put on my my buddy Matthew, who lives in town but teaches at the junior high schools outside of it. After that, I'm going on a little vacation with my ex-girlfriend, but current friend-with-benefits Ashley - out to Sendai to the north. It should be exciting - both the time with her and the area of Sendai. There's a castle there... and where else should a prince be but with his princess in a castle?

Yeah... I'm still hung up on her. She has her problems... but then again... so does every single woman I've met and or slept with in this land. I'm not just sleeping with American women. Nope... this Toronto boy has slept with women from more countries than Hitler invaded. I added another notch on the old bedpost last night. I have no idea what her name was... Kimiko, maybe. A nice girl, but not too nice, if you know what I mean.

Hell... I wonder if we'll ever see each other again. They always seem to come back... but maybe it's just me. Maybe I get bored easily... or, I'm still hung up on Ashley. We broke up, and I don't like it. Actually... I think I hate the concept of not getting what I want even more.

I'm not painting a very flattering picture of myself, am I? Truth be told, until I arrived here in Japan, I had never slept with a woman. I had dated maybe five women, one of whom was my girlfriend for three months before she went back to school in another city 200 kilometres away. Maybe that's why I like convenience in my relationships with women. Give me convenience or give me death! That's an old Dead Kennedys album name, and where I got the song that inspired this blog entry's title.

I have four classes today. Figures. Six periods, and I always have a busy day after a night of shagging or drinking. Oh well... it's better to be busy than bored.

All my classes are with third-year students (Grade 9). We all have a good time as I provide them with listening comprehension tests. I then give advice on how to pass an English exam. It's bizarre... because although I am an English teacher (and in 2011 am a writing professional), I did fail Grade 11 English... there's some silly rule here in Canada which says you have to show up for classes and then apply yourself. I did eventually.

I really feel good because I actually think I;ve helped the students learn something worthwhile.

Lunch is pretty good, too. I spend it with some girls who want to know about my sex-life.

Really? Even here in school/work I can't get away from it.

Still, the girls are all cute and funny, and aren't interested in the gory details. There's no pretensions... just honest questions.

I suppose I 'm breaking the mold by answering these so-called objectionable questions. Ha! I pity the next AET who will eventually take my place.

During my spare time, I write a few letters home, watch the rain fall while pretending to study my Japanese conversation homework I've given myself. I'm useless at it. Whatever I'm doing now seems to be working fine enough to get me drunk, fed and or laid. What else is there for a 27-year-old single guy in Japan?

I ride my bicycle home in the rain, not quite oblivious to all of the students who smile and wave at me as I pass them walking home. At least I don't get hit by a car like i did around this time last year... the first of two such accidents in a week's span.

I go to my night school English conversation class that I teach on the side for fun and profit. My Ohtawara Board of Education (OBOE) office is cool with me doing this. A lot of other Boards are not and don't allow their AET to do anything outside of regular Board activities. I'm very lucky to have such a liberal and kind office.

At the night class, I chat with all of my students and try to teach the 20+ women (and 5 guys) in my class. Most of them make goo-goo eyes at me. It's tough to teach when you know that.

Yukiko Matsuda (Matsuda is the surname that is anglosized into the Mazda car company - though, AI'm pretty sure she's not directly related) gives me a letter top take home and read. It's all about what she is up to, and how we should get together for a dinner soon. Ohhh-kayyy.

Shoko, the giel I went out with last Thursday, but who brought along a girlfriend to translate for us, looks very cute and sexy, but keeps averting her eyes when she knows I am looking. She has great legs, so I'm looking a lot!

Unfortunately three's a crowd, and I'm unsure if I want to go out with her again. Besides... I'm going to be busy for the next little while.

I go home (no one calls) and crash at 12AM. That's early for me. I guess I'm just a bit jaded and tired today.

Somewhere alone in the city,

Andrew Joseph

Today's blog title is by The Dead Kennedys: SELFRESPECT

PS: I've always loved punk music. I've never had the hair or the look, more of a suburban punk. I guess we all rebel in our own way. The point is to keep your self respect. At this point in my life in Japan, I don't think I have it. I only think I do. 

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