I have yet to figure out why I am here....the Japanese are also confused. Keep Your Socks Clean: Having a bad day on top of a rough week

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Having a bad day on top of a rough week

You know, you just can't win them all really. I first want to apologize for not writing in a while, I've had a rough week with little sleep, and today topped it off (hopefully) with a hell of a day.
But first, a little bit of leading up to that.

The last two days I've tried to recuperate from my lack of sleep from the last week (more on that later when I get into all-night-karaoke experiences) by sleeping a ton. So I get home from classes at 3 PM Monday and just crash. I wake up only for dinner and after that, hit the sack again. Just one problem with this... I woke up at about 10:30 feeling as if I should be doing something. Well I couldn't very well go running around Japan this late because of last trains striking soon and all, so I just sat around doing nothing much until I passed out again at 4 AM.

I had some weird lingering hope that even though I was awake till the wee hours of the morning, that I would be refreshed by time I woke up due to the numerous hours of napping I did before. Ya, lot of good hopeful wishing is. So here I am dragging my half dead body to Tuesday classes... my longest day which last from 8 AM till 7:00. During this time I am one of the lucky people to have my name posted on the study abroad students message board in front of the office. Seems I'm lucky enough to have some problem that the office needs to discuss with me. It had to wait for the next day though (today) as the advisor that wanted to talk to me was in a meeting.

I couldn't even get my train ride home in peace as my sensei from my last class followed me into the train and wanted to chat. Normally this wouldn't be such a bad thing, but this guy is seriously, seriously weird. Whenever he talks (in English) he holds any "U" sound for like 4 seconds. But you know, this doesn't bother me, as I butcher Japanese in every way possible I can understand this. The point that really throws me off is how on the first day of class he told us all about his special study of eunuchs (click here if you need definition) and torture devices in Chinese history. Lets just put it this way... you don't want to see this guy's basement, OK?

I crashed early again that night, at a more reasonable time of 10:30. I figured this was still enough time to get plenty of sleep, feel rejuvenated, and wake up and do my homework and get on with my day. I have really got to quit being so optimistic in my personal plans.

It was about that time that my bad day started. I woke up just late enough to screw myself over. Nothing feels worse to me then to have to run around just after waking up which is exactly what I had to do, grabbing a world record quick shower before diving into my Japanese homework. I don't even get peace of mind while walking/riding (train) to school as I have a text book in front of me the whole time trying to memorize kanji for an upcoming quiz in the next few minutes. Not paying attention while you walk because your face is in a book isn't the best of ideas in Japan either, let me tell you... because cars seem to like to try to pass within a few inches of you on all the super narrow streets. Reading at the same time really kills your reflexes.

So I make it to class, manage to not get killed nor fail my kanji quiz, but then receive my quiz results back from a previous assignment. This is when my day really turned sour. I knew everything on that quiz. The teacher knew that I knew everything on that quiz. Everything was answered in a way that anyone could see that I knew the answers to everything on that quiz. But due to a few spelling errors only, and errors that were only due to having to hurry on a timed assignment, I practically failed the thing. I brought this to attention of the teacher only to have a big argument with her over her grading policy. Its a total punk way to grade something, but trying to argue a point like that with some lady that barely speaks English and me who barely speaks Japanese... you ain't getting nowhere fast. So instead I just remained the typical brat student the rest of the class, using higher level grammar to answer all her example questions then the grammar I was supposed to use. Not really justice but I felt slightly better.

After that ordeal I was up for another. The meeting with the office advisor I told you about? Ya, apparently my host mother had a conversation with some school official and totally blew some stuff out of proportion. Her complaint? I'm not eating vegetables... which is an utterly wrong in every way possible. In Texas, I almost never ate any vegetables. Now, I'm eating various ones everyday ranging from pumpkin to raw cabbage, but obviously its not enough for my host-mother for one reason... I hate onions. My host-mothers problem? She wants to put onions in everything. So for the last month I've been here she's been skimping out on the onions for the family meals, even though I've told her repeatedly that I don't want her to make anything special. Here's how the situation turns out:

If she doesn't put onions in her food, she gripes how she's getting all malnutritioned or something and how her cooking menu is so narrow without them.

If she puts onions in the food she fears that I won't be able to eat it. Now, by Japanese standards, if I don't practically stuff myself at dinner, then I'm not eating enough (these people eat alot) and I'm not healthy... and it is her fault I'm not healthy and she thinks I'm gonna starve to death if I skimp a little on one meal, and that I'm gonna hate her for letting me go hungry even though I've promised her up and down ten times I'm not hungry... and, well, get the idea yet?

Either way, its a lose - lose situation for me which landed me in the school office having a discussion about how compatible I am with my host family. I think I passed it off as my host-mom just worries endlessly about it and things are really fine. I've never really been hungry since I got to this country, cause as I said, these people eat alot, and they eat often.

I did get a good chuckle though when they (the school advisors) asked me if there was any other problems with her worrying, as in she's nagging me too much about certain details and telling me what to do all the time. The thing I found funny was when I explained that when I stay in my family house in Texas, I can't usually get away from my parents telling me nonstop to do every little thing like brush my teeth, take a shower, go to bed, and on and on. Not that I need too, just they never broke the habit from when I was little... or went to highschool... or went to college and moved out. So, with explaining why my days seem "nag-less" now, they also had a good chuckle (from disbelief mainly, and my parents don't believe they do it either).

The rest of the school day passed pretty uneventful until I got home. There I had one more surprise for me. My host-father decided to spend his day breaking the computer for the third time now. This time he really messed it up too, as in Windows XP was gone. So I spent the next hour or so sitting in front of his computer trying to install a Japanese version of Windows which I really can't read at all. Not how I wanted to spend my afternoon at all.

As soon as I figured I was done though he had one more small request. He wanted to put in a hard-drive into his computer he had bought. I thought this would be no problem honestly, but everything in Japan is small and efficient. The people, the cars, the streets, the clothes... everything is small, and according to them efficient. This, unfortunately, also implies to computers, as I had to gut the entire machine before I could slide the hard-drive in. Of course, with my luck today, I broke the fan in the process. So now the computer thinks there is no internal fan and shuts down after 2 seconds of being turned on. Another several hours of working on that and I finally got it recognizing the fan again, only to have a nice dinner layered with onions. Eat onions or endlessly be complained too, tough situation.

So now I'm finally on a small break, typing up this here editorial...wondering when the host-family's computer is going to catch fire. And trust me, with the way things have been going, it will.

One good thing that came out of this though is that, presuming the computer continues working and doesn't' catch fire, I'll be getting to go out and eat Yakiniku this weekend. Since I probably saved them a couple hundred dollars worth of computer service and repair work, I think me eating a couple hundred dollars of prime Japanese beef is acceptable right?


Anonymous Delanie said...

Sounds like an interesting day. And onions really aren't that bad! Just try not to break anything else.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog! Kazuko will love this. I know it was no fun, but it reads like classic comedy. Hope you get all the beef you can handle this weekend. Hang in there, Brookie. -- George Adams

6:01 PM  
Anonymous I don't nag said...

And remember that even if you don't like the onions and do not eat the meal, THANK YOUR HOST MOTHER. Oh and wash your hands!

11:17 PM  

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