Random thoughts, comments, observations and general fluff from a random bint who left London at the end of September 2004 to embark on a new life and new adventures in Tokyo, land of the cute.... and is leaving mid-June 2010 - and counting!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Did you just say what I think you said?

Odd kind of day really.

Said of the song of two five-year olds: "they're singing about a whore house"

At one point I was out in reception talking to the Japanese staff and a little girl was waiting for her lesson. She was wearing string around her wrist and showed us it was there so she could do string games with it (cats cradle, that kind of thing). Naturally, and to her a/be- musement we grabbed it from her and started playing and chatting about childhood games. I asked if Japanese kids did clapping games and the receptionist asked the kid who said yes as her little classmate came in. They then loudly - with the adults getting rather enthusiastic as well - demonstrated one of the games...

and when I asked the receptionist what they were singing about she told me it was about a 'whore house'.

Quite a significant time later, after I'd explained 'whore house' I think I established they meant 'horror house' or something. At one point the receptionists and one of the kids mums had 'whore' and 'horror' written on a scrap of paper and were having a loud laugh about it all anyway.


Me: Give me another way to say 'to hate'.
Student: 'To fuck?'

Now, the above student is a 20-year old boy (this is Japan. Twenty year olds are 'boys') with something like mild cerebral palsy I think who is studying economics at university and is pretty sharp, although sometimes a little hard to understand. He and his mother study English together and have been my students since I got here. His mother and I sometimes gang up on him, but all in good fun.

Actually, on the subject of the mother, who bought a TOEIC book a couple of weeks ago and is very proud of the fact:

Me: Have you opened the book yet?
Student: No.
Me: You 'really' need to actually open it if you want to take the exam at some point.


Then there was this exchange:

Me: Tell me three kinds of underwear.
(Different) Student: 'Strip?'

Funny thing about this one is that the student, bless her, is as dull as dust (again another student I've been teaching since day one with the school). Her full answer to the question included a garter and a slip. Does she have a secret life I don't (want to) know about?


Then there was my 12 - going on for 30 - year old student, who I adore teaching because she is so mature and bright and has a fantastically sarcastic sense of humour. Again, this is another student I've been teaching for a couple of years and who has totally turned from quiet little girl into confident young lady. Her accuracy isn't always so spot on, but she IS pretty fluent and we have some pretty good discussions about things.

She has a slave-driver of a father, not untypically for a Japanese kid, and gets very pressured to perform. She generally gets top marks in all her subjects at school and has to do English exams to please her parents.

Anyway, her favourite actress, for some unknown reason, is Lindsay Lohan and, thus far, I've avoided going into the subject of how fucked up La Lohan is. Today when she said she was planning on seeing the latest movie this weekend though, I asked her whether she thought Lohan had lost the plot and she said yes, and Britney Spears too - now unfortunately, this was right at the end of the lesson so we couldn't explore all this today, but I had enough time to ask about the new Spears haircut. The student said she really liked it.

I tried to encourage her to go for it herself. She didn't think her parents would be too amused though. Can't think why...

[evil chuckle to self]


Yet another student, said she'd gone during the week to see a skin doctor because her skin was looking old.... this woman is somewhere in her late 50s - mid 60s I think! We didn't go into the aging process of wrinkles but we did all have a discussion about looking after skin and do's and don'ts.

After I growled at them to explain 'PMT' - they all gloated back: they're all well post-menopause!

Still, one did bring me in cookies, and another bought me a postcard to show me something we'd been talking about last week - so I forgave them.


I think this is one thing I kind of like about my Thursdays - half the students are barking mad - but I can communicate properly with all of them.


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