T-shirt of one of my eight-year olds today: 'Stake my life on you and love it.'
I have no idea what it meant, but it's better than the six-year old the other day wearing a 'throbbing [something i can't remember but felt a little inappropriate]' t-shirt.
Another student today told me how a colleague of hers was pissing people off because he takes a day off every week that he shouldn't take and that this means lots of extra work for the rest of them. I asked how long he had been doing this. She said: TWO YEARS.
Japan still sometimes manages to amaze me. What other country in the world wouldn't have shown the colleague the door a long time ago?
The Japanese are season mad. Japanese students regularly inform us that there are four seasons in Japan. Now, firstly, they are often surprised to learn other countries also have four seasons. And, secondly, there aren't four seasons here. There's bloody hot, wet, schizophrenic with autumn leaves, bloody cold, cherry blossom, and typhoon season. Bloody hot season has everyone complaining. Wet and typhoon have everyone complaining. Bloody cold has everyone complaining again...
And cherry blossom and turning-of-the-leaves season have everyone taking three-hour train journeys, annually, to take photos of the cherry blossoms and turned-leaves.*
Cats. Around my way there are lots of stray cats. People feed them and give them little cardboard box 'houses' to live in. They breed and there are more stray cats to be fed in the streets and housed in cardboard boxes. I have to say that it does befuddle me somewhat that these people don't just rehouse the cats. But animal welfare isn't a big thing here.
Cats and birds. One of my students told me she had to put her garbage out at 7.30am this morning (Saturday) and so she was tired. On questioning why she didn't just put out the night before, she said it wasn't allowed as cats and birds would get at the rubbish. I asked why they didn't throw a net over it like EVERYWHERE ELSE seems to. She didn't know.
I asked what time the rubbish is collected. She said about 9.30am. I asked why she didn't put it out later then. She said it was a rule of her area. She then said in some roads around her way, rubbish was regularly not collected until 3pm or later, but they still had the 7.30am rule. I questioned whether animals weren't just as likely to get at it in the day. This confused her somewhat as it hadn't occurred to her this might be a problem. Even. Though. She. Admitted. To. Having. Seen. It.
I sometimes cross the road when the traffic signals say I shouldn't. I get glared at for this. Bad gaijin.
More thoughts on life after Japan: I think I'm over the Paris idea. Indecisive, moi? But there seems to be a small consensus that spring won't be a good time to get work in Europe. Now seeds have been planted in my brain of staying until end of May and getting work teaching summer courses in London before starting in Europe in September. Provided I can find work!
I'm sure I'll change my mind again.
Portfolio update: slowly coming together. Should be done and dusted by end of Monday. HAS to be done and dusted by end of Monday. Too knackered to do any tonight.
*it's my blog. I'll exaggerate if I want to.