Saturday, 29 January 2011

The cake that broke the gaijin's back.

I cannot even begin to describe how accurate the title of this post is. I'll try and put it in to words, but I almost feel like just leaving it at the title it's so fitting.

However, before I go on my personal rant, I should mention that it is my little boy's birthday today and I can hardly believe that it's almost 3 years since my world was turned upside down with our little unplanned surprise, 2 years since I went through the hell of childbirth and that that tiny, squirming noisy thing has turned into a walking, talking cheeky little bastard who has brought me more joy than I ever could have expected or imagined.

Right, sappiness out of the way! And on to how FUCKING FUCKED OFF with Japan I am right now.

I've always been a big defender of Japan whenever haters would rant, I love(d)? Japan so much. But recently, and especially today, I am so keen to get out of this country it's making me physically sick.
I guess it's been a gradual thing, being single is quite easy living here, just yourself to worry about. But after you get hitched to a native and pop out a little halfie, things can get a lot more difficult. I guess starting a business could be added in there somewhere too. Also, maybe the fact that I haven't been on a proper holiday in over 4 years (ie. Not in Japan or Australia) is probably a contributing factor too.

Ash's birthday party is tomorrow, and Japanese kids don't have big arse birthday parties like we do in the west so it's so much more of a pain to organise, but I thought I had it down.
First problem- My house is so fucking tiny that the 3 of us barely fit in it, let alone 20 other people. So Sassymoo being the awesome friend and Auntie that she is, offered her beautiful house as a venue. Awesome!! But even that got me feeling disappointed in myself. How can we live in a house that tiny that we can't even have a fucking birthday party??
Next problem- Birthday party goods are actually quite hard to find here, as in napkins and party hats and lolly bags. But my mum sent me a whole heap of these with cars and dinosaurs on them, so that one fixed too.
Next- FUCKING DESICCATED COCONUT!!!! Mother fucking coconut only comes in tiny little packages and it's the stringy coconut used for decorating tops of things. I just want some coconut for the love of god is that really so hard?? Yes, apparently it is.
And finally- Getting a big enough cake for all the guests. I would love to make it, but my oven and my budget really don't stretch that far...

The cake. The cunting cake...

There was only one option when it came to the cake, and that was costco. Every other cake in Japan is tiny and overpriced, which would mean I would have to buy at least 3 or 4 of the fuckers to feed all the guests. Costco do big arse party cakes with decorations and shit so this option was perfect. Perfect, but annoying that it was the only one at the same time.
So Ryota and I toddled off to costco first thing this morning to order pizza and cake for the party. When we got to the cake ordering place, I spy in tiny letters at the bottom of the ordering sheet "48 hours notice for custom cakes is appreciated" I then read the Japanese, which didn't translate as "appreciated" at all, but more like "One minute less than 48 hours and your fucked mate." So Ryota went and asked two different people and they both confirmed that we were in fact, fucked, as it would be 24 hours notice and not 48. He apologised and grovelled and pleaded but they flat out refused to do it. This fucked me off no end, just fucking bend the rules and we'll know for next time!!! Of course, ultimately it is my fuck up and I can't blame anyone for that, but it's not as if they're spending hours doing these cakes, they're stock standard design, all that differs is the writing on it. I then got sick of being nice and ripped in to the guy, offered him a bribe but ended up storming off, telling him the English was shit and they should get a new translator. Harsh and uncalled for, as wasn't that poor bloke's fault, but fuck me I was just so angry.

We then thought that we might be able to get a cake with nothing written on it so we could write on it ourselves, but the guy (looking pale at the sight of the angry gaijin again) said they couldn't do that either. So I sucked it up and had to come to terms that I was going to have to get a fucking cake without Ash's name on it, which isn't really that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things I know, but just made me want to scream and fucking pull my hair out that I couldn't even give my son a proper party or a proper cake made for him. Another extremely annoying point, the boy cakes that they had on the shelves to buy, all had Happy Birthday written in Japanese, to which I said very loudly "I don't want any Japanese writing on my cake!" This was harsh too, but it's true, I want it to be in fucking English. I speak English! Most people at the party speak English, fuck off with the Japanese!

This really was the last straw for me, I've been feeling it recently with Ash's kindy as well, I can't read the kanji on the letters he brings home and would be totally useless with things like the PTA, not just because of language barriers, but because I don't know the systems that just come naturally to Japanese mums. Ryota couldn't understand why I was crying my eyes out explaining this to him, he kept saying "But you're a great mum!! Some mothers don't even feed their kids properly or play with them at all!" Which was a very nice thing to say, but totally irrelevant, I had to try and get through to him that I have a level of parenting that I need to keep, nothing to do with what other people do or what is normal in society, it's my personal level, and at the moment, the fact that I can't do things and control things, is honestly fucking killing me. Ryota finally got it when I explained it to him with a surfing example. Bloody simple surfers... I said this: Some people don't really care about their board or wetsuit, they leave them sandy, full of scratches, slung in the car until the next surfing trip, and this is fine for them. But Ryota takes very good care of his surfing gear, everything is always washed and dried out and then handled very carefully. I explained to him that this was his level of expectations for his gear, just as my level of mothering is with Ash. He was actually quite nice to me after that... Should try comparing everything to surfing...

Ryota then raised the point that other things would be difficult if we moved to Australia, and this is true, I don't think going back to Australia will solve all our problems at all. However, I feel the problems would be more manageable for us there. For example, all things to do with Ash ( ultimately the most important things) would be handled by me, in my native language, where I know how things work. Things that would be a shit for Ryota would be manly things, like car insurance and shit, which would be manageable. I told Ryota that most dudes don't want to organise their kid's birthday parties or join the PTA and fair play to them, I love doing things like that, but I really do feel so powerless here.

Dare I say...

I think it's time to leave Japan.

Thursday, 27 January 2011


I've been hearing about bird flu in Japan since I was a wee lass (and Scottish, it would appear...?) in University. My task was to translate a NHK news piece in to English and give a presentation to the class on it. Of course I couldn't be arsed actually studying or whatever you're supposed to do at University, so I chose a story containing birds so in the case I really had nothing to say, I could just put on a chicken suit and go around the room clucking. I also backed up this cunning plan by using my upper-middle class status and paid a Japanese student to "help" me, as in I mean she just did it for me and I gave her some cash so she could support her imported Japanese rice habit or whatever. It was a nice deal actually!

Anyway, bird flu panic has been in and out of the news for a long time now. Anybody going to Miyazaki would steer clear of chicken and it was one of those things that was worrying enough to put a bit of a frown line on my face for 5 seconds, and then be forgotten. So I was quite surprised the other morning as I arrived for my morning run to find a bit of scandal going on at our local pond. I've mentioned the pond before, the whole way around it is 1.6kms, which is perfect for my running tastes, long enough to go around without feeling like a goldfish in a bowl but short enough for me to see the end of the tunnel when I'm really fucked. It also attracts a lot of old people who I don't mind seeing me sweaty and red faced, flummy and boobs bouncing all over the place and all. It also attracts a lot of big arse fish, a few turtles in summer and a sprinkling of ducks and other birds. *scary music here*

As I approached the usually deserted pond, I was met with a back up of vans that had satellite dishes on top of them, and unless the FBI was tracking me, I realised it must be TV broadcast thingies, you know, the ones with the little spinning things and antennas and stuff. And sure enough, scattered around the pond entrance were camera men, reporters and random women working for TV stations (tea bitches no doubt). I was curious as to what all the fuss was about and couldn't possibly imagine what had gone down. Is it a rape? Is it a murder? Is it Superman?/ No. It's a...bird.
OK, so fair enough the bird was dead and found to have bird flu, but still. It's just a bird. Very disappointing.

I would have been totally unaware that the birdy had caused all the commotion if it hadn't been for an old lady who I'm on a 'good morning' basis with coming up to me with the gossip. She's nice enough but I hate the fact that now we are on greeting terms, if I ignore her I'll be banished forever, so I have to scan every old woman's face to make sure it's not that particular woman, she usually wears the same jacket, this is helpful. She's also quite 'touchy feely' too and poked me in the ribs mid-stretch one morning to give me a hearty "OHAYO GOZAIMASU!!!" Scared the shit out of me but she's friendly at least. So pokey lady came rushing up to me and said "Have you heard!? Influenza!! Influenza!!!" Now at this point I had nooooo fucking idea what she was on about, she hadn't mentioned any damn birds, or the TV cameras, so I thought she had the flu at first, I was about to ask her why she was out walking if she had the flu but then I spied a poster stuck to the fence surrounding the pond that said some dead birds had been found infected with bird flu and it all clicked in to place. She then went on her merry way saying she was going to try and get them to interview her so she'd get on the news. And she did, as I jogged past she was excitedly chatting to the news crew who looked a bit like they wished they'd never asked her anything. On my 2nd lap around the pond a news dude was asking lots of people for interviews and started heading in my direction but made a quick dart the other way as soon as he realised my blatant gaijin-ness. Poor bastard was bright red when I giggled and jogged past him.

I'm not too worried about bird flu, but that's probably because I paid someone to do my Uni assignment for me and have no idea of the dire complications... One worrying point is the fact that the pond is a drinking water source, I'm sure chemicals would kill all the nasties that dead duck would bring, but still, nice fresh glass of water with a film of scummy bird flu residue isn't that appealing is it. Good news is that my drinking water comes from another pond, so as far as I know, we're still safe!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Bizarro world lunch date

It's quite hard for me to make friends in my neighbourhood, apart from the fact that everyone is a little bit wary of the resident gaijin, I'd say about 80% of the folks in our hood' are over 60, not that I'm opposed to having tea and biccies with a granny once in a while, but still. 100% of my little dirt path are old, like olllld old, and weird! I think I wrote a post detailing all the funny characters on our little street, you can find the post here. Oh, link not working?? Then go find it yourself, lazy bastard!

There is one house on the corner, that has the 5 yappy little dogs, and the mum of the house is kind of friends with MIL and in her 40's, so young for around these parts. She's always been a bit standoff-ish for my liking, but pleasant enough in the greetings department and an animal lover, so she always asks after our cat and I ask after her dogs (not that I really care, but you do what you have to to be polite.) So her name is Kana-chan, and last week I got a mail from MIL asking if I wanted to go to an Indian restaurant with her and Kana-chan. This was totally out of the blue I might add, MIL and I are actually really good mates, but we're not really the 'go shopping and do coffee' types. We're more 'compare diet notes and bitch about Ryota in the comfort of one of our own houses' types actually. But I do admit to often feeling a little left out when MIL and SIL go on shopping or lunch dates. My mum and I often did this together at home and if I see them coming home from shopping I do get pangs of jealousy and homesickness, but then I realise I would rather eat glass than go shopping with SIL and it doesn't feel that bad...
Back to the lunch mail, SIL was working (her 1 day a week) that day so I know I was 2nd choice, and I also know MIL doesn't really like doing things with just Kana-chan, she likes a buffer there to make conversation, but still, an invite is an invite and I accepted.

I went in my car so if things got boring or awkward I could make an excuse and get away easily, and we got to the place with no problems. The walk to the restaurant was pretty weird though, I wasn't quite sure what we were all going to talk about. When we sat down inside, MIL and Kana-chan instantly started discussing the staff in hushed voices...

"The really dark one, is looking over here!! Do you think he speaks Japanese?!?!" (Kana-chan)

"They must speak Japanese, or maybe they have Japanese wives who coach them?? But could they marry a Japanese woman??" (MIL)

"Nooooo, I bet they all live together and sleep on one futon!" (Kana-chan)

I tried to bury my head in the menu and cringed as MIL's famous booming voice echoed through the restaurant. I also tried to stop them before they got really in to their debate by asking them what they were going to order. They then declared I was the Indian food queen and that I should order whatever I thought was good. This is kind of true, I LOVE Indian food, so I ordered something that I thought they wouldn't scrunch their faces up and say "Ewwwww toooo spicy!!!" at, when we ordered our curry I made sure they got the mild spice and I got the extra bastard hot spicy one, to which they started marvelling over how strong I was, I tried to teach them "Iron-clad stomach" in English too but they just weren't getting it.

Luckily, the conversation didn't turn back to our friendly Indian waiter, but to much more juicier topics such as what freaks Kana-chan and MIL have as children. Kana-chan has two boys, one is the same age as BIL and semi-normal, but the other kid is a few sandwiches short of a picnic and a TOTAL manga nerd. You know those creepy J-guys that have dates with their blow up cos-play dolls and end up going mental stabbing people in Akihabura...? Yup, he's one of those. I always see him out walking one of the dogs in old kimono style pyjamas, which is fine. If you're an 80 year old man... Kid in his 20's, yup just weird. Kana-chan was sighing that he will never get out of the house and get a job because he just reads manga all day. I had no advice...

The topic then switched to SIL, which is something I always enjoy a bit of a gossip about, MIL started complaining that SIL too, while not a manga nerd, is also a freak who she fears will never leave her house. I didn't bitch too much, because she is still MIL's daughter and all, but when we had that massive fight MIL actually apologised on her behalf, so even she knows how unreasonable her own daughter can be. She then went on to tell us she was afraid that SIL would remain a virgin for the rest of her life and end up an old spinster with dogs and cats. (I resisted the urge to add that she would spend all day fucking the poor animals...)

We also had a big gossip about MIL's ex (FIL) and how much of an arse he really was cheating and stuff. This then led to Kana-chan to be quizzed on her boyfriend. I was unaware there was a boyfriend until this point so was very intrigued. Her husband is a nice enough bloke, he reminds me of a big bear, tall and fat and solid with a deep voice. Apparently Kana-chan's 25, yes 25!!! year old boyfriend has moved to Tokyo for work but they still keep in contact through mail and phone. Now Kana-chan is no knockout, she's tiny, like seriously bordering on midget and has a pinched face like she's always sucking a lemon, so I don't know what the 25 year old boyfriend is thinking, perhaps he's a manga nerd too and she's a step up from blow up dolls??
She told us the story of when her husband found a mail on her phone from her boyfriend and threw the phone off the 3rd floor balcony. I wanted more juicy details on this but was astounded when she told me that he never actually said anything to her about it, just threw the phone and went to bed, she only realised when she went outside and saw her phone in bits on the ground. What the hell?!
Amused at my amazement she also told me about the time when she was with her boyfriend but told her husband she was with her friend and he checked up on her, discovered she was lying, and just locked her out of the house. No argument, no accusations. Just locked out until the morning when he went to work. She had to sleep at MIL's house!! I know Japan is all about no confrontations but this is taking it a bit too far don't you think!?

All in all it wasn't a bad lunch, plus the guy behind the glass cooking our meal was very good looking and I had fun eyeing him off all lunch, I really wish I'd been with native English speakers though, I wanted to say something like "I'd let him slap my naan any time!!" but if I translated it to Japanese it just wouldn't have worked...
I was actually surprised at how much gossip they dished to me, and was glad it wasn't all awkward chit-chat about the weather, less racism towards the poor Indian dudes would have been nice, but... you can't win them all eh.

Are your in-laws lunchable without your spouse??

Monday, 24 January 2011

Don't call me drama queen for nothin'

When I was little my parents called me 'the drama queen' and I must admit, I do have a certain talent for being dramatic. The events of yesterday weren't quite as earth-shattering as I made out, actually, for Ryota things are quite normal, but you know sometimes you have an argument with somebody and it effects you much much more than them?? And for reasons that are really hard to explain, but something just hits a nerve...? Am I the only drama queen in history to have this problem...?

Basically, we've been having little catty fights here and there all this week, and me being a typical fuckin' woman, have managed to get pissed off, bottle that emotion up and add it to the things that have already got my nose out of joint, so eventually they just explode all over the shop in one swift, tear-filled burst. Why do I do this?? Why do we do this, us women?? If I was like a man and just said what I felt at the time (or punched a wall or two), it wouldn't all build up and my life may be simple. Well, probably not, but surely a bit simpler!?

So yesterday was a build up of a few pesky fights that were getting to me, but it was more the way he dealt with it that made me so upset. So, he went surfing on Saturday, and this was fine, I had to work 3 lessons but MIL was off and could watch Ash, I had a car, all good. But still, Ash kept saying "Daddy work!" out of the blue, and I kept answering with "Hmmmm no, not work, just buggering off to have fun without us" I should stop doing that though, Ash may surprise me and start repeating things like that one day soon! Anyway, when he got back at 4pm (he'd left at 5 in the morning) Ash had already been asleep for about an hour and I was itching to go for a run and buy some ink for the printer, but I waited patiently like a good wifey and did the appropriate "Okaeri-ing" when he got home. Now, if it was me, and Ryota gave me a free day to do whatever I wanted, whether I had a shit day or not, I would just lie and said I had a great time, however, Ryota came in to say what a waste of a day it had been, as they drove 4 hours for the waves to only be....too big. Ummm, so my day was wasted too?? Don't tell me mother fucker!!!
Anyway, I ended up pissing about getting dinner ready, meanwhile, Ryota conked out under the kotatsu, and fair enough he must have been tired. At 5pm I had to leave for the school to do the million and one lessons I had to prepare, and Ash had woken up (and done a massive shit for me to change) anyway so I gently urged Ash to jump on Ryota so I could leave. He opened one eye half-way and groaned "I wannnnaaaa sleep for another half an hoooooouuurrrr!!!!!" I didn't really know what to do with this, what did he want me to do?? Give up my work for his selfish sleep?? Magically conjure a nanny to work for free?? Tie our son to a chair and gag him?? Actually that last one isn't a bad idea...

No, he wanted me to dump Ash with the in-laws and piss off to work to leave him in child and wife free sleepy peace. Now, I'm all for dumping Ash at the in-laws, but not for sleep. For work, or for convenience sometimes but not just because one of us want to sleep. I made this clear with my huffing around the house getting ready (again, really should use words) until he got his lazy arse up to take Ash to the in-laws. That's another thing too, if it's my family, I feel totally guilt free with kid-dumping, but it's different with your in-laws. I think he thinks I'm super comfortable around my in-laws when I'm actually not. I also think he should have just sucked it up and not slept, you do the crime, you pay the time. If I go out on the piss all night, of course if there's ample opportunity I'm going to sleep all day but if I can't then stiff luck, that's just the way life works. Unless you're a pampered Japanese shell boy that is...

But that tiff kind of just evaporated as I was so happy work was over when I got home that I kind of forgot about it. Then, come to yesterday. (Sunday) Ryota had rented movies the night before and started watching one in the morning. I REALLY wanted to go running as I didn't go the day before and felt gross. So, half-way through the movie (that I wasn't watching) I started to get ready for a run, not even thinking about it, but just generally getting ready. Ash was OK at the start of the movie, watching it a bit or playing with his toys, but like most 2 year olds he got restless and was being noisy towards the end half. But, you know, it's a movie, that's why they invented the fuckin' pause button! So Ryota pauses it and starts making pissed off sighs and noises, he then accused me of purposely getting ready to say I wanted him to look after Ash while I ran, he also said that I was selfish and that I should watch Ash while he finished the movie. This is where I really lost it and screamed at him that he was being unfair, and that I watched Ash the whole day on Saturday for him to go surfing. My drama queen instincts had already kicked in and while I was ranting away I started ripping off my running gear and getting Ash dressed, I was determined to take Ash out of the house all day if his time was that fuckin' precious. Grandma came in at that point and was a bit rattled by the half naked gaijin and all the screaming going on as she couldn't understand the English parts thrown in. Ryota then went back and said sorry and said he forgot about the day before, but the damage was already done, I was in hissy fit mode,the apology wasn't very sincere in my opinion, AND I have a feeling he was just back-tracking to get himself out of the shit. He then got really really angry and said: "You go, by yourself, fucking bitch! You're a fucking bitch!"

Now he said this in English, and with pure hatred in his voice. And this is what really rattled me. When we first met, he would never have said something like that to me, so if 3 years marriage=fucking bitch, what will it be in 10 years?? Cunt?? Stupid fat fucking slut??
Experience has taught me that things like this only get worse with time, so I realised that we had a big problem because if he a) Said it in the heat of the moment or b) Really meant it, we were fucked either way. If it was a temper/heat of the moment thing, then it can only get worse from here and if he really meant it, then I'd get a divorce any day over having hatred like that between us.
It made me think very hard about the fact we got married way too young, way too fast, and for all the wrong reasons. Can I put up with this kind of stuff for the next however long??

It was a wake up call that seriously made me ponder things.

Too much pondering... Brain hurting.....

OK, sorry for the heavy rant and the use of the word 'cunt' in there. Back to light reading tomorrow when I'll inform you of an unusual lunch I went to last week with MIL and the local dirt path midget slag.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Testing... Testing!!

This signal from South America is quite weak so I'll be brief.

Yeah, I wish, the surfboard wasn't nearly strong enough to kill him.

Today has been an incredibly draining, emotional day that I don't care to share at this moment, because quite simply, I'm fucked.

But I thought seriously today about packing up and going home, or throwing Ryochan out of the house. If I could do password protected posts, today's story would be one of them. But then again, I'd probably just give every Internet Tom, Dick and Harry the password anyway so I guess it wouldn't mean much.

Sorry for the blog-cock tease but I may be up for it tomorrow. Until then, I'm off to contemplate my marriage, life in Japan, and life in general!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Sexist bastards!

So, away from the matching topic, although let me say that if you're into matching your kiddies, go for it! As a commenter said, it really is all about personal taste!

And as for Ash getting SIL love, seriously, this kid gets enough love and presents and cuddles, he doesn't need matching jumpers from dog-fucker. But it's true, it's nicer she wanted something for him rather than ignoring him completely or it?? Hmmm.......

On a totally different topic, I'm playing the game 'Guess who?' with my junior high school kiddies this week (Gotta love having your own school, you can play natsukashii games for half an hour and call it an English lesson!!) and I have a right mind to write to the makers! What's the bet that the staff at Milton Bradley are, say, hmmmm 90% male?? Because the people on their game board are! There are 24 game pieces, and 5, yes, 5 are women. What the fuck is with that!? Not only does it fuck the game up if someone picks a woman they're bound to lose, but it's just plain sexist! I actually spent 10 minutes discussing this with my students today and we ended up drafting an angry letter together! (I didn't explain the swear words)

I can understand it being like this back in the dark ages, but come on people, lets leave the blatant sexism for Japanese games/workplaces/society at least!

Right, off to have a beer and continue ignoring Ryota as he is being an absolute arse. More on this when the final result is clear, it'll be either
1) Continued ignoring.... tedious and not preferred.
2) Apology from him and make-up shag... happy happy joyful life! preferred.
3) Death by surfboard crack to the head, me fleeing the country and blogging from somewhere in South America... interesting and exciting but a lot of work.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

The story.

So, on New Years Day, Ryota and I tramped over to the in-laws for dinner in the usual fashion. Ash had been pissing around there for a while before, letting me get the house organised, and letting him run trucks over Obaachan's head and other fun activities. As I shuffled in to the lounge room and was about to make small talk with whoever was in the room about how cold it was, I stopped dead in my tracks. "Samuu........." There, in front of me, was the dog-fucker. Cunt face. SIL. And right beside her, my son. MY son. In. Matching. Fucking. Jumpers.

Let me just say, before I go on, I hate matching things. If I have 2 kids, they will never be matching. If I have twins, or triplets, or quintuplets, they won't be matching. I don't match with Ryota, or the dog, or the furniture, or the weather. Matching, just no fucking no! Matching (or pair setto) is big in Japan, it's seen as cute if people are wearing the same thing. Sorry, not Japanese and not ever going to change on this one. Japanese couples are huge on it, pair setto rings and all that crap. Ryota made the mistake of buying us pair setto watches for Christmas and I said seeing as though I liked the watch I'd wear it but we were never to be seen in public both wearing our watches. He didn't get it.

The only matching shenanigans I will ever slightly approve of, are parents and kids, for example Ryota sometimes wears checked shorts and Ash SIMILAR ones, but even this makes me vomit a little. So when I saw SIL with Ash in a matching jumper (which actually says ROBUST but hats off to GW for the NOBUST comment, much more appropriate for SIL, not so much for Ash...) I choked a bit on my tongue and was actually at a loss of what to say except "Where the hell do they sell adult and baby matching shite!?" SIL then informed us that she is so scrawny and Ash is so tubby that they both fit in to children's sizes. Bitch! Skinny bitch!!!! She's really just asking me to hate her, no??

I was just going to leave the issue and then burn the jumper at a later date, but BIL actually did all the piss-taking for me...

BIL: Errrr, you're a fucking weirdo, why would you buy matching jumpers with Ash??

SIL: (Imagine whiny J-girl voice) Whhhhaaaaattt???? It's cuuuuuttttteeeee!!!!

BIL: No, it's fucking mental, (Ryota and I nod in agreement) if Corinne did it, it would be lame, but you doing it is just weird, HE'S NOT YOUR SON!!!!

SIL:.......... It's cuuuuutttttteeeee!!!!!!!

We all shook our heads and I silently thought to myself that I would not be letting Ash outside as long as he was wearing the ghastly thing. Who does she think she is!? Putting my son in an ugly jumper, then pair setto-ing herself to him without even consulting me!? I shudder at the very thought of him being a mini dog-fucker. I honestly do.

What's your take on the matching issue?? Is it 'cuuuuuuutttttteeeee?????' or just plain fucked up???

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Pair setto, I think not bitch!

Dog fucker and my poor sproglet...

Story to come, way too tired!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, 18 January 2011


Work is so busy right now, as a business owner, this makes me happy.
As the sole fucker who runs everything, teaches the lessons, does the paperwork and is at the place at 9am and still there at 8pm on freezing cold nights, yeah not so much.

I really shouldn't complain. But I will, because I'm so good at it.

MIL is really good, if I need help with anything I know she'll do her best, but she is quite busy with her job and I hardly see her anymore. Ryota, on the other hand, has pretty much washed his hands of the school. Not because he doesn't care, but I think he just thinks it's 'my school' and doesn't know what he can do to help. It's true too, he can't really do anything but, you know, the offer would be nice. He's always going on about how he wants to start a side business for extra money, and it really gets me down. Help me with OUR business you big fucking tit!!! It's a lot of pressure doing it all by myself. Not necessarily the teaching part, that's stressful but I like doing it. It's the phone calls and the customer Japanese that is so essential to doing business here that gives me panic attacks.

Some of the students kind of piss me off too, although most of them are incredibly nice, sometimes it's like they think I like making conversation with them, like it's my hobby. Errr no, actually I'd rather be tucked under the kotatsu watching a movie rather than chatting to you about Japan's 4 seasons love! Although this really is just 1 or 2 students, the vast majority are awesome people who really try hard to learn and don't just rely on me to make chit-chat.

Let's see, what else can I bitch about...

Oh yeah, the in-laws have no idea about what goes on at the school, but sometimes they'll just feel the need to put their 2 yen in, like I'm a fucking moron. Like the other day, Grandma was like "Where's the New year wreath!? We have to burn it at the shrine, you can't leave it at the school any longer people will think it's weird!" For a start, I didn't really want a freaking new year wreath at the school, I have no clue what the fucker means or why it is burnt. I also didn't really need the mochi and mikan display but Grandma assured me I needed to display this stuff so people didn't think I wasn't down with the new year culture.
Then, another example, WELL into winter mind you, MIL goes "Corinne, are you making sure the classroom is warm before the students get there!?" No, I'm leaving it in icy darkness until they've been there for 5 minutes... What kind of idiot does she think I am, really!?

OK, enough bitching for now. I have to go and teach an army dude and then stumble home to serve dinner, wash up, give Ash a bath, clean the house, do the washing and then fall in to bed myself. Woe is me!!!! OK, tomorrow's post will be (slightly) less bitching and a dog-fucker story, it's been a while.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Only in Osaka...

Can a simple gaijin girl wheeling her halfie baby around be accosted by a crazy man. Why me?! Go bug some other gaijin, one without a small child to protect!

As I mentioned, I ventured in to the city yesterday with Ash. Those with unpredictable toddlers will know how daunting this is. With two parents, there's always someone who can hold the fort (the fort being the stroller, and the 50 thousand bags that are slung over it) while the other one deals with whatever crying/sooking/shitting/pissing/whinging/moaning/I-lost-my-favourite-toy-and-am-crying-until-I-vomit emergency may occur. When you go into battle alone, it can be quite scary, but unlike some parents (Ryota being one of them) I'm not embarrassed if my kid is going mental because his Buzz light year doll's arm is not quite twisting in the direction he hoped, I'm into the 'toughen him up' approach, if he ain't dying, I ain't stoppin'.
I think Ash has actually caught on to this though and behaves quite well for me, it's when Daddy or other soft cocks are around that he starts wrapping them around his little finger.

So we got to Osaka station, Ash had his book and his blanket, chatting away while I worked out which exit was best in the maze that is Umeda station. When we got out in the day light and I could navigate by buildings, I was feeling quite good, it was cold, but the sun was shining and Ash was quiet, this was all that really mattered. As we were making our way to my favourite book store, I heard some yelling coming from behind me. This, however is not that unusual in Japan, fuckers in shops yell out "IRRASHAIMASEEEEEE!!!" (Welcome!!) at levels my voice doesn't even go in some places. This yelling resembled the bellowing of irrashai, but it was jumbled words, and it was getting closer. And closer... Until I heard bike brakes screech and was confronted with a scruffy homeless looking man grinning at me in a way that made me feel very uncomfortable. Of course some loud, funny-looking dude to a 2 year old boy is hilarious, so Ash started giggling as the scruffy man got louder and backed up to walk beside us. He was speaking a lot of gibberish but was saying things like "What do you think!?" and "How much is it going to cost!?" If he hadn't been insane it actually could have been a good survival Japanese lesson.

I'm quite good at attracting crazy people, I was on Tennoji bridge once when a loony started shouting at me in English (he was Japanese) to "GO HOME!!!" and "WE DON'T NEED YOU IN JAPAN!!!!" If Ryota hadn't threatened to crack him and put his cigarette out in his eye he probably would have spat on me and tried to throw me off the bridge or something. But usually having a kid makes me a little immune to wanking/crazy people. Nope, not yesterday. I wasn't quite sure how to react, if I was by myself, I may have whipped out some nasty gutter Japanese and told him to fuck off, but I don't know, a 'mother's image' kind of prevents one from going all out nasty, plus he may have gone berserk on me and nobody wants to feel responsible for their offspring being attacked by a Japanese homeless man, totally don't want that on my conscience...

So, like a good Japanese lady would do, I looked down, distracted myself by adjusting Ash's blanket, and ignored him. Of course, I quickened my steps so I could get to a place where I would get lost in the mass of people but I chose to ignore rather than confront, much simpler I think. Crazy man gave up after he saw I wasn't biting and rang his bell with manic bursts as he rode off down the street searching for other poor bastards to freak out. I don't really like the whole 'ignore' strategy but there was nothing else to do, no reasoning with people who are bonkers really.

I had another slight incident when I cussed out a train staff dude. I wanted to get down about 6 steps to the ticket gate of the station but there was no ramp. Now I could have walked 5kms around to a place where there was a ramp, but who can be fucked. So I asked the dude if there was a ramp anywhere nearby and he ummed and ahhed and sucked air through his teeth until he said, "Nope, no ramp, good luck with lugging that 17kg kid and all that crap down those stairs love!" I got quite pissed off then and asked him, what the hell are people in wheelchairs supposed to do. He gave me a puzzled look and replied, "They carry the chair down" I then called him a twat in English but asked in Japanese how a disabled person was supposed to do that, if they can't walk I don't think they'll be jumping out of the chair to carry it down the steps. Fucking idiot.
Of course he didn't design the station so no real point getting angry at him, but it was a subtle hint for him to help me take Ash down the steps but he didn't get it and watched as I struggled down the steps, muttering obscenities in English and sending Ash's nappy bag flying. Maybe he thought I was a crazy homeless gaijin lady!?

Still, makes the day a bit more interesting when you get a crazy and a twat to yell at I guess!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Nice day

I didn't write anything yesterday, mainly because I was busy at work, but partly because my fingers were frozen solid and I couldn't possibly type. Minimum of -4 and a top of 0 here today, insane for this Australian beach bum!

I was also still thinking about the previous earring post and all the different issues that go with it. Ryota and I have had numerous discussions on the topic since the other day and I've come to a realisation on why I feel I need to fight the 'gaijin fight' even when I don't necessarily agree with the western way of doing things.
I realised that in Australia, if someone moves there with their spouse, lives there for years and years, speaks English and pretty much acts Australian, nobody will think twice about thinking of them as, Australian.
But in Japan, no matter how long I live here, speak Japanese perfectly or follow every Japanese rule in the book, I will NEVER, EVER be seen as even slightly Japanese. I know this, and I'm OK with it, but if I know I have no chance of ever adopting another culture, then it must make me fight to keep my own. I'm kinda stuck in cultural limbo! It really is an interesting thing to have a think about, not too much though, my pretty blond head may explode.

Took Ash in to the city today to go book shopping and have steak for lunch, was so much less stressful leaving Ryochan at home, I must remind myself to do it more often. I also had a funny experience with a crazy dude but I'll save that story for tomorrow as I'm off to eat takoyaki with all the in-laws, hell that may even give me some good blogging material for tomorrow too!

Nighty night, may all your piercings be following the rules and all your whales be un-slaughtered... That can never be a word.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Rules or robots?

So, I was reading R's blog and managed to spark a heated debate in our house last night.

The issue? Earrings, and the fact that Japanese schools ban them, along with colouring hair, make-up and anything else that distinguishes a kid's individuality. OK, to be fair I'm already slanting this in my favour by saying that, but basically we were arguing whether kids with a parent who isn't Japanese should be allowed to bend the rules due to their culture being different.

I was all for rule bending, surprise surprise. And Ryochan was against it, saying if we let girls wear earrings, it will never stop, there has to be a line, he also said, "If you don't like it you shouldn't live in Japan, piss off to your own pierced country!" (said in different words and with a slight grin as he knew it would fire me up.) Despite me getting quite stroppy in the argument, I actually don't know the best answer here, I totally believe that bringing different cultures in to the Japanese system is the only way it will change in the future, but he's kind of right, we choose to live here, we really should follow the same rules...

It's funny, sometimes I agree with the Japanese side, but feel I should fight against it just for the sake of 'the fight.' Whaling is another thing, people expect me to get fired up about chowing down on whale because I'm Australian but it really doesn't bother me that much, killing a whale is the same as killing a cow or pig for me, I don't like killing any animal but I must like it a little bit because I still eat them pretty much every day.

Ryota also argued that natural things are allowed for kids from different cultures, like Ash will have lighter hair but he won't get in trouble for it like J-kids will, and I tend to agree with this but my point was, yes, earrings aren't natural, but they also aren't something you can just wash off, like make-up. If you don't wear earrings when they are first done, they close up, so until they close up you should be allowed to wear little studs. But then I realised that if it came to it, I probably would fight the school on it, because I hate the fact that all Junior high school kids here are actually like little cloned robots. They look the same, sound the same, study the same things, group together in the same clubs, have the same interests and hobbies, same school bags, same shoes... I don't want my kids to be robots, yes they may be unruly rebels, but at least they'll have some sort of spirit and individuality...

But then.... I kept flipping on myself, I would get really riled up about the robot thing, and then realise that the robot mentality does have a few good points. One good point is the fact that no poor bastard can get bullied for having crappy shoes or for being goth, or being 'too' individual. Of course, there are many other reasons that kids in Japan get bullied, but it would take one element of bullying away that is quite common in Australia I think. Another good point is that all kids here know what is expected of them, and tend to work together as a team, where as in western countries individualism is encouraged, but this then leads to nobody wanting to work together and everyone doing their own thing...

I really am torn.

What do you think?

Would you fight for your kids to be able to carry on their home country's traditions despite where they were living and where does the line of culture and tradition finish anyway??

Thursday, 13 January 2011


Looks like I forgot to write anything today!
Will have to be a bed blog as I am now firmly tucked away in my futon like a little sausage wrapped in layers of pastry.

Ryochan and I had very heated discussion tonight that really got me thinking, but that will have to wait till tomorrow when I have a keyboard that wasn't made for midgets.

In the meantime, here are a few random thoughts floating around my head tonight...

•I fucking hate guns. There is no need for a normal person living in a city to have a gun. Yes, it comes down to the nutcase behind the gun in the end, but imagine if he had a baseball bat instead, he would be tackled to the ground immediately and have the shit kicked out of him as soon as he went mental.

•I'm still undecided if I like co-sleeping or not. At the moment ash is very warm, but also wrapped around me like I'm a tree trunk and he's a (drooling) koala... Making it quite hard to blog, or move for that matter.

•I picked our cat up today from being de-sexed, had to be done, but poor little thing looks kind of forlorn now we've taken her womanhood away.

•How DO japanese people fall asleep standing up??? I've been lying here for ages and am still awake!

•What happens to the fat that you lose?? 20kg of fat is a fair amount, has it evaporated into my body?? How does it work??

•I can't wait for sassymoo to get home, I'm dying for a conversation with someone who's on the same page as me, fuck I'll take someone who's in the same library as me at the moment.

•The floods in oz are shocking at the moment, I'm really glad all my family are in NSW.

•I feel like a bacon butty...

Right, told you they were random!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, 12 January 2011


So thank you for all the lovely confidence boosting comments on the last post, but I must admit I'm guilty of doing something I always bitch at the TV for.
You know the weight loss ads where they have the before and after pictures? The ones where the before one, the lady is hunch-backed, not wearing any make-up and pretty much looks so miserable that she may just top herself by over-dosing on donuts at any minute??
And then the after picture, she has full hair and make-up, a gleaming, freshly brightened smile and a new lease on life...?
I always say how they should keep the pictures exactly the same so we can see the real weight loss, yet here I am picking the most unflattering/sweaty/bad angle/looks-big-in-comparison-to-small-child-and-tiny-cat picture of me for the before and a semi-OK picture for the after!
So yeah, sorry! But still, 20kgs (almost) is still a lot to have lost and I am actually very happy with the way I look and feel at the moment. Not that I was that unhappy before, but finding clothes in Japan is enough of a struggle being a giant, a chubby giant stands no chance! I also find running much easier when my flummy doesn't jiggle as much!

So, a few of you asked about how I did it, so, without sounding like an anorexic nut job, here are my top 5 (tongue in cheek) weight loss tips!

1) Drugs.
If for nothing else other than the placebo, the drugs have done me wonders. I guess oily bum is also helping, that oil would have otherwise gone in to my system, ewww!
Of course when my sencond baby comes out with 2 heads and 18 toes I may regret the drug option, but for now...

2) Getting really bad tonsilitis or some other horrid illness.
Guaranteed you'll eat fuck all for days.

3) Finding an exercise that you actually enjoy.
OK this one is serious! I love running, and I think if you can find a form of exercise you love whether it be swimming, kicking the footy, sex, whatever! It really helps if you don't dread exercising.

4) Portion size.
This is serious too. When I serve dinner, I give Ryochan a grown up plate and Ash and I kids plates. I'm allowed to go back for seconds but usually I can't be arsed getting up, or I'm already full after a kiddie portion. I eat all the same crap I used to, just in smaller sizes!

5) Marry a total arse.
OK, not a total arse, that would be stressful, but enough of an arse that sometimes he's such a twat, he puts you off your dinner.

For me, the best motivation has been seeing the results, if I lose a little bit, it always spurs me on to lose more, but everyone is different I guess.
It's weird, despite Japanese women generally being thinner and Japan being a very image conscious place, I've never felt that much pressure to be thin here, I think it's because I stick out like a big, foreign,sore thumb anyway, so being fat doesn't actually have that much significance... Plus, you get excused for being fat because you're not Japanese, cos you know, all white people are American, and all Americans like hamburgers...
Especially since I got married too, being off the market can make you very lazy!

So, there it is! Good luck, if you're trying to lose weight, just remember... "Nothing tastes better than being thin..."

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


Almost 20kgs down!


And now...

Monday, 10 January 2011

Dear Japanese men,

(Specifically, those who are fathers to small children and have had the misfortune to marry a heinous, gaijin bitch...)

Well, Japanese men, we haven't had to have words for a while now, but I think it's time for a chat. I won't dilly-dally around, get straight to the point and say, MAN. THE FUCK. UP.

  • When you are in charge of one 2 year old for the day, DO NOT call your wife 15 times in 2 hours, she is working, figure out the problem and solve it!
  • DO NOT move the baby seat from the back seat of the car to the front seat because 'I wouldn't be able to reach him if he was in the back!' just do as your wife does every other day and ignore him if he's screaming for something you can't reach.
  • DO pick up the toys that 2 year old throws around the room. Quick tip, if you keep picking things up gradually, the house won't look like a Toy story factory has been bombed when your bitchy gaijin wife comes home and gives you a bollocking for failing to pick up ONE toy all day. If the ability to pick up a woody doll and throw him in his box really is that far beyond you, then at least please acknowledge the fact that your wife does this task at least 15 million times a day.
  • DO NOT, when your wife finally calls you back to find out if her house is burning down or if 2 year old has ingested buzz light year's jet pack, ask her "So what are you doing?" This may cause bitchy gaijin to self-destruct by stabbing herself in the eye with a pen. Your wife is working, don't ask!
  • DO NOT ask if your bitchy wife can possibly leave her place of work to come and help you unload the car, rest assured that your wife does this by herself every other day of the week and manages quite well, no need for back up and special ops team.
  • DO NOT sigh and bitch and moan that you're so tired from looking after 2 year old for the day, because you actually have no idea. WHY? BECAUSE YOU ARE A BIG TWAT.

Thank you so much for considering these points, looking forward to seeing your progress next month when there is another public holiday for you to be evaluated.


Corinne Vinegar-Arrow. (AKA over-worked bitchy gaijin)

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Snoozy Sunday

Today has to have been the laziest, most boring day I've had in a long time! Which was kind of nice, but now I feel like I've wasted my only day off in the week.

Ryochan is such a homey person, if it was up to him he'd probably only leave the kotatsu to smoke and piss, even then, if I offered him a ciggie and a colostomy bag I'm sure he'd go for it. I, on the other hand, hate just staying at home all day, I have to get out at least once a day or I go slightly mental. Of course the reason I hate staying at home is because I have to clean up all the crap and mess that is made when we do stay at home. Today I had visions of taking Ash to karaoke or shopping, but ended up just seriously doing absolutely nothing at all.

Happy to report that Grandma was relatively quiet today, although was bleating on for a while about futons that I should have had airing and a few other futon-related offences I've committed, but nothing I couldn't ignore.

I'm watching the show "hajimete no otsukai" at the moment, where little kids go to the shops and get things for their mum for the first time while dudes with cameras follow them. I freakin love this show, so cute. But slightly worrying, the guys carrying cameras look well dodgy, if some pedophile was following these kids with a camera they obviously wouldn't be too fussed! To see the little kids crying that they're scared to go is also pretty heartbreaking, don't know if I could do it, then again, I remember my dad sending me to the little shop down the road from our holiday house and being shit scared to go by myself, only reason I went is because I was going to buy a milky way... but I do remember feeling very very proud when I was on my way back that I'd had the balls to actually do it. I was thinking what would happen if I sent Ash off on his own to the local conbini, can just imagine it, every Obachan on the dirt path would tell him his mother hadn't dressed him enough and then bring him back home most likely!

Right, best go to bed, every other bastard has the day off tomorrow while I'll be working, don't want to be tired and have holiday envy as well! Hope you all have a good week!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Anyone got some undercooked, extra sticky mochi still lying around??

Because I really needed some to shove down Grandma's throat today!

It's funny with Grandma, she can be the best of the whole bunch at times, and then at others I seriously wish the old bird would hurry up and croak it. Today was the latter.
Actually it started last night when I picked Ash up from kindy at 5pm. Now 5pm is late-ish for a little person, especially in winter, but seriously the kid isn't going to die from playing with toys in a warm classroom for another hour longer than usual. Grandma had a HUGE go at me because I picked him up so late. Never mind that there was still over half the class there when I got him and he wanted to stay and play with the train set rather than going home. AND that I had to teach back to back lessons until 5!
I'm in a bind with this one, he's my kidlet and I should be able to do with him what I want, but I have to ask Grandma and dog fucker and co. to look after him a lot, don't really want to burn my baby sitter's bridges quite yet, will have to wait till he's old enough to look after himself. I think the worst thing about this issue, apart from the headache I get from listening to her "KAWAISOOOOOOUUUUU!!!" belly aching, is the fact that Ryota doesn't support me on this one. He does for pretty much everything else, but he also feels that 5pm is too late for Ash to be at kindy. If we ever talk about this touchy issue it always comes back to him actually having no idea about what I do all day, which is another argument in itself, so we start to go all inception on ourselves whenever we get in to it. Anyway, that was the first thing that made me want to tell Grandma to go slip in the shower.

The next thing came this morning when Ash was playing outside, with three layers on, the third being a puffy warm jacket (You can see where this is going right?) Now I'll admit it was fucking nipple cripplingly cold today, but I was out there in 2 thin layers and wasn't dying of hypothermia or anything. Ash was also spinning around like a mad man until he got so dizzy he fell on his arse, spinning makes you hot I'm sure of it. So when the tell-tale gara-gara of the in laws' door opened and Grandma shuffled out she got straight into the fact that it was very very cold. No shit Grandma but don't need a running weather forecast... She then insisted Ash must be too cold and that he needed another layer and warmer pants. He was in the sun and clearly not cold so I just smiled and ignored, giving her the stock standard ignoring language. She then ushered him inside as it was far too cold in her opinion but I wasn't that fussed about it, I was actually getting a bit sick of wiping dirt of Ash's bum every time he did a dizzy fall. But then we got inside where the kerosene stove is burning a small country worth of energy and I instantly start sweating. She then announces that we'll take Ash's big arse puffy jacket off when.... his face goes red...?
Ummmm Grandma, if the face is red, he's already too hot you big old twit!!! I was just about to plead gaijin ignorance and take his jacket off anyway when Ryota walked in and said "Why the fuck is Ash wearing a huge bastard jacket in here, it's boiling!!!" and ripped it off him telling Grandma she was going senile if she thought he would be cold inside. See, this is where I'm at a disadvantage, if I did that Grandma would probably smack me in the mouth and tell me to get my crack whore gaijin arse off her property!

The last, and most exasperating event came mid-morning. I went for a run, leaving Ash with Ryota and expecting to come home to the same thing, however, Ryota being a spoilt Chonan is actually incapable of watching Ash by himself for longer than about 5 minutes and without fail always ends up begging for some of Grandma's titty (in a metaphorical way, but still, vomit) by going over to the in-laws' house. We'd planned to go out for lunch and shopping as soon as I got home from my run and Grandma had been told this but she obviously had some kind of problem with it, as she said, "You're always going out shopping! What do you buy anyway!?" Fuck off lady, I window shop OK! I then caught her slipping Ash snacks on the sly, when she knew we were taking him out for lunch the stupid old bat. But you know, a snack or two probably isn't going to dent the sumo-like appetite of my 2 year old so I held my tongue. It was when I spied her warming up pork buns and muttering that 'Ash might like some' that I really got pissed, a snack is one thing, a pork bun will ensure that I will spend my relaxing Saturday lunch chasing a toddler around a restaurant because he's full and tired from being full. Dog fucker even was on my side today and said "Grandma, they just said they're going out for lunch, don't show him food now or he won't eat anything else!" That may be the most intelligent thing that has ever come out of her mouth, and I nodded in total agreement but Grandma was on a mission to give him the pork bun, and of course if Ash sees food he's not going to say "err no Grandma, I'll save my appetite for lunch." Dog fucker advised me to make a run for it before Grandma could feed him anything and I took the advice and grabbed him, half-dressed, making a dash for the genkan but the old duck is surprisingly quick on her feet when she's on a feeding mission, as I was getting my shoes on she desperately made a leap with the pork bun, shoving it right in to Ash's mouth where he gladly co-operated in the mission to ruin my day and raise my blood pressure. I slammed the door (as much as you can slam a rickety old Japanese sliding door) and huffed in to the car while Ash chomped down his damn pork bun and fumed for a while before bitching to Ryota for about 15 minutes.

Needless to say, Ash wasn't hungry, was a total demon in the restaurant and then got overly sleepy until I used the emergency lollipop kept in an 'break in emergency' glass case in my bag. I managed to wolf down my meal in the time it takes for a kid to bite through an emergency lollipop. Thanks Grandma, I really hope I can return this favour to you some day, or at least offer you some mochi and hope for the best...

Friday, 7 January 2011


Like the little sad, droopy balloon that is still hanging around in the corner of the room from Halloween...

Not quite that bad, but am a bit sad today, as my BFF and her fiancee who was staying with us went home tonight. They were possibly the best house guests I've ever had, just the right amount of doing things together and doing things independently, helpful, great with Ash and just a general welcome addition to our little house. I love that with your really good friends, you just pick up right where you left, M and I have always been like that, whether we lived across the road from each other, (and we did, for many years!) different parts of the country, or even different places in the world, always the same. Of course it doesn't help that my other bestie of the Japan variety is stranded in the Queensland floods, I need to get me some more friends!

We had many gossipy discussions while M was here, the main being her wedding in August when I'm going home to be her bridesmaid. I'm very excited to be a bridesmaid, it will be my first and possibly last chance and I'm a sucker for a good wedding and all the boozey goodness that goes with it. We also tried on the dress I'll be wearing (she's making it herself) in a calico version and it was very exciting to see it go from a potato sack to an actual dress! Of course I plan to be a few zillion kgs lighter by that point so hopefully we'll have to take it in more when I get to Oz in August.

Having M here, and missing Sassymoo, has made me realise I will never have a J-girl BFF. I have good J-girlfriends, but they will never cut it in the BFF department. I'm not really sure why either. It's not an obvious cultural difference because I may as well be Japanese when I want to be and my J-girlfriends are all pretty easygoing adaptable people culture-wise. Language is also not really the problem because all of them either speak really good English or I speak to them in Japanese, either way we always have enough communication to totally understand each other. So what the hell is it that stands between me and the J-girls being buddies??? It could be a humour issue...? I use a lot of sarcasm, and I mean pretty much every second sentence is drenched in sarcasm too. My mum often calls me a "sanctimonious little shit," affectionately of course. The lack of sarcasm in Japan was made even more clear with M being here, poor Ryota was more than a little lost in translation!

So I'm interested to know... Why is your bestie your bestie?? What criteria do you have?? Do you have a J-girl BFF?? Enlighten me or I may start to think I'm just racist!

Thursday, 6 January 2011


Who needs sympathetic husbands when you have such lovely bloggy friends! Thank you for all the sympathy comments, I am very pleased to say that I am feeling 100% better today, although had a weird vomiting experience this morning... As long as it's not morning sickness I'm not too bothered though...
Tonsils are still covered in white crap but I don't actually cry out in pain and contort my face in a weird way every time I swallow now, so yay!

As I'm feeling better I have no real excuse for not writing something except that I'm incredibly lazy and short on time so will leave you with some recent piccies!

School Chrissy party

Happy New year!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Sympathy please!

I think sympathy may be the main thing I miss from home, being the youngest child I always got lots of it, and also being the youngest child with a love for attention, well I lapped it up.

I have tonsillitis as I mentioned yesterday, and when I get tonsillitis it's not just a bit of a scratchy throat, it's like 'my glands are as big as golf balls and tonsils are covered in white crap' kind of tonsillitis. I can hardly swallow at the moment the bastards are so swollen. I'm contemplating looking in to getting them taken out, they cause me more trouble than they're worth. What fucking purpose do they serve anyway??

But back to my whinge, I get 0 sympathy here, OK, not quite true, Ryota tries his best, but honestly just doesn't think sometimes. To be fair he was awesome last night as I lay curled up in a pathetic ball under the kotatsu shivering, he looked after Ash and told me he'd get dinner himself as I physically couldn't eat. Of course I got sick of him putting off getting off his arse and ended up going and making him noodles at about 9pm. After he'd quite obviously seen/smelt/heard me making him dinner he did the whole "Ohhhh sweetie, did you make it for me!? You're so silly I was going to do that!!!" routine, but I actually didn't mind, when I'm sick if I just wallow all I think about is the vice-like grip that burns my throat every time I swallow.

A good example of his lack of sympathy would be what happened just now though, I'd sent him a picture of my tonsils covered in white shit (hey, I told you I like attention!) and my phone rang at 5pm while I was teaching, when I saw the missed call I thought he must have been concerned about my welfare, but when I called him back he said (while riding a motorbike mind you)


Me: Ok, wait! What fucking wetsuit!?


No, "You OK?" "How do you feel?" nothin' alllll about the freakin wetsuit. I better be getting some better sympathy attempts when I get home.

I was going to upload some recent photos but you'll have to wait until tomorrow as bastard camera has gone missing, bit of a worry really as it is worth more than my life. I'll leave you with an insight in to my throat though, this is bound to get worse overnight so expect more festering goodness!

Hmmmm yummy...

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Dear Japanese lady,

I'm so sorry to bring this to your attention, but sweetheart, you're not 11. Wearing a skirt smaller than my hankie with fishnet stockings and knee-high boots may have seemed like a good idea this morning but it really puts me off my sushi and makes me want to cover my son's eyes with one hand and dress you in something appropriate with the other.

If you were a smokin' hot 20 year old I may be able to forgive you while having a lesbian fantasy, but you're about 40, and it's time to face the facts. You are not kawaii, you are, in fact, ridiculous.

Thank you for taking the time to read this,

Yours sincerely,
A concerned citizen put off their lunch.

No joke, some random obachan at sushi today was dressed so slutty it actually made Ryota drop his udon mid-slurp, and trust me, the noodle slurp isn't easily disrupted. I'm not a prude and I've been known to flash a bit of cleavage in my time, but really, some women just don't have a clue about how to cover their minge and leave a bit of mystery. The fact she was sucking on a cancer stick and picking her teeth may have disgusted me a bit too, it was an overall hideous package.

I have tonsilitis, which may be contributing to the venom I'm spitting towards slutty-chan. This blows so I will now go and suck down double the recommended dose of J-meds and retreat under the kotatsu, have to be genki for work tomorrow!

Diet update- Got on the scales this morning after a Chrissy/New Year/ visitors break in which I ate gross amounts of awesome food and drank a brewery worth of beer. No regrets, and the best part, still 1kg down, bringing it to a total of 16kgs, over half way to my goal of 25kgs down mark!

Monday, 3 January 2011

New Year. J-style.

Unlike Christmas, I actually prefer New year in Japan rather than Australia. Drinking to excess then chucking up the kebab I had earlier along with the rest of the population in one big vomiting session is not really my idea of fun, although I'll take the kebab... And drink to excess any other night of the year... But for me, New year always has big expectations and usually turns out to be a big hung over disappointment. Hang on, I think I just described my life...

Of course I'd much rather something in the middle, less pressure than pissed up Australian New Year and more excitement than Japanese new year, which is usually spent eating copious amounts of (shit) food and hibernating under the kotatsu, only crawling out to rug up and go to the local shrine to ring the bell, get free booze and pray for a better year than last.

I wasn't too worried about the boredom factor this year, since I've started working, hibernating under the kotatsu actually was appealing and I lazed away pretty much every day I had off. On new year's eve, I got a slight twinge of desire to go out on the piss and actually went as far as to buy a bottle of champagne, it was from the supermarket though so obviously wasn't getting that excited. I'd planned to make spaghetti for dinner but Ryota informed me that he was in fact a Japanese boy, and would in fact eat the 'toshi koshi soba' which is supposed to bring you good luck for the next year or some bullshit. I really don't like soba and in a little stubborn display said I didn't want any. Grandma then informed me that I had to eat it or I'd have a crappy year but I told her to go shove it (in a nice way) and I'd take the risk. So Ryota had his soba, I had... possibly nothing actually! And then as it got closer to midnight I toyed with the idea of polishing off the bottle of gin on our shelf but thought better of it and watched some crappy new year telly.

At 5 to midnight Ryota was fucking around with something on the computer, Grandma was getting her PJ's on, MIL was new year texting and SIL was upstairs "celebrating" with the dog. Poor little Ash was the genkiest of all of us and still running around like a little mental person. As the countdown got closer and nobody paid any attention to the time I panicked a bit that we were going to miss the clock striking midnight and barked at Grandma to change the channel to a station that was actually counting down. We may have actually missed it because when she flicked they were already donging the bells at the temple, nobody really moved so as usual I got in to the spirit right at the last second (literally) and gave Ash a big smooch and a happy new year. We finally popped the champagne and after 2 sips Ryota had the red face and drunk eyes going and had to give his to me, I'd already swigged mine down and welcomed his share too, meaning in the space of about 5 minutes I actually got quite pissed, I think I ended up downing the remainder of the bottle without bothering with a glass... All class is me...

And that was pretty much the most exciting it got, we'd reserved a New Year's shag but the champagne knocked me out and I was in no shagging state, had a very peaceful sleep though!
New year's day was a lovely sunny day, still bastard cold mind you, but the bearable kind of freezing. I went for a run and smiled at the families, complete with father for once, making their way to the local shrine for a bit of a pray. We had another pretty much chilled out day and then went to Grandma's for osechi dinner on the night. I fuckin hate osechi, it's basically big boxes of cold, pickled Japanese crap that old people love. This year was a bit better as MIL had ordered a box of Japanese, box of Chinese style osechi and even a western one for the whitie! I picked at bits of pieces, and the western one actually had something that resembled a pork pie, and stuffed olives, brilliant! I'd made a pretty damn good garlic and prawn spaghetti too, which disappeared quite quickly, I think even Grandma enjoyed a bit of oil and grease to wash down all the healthy crap.

My biggest gourmet achievment this new year had to be my caramel slice though! I hate cooking with some what of a passion, but baking is a different story, love it! I rarely have enough time to enjoy baking properly though, so this week was perfect, I made Anzac biscuits as well, which were awesome but I think oats and golden syrup were way too foreign for poor old Ryochan, he couldn't handle it.
But back to my caramel slice, after I'd made it, I weighed up my options on what to do with it, I could either: 1) Take it to Grandma's and share it with them 2) Take it to FIL's on the 2nd and share it with them, or 3) Keep it at home and scoff it all ourselves. Now number 3 isn't the best for my dieting, FIL was sure to turn his nose up at the foreign-ness of it and plus I couldn't just nip over to his house to steal some, so that left the option of sharing with Grandma's lot. I had actually sworn off making anything for those bastards as they usually don't like it or say they do but then subtly give it back or get rid of it some how. So I was cautious and expecting the worst when I took it over the dirt path to their house. Grandma started sniffing around as soon as she saw I'd brought something over. I cut her the tiniest piece to try, as caramel slice can be sickly in big amounts and braced myself for the "うわぁぁぁ、甘いね!" (Ewwww, so sweet!) that usually follows, but to my shock and delight, she paused, a bit shocked herself I think, clicked her tongue a few times really getting the flavour and then... Grabbed another bit! Fucking love you Grandma! Sometimes...
She then said it was actually really good, now if Grandma gives her approval it must be good, the old bird is a pretty tough critic. I was well chuffed and even more so when MIL, Ryota and BIL all dug in and agreed on the awesomeness of it. SIL gave her approval as well, and even asked me for the recipe, I must admit I was a bit smug when I informed her that two of the ingredients weren't available in Japan and you needed secret gaijin black market connections to get them (OK my mum, but still).

So, like Christmas, New year turned out pretty dull but not so bad, here's hoping that is a good prediction for 2011, I could do with a year with no big surprises!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Christmas. J-style.

When I was single and living in Japan, Christmas was actually a good distraction, the fact that Christmas is all about eating chicken and shortcake on Christmas eve here, made it more bearable as I dreamed of Mum's Chrissy eve dinner and all it's Yorshire pudding, pork crackling, gravy-laden glory. But not only the food, (although I needn't mention the Chrissy morning bacon and eggs breakfast, or the Christmas day lunch and week of left overs) it was also the feeling of Christmas that I missed, a special kind of atmosphere that only happens at Christmas, along with the fact that everyone exchanges presents and you get shitloads of loot. But as I said, being single was a good distraction, I could kind of forget about the whole family-factor. That whole system was ruined when I got married and had Ash, that damn family warm and fuzzy feeling started creeping back and the fact that I couldn't fully embrace it and let Ash experience it made me... frustrated. I think that's the best word for it, a mix of sadness, pangs of homesickness, and a pinch of 'fuck you Japan! thrown in.

This frustration wasn't helped by the fact I had to do a Christmas party at the school on Christmas day, at which time my darling of a supportive husband would be... Off surfing. In the snow... Dickhead.
So Christmas eve was nothing that special, except for the fact I found a little cake sampler box when I was out shopping and just had to get it, if I didn't either no other bastard would bother or we would end up with some sickly cream and strawberry sponge cake. I didn't go for the traditional KFC dinner, I believe we actually had tarako (fish eggs) spaghetti, how anti-Christmas can you get!? I then spent the next few hours baking Christmas cookies for the Christmas party at the school and flopped in to bed at about 1am covered in flour and oozing bitterness.

Christmas morning was as predicted, Ryota left at some ridiculous hour and Ash and I woke up to start getting things ready for the school party. I also recruited one of my elementary students to help me set up an hour before and gave her a special present for doing it, gotta love a bit of child labour, especially at Christmas time. I put on my happy face and Reindeer ears as the kiddies started piling in to the school with wild looks of hope and delight about the fact they were about to ingest the recommended amount of sugar for a week at 10am in the morning. As we all got to decorating cookies, SIL brought Ash to the school so he could join in the cookie decorating and destroying. I have to admit, the party went well and as all the kids were telling me how santa had come the night before in breathless bursts of excitement, I lost a bit of the frustration and just went with the flow.

When all the kiddies had left, and all the santa beard and sprinkles had been cleaned up, it was just me, Ash and SIL left at the school. I'd decided to skype my family from the school after the party and assumed SIL, would, umm, fuck off for that bit! But no, she stayed, hovering in the background or sitting around. Maybe she thought she was helping me by staying until I went home but I wish she just would have buggered off really. My family know the history of SIL and I and it made me chuckle when my mum said: "Is CF (cunt face) still there!?" Anyway, I just ignored her and finished the call with minimum blubbering, didn't really need a red nose to match my reindeer ears after all.

Ash and I got home and buggered around a bit until Ryota got home from surfing, when he informed me that it had been snowing at the beach and he felt like he was going to collapse at one point. Greeeaaaatttt. Grandma was classic at this point, she said to him: "You dickhead, get insurance before you kill yourself doing something so stupid!"
After we'd all had lunch (rice) and were relaxed we decided to do presents, Ash had about a zillion and was more than overwhelmed, but in a way that made me happy, Ryota got a few from me and some from my family which made him feel quite special and I got totally spoiled by my family and Ryota. He actually got me two presents as we'd never ended up getting anything for my birthday and he did quite well in that both were 'pretty' presents (A jogging watch and a dressy ring) rather than practical ones. The ring was a tiny bit too small so we've sent it back for exchange, due to having to do this I discovered it was ridiculously over-priced, but hey, who am I to complain if I'm bought expensive jewellery!?

That was pretty much it! We ordered pizza that night as I couldn't be arsed cooking and just kind of lazed around, which was nice. Not ideal Christmas style, but not that bad either.

We did make a promise though, that next Christmas we are not staying in Japan. OK, so when I say we made a promise, I mean I made Ryochan promise me we wouldn't stay in this damn place for Christmas! It doesn't have to be Australia, but I don't know if I can handle another year of asking the kids what they think of when they think about Christmas and they say: "Kentucky! Cake!" I'm thinking Thailand might be a nice idea...

And so, Christmas is over for another year, hope santa was good to you all!