Monday 31 October 2011


Not dead. Almost. Dead tired.

Yesterday marked the end of a two week stint without a day off. Not that every day was jam-packed, but still, there's something very tiring about no day off to look forward to for a long period of time.

At least yesterday was a fun Halloween party, I was a princess, MIL a pumpkin, and Ash Mike Wasowski from Monsters Inc. A lovely day was had by all but god damn I was glad it was over.

I fucking suck for not writing more, but I have 3 lessons back to back, but promise to write about my experience of working for a cult of rich women tomorrow!

Friday 21 October 2011


As in pissed off, not drunk. I wish I was drunk.

And I'm not sure if I'm pissed off enough to constitute that word, maybe 'miffed' would be a better choice.

Let me back up and see what you think...

I have a student, and she's a very typical eikaiwa student, we've all taught a version of her. Because she's one of my students, let's call her... S-san. She's in her 50's, a housewife and she teaches English to kids on the side. Not really for any other reason than the status, it would seem.
 Her English isn't bad, but I certainly wouldn't want my kid learning English from her. Whatever. She's nice enough, although has that twang of racism/prejudice that is so common in older ladies here, but you just let it slide, because they're paying for your Internet shopping addiction by you chatting to them and letting shit that normally would make you hit them over the head with a textbook, slide.

S-san has 2 daughters, one is a Japanese OL and the other lives in Australia. This was a nice topic generator for us, me being a dinky die sheila and all. Now last week, as I was waiting for her to turn up for her scheduled lesson, I got a pretty big shock when she rocked up with her daughter who lives in Australia AND her Australian boyfriend... Had I been prepared for a foreigner to waltz in to my classroom I may have been able to think of some questions to ask them, just mentally prepare myself for a lesson that involved another native speaker and 2 Japanese speakers. We mail each other regularly for lesson scheduling and i really would have appreciated her telling me beforehand, but it's cool, not brain surgery, I dealt. Although I have to admit, there were many awkward pauses, nobody really knew what to talk about, I was asking questions that nobody seemed to want to answer, and apparently the reason that they had even come was to ask advice on how he could live in Japan. Ummmm not that hard, get a crappy job in McEikaiwa and then decide where you want to go...

But the thing that made it worse, it was PAINFULLY obviously that the daughter and her boyfriend did not want to be there, and who could blame them, I wouldn't want to go with my mother to her language class either! But the daughter was much worse than the goofy Aussie dude actually. I find that I often clash with J-girls who have lived overseas, I don't know why but I find a lot of them are... Bitchy? Arrogant? Snotty? I'm not sure but this bitch really rubbed me the wrong way, she had her arms folded over her chest the whole time and would give no answer/one word answers, and put in words like "whatever" and "anyway" in a really bitchy manner. Her boyfriend had a little more tact but still kind of annoyed me, get a handle on your bitches man!

So when they left I let out a big sigh of relief, but then I had S-san again today and we were talking about the boyfriend. The family all hate him, and I kind of felt bad so I was sticking up for him saying that at least he had a stable job, was making an effort to learn Japanese and not being a total bum unlike about 97% of Australian men. But THEN she told me what he said about me, apparently he said: "Did Corinne live in America, because she has really American reactions..." Ummm I can only take this as an insult coming from a country Aussie boy but I really have no idea what it means. Then she said he asked "Isn't COLIN a guys name??" Fuckwit. AND he said "Her English is weird, it's like Japanese English..." Ummm of course it is you fucking idiot, you think I talk to your future mother-in-law for fun?? If that was so she wouldn't be paying me unless it was the next round of drinks, and I'd be saying "fuck" a whole lot. But I have to have some sympathy, he just doesn't get that teaching English in Japan is about 90% acting. And I explained to her (I don't know why I felt defensive) that of course after living and teaching in Japan for 7 years, my English has changed, if I went around speaking too fast and using the slang I would with another native speaker, I'd have no students. Learning English is about confidence, I don't want people to give up before they've even started trying.

I'm not sure why, but this has really started to annoy me, I don't even think that he was having that big of a go at me, but he just has so much of no idea, and it makes me angry, I want him to understand for some reason. Plus the cunt of a daughter just pissed me off.

Thursday 20 October 2011

Spooky season

Well, it is Halloween season, but the shock I got yesterday when I got home was way more than I wanted, and I'm a thrill seeker!

As I parked my bicycle and lugged the 20kgs of whining boy off, I got some kind of chill up my spine, a sense that something wasn't quite right. It might have been the fact that the front door wasn't completely closed, or a slight sound I heard, or an instinct that kicked in. Whatever it was, I knew there was an intruder in my house.

I tentatively opened the door, I tried to do it in a stealth manner, but it's a "GARA-GARA-GARA" kind of sliding door that never seems to open smoothly, so my attempts failed. My heart started pumping harder so that I could feel the pulses in my head as the 2nd floor floorboards made a slight creak. Someone was upstairs.

I ushered Ash in to the toy haven that used to be my living room and craned my neck up the stairs, hoping my ears would pick up some kind of signal that it was the cat or my imagination, but it was unmistakeably the sound of the balcony window opening. Had they shimmied the balcony and were on their way in to rape and murder us?? I grabbed the thing closest to me, which happened to be a floor cleaner, a flurry of dust ironically spiralling up around me as I did. What was I going to do, impale a robber with the pointy end of a floor cleaner? I didn't know, but i at least wanted to be prepared.

As I started creeping my way up the stairs, I saw a shadow dart out of the way in the room from the open door, it was straight out of a fucking Stephen King novel, all I needed was for a clown to peek out from under the stairs. I kept inching my way up the stairs, clasping on to the railing so all my weight was on it, rather than the creaky stairs. I finally made it to the top and did some kind of James Bond move near the door, back flat up against it, breathing in to make myself as thin as the wall while I peered around the corner to see someone waiting for me. Sweat was trickling down between my boobs, my every sense tingling with anticipation. And then...

Fucking Grandma.

I shit you not I almost fucking throttled her with the floor cleaner anyway. Grandma has been know to come into our house uninvited (ummm hello, everyday!) but it's usually while we're there and never upstairs. This is why I was convinced it wasn't Grandma, because she can barely make it up Steep Japanese stairs like ours, I never thought she would bother going up ours voluntarily. But apparently it was a matter of life and death. Why?? Because I had the fleece blankets out drying and the sun went in. Ummmmm the blankets aren't going to fucking disintegrate woman!
I told her I thought it was an intruder and she laughed and said "Don't worry, they wouldn't make it past me!" well if my fucking blanket violation doesn't I guess she's right.

I have to get out of the dirt path ghetto one day. Sooner rather than later.

Friday 14 October 2011

Taking one for the cake

I’m sure all of you know very well by now just how much I dislike Ryota’s sister, my SIL. I’m not shy about it and the feeling is pretty much mutual and usually works in some kind of awkward arranged way. But as much as I don’t like her/thinks she’s absolutely mental/would love to get away from her, the reality of the matter is, I need her.
My son loves her, I don’t know why, well, maybe I do, she’s got the intellect of about a 2 year old, although I fear comparing them would be insulting to toddlers everywhere. She has lots of free time, so unlike most people around Ash, she’s always fair game for playing. And recently, my working hours are from 9am-8pm with a few breaks thrown in to clean and cook (not complaining, this is good for a business owner!), so Ash has been staying at Grandma’s house with dog-fucker and Grandma while I’m at work. I have to admit, if she wasn’t moping around wasting space I’d be pretty much fucked for childcare, so for that I am grateful.

Now dog-fucker doesn’t get out much and we actually have one thing in common, we love cake. So after I got out of hospital, we threw around the idea of going to a restaurant that has an all-you-can-eat cake deal. And it’s not crappy buffet-style cake, it’s good cake that you get to choose from the glass display cabinet! Of course, I was thinking we’d all go together as a family, or we’d talk about it but never actually do it, but when dog-fucker said on Wednesday night, “Soooo, cake tomorrow??” I was a little taken aback. I’d already let out the fact that I only had four lessons on Thursday in the morning and evening so I was fucked for that excuse, but the only thought running through my head was ‘Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucccccckkkkkkdon’twannagodon’twannagodon’twannagodon’twannagooooooo’ so I started on an excuse that was actually true, while Thursday is a quiet day lesson-wise, Friday is busy as in lessons one after the other from morning to night, with a trip to a kindergarten to get poked up the bum by some small boys too just to make my life a bit more hectic, and I needed time on Thursday to prepare those lessons. Ok, Ok, so the preparation wasn’t that hard, but still, I was imagining at least 2 hours with just dog-fucker… “What would we talk about? It will be so awkward! I’ll have to pay for her poor arse! All these things flew through my mind as her sharp little face looked at me inquisitively. It was like some kind of horrible test that would determine our relationship from here on out, was I to shut her down and ruin my chances of free child care, or take on the horrible duty of my precious leisure time spent with someone I despise in the spirit of good will and keeping the boat firmly anchored with no chance of rocking any time soon…

So I did what any coward with a tendency to panic would do, I said I’d check my work schedule and see if it was possible. Now pretty much as soon as I’d said this I’d decided I wasn’t going. I keep Thursdays clear for a reason, to wash the sheets, to do the banking, catch up on paperwork, relax! I most certainly didn’t want to waste my day with her of all people. Plus, you know, I like cake, but as the saying goes: “Nothing tastes better than being thin” and I really wasn’t that fussed to go. As I thought about all this, and what kind of mail to send her, there was a niggling image in the back of my mind, of the day I had my tonsils out and dog-fucker took the only day of work she had off (probably just because she’s lazy but still…) to come to the hospital and see me. Then of her picking up Ash every day I was in hospital… And I got the twinges of guilt… I thought she really hated me, but if she’s wanting to go eat cake with me then maybe she really wants to be friends? I’m not sure if this is true, but I sucked it up, sacrificed my day off and went to eat cake with her. For what? To ease my guilty conscience. To try and be a good person. For Ryota, it’s no fun when you’re family don’t get on with your partner.

As far as awkwardness goes, well, it wasn’t great, but sometimes you’ve got to man up and get over it to keep the wheels of life turning. I never forget anything but I’m lucky I have the ability to push things aside for a greater cause. Fuck I must have that ability, I’m still with Ryota aren’t I?!

So I leave you with some pictures from the great cake expedition, the cake was fucking amazing, but after eating 6, yes, 6! I can safely say I won’t be eating cake for a while. Dog-fucker had also been harping on about joining facebook, which is dangerous, as I’m sure I have pictures on their labeled as “dog fucker” or “cunt face” let’s hope she doesn’t get good at facebook or English anytime soon… So I brought my ipad along to show her how it works so we’d actually have something to talk about, and I shit you not, this is her profile picture, dog-fucker!

This is the poor fucked dog

Can't you see my strained enthusiasm?

 Would you do her??

Monday 10 October 2011

Fear of the unknown

I've been thinking a lot about the fear of the unknown here in Japan recently, the very talented Loco has some great posts on the topic and it's something that I think hits pretty close to home for most foreigners living in Japan.

As far as I can see, fear of the unknown or unfamiliar is everywhere in Japan and ingrained in to the culture, the people and the attitudes here. Of course, this is a generalisation and I realise that this doesn't go for everyone, paired with the fact that I speak out of my arse quite frequently, feel free to ignore my ramblings if you wish.

I see it everywhere though. When I make exotic (and when I say 'exotic' I mean like say, Indonesian rice or Indian curry, not sheep's testicles marinated in cow's blood and seasoned with a splash of squirrel semen.)food and my in-laws instantly turn their nose up at it because it doesn't fit what they're used to. When I say something out of the ordinary 'customer-staff' spiel to a supermarket lady and a look of sheer panic crosses her face before she realises she is actually a human with a brain that can function independently. When a child is so programmed to being used to seeing and doing the same shit every day that they give me an anxious glance and feel the need to hide behind their mother's skirt and say "Oooooo outsider!"
And even though these things seem weird to a lot of people, they don't really bother me that much, mildly irritating st worst I'd say. More good food for me, more opportunities to freak out supermarket ladies with my spontaneous conversations and more chances for me to make monster faces at the kid when their mum isn't looking.

I don't really care until it becomes a problem for me, like when dog-fucker insisted I restrain myself from having an opinion on Kimutaku's sexual orientation and mental health. Then it gets annoying. Then I have to start telling people to go back in to their pit and fist fuck their dog.

But I'm noticing it in little different ways the longer I live here, the most recent. My candy stash.

Now, as you can see, there is a shitload of good choccie in here, I bought these especially from Costco because you can't find Twix in your local conbini, I run an English school, and Twix and Milky ways are, as far as I'm concerned a damn nice cultural lesson! And do you see that pathetic white shit-looking lolly on the top-left? That is a Japanese candy that someone gave me, (despite knowing I'm on one never-ending diet) any candy I am given either goes straight in to my son's gob, or straight in to the pumpkin to fatten up some other poor bastard. So there is a lot of the Costco lollies, and a few Japanese lollies scattered in there too.

And I kid you not, every single fucking kid who I offer a candy to goes for the Japanese ones first. And I couldn't see why at first, the foreign ones are better packaged, more expensive and in my opinion, much better tasting. But of course they don't usually see them in normal Japanese stores so how would they know? So I tell them, I say "I recommend a Twix, they're really good and you can't get them in Japanese stores usually!" And I found this little sales pitch for Twix were making the little buggers more determined not to try them! The would dig their pudgy little hands in deeper and deeper, probing for what was comfortable, familiar, safe. And for the first time in a long time, the need to be safe annoyed the shit out of me! I go to the trouble to get something new and different and they want to stay with what they know? Why do I bother then? The same thing happened last Halloween when I got 3 massive pumpkin pies, it wasn't normal or safe, so I ended up eating pumpkin pie until Christmas. Not that I was complaining, I love pumpkin pie, but I'm not buying the"Japanese tongues aren't suited to strong flavours" bullshit.

I think this is sometimes why I stay with Ryota, he's not typically Japanese in the safe way. He has tattoos, he hates working, he's an obnoxious arsehole. But I honestly think I'd rather all that than a safe guy. Fuck safe, we spend our lives being safe and what are we going to die with? A pension and a grave that my kids have to wash off every year?

Fuck. That.

Right in the arse.

I'm keeping the Japanese candy in for the moment for research purposes, but I may smash a pumpkin over a small child's head if I don't take it out soon.

Friday 7 October 2011

It's in the genes...

If I'm not mistaken, I posted about ash's sports day last year and it was basically the same deal. My son just marches along quite happily to his own little drum, in his own little world and doesn't give a flying fuck about the people around him.

I may have mentioned how much I despise sports days in Japan, but just in case I haven't, allow me to rant away for a moment...

Fucking robotic, useless, cunting dancing that is practiced for months in advance ensuring both child and parent alike are totally and utterly bled dry of any creativity, fun, or enjoyment that may have been involved with the whole fucking thing.

Right, glad that's out of my system!
So I hate the sports days, but being the good mummy that I am, I trudged along to the kindy to stand around for a few hours watching the kids go through the motions of the steps that they have been practicing since summer. It started off with all the kids doing some lame fucking dance and ash spied me. Most mums look down when their kid spies them, but I'm not most mums, so I gave him a thumbs up and a wave instead. He then proceeded to try and run over to me, but the watchful eye of his teacher ensured he was pulled back in to line pretty quickly. Now sneaky little bugger that he is, he learnt if he made a dash, that some Japanese lady was going to be on to him, so he weaved and ducked and blended in with every other little kid, until he'd managed to inch his way over to me and was hugging my leg. All the mums around me gave an "awwwwww" but underneath the sounds of endearment I knew there was some woman thinking " ooooooo that kid is unruly, he doesn't follow the rules..."
After a few minutes I gave his teacher a pleading look and she came and collected him, he wasn't crying or anything, he was actually giggling as he was led away.

So next was his class' turn to do their little bit and I shit you not he would not do a single thing the other kids did. And it wasn't in a crying and screaming way. He was quite happy with himself, but totally independent and very contented to do his own thing. He was in the 'pig group' yet when the 'rabbit' group had to go fake shopping, ash was right there with them. The teacher actually said over the loud speaker " oh, Ashton is here too, oh well, he's here now..." just so all the mums would look at me again with the knowing smiles, not like I can hide being the only foreign around with her almost as foreign, unruly son!

Finally, was the running race, and ash didn't disappoint, instead of lining up with all the other kids and them all running together, as soon as his name was called, he was off, running down the yard as the whole freaking kindy laughed at him bounding over the finish line while the rest of the kids were still waiting at the starting line.

And I got to thinking, does this make me:

A) a bad parent?
B) a good parent?
C) responsible for the genetic encoding that my son has inherited meaning he will never just fall in to line like a little j-lemming?

Anyway, after ash had finished and I had been standing in the sun for over 2 hours without any breakfast and intense pain in my throat, I proceeded to... faint! Luckily for me I made it inside and collapsed against a wall of towels and woke up in a tatami room wondering where my shoes had gone. Highly embarrassing but at least only the teachers witnessed my dramatics, if it had been outside I would have had all the kindy mums gasping in shock and revelling in the excitement while dialling ambulances on their mobiles.

All I can say is, fuck you sports day, I'm so boycotting next year!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday 2 October 2011

Sleeping confessions.

Or not sleeping as the case may be.

I've had trouble falling asleep for as long as I can remember, once I'm out I'm out for the count but falling asleep can be a bastard for me. My parents almost sent me to therapy when I was a kid because I used to sit up chewing the hat of my Teddy bear and worrying myself in to a frenzy about things so much that I couldn't sleep. Fucking loon I was as a child.

Of course once I had a child, that whole not falling asleep problem solved itself in the form of me being so exhausted that I was pretty much asleep any chance I got. And recently although I'm exhausted, I'm also pretty content with my life. Yes, Ryota is an arse that fucks me off on a regular basis, but honestly, I'm not losing any sleep over him. Toilet crying-yes. The occasional weep before sleep-yes. Insomnia-just not fucking worth it! That's one of the things that scare me about my marriage, the fact that it will probably end at some point in the near future really doesn't bother me that much!

But this week, I've had trouble sleeping, the first few nights was because of the pain, but these last few nights have been out of sheer boredom and the fact that I'm using no energy in the day so I'm just not buggered like I usually am running around after a 2 year old and working. It also has something to do with the fact that I'm a giant, and Japanese people are fucking hobbits so this combination means that my feet stick out the end of my bastard bed and end up wedged between the hard metal bits.

So last night, after my eyes going funny because of too many hours of sex and the city and the sopranos, I tried to remember back to what I used to do to fall asleep. When I was really young, I used to count sheep, but I always lost count, not out of sleepiness but out of boredom, then I'd get frustrated with myself and the whole 'relaxation' thing would be out the window. Then when I was a little bit older I used to recite my times tables, because I was shit at maths and it stimulated my brain enough for me to stick at it. Then when I was old enough to have a mobile phone, I played snake, that simple and horribly addictive game that nokia mobiles used to have. And recently, it's the good old iPhone, although sleeping with a small child and grumpy cunt of a man-boy,the bright screen can become an issue.

So I have a confession to make, sometimes to fall asleep, I imagine being loved. Not by Ryota, not by a hot, naked Clive Owen (although, don't mind if I do...) or any man in particular, just someone who wraps me up and makes me feel safe and loved. It isn't a sexual fantasy, it's the fantasy that you get from watching too much Hollywood rubbish on tv, that there's a man or woman out there who has the ability to hold you and make you feel so safe that you revert back to being a little baby and falling asleep in their arms totally contented. Isn't that ridiculous?! Now I'm embarrassed and contemplating deleting...

Am I so starved for attention that I can simply imagine being loved and that makes me content enough to fall asleep? Really? Or maybe I do just watch too much tv, is this a fantasy every girl has? Nobody's actually living the dream are they? Are you?

Last night as I started hugging my pillow and imagining my mystery man loving me, I realized how funny it actually was!

Ok, I have to hit publish now or I'll chicken out.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday 1 October 2011

It's taken longer than I thought...

But this morning I got annoyed with the Japanese way of doing things. As I always mention, service in Japan is second to none. Fucking fantastic. But the flip side means that everything is done with such precision that often this leads to not only great service, but also a lot of fucking around, paperwork, rule following and a way of doing things that can make you want to scratch your eyes out. And depending on your situation it can get very very frustrating.

My throat is much better than it was, I can now talk, drink anything and eat soft foods. I'm off the drip (that was probably unnecessary in the first place) and I feel fine. No infection, I'm gargling 5 times a day and eating sloppy fucking rice in the hope that I will get better soon so I can get back to my normal life. I want to work, and see my son, and go running and get back to dance class. I want to get back to my fucking life. In Australia and a lot of other countries getting your tonsils out is a one day procedure, one night stay at the most. A week in hospital seems excessive, but I was glad, one night wouldn't have been enough, especially taking in to consideration that I live with 2 big babies.

I also haven't been able to have a shower, which isn't that big of a deal but my legs are starting to look like a hairy monster (perhaps I should just keep them for Halloween?) and my hair is getting greasy and sweaty and gross. A shower is not going to fucking kill me.

So this morning when I went to see the doctor, I asked when I could get a shower and she said today but only from the neck down. This solves the hairy legs but not the greasy hair, I think I might just rebel and wash my hair anyway though. I then asked her when she thought I might be able to go home. And she said fucking Wednesday! It just seems like such a long time, especially seeing as though I feel fine, everything has gone totally smoothly, they check my fever and blood pressure 50 times a day and it's always fine. I'm eating everything plus pudding and ice cream and loads of crap that people bring me, I'm walking up and down 4 flights of stairs about 10 times a day to fight off boredom and losing the muscles in my legs. I need to get outside!!!!

Has anyone in Japan ever put their foot down and just fucked off home?

I almost cried when she told me but I'm going to try really hard for Monday. I have to work on Tuesday anyway so there's no way I'm staying here longer than I have to.

I feel a fight brewing. One good thing about Ryota being an arsehole, his arsehole-ness transfers to situations when I need it and I'm sure he'll be able to convince someone better than I can that I AM going home on Monday.

Funny, I'm the exact opposite to earwig, she wanted to stay!

Right off to the stair master so I don't go cunning insane!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad