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.


  1. I think--and obviously this is pure speculation--but I think the Aussie BF might have gotten the stink eye from his J-girl about you. I mean come on! You are hot looking, young, and confident(I swear I'm hetro). So he HAD to talk shit about you in front of the family. He may have made the mistake of saying just one kind thing about you and was denied his J girl loving for the day.

  2. Sooo rude and ignorant!!!

    And, so what if your name was Colin. Being a woman called Colin doesn't stop someone from being a good English teacher or person. Neither does speaking with an American accent or a Japanese one.

    BTW, I get comments like, "Oh, so you're like that dog off Blue's Clues!" or "Did your parents name you after that Lesbian from the Rocky Horror Picture Show?" frequently after people hear my name.

  3. i find japanese women who have lived overseas unbearable, too. it's often in the way they speak english. ESP. if they were exchange students in high school. it's like, they learned the most aggressive way to speak english and that is the best way to speak to a native speaker of english. or, a native speaker who is a woman. it's very odd!

    i find that people who have no idea (ya know, like my own figgin brother!!) who still offer up their opinions like they have some kind of insight to be extremely rude. i really want to tell them to come back after they've been here (on their own, no less!) for a year, figuring it out for themselves. OBVIOUSLY, people are different and have different experiences, and interpret those experiences based on their own pasts, but still, don't tell me how my life in japan is, just don't even try.

  4. It's funny that you say he mentioned your so-called "American" mannerisms. As a born and bred Yank, I'm often surprised to hear people say that when they first meet me, I don't seem "American". Still don't know how to take those kinds of comments really...:/

  5. The guy seems like the type to look down on EFL teachers ("those who can't do teach" kind of thing), and putting you down made him look smarter. Also, your student seems like a complete bitch to relay his opinions. Wonder what her motives were when she shared them with you. To make you hate him too? I find that those J ladies who teach English on the side tend to be a little obnoxious--they always think their English is better than mine. Maybe she was making sure you knew the place she wanted you to be in?

    I go both ways on J women who live abroad. Either they come back with a deeper perspective on living as a minority in another country or at least as living as a woman in a country where women are held in more respect, or they spend most of their time with otaku who worship them, and come back spewing obscenities about how "loud" and "masculine" western women are. In any case, I wouldn't like to be shoved into hanging out with one until I had the proper time to evaluate their cuntiness levels.

    As an American, I can't help but wonder what the guy meant by your "American reactions." Coming from a fellow Australian, I guess that was meant to be a bit offensive, huh :).

  6. WOW, his comments made me angry just reading it!! I guess there's bound to be something misguided/faulty about the perception other foreigners have of foreigners actually living and breathing in Japan 24/7, especially ones who obviously know the ropes better, like you! What's with the hostility from him? argh..

    as for J-girls abroad.. I've always felt like I could relate to them pretty well and have gotten on OK.. probably since the ones I've met have all been exchange students. but lately I've gotten a little annoyed because I find that whenever I meet a Japanese person (male or female) it's always the EXACT same conversation, "Wow, you speak Japanese! you studied at Waseda!? you like natto!?" etc etc in that vein.. I'm sick of being able to predict people's reactions to me!

  7. I'm now angry on your behalf. I've come to the conclusion that J housewives have very little common sense, I have so many of those experiences that I won't bore you with, but I figure if you don't work then it's easy to forget common professional courtesy. The mother was rude to tell you what he said, what did she think you would take from it? He's probably just playing the big man in front of her family, saying somthing positive wouldn't have belittled you, and couldn't have made him feel better about being dragged along to his girlfriend's mother's English school (did I hear someone say "loser"?) Sarahf

  8. The mum sounds like bad news and the daughter had to grow up around that, so will probably end up similar. Turning up unannounced was rude and not acceptable in any other situation, so it shouldn't be in yours either. If you don't need the cash that bad you could always kick her to the curb?

    Where was the guy in Australia from? You know the mum sounds like the type that would milk those sort of comments from people just to gossip it up a bit. I would be very careful of people like that.

    Awkward cross-cultural situations, argh!

    Natalie: Those natto conversations are just so tiring. People who speak to you like that never seem to be able to pick up on the vibe that you don't want to talk about it, so perhaps that is an indication of their social inability. The random ones are the worst, although you can escape those situations easily; however it is worse when you are with a bunch of people and just want to join in with the regular conversation but get targeted by vacuous talk about Uluru or surfing santa for the 1000000th time by one person, stopping you from joining in. Argh!

  9. p.s Chris said it perfectly.

  10. You're still here? Last I read about a month ago "you'd had it." Quit your bitching and go home to Oz. It's obvious you've made a number of really poor choices since you've been in Japan. You married a guy because you were knocked-up. You live next door to your in-laws in some podunk coastal town. You're hanging on with one of literally thousands of useless eikaiwa schools. If you had the good sense god gave a goat, you'd take your kid and start all over again at home, where you'd obviously be a lot happier.

  11. Kathrynoh~ pretty much sums it up!

    April~ I'm liking your theory! Although it kinda creeps me out, he was gross!

    Chris~ the more I think about it, I agree with you. My student really was out of line.

    Magent~ right?! And yeah, who gives a toss if byname is Colin?!

    Illahee~ oh I'm so glad it's not only me, maybe you're right, it is about learning aggressive English, it's just so off putting!

    Maggie~ i know, I really wasn't sure how to take that one, I guess it all depends on that person's perspective???

    Anonymous~ actually if I think about it, there's a few friends I have who have lived abroad and aren't totally bitchy, but I know them pretty well, so maybe it's just an image...
    And I totally agree with you, I think my student was trying to get me to turn on him to be on her side but in such a passive aggressive bitchy way!

    Natalie~ I think that was the thing that annoyed me most about his comments, he just had no idea what he was talking about, but so would if he actually lived here.
    And YES the same convos over and over again get so annoying!

  12. SarahF~ I agree housewives seem to lack something in the tact department, but I guess years of having nothing to but wipe bums and polish floors sends them batty?

    Momotaro~ yup, I think the mum really is the root of a lot of the problems, I'm sure she forced them to go with her too.
    The guy was from Perth.

    222~ thank you for the recent comments, you seem crazy, in a happy good way ;) I agree, supreme dick is very well put, and Chris always has a good way of getting straight to the point!

    Anonymous~ am I still here? I think the question is why are you still here? Why bother leaving a totally useless comment if you're not even going to have the balls to leave your name? Oh that's right, because you have nothing else to do...? Don't like it? Then don't read and leave wanker comments! Or maybe you should, because they get my blood pumping and really do brighten up my day! But for the record, I don't live in a coastal town, not sure where that came from, and if by 'hanging on' you mean makin a small fortune running my own business, then yes that would be correct.

  13. haha, i would've been pissed too!

    just have a beer, forget about it... it'll pass :p

  14. kari~ Yeah, it pissed me off, but not that much, just glad I wasn't being paranoid in getting annoyed! :)

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  16. Good work Corrine. If you're attracting the anger of anonymous strangers you must be doing something right.

    I wouldn't be too hard on the guy (yet). He's probably desperate to make a good impression on the in-laws and you've gone and comprehensively stolen his thunder on day one. If you'd met under other circumstances you might have got along great.

    Plus the only source you have for him bitching about you is a woman who's already demonstrated appalling judgement and people skills, so I'd take that with a pinch of salt too.

    I hope you charged her triple for the lesson.

  17. Wow, so many things to comment on... The student bringing her daughter and boyfriend with her to class. Very rude - ring and ask if it's convenient to change the dynamics of the planned lesson. You wouldn't be able to do this in any other walk of life.

    Enjoying all the comments until the infamous annonymous one above. Clearly they haven't been following your posts properly. Comeback - nice and dignified. Well done.

    I agree with Kamo about the triple charge for the lesson.

  18. Yes, tell her it's a per person charge, that will discourage her from dragging randoms along. Maybe say that bringing along a native English speaker is 4x as expensive.

  19. Struth!! "Did Corinne live in America, because she has really American reactions..." Fair dinkum?

    'Then she said he asked "Isn't COLIN a guys name??" Fuckwit.' Honestly, I was thinking Col' in Col'n Carpenter.

    Yeah...after a session like that I'd be pissed and while wishing I was. That's what I was thinking.


  20. That girl reminds me of a certain 'yellow cab' who said the following to her similar friend, upon seeing me and my equally white friend in a TORONTO bar with a Japanese DJ: "Gaijin-da." I had three years of that as an ALT in freaking Saitama, which may not be unlike where she cam from: "Kochi-tte omei-tachi gaijin jyanai?"

    Aussie dude might want to ask what number he is... or not.

  21. About your post: I hate people and such things are some of the reasons why.

    About your comeback to the anon-comment: I'm impressed! You're great! Well done... I shall keep reading your blog to learn from you. :-)

  22. S-san sounds positively devious. Sure she thought out every nugget she was going to feed you about this guy you had stuck up for.

    And the accent- mine is all muddled up. Had an Kiwi ask me if I was from Queensland last Friday. I'm from New York. Whatever.

  23. I think S-san is the only person to be mad at here. Bringing two extra people to a lesson without notice and reporting what a one of them said about you are both beyond rude. I'd bet good money that none of the things she claims he said are direct quotes. It's more likely that either she misunderstood him, or pressed him for comments until he just said what he thought she wanted to hear.

    As for Mr. Anonymous, you're obviously a jerk, but the "poor choices" comment really marks you as an ass. I've never heard anyone who wasn't an entitled women-hater use that term. It's like code for "sluts deserve what they get". Prick.

  24. Ha ha, Lady Liz! I'm so glad you introduced me to this blog. It's a hoot. I have trawled through every single other one in the sidebar, but boy, oh, boy, this one is my kinda blog, which is why I guess you recommended it.

  25. I wish there were more updates, though.
    I guess Ms C has a life, unlike me right now, 'Make-Inu 2011', Blogger Supreme or BS, for short.