You get told all sorts of things about what Japan and teaching here will be like by the people who have been before, by the guidance info, websites, people who are in their second, third, forth, fifth years (apparently staying the full five years is almost unheard of but I actually know one, she’s a unicorn). I tend to take most things with a pinch of salt if I don’t ignore or completely dismiss it. I heard these myths but wasn’t interested enough to pay them any mind.
However, I have no classes today and am looking for ways to fill my time now that I’ve done all the other things I planned to do today. So, a few random myths I can confirm are true.
Japanese people, old, young, familiar, or strange have commented on my ability to use chopsticks. I think, I hope, it’s just something they can think of to talk to me about ’cause you know, random foreigner living in a small town, back end of beyond Japan. Some of the advice givers implied it was because they find it amazing that anyone not Japanese (or Chinese, I suppose) can use them but I don’t like that explanation because it implies a small mindedness I don’t want to accuse anyone off until I have proof.
Also, I can use chopsticks but let me be clear, I don’t hold or use them properly and I’m left handed, making me a freak in every culture apparently. Chances are they’ve looked at me and thought `what in the name of all that is holy are you doing?` or `how are you managing to get the food into your mouth when you clearly lack any dexterity or brain cells to do it property?` I do get food in my mouth, easily and frequently, so I’m happy. Oh yeah and, lefties are amazing.
My favourite students will be the ones who speak to me. Yup. Although, again, let me clarify, I’m using the term favourite very loosely (I can’t stress enough, I do not know how I got this job). I don’t care if all they can say is hello and they say it six times a day. They’ve spoken to me. My true favourites, however, are the ones I say hello to that get a look of confused terror on their faces. The weird foreign woman spoke to me!! I don’t care if they manage to say hello back or not. It’s never not funny.
You get stared at. Yeah, but that happens at home too so I prefer to think of it as being mesmerised by my brilliance, beauty and grace, which is a universal problem.
I don’t have any new photos so here are a few of food I’ve taken around the place, including a Sushi Restaurant that delivers your Sushi on a mini train, a school lunch, pumpkins grown at school then given to me to eat, Friday Ramen, and random statue: