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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thank God I'm A Country Boy

Today is Tuesday, October 15, 1991. I'm living in Japan as an assistant English teacher (AET) on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme teaching at seven junior high schools here in Ohtawara-shi (Ohtawara City) in Tochigi-ken (Tochigi Prefecture). I've been here since late July 1990 and have completely enjoyed my time with the Japanese - even the ones who stalk me.
Most of my stalkers have been curious primary school kids who have heard about me, seen me and want to meet me. Seriously though... these kids are coming up to my door and coming inside. Someone needs to street-proof the little buggers a lot better than they are!
I'm no danger to them, of course, but they don't know that.
Now... my favourite stalker was a university teaching student who must have been the hottest looking chick I have yet to see in this town. We hit it off right away..... I mean, you could smell the pheromones kicking into overdrive when we first met. We had weeks of no-sleep sex that left me a physically-drained vessel who hadn't slept in weeks and who needed the help of a teacher or two to literally get her off me. It's not her fault I'm so sexy, but I think she needs some help. Imagine wanting to drop out of university to be with me.
In hind sight, that's probably the nicest thing anyone has ever tried to do for me. let's see... generous. fanatical about me. Gorgeous. Intelligent. Perhaps slightly wacky, but that was off-set by the fact she spoke flawless English and loved to have sex.
What the hell was wrong with me? Perhaps the lack of sleep made me stoopid.
Regardless... today, October 15, is my brother's birthday. Ben is 7 year's younger than me, and while I love him very much because of the difference in age, we've never been particularly close. That sucks.
I'm at Sakuyama Chu Gakko (Sakuyama Junior High School) this week. The most recent batch of kids to come and visit me were primary school students in March of this year, and are are now grade 7's at Sakuyama.
I hope they didn't get in too much trouble, but I had to tell my bosses at the OBOE (Ohtawara Board of Education) office because really, they were getting in the way of my privacy and  attempts at getting laid that other stalker I was just telling you about. You can read about our first meeting HERE. My bosses told their principal, and I believe some sort of edict went out declaring Andrew's house at 307 Zuiko Haitsu off limits. I'm unsure why they had to give out my address at that time, but they did.
School is okay. I actually work hard and s a result don't have as much fun as I usually do. Damn work. This school seems to think I should really teach considering they pay me more than the average teacher. That's a joke, despite the fact that the numbers are correct. I did make more than the average teacher with 20 years of experience. Of course, they did have to make the whole JET Programme enticing for the gaijin (foreigner) wanting to come to Japan and get laid, I mean teach.
I have four classes in a row in the morning - that's how many periods there are, too... so no rest for the wicked.
At lunch I eat with the teachers! This is an oddity here in Ohtawara. At the other six schools, I visit a classroom and eat lunch the with the students, who serve their classmates and their homeroom teacher (and the gaijin - me!).
But at Sakuyama, they afford a bit more social responsibility to the students. They trust them to serve themselves and to eat quietly, while the teachers get to sup in the teacher's lounge. I believe students also do the lunch serving here too. Finally... I get to sit at the adult table. I never got to sit at the adult table back in Canada until I was... hmmm... nope, I never did.
Sakuyama is a district of Ohtawara. It's a farming area. The school is relatively new and still feels modern. It's really quite a spectacular place. The kids, despite being the sons and daughters of farmers are all very well behaved, smart and very considerate of the feelings of their classmates, teachers and local gaijin (me!)
Now... I'm not implying that JUST because they are farmer's kids, I should be surprised at their manners. I don't think a person's job has anything to do with having manners. It's just that I have a very bad school filled with a lot of would-be juvenile delinquents (Kaneda Kita Junior High School). The kids there are also farmer's kids. 
However... I did later find out that there is a difference between the two areas and thus the social level of the kids. The Kaneda Kita district of Ohtawra is filled with rice farmers. Sakuyama is filled with fruit farmers.
Despite rice being the lifeblood of Japan, the fruit farmers have money.
I don't buy that reasoning. Rice farmers have money, too. Kaneda Kita also has a new school. I think it's just a case of too many kids following the lead of one too many bad kids. 
Sakuyama, luckily enough, has a lot of polite kids - despite the fact that they aren't street-proof and like to come and visit my home!
After we eat, Mrs Sekiya the lone English teacher here asks me to make some tape recordings for hr students for an upcoming English speech contest. My involvement has me reading some paragraphs - to show how to properly enunciate the words. Sekiya-sensei is actually quite good at that herself, but why not use the native English speaking gaijin (me!).
I go home and relax. My place is a mess. actually, between you and me... the place is quite neat... but when I am stressed, I tend to clean. I see dirt where there isn't any. I guess I'm just pissed off at my ex-girlfriend Ashley who is now merely a friend-with-benefits. It's like being married except that you can date other people. By that I mean the man gets sex whenever she wants it.
I call up my brother Ben back in Toronto. It's 11PM Tokyo time - and it's 10AM Toronto time. Or something like that. Whatever. I wake the lazy bastard up. Why not? I've been up for 16 hours already.
Wishing him a happy birthday, I tell him I have sent him a present of Y50,000 (~ Cdn?US $670.00)... I sure hope it makes it there. I'm not worried about the Japanese posties stealing it, however.
Ben is 20 years-old today. Crap! Now I feel really homesick.
I watch a video he made for me of some TV shows and crash at 11:30PM. I haven't gone to sleep in the PM in a long time.
Somewhere feeling lonely and unstalked in this country,

Andrew O Solo Mio Joseph
Today's title is sung by John Denver:

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