Wednesday, September 1, 2010
bfg on wild pigs
So it is the day after horrible day.
I tried to come to school 20 minutes early but I swerved off the road at one point and had to fix my tire so I only made it with 5 minutes to spare. No big deal right? The first day of school was the next day (today)... the only thing I had to worry about was my intro speech to the teachers but that was at 10am. Two hours to cool off and unredden and unsmellify.
I walk in to the teacher's room panting, red, gross... you have heard this before I am sure. They laugh.
I laugh at myself. "Sumimasen! I must be so annoying."
Mi-sensei, "No! You are so sugoi!"
"Yes. That is why the Hill hates me; because I am sugoi." It is fast becoming the catch phrase: The Hill. I now dream of returning to shizuoka in 10 years and hear "Japanese Japanese Japanese The Hill Japanese Japanese."
I take out the hankie and sweat towel. "Okay, well I will go change now." And off I go leaving behind a room with the chatterings of teachers.
I walk back about 15 minutes later, earlier than usual since it seemed like Mi-sensei wanted to talk, to find silence and all heads turned towards me. Huh?
The vice-principal was standing. Ahhhhh. And then I see the principal... what the hell? He is never in here...
Mi sensei runs up to me. "Banessa. Banessa. Now is the time for your speech."
"But you guys said 10am! It is still 8!?"
"Yes. But they changed the scheduale."
I wanted to die. I almost cried I really did. But instead I laughed and said, "Okay but if my Japanese sucks just throw me out the window."
Up I went. And I spoke. And they clapped. I was complimented on my accent which has happened often lately so I wonder if this is code for "that is good and not much else". Like how when someone asks me if I like their shirt and I say, "It's different." Heehee. Save.
I survived is the point and was super happy to be able to sit at my desk and eat my fruit tarte jelly thing that I am basically surviving on since I am scared to eat anything since it probably has mayo.
"Banessa. Teacher's meeting is now."
"Now." It wasn't a question.
Up I went, picked up papers that I can't really read and sat down. The only thing I understood was Mamma Mia and... "Sensei, did he just say pig?"
As I waited, I circled all the kanji I knew. And tried to desypher meanings from that... I felt like Migyver.
Meeting was over soon after. Lots of bowing. Nothing special to mention.
"Yes, banessa pig. You must be careful."
"Wild pigs are sitted on the Hill to school. You must be careful on your bike you may be attacked."
I almost fainted.
I will end this by saying that I am now determined to find me a wild pig. I want a picture with a wild pig something fierce and Glinda has given me several garantees that she will flee like Blue Thunder when the time came. That day, as I went home I fell again in a ditch as I thought I saw a wild pig but it was a huge rusty pipe. Heehee. I was fine. Somehow for a clutz, I fall gracefully.
That day was pretty successful. I talked with Mi and Na about how I couldn't do the fill in the blanks but thought up some easier stuff and they thanked me for being so concerned about education. Mi even said, "Banessa sensei, your voice sounds so happy when you talk about class. I look forward to team teaching with you." It made me feel bad for what I wrote the day before but at the time, it was true - I felt that way.
I took the afternoon off that day... to go get my driver's license. A friend of one of my students back in Montreal who just happens to live in Shizuoka agreed to drive me to the Centre which is so very inaka. Akiko has two kids, one a three month old baby, so for her to do this was a great kindness to say the least.
It is funny - it was so easy and yet so hard for me to get my license. With one of my JTEs I went to the police station, city hall and back to police station to get all the right things stamped and sealed. An officer finally handed me an envelope saying, "Go to the Centre for 1:30pm and it should take 20 minutes to process your request." After warning me it would cost around 4000 Yen, I was on my way confident that it wouldn't be so hard. He did warn me though, "Please go with a native Japanese speaker."
Thank God I took his warning. After waiting one hour, I was called into a room. "Now, we will have an interview for around one hour."
And they asked me question. After question. Your license they are not the same design. Yes, Quebec changed it. Your validation on one is good for 3 years and on another 4 years. Yes, Quebec changed it. Do you have all your licenses? No. But the years don't correspond. Maybe its because I lost mine... I don't understand why this is an issue though since I meet the minimum 3 months driving in my country. Oh - but the renewal was 2 days before your arrival in Japan.
I wanted to kill Quebec.
After one hour of that type of high strung conversation the man sat back and said, "I think you can drive in Japan. But small scooter. Daijobu?"
Off I went to pay, off he went to get the card ready.
I return with a reciet. He with a frown.
"Have you ever been in Japan before?"
"When is your birthday?"
"Oct 22 **"
"Do you have your old passports?"
"No. I am sorry they are in Canada. But what is this about?"
SO - of course this had to happen to me. A person with the exact same name in 2001 on October 22nd was arrested in Japan for a "serious traffic offence". Even Akiko was looking at me like "Are you SURE you have never been in Japan."
Another hour passed and the baby started to cry. I watched out the window at the scooter people practicing. Admiring their helmets and their wheels. Suddenly the door opens and just like that he walks in. "Daijobu." And hands me my card.
Gods of fortune, I can go buy my scooter. I can drive a car, a 50 cc scooter and a small truck in Japan.
I can conquer the hill and maybe even chase wild pigs with a spear!
I originally wrote about what happened today - apartment drama - but am holding off. Some not so nice words in there and I worry sometimes at not allowing some time to pass. All is well though. In the end, I guess it usually is (even when someone has your name and does crazy mad things in the foreign country you happen to be staying in).