Wednesday, February 27, 2008

watashi wa nihongo ga daikirai desu

I can't tell you what that means until you read all the way through...


Tonight I walked out of my Japanese class, in tears, only 10 minutes after it had started. There are many, many reasons, but the top being the difficulty of understanding this dumb, dumb language.

Let me show you what I mean...

Sentence #1:

Isogashii desu kara, doko mo ikimasen.

This translates to 'Because it was busy, I did not go.'

Ok. Fine. I get it. Except that:

isogashii = busy
desu = is
kara* = because
doko = there
mo* = did not
ikimasen = did not go

Put it together, and that sentence literally reads:
'Busy is because there I did not did not go.'

* 'mo' can also mean 'already'
* 'kara' can also mean 'from'


Sentence #2
(this one was a true/false comprehension question from one of my homework problems, which involved answering questions about the content of an interview)

Masuya san no okusan wa ryori ga amari jozu arimasen.

This translates to: His wife does not cook well.

Masuya = a person's name
no = the word used to show possession
okusan = wife
(Masuya san no okusan = Masuya's wife)
ryori = a dish/cooking
amari = not so
jozu - good at
ja arimasen = is not

Literal translation: Masuya's wife cooking but not so good at is not.

I was sure to ask my Japanese teacher why we use 'amari', which, when translated English, makes the sentence a double negative when used along with 'ja arimasen'. She said that in Japan, it is not polite to say that someone is not good at something, so you say that they are not so not good at something. That means more words with double meanings to remember. And the order of the words? Seriously.

Do we live on the same planet as these people?

But, I've played my own little joke. Now I've gotten them back with the title of this blog, which I have worded to say exactly what I mean, without caring if it is polite or not. It's the truth.

I hate Japanese.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Thank you!

From Miss F. and her kids....

After a final surge of piled-up, weekend mail, our goal was met. Although today was the 103rd day of school, we have finally, officially passed our target, with no end of the delivery of more postcards in sight anytime soon.

In fact, at this rate, we'll have 180 postcards by the 180th day of school.

To all who helped out, thank you so much! It was a great project, for me AND the kids.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cool Guy

My friend Christian is recently the coolest guy I know.


Last week, at the Big Gay Out event in Auckland, he and his partner Daniel had their pictures taken with Helen Clark, the prime minister of New Zealand. Fortunately for me, I was granted exclusive rights to this picture by Mr. Brondum (Christian) himself.

So, by default, he is officially the coolest person I know today.


Japanese office buildings smell like old people.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Super Quick

A super quick update:

**Please look for an upcoming blog about our postcard project, which was a smashing success. Tomorrow is the 100th day of school, and after receiving 43 postcards today, on day 99 (to add to the 21 we had received last week), we are sure to have 100 by our deadline. Not bad for such late notice...

**My parents have purchased tickets for a trip to Japan this summer, which is very exciting. I have now made it my personal mission to locate and map every western-style toilet that we'll pass during the entire holiday.

**My Aunt Barb told me that she wouldn't take me shopping when I came home unless I finally told everyone that, after the horror and nightmares, I DID actually pass my driver's test on the first try. All four of us did, which was a first for the resource company who helped us out. But hey, what did you expect?


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Kit Kat Party

When I come back to America in March, I am going to have a Kit Kat party.

If you want to come, you can!
I'll be bringing all sorts of exotic flavors of your favorite Kit-Kat candy. I'm going to present a taste platter that rivals the selection at the finest restaurants, flavors that you cannot find in America.

You'll have a great selection!

Each time I go to a new corner store or grocery chain, I find a new flavor. This past week, I found 5 new ones!

You'll be able to choose from popular fruit flavors such as apple Kit Kat, strawberry Kit Kat, grape Kit Kat, orange Kit Kat, and honeydew Kit Kat (the one that I just don't know why they aren't making in America...).

But, that's not all! There's also vanilla bean Kit Kat, hazelnut Kit Kat, midnight chocolate Kit Kat, matcha (green tea) Kit Kat, caramel Kit Kat, cookies 'n' cream Kit Kat, and cherry blossom Kit Kat.

I'm not going to hold my breath that those are the only flavors. I am sure there'll be more.

I bet you can't wait! I'm really having to hold myself from opening the packages and trying all of these AMAZING flavors... ;)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Dear Mom,

Help! I'm turning into you!

I told you that I am tirelessly playing mommy to a family of 4, right? Well, that gig thankfully runs out on Sunday night. I am off all day on Monday, and wholly plan on spending it in retail therapy, shopping my arse off, trying to rid myself of the smell of children who aren't mine.

This experience, however, has not lacked its share of interesting experiences, both humbling and amusing, one of which I especially want to share with you...

This past week, on the way to school, the children were warily riding along in the car on the way to school. In Nagoya, there is only one station that plays non-Japanese music, and, out of lack of options, we had it on. To the kids' dismay, this station is known for playing more 'retro' music, and obviously isn't their favorite, but beats the option of alternative Japanese jibberish.

My mom moment?

It happened before I could even stop myself...

It started that same morning, when I heard the familiar voice of Phil Collins. I was singing along to the words, and I had just begun to say, 'Ooh! I love this so--,' when I noticed that all 4 kids were staring at me like I was an alien.

I guess they aren't Genesis fans.

And then, at that moment, I felt like you, who used to get the alien look from me when really dumb songs from the 70's would come on in the car.

Now, Mother, I humbly bow down and apologize to you.

And I guess, while I am at it, thank you for always cooking my meals. Even the ones I didn't like. I am sorry I probably never said thank you. Except for taco casserole, the mere mention of which will still get you the alien look...


Friday, February 01, 2008

Help us out!

Hello all!

I am looking for your quick help for a project I'd like to do with my kiddos...

Taking an idea from some fabulous teachers in Iowa, my class of students and I are trying to collect 100 postcards, from around the world, to celebrate the 100th day of school.

My kiddos have all taken notes home with them this weekend, and will start asking family and friends as well, but since I have so many great family, friends, former students, co-workers, and so on, I wanted to ask all of you too!

So... please help us out!?!

We would love a postcard from you, from wherever, and from any of your friends (so pass it on!) to be sent to us! But you'll have to act fast, as the 100th day of school is rapidly approaching (February 12!). The postal service is quite fast here, and if the postcard is in the mail by next Thursday (the 7th) at the latest, there should be no problem getting it on time.

Here is the address:

Miss F. and 2B
Nagoya International School
2686 Minimihara

Again, pass it on, spread the word, and we'll see just how many people, from all over the world, we really know! And, chances are, we can sing your national anthem too...

Thank you!

I swear...

...all the time!

(parental caution on this one, folks - PLEASE do not read any further if you are a young child or one of my grandparents!!)


It's one of my FAVORITE things to do in Japan!


Because no one knows what the bloody hell I am saying! Ever!

My favorite line, as I'm fleeing down the slopes, out of control?

'Out of the way, b#%@*es!'

We all do, it, though. Because we can, we drop f- and s- bombs ALL the time. And to be honest, when you're living here, it's nice to have a bit of freedom in your words, something you can have a laugh about with your friends, while not actually offending others.

I only mention this because yesterday, I was pleased to find out it's not just me. Justin and Kerianne are the same (no, Mom, it's not JUST me, I promise!). They have come to affectionately refer to their car as D.M.F., where the first word is 'Dozo' which means 'Please' in Japanese. Sometimes, for fun, we say it (the name of the car) under our breath to people as we hold doors open. A favorite target? The elderly, who just bow, smile and say thank you.

You're welcome, b$%&#es.