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I’d Be Surprisingly Genki For You December 10, 2007

Posted by Mitch in General, Life in Japan.

Wow – it’s been quite a while since I wrote. I think that this is mainly down to the fact that the weekend before the weekend just gone was relatively low-key. This weekend was that antithesis of that.

Saturday marked the Yamaguchi AJET Christmas Party in Tokuyama, so on Friday I went and stayed with Lucy down the road in Hikari. Steph was there too and raucous drinking took place. With the addition of a so-called genki drink, no serious hangovers were incurred. Genki is the Japanese word for enthusiastic, good or happy (indeed, to ask someone how they are, one says “Genki desu ka“). Drink one of those little drinks in between cocktails or whatever your particular poison is, and no hangover will blight the following day. Magic.

The party was OK, if a little overpriced, but a few of us retired back to Lucy’s abode where more drinking occurred. All in all, a quite drunken weekend, but without the feeling like crap in the morning.

I had a pretty shit week last week. I was at one of my elementary schools and none of the lessons really went to plan. I had kids telling me it was too hard and refusing to co-operate or take part in the lesson (despite the face that I’d done this lesson with both my kindergartens and they’d loved it and understood every bit of it). One kid even went so far as to get up and walk out of my class. I was not impressed.

This week has started much better though. I’m at my other elementary school and all of my lessons went to plan and the kids actually remembered what I had taught them last month. With my older ones, we made Christmas cards. I was trying to get them to write them to their parents or their grandparents (in English of course) but after one of my lessons today, a little girl stopped me in the corridor and gave me the card she had made in class. It was for me! Inside she had written:

Dear Mitch
Merry Crristmas

(Yes, she did spell Christmas like that, but seeing as they’ve not officially been taught the alphabet, I think she did pretty well)

Also, I understood more of what my kids said to me in Japanese today, so that’s good. I still don’t understand everything, but they really want to teach me! The younger ones, especially come up to me and tell me what colour my clothes are in Japanese and then repeat it in English to show that they know their colours. And before I left I was having a conversation in pidgin English/pidgin Japanese with one of the vice-principals, Helen and the school librarian, Martha. They were very impressed with how much I seem to have learnt in so little time and I was really happy that Helen conversed with me. She has a rather severe face and so I quite often thought that she was majorly annoyed with me. But after today, I’ve realised that that’s just her normal expression and that I shouldn’t read anything into it.

Tomorrow I’m off to Yamaguchi City for our mid-year seminar. Whilst the meeting will be boring as hell, the social side of it afterwards is always a laugh.

This coming weekend I’m off to Shimonoseki again to buy all of the stuff I’ll need to climb my Vietnamese mountain. The weekend after, I fly away from Japan for the first time!

I hope everyone’s good – keep commenting!

Till next time!



1. Les - December 11, 2007

Brenda? Is that an English version of a Japanese name?

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