06.07.2005 0 °C
What a hot and humid day it was here today!!! My hair just doesn't stand a chance. I know, I know, having a bad hair day, (well, bad hair summer) is no big deal compared to some of the bad things that could happen, but, I'm tellin' ya, this kind of himidity could drive any western woman bonkers after a few months. Luckily, the humidity stops around September. I CAN'T WAIT!!
So here are some pictures of the many awesome people I've met here so far. But, in general, the Japanese definitely hold up to their reputation and then some. They are the kindest, politest, respectful people you'll ever meet. For example, I have never even seen one case of "road rage" here at all. If you are in someone's way, or pull out in front of someone, they just bow and let you go ahead of them. The same goes for walking or riding a bike on the sidewalk. On weekends, Saty, the building where I work, gets so extremely crowded, so bumping into someone is just inevitable, but when it happens, I always see the Japanese quickly nodding or bowing to eachother and saying "Sumimasen," which is a very polite, "oh, excuse me for being in your way." I'm sure the Japanese get frustrated just like everyone else, but you would never know it. They are always so afraid of offending someone that if they got upset with you, they would just smile to you and then go home and scream into the pillow or something!
My students are, well, they are just dream students. Of course I have the occasional "too cool for school" attitudes from some of the junior high and high school students, but that's nothing compared to what you would see in many American schools. I teach all ages, from three to eighty-six. Some of them take English becasue they want to travel to the UK, America, Canada or Australia, or because they need to use English for business, but surprisingly, I'd have to say that most of my students take English as a hobby. Some students are interested in American movies or sports. One of my favorite students is a bus driver who is crazy about American football and the NBA, and could probably tell you more about the players and teams than most American fans! I even have several bored housewives that want to learn English and have no plans of actually using it outside of Nova!
There is such an interesting mix of teachers at Nova. In Matsue, we currently have two Canadians, two Americans, one English, one Irish and an Australian on the way, who will actually be my new roommate next week. At our sister Nova, the school in Izumo city, there is a Scotishman, two English, an Australian and a New Zealander.
Now, I am living with the one Brit at Matsue, Rose, but she is leaving in August to take kung fu for a year in China! It is so much fun hanging out with so many different kinds of people with so many different accents. I've learned quite a bit of British English and you'd be surprised at just how different it can be! For example, we call potato chips, "chips" right? Well, the Brits called them "crisps" and they call french fries, "chips." And, if I ask Rose if she wants to do something, she doesn't say, "No, I don't want to," she said, "Ai cont be osk't!" A policeman is a "bobby" and a cell phone is always a "mobile." So as you can imagine, the conversations in a room with such a diverse makeup of nationalities can be quite interesting!