Archive for May, 2010

Smelly fish Friday
May 21, 2010

I don’t mind processed tuna, but any kind of fish with the scales left on it makes my stomach turn. I’ve just never acquired a taste for fish… I don’t mind crustaceans and cephalopods, but fish is revolting.

Well… In Japan, the giant island, fish is obviously a staple of the Japanese diet. And, thus, fish is served often in school lunch.

Today was one of those days, and I knew it the moment I stepped into the teacher’s room. The stench almost knocked me out.

To make matters worse, it was served alongside some heinous mix of Chinese spinach and other assorted strange veggies. I love spinach, but not this awful Chinese-Japanese bastardization. Popeye would cry if he saw this.

Another soup-and-plain-white-rice-only day here in Kitami City…


Butt out of my desk
May 21, 2010

This morning, I discovered that my desk was being used to store not lesson plans or writing utensils, but Ziploc-bagged cigarette butts found being smoked my students.

Some bags even contain gum or mints that students were trying to use to cover their tracks.

Each bag is logged with the perpetrator’s class number, because punishment is rarely placed on the individual. In Japan, the entire peer group gets reprimanded.

I’m not at all surprised. My students are between 13 and 15 years old, which seems about right for experimenting with bad habits. Surely, the bulk of their fathers are smokers. Cigs are still only 3 bucks a pack here, and smoking is still allowed in bars, restaurants, and even on trains.

But, come on, guys. You already use the top of my desk as storage space for all of your junk… Can you at least relinquish its interior?