06 November 2006

My heart will go on

We have been finishing up this chapter about Celine Dion in our first-year English classes. It's been riveting, as I'm sure you can imagine. Today, as sort of a send-off, one class was watching the movie "Titanic". I talked to a couple of teachers about it because, you know, there are breasts in that movie. "You know," I said, "that movie is a little — I mean, there are some parts that are-" hoping that they would fill in the rest, but they just answered, "Yes" without understanding what I said. "No, no," I said, "I mean, in America maybe we couldn't show that movie in a high school because-" but there were just more blank stares. "Naked?" I finally came up with. This they understood, "Oh, yes, yes, the students are looking forward to it." But their parents? I asked. Won't their parents be upset? "Well, maybe they won't tell their parents." Great.

I saw part of the movie, but left before the breasts, which is fine because who wants to look at that with a bunch of high school students.

Some sort of oil/ gasoline leak on my motorbike has got me suffering from massive headaches. I took it to the bike shop and this old guy who seemed very uninterested in the problem suggested we change a seal that he didn't have. Fine, I said, and am now waiting until Wednesday to have it "fixed" although I'm sure this isn't going to do anything because the fumes are coming from a different part of the engine. Part of living in Japan is trying to get people to do the things you actually need them to do. Everyone is always willing to help, but never really able to do anything unless you explicitly lay it out for them. I know I'm generalizing, but it always feels like I'm trying to push an elephant through a doorway. Like, I know I'm a foreigner and I sound like I'm stupid because I can't speak your language perfectly, but I understand that there is a strong smell of exhaust coming from the engine and can't you just really look at the engine? I'll pay anything you like. Just get rid of this damn headache.

Bah. Tokyo, December 2nd and 3rd. Japanese Proficiency and coffee with all the city dwellers. Mark it. I'm gonna get a hotel in Ikebukuro I think 'cause I'm actually taking the test at Saitama U, which seems like way the hell out of the way, but what can you do. Level 2 is mine this year.