An Interesting Day

8 Nov

Came out the other side of the translation tunnel this morning. Wahoooo. I was at such a loss as to what to do that I actually went for a walk to replenish vitamin D supplies AND had an afternoon nap. Who does that shit! Of course I told hub it took all day cause no doubt he would have thought today was a good a day as any to start on all that back log of house shit, like cleaning curtain rails with cotton buds, that has been ignored whilst in aforementioned tunnel.

I got an email from the office who assigned me the job – thanking me for taking on such a big load and then promptly got an email from a different woman, but from the same office, asking if I had time before December to English check and format 60 pages. Which is a walk. in. the. park to translating fiscal policy and quality assurance.

After pressing send on the translation I had to high tail it to the school for class observation day. Music!! Had never been in the music room before so was quite interesting. Shou and HTB do music with the second graders and today was  an ensemble of pianica, castanets and tambourines. It was quite entertaining, but not so much that I felt the need to stay for the second class which was Math. Excused myself after a wee talk from the teacher saying that Shou’s Kanji wasn’t too good and he was forgetting ones that had three readings and shit…. !! So I just nodded and said something about putting a pack of flash cards under his pillow for osmosis or what not but really, in first grade they learn Hiragana (which they mostly know from kinder) – that’s nearly twice as long as the English alphabet right there. Then they learn Katakana, which is for all the words Japanese borrowed from other languages cause they were too lazy to make their own words up, and then they start on the 100 kanji they need to know before going into second grade – some of which have three different ways of reading (like 生 – which can be pronounced ‘nama’ as in nama-beer (nama=raw and ‘raw beer’ just means a handle of beer out of the keg and not a can or bottle. Obviously Shou didn’t learn this particular example but ya know…) , then it can mean ‘ikiru’ which is to live, and then when you add it to other kanji it becomes ‘sei’ as in ‘sensei’ 先生’ )

I just confused you didn’t I?

needless to say I’m not overly worried Shou hasn’t got a grip on this yet.

I’ve just realised this is going to be a long post. Go get another cup of coffee.

So after class observation (during which HTB’s mum thanks me for last week, when I took her son to the supermarket with me because she was working – and thankyou for the afternoon snack I bought him too), I head home, twiddle my thumbs, wonder briefly how the Philippines will fear in light of the super typhoon, and then check my Gmail again. To find another email from the university…

This time it’s from the HR manager in the admin office, wondering if I could perhaps meet with him next Friday. I don’t need to go all the way there (2 hours), we can meet for coffee at the airport which is only about 40 minutes away from here. He doesn’t say what it’s about except that they are trying to centralize a lot of things, including translations. So instead of getting emails and phone calls from each office, they all have to go through this one place and I just deal with them. Supposedly.

Of course I’m hoping he isn’t going out of his way just to say that – and then keep my current pay-as-I-translate contract, which in reality is a pain in the ass because I have to make sure I stay under the dependents wage limit for tax purposes. If they offered me a salary on the other hand I would have constant income and work. They have one other person on a deal like this – working from Fukuoka, who used to work at APU when I did. I didn’t approach APU about this because I was having kids and then going back to NZ for sick and dying parents etc. BUT NOW would be good timing.

So fingers crossed next Friday isn’t just about the drive along the coast and the coffee.

And then tonight… dance.

Not wanting to disappoint.

Shou had hip hop – which Marina’s dance teacher doesn’t teach but is in charge of so she, and her daughter, are always there. Tonight, as Shou was going into the room she pulled me aside down the corridor, away from the other mums. She then called her daughter over and first of all they actually apologised for her daughter saying that shit to Marina, when I wasn’t there and in front of the other mums. About how if Marina wanted to dance the cool dances then mummy had to start paying for the Jazz class.

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeellll, she said that she wont be doing many more choreographed dances for the classical ballet (what we pay for Marina because when we said she was only doing one that was the one we got told to take), and therefore Marina, unless she did Jazz, would miss out. BUT because Marina was so good (cough, cough, what can I say – she says that to all the mums), it made more sense for her to do Jazz and therefore, because she knew I only wanted her in one because it was all together too much for a pre-schooler, I didn’t have to pay for her lessons. I just had to pay her daughter, not tell the other mums, and just put 3,000 yen instead of 8,000 yen in the envelope each month….

OMG, the perfect solution. Love a good bargain.

But would not enjoy the wrath that accompanied the other mums if they ever found out, and really because it’s just wrong and not the solution to the problem.  And because I want to at least appear to have good morals and shit.

SO, we discussed matters during a discussion, the three of us – sensei, Jazz teacher daughter and me. For the immediate time, whilst we have recitals coming out our ass like shit after a night out eating vindaloo, Marina will go on both Wednesday and Saturdays – this is perhaps another four Wednesday’s – which we don’t need to pay for by the way. And after that Marina will just do the hour of Jazz on Saturdays with the daughter sensei.

So we go from 5 hours of dance a week to 1 – but we cut Wednesdays, which is awesome cause its logistically a fuckin nightmare with us always being late due to back to back English lessons. She misses out on some of the ‘basics’ that the classical teaches but the jazz class starts with bar work and plies and shit so I’ll take it.

It does mean that for the end of December concert (which I wont be here for cause I’ll be off faffing around in Fukuoka and listening to Arashi – LIVE – with the European Stylist), she now is dancing the Mickey Mouse dance and two other dances – that she practically knows anyway but for which I need to buy and/or make outfits – but nothing as suicidal as the red dress that Granny K did.

So we forego some lesson money to make up for it in more dancing and costumes, but at least I don’t feel like I’ve lost the battle. I do feel like the sensei has tried to think of the best thing for Marina considering her mum refuses to pay for more lessons until she hits primary school next April.

I do think the other mums will not be too impressed. Especially as sensei told me she was going to keep Marina in h classical dances until the end of the year – cause it balanced the dance out and well, she was the teacher and she could do what she liked…

I rang M-chans mum and told her, as requested. The teacher said she wasn’t going to talk to her and could I please just tell her that the same goes for her daughter.  And THEN the teacher goes outside and ten minutes later comes in with one of the ‘veteran’ mums who orders the costumes – saying that she told her cause we need to order the mickey mouse dance costume but that she wasn’t telling the other mums.

Fuckin awkward.

Expect more bollocks.

SDGH&QL

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7 Responses to “An Interesting Day”

  1. xanaxjunkee November 8, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

    Oh god it’s like the dreadful ‘telephone’ game. Where all the mums will have heard it all but it gets a bit more warped by each telling. By the end of it all, it will come back to you and the story will be that sensei now pays you to keep the Irish mafia from coming to break her and her mom’s knee caps or something absurd. Good luck!

    • gaijinwife November 9, 2013 at 9:15 am #

      LOL – indeed. Chinese Japanese whispers. Why is it called Chinese whispers anyway? I’ve never thought about it before. The teacher gave me an envelope with 2000 yen today – slipped it into my bag on the sly and said ‘don’t tell anyone’ but you paid 5000 this month and you are officially now only paying for Jazz which is 3000.

  2. Tash kun November 9, 2013 at 5:54 am #

    OMG, the classic Japanese himitsu but EVERYONE knows!

    • gaijinwife November 9, 2013 at 9:12 am #

      yay – you never comment on here hardly 🙂

      • Tash kun November 14, 2013 at 7:30 am #

        Ha ha, I know, but always enjoy reading your posts 🙂

  3. Sian November 10, 2013 at 8:04 am #

    Congrats on finally finishing the translation!!! Must be awesome relief 🙂
    Good luck with the whole dancing business… crickey, looking forward to see how this turns out!!
    P.S. Please give full update on Arashi concert after you go! 😀

  4. Ruth November 12, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

    Oh no! I feel kind of bad now…. Bet she has moves to rival Arashi!

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Mrs D Is Going Without

Too much wine in rural Japan

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