The Law of the Land

20 Apr

The Law of the Land states that when you are so busy on one given day that sitting on the loo seems like ‘a break’ it is inevitable that someone will ask you to do something else and you will say fuckin YES – probably because

  1. you’re just a nice person, or
  2. you have an inability to say NO unless it’s to your husband asking for sex before you’ve had enough wine, or
  3. you want the money even if it means you’ll be a raging bitch to the family for the next three days….

Today was batshit. Thursdays have turned into my batshit crazy days. It used to be Wednesday but when I started working at the school in the next town over (from last April) it changed to Thursday. It doesn’t help that I started at a NEW school (also in the aforementioned town) on Tuesday this week – 3 hours of teaching from 9:30 to 12:30. I don’t mind teaching but first days can be a bit precarious ya know!! New teachers, new children. I didn’t know if I was going to be assisting the teacher or if I was going to be left to my own devices to impart my expansive knowledge of the English language, No David!, and the Very Hungry Caterpillar onto my new students. I didn’t know if the first graders would be receptive, or the 6th graders too cool for school.

It was fine though.

Mainly because I’m a fabulous teacher and great at reading kids (as in who is about to cry, pack a fuckin hissy fit, be a twat rah rah). Seriously. Not joking (pats self on back and pours a wine).

I then had a new Junior High student start in Tuesday’s JH class. She was fine. Seemed to enjoy herself and I could literally see a ‘penny drop’ moment which was great.

Rock on Wednesday and I had to clean the house in preparation for today’s Home Teacher Visits, teach three classes and then head over to the excitement that is a PT fuckin A meetings. There was some also shopping for sustenance to keep the family alive at meal time – because like, I didn’t have time to go forage in the hills for mountain root vegetables like I normally do. And I had to get the kids’ shit ready for soccer, make the meal, deal with Granny K and random visitors yaddah bloody yaddah. Seriously. I only cleared one level on Jelly Splash, THAT’S how busy Yesterday Was!!

Then today happened.

Today started with the normal routine.

Coffee, shouting and getting the kids out of the front door in time.

I then realised I was on traffic duty but had to drive to the person, who was last on traffic duty and who didn’t know what to do with traffic duty flag red bag at end of school year’s house. Get said flag. Extend flag arm and walk children over pedestrian crossing, which takes about 13 seconds. Go home and walk the dog, hang out the washing, dishes, tidy, vacuum, polish etcetera, etcetera.

At 9am I drive to the shop to get more caffeine, because well, it’s a multiple shot kind of day. I then drive by my English room to get a bag full of random teaching materials because the school I am teaching at has failed to inform me of any more details other than ‘you will be teaching, yoroshiku’. When I am the sole teacher I obviously prepare lessons but at the primary school they follow a curriculum and every teacher conducts their classes differently. I am the ‘paid fluent help’ in these classes.

I get to the school in time to meet the new Principal, new Vice Principal and new teachers – bar two. Japan has a stupid system of transferring teachers and other civil servants to different locations at the beginning of April. It is bloody ridiculous. On Tuesday the school I went to had a new Principal – who had NEVER taught at primary school level before…

boggle, boggle.

The mind just boggles.

I teach three classes in a row – but somehow the tea lady manages to convince me to have two cups of green tea and some coffee. I get told ‘in secret’ that the new third grade teacher hates English.

Fuckin Yay.

It would seem I have just embarked on a whole year with a teacher writing bloody katakana above the English. This is ‘trying’ to write the way a word is pronounced in English in Japanese. Like we would write ‘sigh-yo-nah-rah’ for ‘sayonara’ in Japanese. It is frustrating because we have many sounds that Japanese doesn’t have. like ‘si’ in ‘sick’ – or ‘th’ or fuckin ‘v’ – the list is endless.

After finishing the classes there is a quick meeting about the Saturday classes I ‘light-heartedly’ said I would teach this year. I got a letter yesterday in the mail saying thank you for your commitment. You will be teaching THREE hours every second Saturday. Last year I taught TWO as a FAVOR to the then principal whom I have known for more than 15 years.

I said my piece to the new principal – told him the Education Department had failed to inform me that I was teaching three hours instead of two and that it interfered with my children soccer pick-up duties and that there could well be Saturdays when I couldn’t teach that third lessen I didn’t know about until 24 hours ago.

He said it was fine because ‘the previous principal spoke so highly of me they didn’t care if I actually couldn’t teach half the lessons!!!’

Bloody hell.

I should charge more than the minimum wage for making coffee in NZ.

Actually doing anything in NZ.

When I take the kids back to NZ I have to pay my nieces the same hourly rate (more on a Saturday night) to babysit as I get paid, with 20 years experience, to teach English. They get to sit on a couch on their iPhones for the same price I have to get my energy sapped out of me by alien beings on crack. Tis not fair.

That said – I said yes (kind of) and I COULD have turned it down today but fuck, read the first paragraph of this post again.


SOOOOOOOOO, I finish at the bloody school and go the supermarket next door to forage for groceries.

I get home at 1pm. Teacher interviews are set to start at 1:30. I stuff a rice ball in my mouth – like I’m the Usain Bolt of eating rice balls, and then get dinner sorted – yakisoba, or noodles with pork, onion and carrot. I cut up some cucumber, tomatoes and orange for good measure, leave it in a tuppaware container and pat self on back for making a ‘salad’ with dinner. Three days a week I have to make dinner and then rely on Granny K or hub to fed the masses. It usually works.

Teacher one arrives and we talk about the golden child for 30 minutes. She leaves and 47 seconds later Shou and Marina’s teacher (they share the same homeroom teacher because the school is so small) arrives. She stays for an hour.. … I seriously thought she would only stay for about 40 minutes (at best I was looking at 25)… but she is new to the school, and area and I just happened to be her first home visit.

Fuckin Sigh.

She leaves at 3pm and I have 30 minutes to finish the fuck out of all the house stuff I was meant to finish before picking up English class kids, own kids AND taking Granny K to the God Dam post office (yes, all in the same trip).

And then I get an email from translation company haven’t heard from in about a month.

Can I finish a 12 page survey by tomorrow night?

…. ……

I actually consider vodka at this point but realise that a) I don’t actually drink vodka and b) well, just no, too much shit left to do.

So I reply with ‘sorry, no. BUT (read first paragraph of post again) if you can extend the deadline until Sunday evening I could do it for sure – no problem. AM ACHING to translate that document on that survey about rental spaces in Tokyo.

And then I had to teach three lessons, pick the kids up from soccer and….

come home.

Oh fuck, I forgot, in the 20 minutes I had between English classes I came home and washed the dinner dishes and cleaned up AGAIN.

And now????

I am going to pour wine and watch English anything. Probably My Kitchen Rules, Possibly Criminal Minds. You never know. I might just stream Adele interviews for an hour 🙂


Night you lot.


Note: ALSO am currently hemorrhaging vast amounts of blood out of the saloon doors. Which explains why have been bitchy to family but am also grateful for it because it means that I’m not with child – which was a possibility after hub and I got totally pissed and I said, tis OK, don’t need condom, will not get pregnant.

Said the woman who gets pregnant at the whiff of a man’t underpants.





5 Responses to “The Law of the Land”

  1. japanmama April 20, 2017 at 9:55 pm #

    Bloody hell…I’m knackered just reading all that lot.

    • gaijinwife April 20, 2017 at 11:10 pm #

      It was a long day I tell ya. Sometimes I get to the end of a day like that and tell hub I actually can’t communicate anymore in Japanese. And I actually can’t. All sorts of rubbish comes out 🙂

  2. Kay Howe April 21, 2017 at 8:39 pm #

    You re superwoman. Laughing with you (and drinking).

  3. ds April 26, 2017 at 7:34 am #

    Wow, what’s the going rate for teaching elementary school down your way? IIRC, up here in Aichi it starts at around 3,000 yen per class and moves on depending on your experience etc. Business English starts at 4,000, minimum 2 hour class, plus transport expenses.

    • gaijinwife April 26, 2017 at 11:39 pm #

      I have no idea what the going rate is normally but I got offered 1,500 for one 50 minute class and I said yes – because I had the time and well, that first paragraph of the post 🙂 I could have said no or asked for more. NZ used to be cheaper than Japan but it just keeps getting more and more expensive.

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