Sunday, July 3, 2011

Strange Encounters of Three Kinds

I have had some interesting encounters with people lately. I was playing with the kids in the elementary school on Tuesday and I always have to play outside with them at recess. Since it is becoming ridiculously hot with the summer, I don't enjoy it as much. I think it confuses the kids when "Erin-Sensei" is always gravitating toward the shade of those pine trees rather than trying to save the "tag prisoners" at the jungle gym. The fourth graders are definitely the most scattered group to have recess with (and that is the grade with kancho girl). They rarely have any organized game planned and it usually involves just a lot of running around. So when their "game" had fallen apart for the last 10 minutes of recess, I was pushing some second graders on the swings and talking to a girl trying to walk on stilts. This little girl is super adorable and very intelligent. She saw that I was sweating and looked up at me and said "Are you okay?!" I was stunned. I don't even think that some high schools kids would be able to form that sentence. I heard that the little girl's mother makes her wake up at 5 in the morning every day to study. She is only seven years old so it makes me really sad to think how she is losing some of her childhood so quickly. Let her sleep longer or watch cartoons! Save the strict studying for high school.

I went to Sasebo on Saturday to go to a lady doctor appointment. I was really nervous because I don't know what it's like in Japan. I had been reading on the internet about different experiences and they ranged from the super invasive to "you feeling good? okay, great" types. Luckily, Sasebo is home to an American naval base so there is a doctor there who delivers about 5 American babies a month from the base. He speaks perfect English and his clinic is amazingly foreigner friendly. The staff spoke English and the inside was super swanky. There is a cafeteria and water aerobics for pregnant ladies. My sister and I were joking that people should just go do water aerobics there even if they aren't pregnant. ("Cannonball!") It turns out that this was the non-invasive type doctor visit. All I got was an ultrasound and the doctor said "your uterus looks very nice." It took every fiber of my being to not say "thank you." A friend of mine said I should have said "thank you, do you like the paint and new furniture?" And then that joke evolved into an idea for "Extreme Makeover: Uterus Edition." Sometimes, I just take it too far.

While waiting for the ferry to return to Ojika, I often sit and read or journal. I am just the journaling type. I like to document things and it's like a therapy for me. There is a guard who works at the ferry terminal and he enjoys approaching me and speaking to me in English. I don't mind speaking to people in English (because generally, that is what I do) but this guy drives me bonkers. I am obviously doing something and yet he forces his conversation on me. I never interrupt people if they look like they are vested in some other activity because I know how annoying it is. What does he do for the second time since I have been in Japan? He leaned over to try to read what I was writing! I was flabbergasted. He has little common sense obviously. At that point, I got up quickly and pretended that I needed to go somewhere with all my bags. I went outside and sat behind a pillar but he still found me. So maybe I am going to have to scope out bathroom stalls the next time I want to get some peace and quiet before sitting on a rocking ferry for two and a half hours.

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