Sunday, August 26, 2007

hopefully spongebrained infantile lummox

I can`t read or write, I don`t know how to speak, and I am just now learning how to cross the street safely. I am the mind of a child in an alien`s body wandering around a foreign land.

See, the language is different, they drive on the other side of the road and - ooh, ooh - I got my Alien Registration Card the other day, so I really am an alien now, woo hoo.

At times my ineptitude frustrates and at others entices: the immediate future holds unending learning for me, which is a pretty exciting thought.

In the meantime, I have to get used to people talking AT me and feeling rather dimwitted because, despite their best efforts and intentions, I have no idea what they are saying. Signing up for an internet cafe club card, the attendent anxiously stuttered the same word over and over again at me for about 30 seconds, not able to think of a better way to explain what that specific portion of form required: my date of birth! When paying later, I embarassed us both by complaining that I was overcharged for my time usage, not realising that she had included my sign-up fee in the price. Sigh.

I have always admired bi- and multi-linguists, and long since envisioned as one of my life goals the acquisition of another tongue. I guess this is my chance, because the desire to NOT feel stupid should be a strong motivator for me. There is a very basic level language profficiency test in December, so there I aim my sights. Tomorrow I meet a little old lady language instructor who will hopefully help toward that end.

More immediately, I get to practice my select and misremembered formal, polite phrases tomorrow when I have the first day at my real job, meeting the principal, staff, and students. The kocho-sensai (`principle,` I think) is a very important, intimidating, and aloof superior, even to long-term staff. Watashi wa kowai desu - I`m afraid.


Daggerdon said...

Hi Alexander.
Enjoyed reading your blog a lot. It still seems like a bit of dream to have you way over there instead of in your bedroom one floor below. Mom says that she has reached you on the telephone a couple of times, I guess she has better luck than me, although I have only tried once. I was sorry to hear about your migraine headaches... the problem with leaving anywhere is that you take along the person that causes the most grief in your life... You.
This is true for everyone, but it would be nice to go somewhere and get to be complete new and different than the person you left behind.
Japan sounds like a real experience with a lot of opportunity to grow and learn. I hope you like teaching, it's something I love doing, even if the pay scale always seemed to suck to me.
However, if you love it do it!

Have to go now, writing this at work on Monday after reading about your Sunday, so I guess it's already your Tuesday... all of this is so confusing. How can you possibly understand that it's a different friggin day where you, let alone a different country.

Might as well be a different world, for that matter.

Mike said...

Our lives, which seemed to run so close to parallel for quite a long, have both taken turns in drastically different directions lately. You are on the cusp of breaking into a brave new world of information and culture, while I languish millions of miles away from the comfortable confines of esoteric but educational establishments. This kind of work would kill me. I think I'm still Mike at the moment, but that's only because there's hope of an escape. Not this september but next I will be in school. Maybe at a graduate program, maybe just back taking some more undergrad courses. I need my job to matter. I can't say I'll ever be in a position to change the world, but I need to at least try to change a corner of it.
I hope you're managing to keep busy socially in addition to your sociological metamorphosis; judging by what I've read your metaphysical musings will continue unabated.
Miss having you around call up when I need a good talk and double espresso, but I'll learn to manage. I always thought Brave New World was fun, Shakespeare is a little too severe a rule to judge society by for the most part, but nice metaphore regardless.
Won another championship this weekend, might even take home tourney mvp. At least you can't take those away from me when you're in Japan.
Take care bud, hope you have time to write back soon.

Ashleah said...

Hey Bro,

The other two comments on this post are pretty deep, so I'll just say hey.


I hope you had a fantastic first week. I tried to call you, but it seems that your number cannot be dialed from a cell phone... Anyways, hope all goes well, we're thinking about you...

Mel said...

Wow Alex,
I cannot believe you are over there and living. I am so glad you got the internet in your apartment and I can't believe you stood up in front of 600 people and spoke in Japaneese!!! WOOT GO YOU!!! I am glad that things are getting worked out for you and you have not had too many monents of stupidity! There will be more I garuntee it!!! I am so happy to hear that you are alright and happy in your new world of Japan! You are missed back here and thought of freequently.