not feeling too happy today, but I have to dust off
my "Happy Coat" and don it once more to appease
my boss, Mr. T. Last year
the city ALTs and I marched in Shiro
Matsuri, but this summer it's only the guys, as
both the female city ALTs have fled Japan to get a dose
of their home countries before returning for another
year. I wish I could say why I dread tomorrow. It's
not like someone will shove a TV camera in my face like
they did last year, but...
I don't know. Once is enough, you know what I mean?
Matsuri is held by along a main street inbetween city
hall and the castle grounds. Literally translated "shiro
matsuri" means "castle festival", but
it's more like a parade. There are a few stalls that
sell some Japanese goodies (like shaved ice and those
dough-balls that I love) and have a few carnival-type
games going on, but mainly it's just the parade. Hundreds
and hundreds of people get dressed up, mostly in happy
coats, though some in yukata or other dress, and at
the appointed time, make a long procession along the
street to a very rythmic and slow song. All the people
in the procession try to keep their bodies in synch
to a dance everyone's supposed to be doing even though
half of the participants are wasted.
hours before the festival the employees of city hall,
myself and the other city ALTs included, are to gather
at city hall for two hours of downing sake and beer
and eating all sorts of small Japanese snacks and dishes.
This year will be really interesting, though, because
the three ALTs who will be participating (Glen, Allen,
and I) in the festival don't drink at all. Now, finding
three JETs who don't drink a drop of alcohol is like
finding three Japanese people living in the same building
who don't like rice (nearly every JETs drink, and quite
a few are borderline alcoholics). Wait until Mr. T's
co-workers get a load of us!! Ha! They'll be so confused.
Kind of feel sorry for them, in a way, that they get
'stuck' with us... we're probably not as much fun as
the JETs who like to get wasted with their Japanese
colleagues. But that's life, eh?
try to be sociable and be a good ALT and practice some
Japanese and try and pry some English out of them and
compliment them on their pronouciation of "herro!",
but really I'm not feeling up to it. In fact, I haven't
felt up for much lately. Tonight, Allen (guy living
upstairs, new ALT) went out with a bunch of other ALTs,
which sounded fun and I kind of wanted to go out, but
all I want to do right now is bitch about women, and
Japanese women in particular.
my second "Where are you??? Did you get home safely??
I'm worried about you!!!" email, Aya responded
with a short blurb email that she's back and has just
been too busy to email or call or visit
or write or anything. Oh, yes, indeed. She's helping
her mother out with the cleaning an awful lot, these
days, and, oh yes, her brother has her cell phone, didn't
I know? And oh, also her computer has been broken so
she can't email, and she's got to work so she'll be
busy for a while. Oh, yes... I see. Of course.
a second here....
that's right, folks. I've been fed a load of horse-shit.
That's what she said in her email. It was short because
she was typing it into her cell phone after her brother
got back from juku (cram school) with it, and
she didn't say when she'd be able to get together. She's
been back from a trip through Australia for almost a
week and she didn't get in touch with me.
woman pisses me off.
been wracking my brain trying to think of the right
way to end things softly. Letting down someone gently
is one of the hardest things to do. I had a short chat
with a friend in the US today and she asked me a very
simple question... she asked me when was the last time
I actually talked to Aya, as in verbal
communication. I had to respond that it had been 34
days since I last spoke to her. 34 days. Over one month.
One month is 1/12th of a year!!! Motherfucker!! Goddam!!
What in the hell am I thinking??? I haven't spoken
to this girl in over a month, she doesn't call, write,
or whatever, she's jerkin me around like a dog on a
leash, and here I am worried about her
feelings in breaking up with her??? I mean, for all
I know this is the way she is trying to
break up with me!!
Alexandra (friend in the US mentioned above) asked me
that question and I got to thinking.. and I figured
out that I am wasting my life. I mean,
shit, man... Say I live 100 years.. that means that
I have about 1200 months of life. And that means that
I've wasted exactly .0833% of my life waiting around
for this chick to call me, when she may already be with
another guy (I wouldn't know, cause I can't even get
the damn woman to pick up the phone to give me a call!).
I've called her a number of times, but I can't get through
to her phone (if her brother does indeed have her phone,
he must have it turned off most of the time). Apparently,
she does get her email messages that are sent to her
cell phone (I guess her brother must give her them when
he gets back from juku).
women are the most confusing, confused, wacked-out people
in the entire world. Of that, there can be no doubt.
I have spent a great deal of time observing the Japanese
women in their native habitat (as you can well imagine)
and have come to this shocking conlcusion. Actually,
my friend John and I came to this conclusion four years
ago based only on our experiences with the Japanese
foreign exchange students we knew. I now have verified
praises the Japanese non-verbal communication. It's
so efficient. Keeps everyone polite, as they don't have
to come out and directly confront someone with criticism
or resentment. It fosters the harmony which Japanese
culture and custom have thrived on for a thousand years.
Well, folks, that's a load of crap. At least, it is
when it comes down to relationships. They have no idea
how to handle, foster, create, or maintain relationships.
During the courting process, Japanese couples have no
idea how they feel about one another. All that non-verbal
communication fails miserably and they have no vehicle
to express their real emotions. No way to tell the other
person that they care. Maybe that's why distances between
couples is so accepted. The date is a very ambiguous
concept. Drives Japanese men crazy. There is no set
idea of what a date is here... two people can go out
for months and yet the woman can think that they're
just going out for fun... not a date in the traditional
sense. The thing is, is that I had all of this stuff
nailed with Aya. We had laid the groundwork and had
come to an understanding... or so I thought.
I'm just really frustrated right now. Aya would say
that I'm not trying hard enough to understand the Japanese
way of life, or Japanese people. Well, why the hell
should I? She's not trying to understand what relationships
are like for Westerners! I'm the one making most of
the compromises here, and why the hell is that? Right
now, I don't know. She's told me before that Japanese
couples don't spend nearly as much time together or
keep such close contact as Western couples do, and she
used that as justification for her distance from me.
But my good neighbor, Lesa,
(I'm asking advice from lots of people, can you tell?)
reminde me that that's all hooey because if she really
wanted to see me, if she enjoyed my company, if she
really liked me, she'd want to spend time with me, regardless
of wether or not she's "Japanese". I can make
the time for her, she can make some time for me. Right?
.0833% of my life
has just gone down the crapper.
tell me folks, what should I do?? I'm half tempted just
to send a short email to Aya's cell phone telling her
that it's over. If she can't make any time for me, then
what the hell am I waiting for, you know what I mean?
Or do I have to do this face-to-face?? (I could be waiting
a long time for that...) I need CLOSURE, people!!
And some good advice! So what would you do if you were
me? Let your voice be heard!!