I'm Big in Japan

Good evening Saga and friends,

My name is MC Master Chef and I'll be your server. Actually, my name is Colin, and I live in Karatsu, and by virtue of the fact that nobody else was volunteering, I'll be blogging some this week. I am neither a MC or a Master Chef, though my recent trip to Fukuoka's CostCo (cue heavenly choir noise) and purchase of an oven there means I can indulge myself a little more on the cooking front now.

This post will be short, because I'm currently wedged up between my kotatsu and couch with my laptop perched at just the right extremely-awkward angle to catch the unsecured wireless signal of some civic-minded (or possibly just technically-inept) neighbor who has been providing me with internet access for the past month or so. I finally braved Yamada Denki a week or two ago to purchase service of my own, as the signal I've been, um, borrowing is rather spotty. It appears to be slowly migrating as well; back in August, it was centered pretty close to the middle of the room, but now I'm at a point where if I scoot my laptop forward from its precisely aligned spot even an inch, I lose signal. If it continues at this rate, I'm going to have to open the window and check my e-mail outside on the porch, so hopefully the NTT man will arrive and get me a legit hook-up soon. He did make a quick appearance at 9:00 AM Sunday morning, but by the time I had groggily stumbled to the door, he was gone, ninja-style, with only an inscrutable note left in the door mailbox.

Today I taught at Daiichuugakko, a teeming hive of about 700 sailor-suited chuugakusei. My one stroke of relative brilliance as a JET last week at Ichuu -- documented here, feel free to steal it -- has since been shelved for the usual routine of reading the dialogues of Ken and Demi. It is unbelievably hot for October. It occurs to me that if the Japanese really want to improve their middle school education, it would probably be more cost-effective to junk the JET program and use the savings to install some freakin' AC/heating in all these circa-1970s concrete monstrosities we teach in.

As is their wont, the Ichuu ninensei girls greet me in the halls with a chorus of "Don't fuck me!". "I'm not a pedophile, I won't!", I cheerfully respond. Previous attempts to explain in fragmented Japanese that they really shouldn't use this particular expression as a greeting to their sensei appear to have failed as of now, so I'm seeing whether the bombard-them-into-submission-with-English-they-don't-understand tactic might work better.

I have made the mistake of telling a couple of my students that I'm trying to learn some of their names, so I am now regularly confronted by random girls -- it is almost exclusively girls -- who demand that I properly identify them or risk terminal pouting. This usually ends in disaster -- I have over a thousand students between three schools, who I see at most twice a week, and Ichuu, the largest of the three, is pretty much a lost cause on the name front... particularly since out of some quirk to the schedules I only seem to teach the first years, of which there are six classes alone -- but I take a small amount of comfort in the fact that a few of them apparently don't even know my name. If they do know it, they pronounce it "Korin", as in "I'm from Korinsei" ("Korin Star"), which is apparently some pop singer or somebody's catch phrase. This is better, however, than the requests I get to do the "Hard Gei" signature pelvic thrust, which I'm having none of, thanks.

In case it's not clear, I have no idea where I'm going with any of this. Time to close ... with a link, for your edification, to some Japanese geek slang.