Thursday, 12 November 2009

Bad Week

I am really looking forward to this weekend as this week has been one of the most stressful I have had since coming to Japan.

On Monday, a strange thing happened to me. I was in my apartment writing some letters when someone rang the doorbell. I turned on the intercom to see a man with a scarf pulled up over his face. I didn't open the door but he persisted for forty minutes; ringing the doorbell and lurking around outside. He then went around to the back of my apartment and began throwing stones at the back window. At this point, I felt really frightened, so reluctantly, had to play the helpless female and call my friend Ciaran.

The man then came back to my front door again and once more, started to ring the bell. I turned the intercom on again to see that this time, he had taken the scarf away from his face; I knew who it was. It was Fujii, one of my third year students (who I have mentioned on this blog before). All the students in school have to wear a name badge on their blazer and Fujii began holding his up in front of the intercom saying 'Isabel, it's me Fujii. Please open the door, I want to tell you that I love you. I have a gift for you.' This is comedic in hindsight; next, he took out his electronic dictionary and began tapping away, presumably to find some more persuasive language.

It's against the rules for me to open the door to my students, rumours could spread quickly (illustrative by the fact that I've had some students asking me if I had enjoyed the persimmons they saw me buying at the supermarket...) so I just stayed silent. Fujii wouldn't give up, he kept calling through the door and holding up a big floral bag. At this point, Ciaran turned up and explained to Fujii that he shouldn't really be visiting me outside of school. Reluctantly, Fujii cycled away but returned about an hour after Ciaran had left to drop a note through my door which said 'Isabel, I love you very (spelt 'bery')much, is tall man your boyfriend?'

The next morning, I opened my door to find the floral bag sitting outside, inside which were the most ornately wrapped Japanese sweets, a love note and a hastily written note shoved at the bottom of the bag saying 'I am sorry for my careless behaviour, I will never see or speak to you again.'

I had to go and tell the school and I felt awful. Fujii and I talk all the time; he's a really great guy and I didn't want to get him into trouble. To make things worse, I had to teach his class in the first lesson. He usually sits right at the front; this time, he was right at the very back with his head down. I had to approach his group to help them out with a question and when I looked at him, his eyes were all puffy; he had obviously been told off and had been crying. This set me off too and I had to pretend to go and photocopy something.

Sometimes I find my job difficult. I am so close in age to my 18,19 year old students and they can often misinterpret my friendliness as something else. I was supposed to meet with Fujii and his form teacher that afternoon but Fujii didn't show up. He said he was too embarrassed to see me and didn't want to see me again. I've been thinking about the incident ever since. I feel such a bitch for snitching on Fujii but I was very frightened when I saw him with the scarf over his face. All I could think of were the horrible things that have happened to some female teachers over here. I feel upset that he probably won't come and talk to me again; we used to talk about music all the time, he is such a sweetie.

I took a day off on Wednesday as I felt unwell and exhausted. I went in today but when the teachers heard me cough, there was pandemonium. Before I could even sit down, I was whisked off to the hospital where I had to pay ten pounds for the doctor to tell me that I didn't have swine flu. My school is so neurotic. I wasn't allowed back to school incase I 'infected' the students so today was a duvet day. I have a lesson on debating tomorrow which I am not looking forward to. Japanese people are not confrontational, I am not confrontational so I cannot forsee an abundance of debating sparks flying...

I'm totemo tired.

sweet dreams


EDIT - Friday - today marked the turnaround of the so-so week I have had. The debating lesson went brilliantly because of my discerning choice of topics for the students to debate. What 18 year olds don't enjoy talking about romance? We debated the fun (albeit superficial perhaps?!) topics of 'is love more important than money?', 'Is it better to have a partner who is beautiful or a partner who has a good personality' and finally 'You have fallen in love with your best friend's girlfriend/boyfriend. What should you do?' I didn't have a very moral bunch. Lots of the boys especially said 'go for the girl! No regret please!'

What put my mind most at rest was that I spoke with Fujii and Naoi-sensei. Fujii said sorry to me and then asked Naoi-sensei to ask me if it was alright for Fujii to give me a 'sorry hug', ha. He clasped his arms around me for a long time which made both Naoi-sensei and I laugh. I'm so glad we are able to talk again.

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