Thru the Eye of Obscure

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More mail from Sally in Japan

The nagasaki scene continues as usual, only louder: i went to a party on saturday night and my ears only stopped ringing on tuesday.(it was great trying to teach my students when i couldn't hear a word they were saying) actually it is interesting: the dj s are doing quite different stuff from what they are doing in nz. in nz everything is becoming more more mellow, whereas here everything is high energy.

actually saturday night was one of those times when i was ashamed to be a gaijin (technically speaking gaijin means anybody whose heritage is not japanese, but i tend to use it as a natural substitute for pakeha. i cant bring myself to call people who've never seen europe "european", and "white" just seems crass). Everybody was dancing and having a good time, when about five huge, staunch looking gaijin came in, stood by the

dance floor, folded their arms, and stared at us as if we were animals in the zoo. i felt like i needed a sign saying "i'm not with them,really.". actually, unlike the other teachers here, i actively avoid talking to gaijin when i go out. even though talking to most japanese people involves lots of miming, gesturing, and digging around for mutual vocab, its really much more fun. in some ways its a relief not to be capable of any in depth conversation, although its surprising how much communication there can be. on the other hand, perhaps i just like feeling special: to other gaijin, i'm just normal. or sort of normal. or sort of kind of normal.

work is kind of fun, although sometimes i find it quite stifling. i'm not sure what i'll do next year: i want to stay in japan, but it feels like it's time i had more of an intellectual challenge than i get from this kind of teaching.

you'll be pleased to know i am now phlegm free (phlegm, incidentally, is a great word to use if you ever find yourself involved in a cut-throat, high-stakes game of hangman)


i am picturing you walking down courtenay place with a white,lacey parasol, and the thought gives me great joy

[don't ask]