Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ee Ess Who?

So I got the missez enrolled in an ESL course here through an accredited US college.


She speaks English well, but wants to refine it and eventually take some business classes so she can maybe score a job should we [inevitably] return to the YouEss of Fucking Eigh, the greatest nation on the planet.

So I drop her off to the class, and there's a dude in there talking to one of the other girls taking the class.

And by "talking to" I mean "hitting on".

He wasn't even involved with the class. He just worked at the college. And he's in there hitting on the students. Blatantly. His game was, "If you need help in English, call me." Yeah, that's hot. If she's 26 years old and can get fooled by that, she deserves whatever funk or STD she gets from him. I also appreciated him speaking broken high school-level Japanese to her so it would be less obvious that he was hitting on her. Take off douchebag, you've overstayed your welcome.

So I dumped her off, came home, layed on the couch for 3 hours, and went to get her. Naturally I was curious about the topics covered, and was a little surprised at what I heard. I heard about Iraq, the national deficit, about how Al Gore would have been a better president, about how Al Gore won anobel peace price, about global warming. Amazingly enough, and hold onto your hats for this one, he also made sure to mention how quickly he received his BA, MA, and PhD. He's. Highly. Educated. You see.

Awesome. Part deux.

Weird -- I coulda sworn we registered for an English as a Second Language class, not some guy blathering about his political views to a bunch of Japanese women.

Then again, this shouldn't surprise me. When I was a student in Nagoya, I went to this company that sends (read: whores out)roundeye like me to places that need a roundeye in the class to speak roundeye. They didn't even interview me. They asked where I was from and what my visa status was. Blammo, hired, 3500yen an hour. So they sent me a fax with directions on how to get to this school, and I showed up to find a very hostile Canadian wondering why another roundeye was sent to his class. "I dunno man," the 19-year-old version of me said, "I just went where they told me to go." He looked at me in a way which could only be described as "What the fuck eh" and spent the next 2 hours interrogating me about past atrocities visited upon the native population of North America by the United States Government.

"Hey man, I just wanted to come here, speaky roundeye, and get some scrill."

"Negative buddeeh, not until you apologize for exterminating the Injuns eh."

I left there feeling like I'd been sodomized by a whooping band of Lakota phantasms. "Nice shirts guys, how'd that work out for you?", I cackled, as their ethereal forms heaved and ho'd in a strange display of fast-forwarded air buggery.

Seriously though. The Canadian was an asshole and made me dislike Canadians for a really long time, and the missez's teacher thinks an English improvement course is a forum for him to voice his opinions.

Yeah, I know. Both examples are pretty innocuous. A bunch of Japanese women and/or old people aren't really going to topple governments or change future policy based on what some dude with a pony tail, pot belly, and halitosis says to them really. really. slowly.


Consider, for a moment, what can happen to little kids.

Yes, everything above what I'm about to say was an introduction for what I'm about to say. And since I emailed most of the readers of this blog what I'm about to say, you should all be closing this window right about now.

That being said, there are these little islands between Korea and Japan called the Liancourt Rocks or, if you hate the Japanese, "Dokdo", and if you hate the Koreans, "Takeshima". These islands are highly disputed and the source of a lot of problems between Korea and Japan. When you see what they look like, you'll understand why.

I know right? Take another look.

Anyway, my buddy sent me a couple links to a forum that had some pictures from a subway in Korea. There were a bunch of drawings from middleschoolers and high schoolers all over the wall, and some of them were pretty entertaining.

And by "entertaining" I mean "disturbing."


Enjoy. Discuss.

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Blogger Hammer said...

Did you work for AEON or JET during your Canadian honeymoon? Heard stories like that all the time from friends who work for both. I did notice when I lived overseas that Canadians went particularly out of their way to lambast any Americans in their vicinty. Oh sure, they're polite here on U.S. soil, but get them on neutral ground and they'll practically whip out pictures of your granddaddy posing for the camera at a lynching. Don't know what it is with those guys once you get them out of the land of milk and maple syrup, but they can be a bit much. And that's just when they're sober - get those kids drunk and Jesus almighty does the preaching ever start...

5:49 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

jammer -- JET is a pretty regimented program thru the govment of japan that sends roundeye to (usually) the sister city from which they apply. they try and send em to the countryside where gaijin are rarely seen roaming the earf. ive heard mixed things about it, but generally not too bad if you dont mind teaching middle schoolers. plus after 3 years you cant stay. AEON is one of the "big 4" english schools (one of which, NOVA, is going tits up), and yeah ive heard some really nightmarish stories from those places. "retail english" its called, and theyll hire pretty much anyone. they like to hire people from the states and bring people over who have no knowledge of japan so they can pretty much keep em on a tight leash.

i cant even remember the name of the company i went thru. like i sed, it was just a chopshop. i never knew where i was going or what i had in store, which is why i only did it 3 times. i couldnt be bothered to go babysit for an hour and a half, even tho it was good money...

you thinkin about comin over to teach? you'd love it! youd be a super star.

7:39 PM  
Blogger Hammer said...

Actually, I had a friend who finished Jet a couple years ago. It was hard on her because she's a big city girl all the way (Chicago) and she was sent to the boonies. Said she put on a bunch of weight between the lack of a good gym and the fact that people kept having her over and cooked for her pretty much constantly. Food that was decidedly non-low-cal.

In late 2002 I applied for a teaching English in China gig through U. of MD. Got my rec letters turned in and everything. Started making arrangements, etc. But then I got a FT gig at the uni and that was that. Hard to envision what my life would be like right now if the cards fell the other way.

I think about it sometimes, but it seems like a gig mostly for the young 'uns or people who do it with their spouses. I've heard the best money in Asia is teaching in Korea and Taiwan. People I've talked to love Japan but hate the expense of it. They admit, though, that knowing the right folks can lead to better gigs.

Christ, I better stop now before I talk myself into it again...

9:02 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

my friend who sent me those pics is about to get his masters, at which point he will be even higher on the hog in korea than he is now because he'll be able to teach at a university. good pay, very few hours (so if he wants to freelance on the side he can make even more, charging even more cuz he's a university teacher), and 3 months off every year. right now he's making about $4400 a month tax free and the school he's at is paying his rent.

not too shabby.

and if i remember correctly, you have a masters from a prestigious institution.

innerested yet?!

9:24 AM  
Blogger Rude said...

Fighting over a pair of rocks or tits, just the same.
Sometimes, and for some situations, I think warring parties simply need to smoke weed and learn to surf. Only then would they realize that life is "Surfing, chicks, and surfboards. The rest is just filler" - J.Riddle

Frank W.
Chantilly, VA

10:14 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

man... rarely have truer words been spoken.

dont forget about smoking weeds.

i bet if they all met on dokdo/takeshima and smoked weed (or "smorked weeds" as a japanese person i knew used to say) theyd rename the islands "bartholemew" and acknowledge that it is actually, indeed, a giant parakeet.

japanese: "whuddja put in this weeds, man?"

south koreans: "a little something the north koreans smuggled into your country"

japanese: "rorz"

11:49 PM  
Blogger Hammer said...

That's some serious take-home pay. We may need to have a substantive discussion sometime next year. In the meantime, I'll just sit here and lolz at "rorz."

3:06 AM  
Blogger Rude said...

I'm lost. What is Rorz?

Frank W.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

"ROR" is how a japanese person would say "LOL"... :)

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

randomly found my way to your blog and found your writing really interesting.

out of pure curiosity, do you and your wife converse in japanese or english?

- gabe

2:47 PM  
Blogger A Unique Alias said...

They speak to each other in the universal language of sexy.

But yeah, just before I met my now future ball and chain, I was very seriously considering popping over to nippon to teach English and alcoholism.

I think that the world is a better place for the failure of that awful plan.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Gabe -- thanks for readin! before, it was like she'd speak japanese and id either, grunt, ignore her, or reply in monosyllabic english. sometimes i speakum japanese but usually i just cant be bothered. lately tho since she's been going to ESL she's been making a concerted effort to speak more english, which is cool.

aua -- yeah, that language has an overwhelmingly large amount of vowel sounds. it woulda been cool to have you over "teaching" english in japan; you would have been a cool addition to a population of expats largely made up of complete douchebags and social maladroits. and yeah, it's a great place to fail -- ive seen a lot of roundeye fall on their face here, but man if they didnt have a good time in the process :)

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would accept any job offer that required me to teach the universal language of sexy.


1:14 PM  
Anonymous Tony said...

Paul, your link didn't work.

I was so looking forward to middle schooler's drawrings.

The dude in your wife's English class is just trying to look socially aware and rebellious at the same time so he seems smart and dangerous. I have a feeling it's way less about trying to promote a political agenda and way more about trying to score some Japanese azz.

They actually teach a class on that to every recipient of their Ph.D. I'm quite good at it myself.

6:46 AM  

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