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2004-10-29 4:58 p.m.

madame butterfly

It seems I was right not to try messing with that typhoon.

Quasi-good news. The night of November 2nd in the US corresponds to the day of November 3rd here, which is a holiday in Japan (Cultural Day (don't ask me what that is)) ! So I can just sit at home and hold my breath.

I'm trying to figure out where to go over winter break... I'm thinking... Southeast Asia. Cambodia? Laos? I really want to see Angkor Wat. Thoughts?

Maybe you'll be president, but know right from wrong.

Two main recent developments. Number one, Thursday I rolled into work to find a letter from Matchan on my desk. I've spruced it up, but basically it said:

gTo greyarea.
Recently I have been very busy so I canft prepare classes much in advance. Ifm sorry. : / You may feel like 'I donft know what to do.' But you eat lunch with the students and clean the school with them! [In Japan they don't really have janitors, and the kids have to clean the school. I go hang out with them when they do. "Hanging out" is a large part of what I do there.] (I donft know what to do at cleaning time.) [Note, I kind of doubt that, but it is telling about the Japanese workplace attitude of "If you have to ask, you'll never know."] I think you're getting through. : ) I think teaching English is difficult and you may feel that way, as well. Also, you teach it in Japan. There are many differences between Japan and America. I think we should talk about how to teach in Japan, but I have no time this week, so please wait for me. Ifll make time to talk with you. However Ifll give you one piece of advice. When we have class, you stand in the front and look at them while I explain. The students feel pressured, I think. Please help the students who are having a difficult time. Do you know what I'm saying? I think we have to teach English to the students in the best way. And we must cooperate with each other. Letfs do our best!! -matchan"

Huh. I guess I didn't give her enough credit. She's a little more perceptive than I thought. However, there is a bit of an undertone there of "Your opinions on education are irrelevant, and we will do this my way," don't you think? Maybe she and I should meet up once a week for dinner or something, so we can practice English conversation and she can tell me how much I don't understand Japanese culture.

The other thing is development in the women department. I don't want to go into too much detail in fear of turning this into the kind of diary I hate, but I think the music teacher has indicated an interest in me. Let's just call her MT from now on, shall we?

And guess what her favorite color is?

Yeah. It's GREY. She wears grey almost every day.

I don't know her very well, but I like her because she's cute, into music, and she has a level-headed calm to her that I'm drawn to. She doesn't know me very well, but I guess she might like me for similar reasons. She knows I'm very much into music, that I play a few instruments, and that I'm quite knowledgeable about music, including classical and (to a lesser extent) jazz.

BUT, see. There's another player. The cute high school teacher who lives next door to me. I don't know her nearly as well, since I spend about five times as much time at the middle school as the high school, but... I don't know. She's a got a certain... charm. For future reference, we'll call her "Sophie." Just what's going on there is less clear to me than in the case of MT, but we'll see what happens.

Ugh. Confronted with the actual possibility of a relationship with a woman here, suddenly I feel a rush of vertigo. I need a break from relationships and part of me just really wants to be alone. I'm still thinking about Junko a lot, and I'm hesitant to get into a new relationship until I've decided for sure that I won't ask Junko to come here. Plus I'm not all that optimistic that such a relationship has a future.

But I do like having a "special friend" around.

Plus there's the problem of Option Paralysis ("the tendency, when given unlimited choices, to make none"), which is not really a problem I've had in the romance department before (though maybe I've just been too oblivious in the past to have had that problem). I'm hesitant to get too close to one woman because it would jeopardize my ability to get close to the other... (Sophie and MT are both pretty much next-door neighbors.) And there are a few other women currently on the radar screen, as well (though a number have recently dropped off). Ugh.

And why is it that thinking about this stuff I get a strong urge to listen to Pinkerton?

For now, I guess I'll just follow Ween's example and play it off legit. I'll take my time and do what the Japanese call "nemawashi," which, literally speaking, kind of means "going around and tending the roots." In business circles, that's when you go around to everyone involved beforehand and kind of lay the groundwork and get preliminary approval with each individual before officially coming out with a proposal to be considered (very important in Japan). In English I guess a similar phrase is "greasing the wheels." So I guess for now I'll just take it slow and try to get to know these ladies better in a (more or less) platonic way, and perhaps the correct course of action will eventually become clear.

It seems the females I'm interested in these days seem to be properly called "women" rather than "girls." Huh. I wonder if that makes me a man?

So if it seems like I lied when I said I wouldn't go into too much detail about this stuff... Well, I could have talked about it a lot more! So consider yourself lucky.

talking to some joe
hanging out and shooting shit
he tried to tell me something
but i played it off legit

talking very loud but no one hears a word i say,