Okay, this’ll be the first time I actually edit out significant portions of a post. Suffice it to say that one of my students, one of the two special-needs kids (a boy with ADD), has a crush on me, and while it was kind of cute at first, it’s become uncomfortable as of late, because he likes to stare at me in the hall, his head turning to continue to stare at me as I pass by, and he gives me a completely wide-eyed, enthralled stare as he gushes about how amazing I am when I play the violin (he walked in on me one afternoon when I was playing and stood right next to me, staring, and when I took a step away he took a step towards me to compensate) and even when I do something as mundane* as eating an apple. Due to rather unpleasant past experiences involving people clinging to me very intensely, it’s really creeping me out, though I know it’s nothing I should worry about, but I can’t shake the discomfort it causes.
*Starred, because eating a whole apple in Japan is akin to an American watching a person from Europe eat a whole tomato.
Today was orienteering day, where the kids followed a map and trekked 12km to various checkpoints to answer questions related to their classes while looking at significant/historic places scattered around the school, with teachers stamping their forms at the checkpoints to show that they’d checked in. Today was also freaking cold, and my hands were so cold they were red. It was fun hanging out with the kids, though, and I now have photos of nearly every student at my junior high. I could only stay till just after lunch, though, since I had an afternoon elementary school class. It was cool, though. I wish that we had comparable things when I was growing up.
On a more humorous note, I just set some roti on fire. The directions said to heat it over an open flame so it would puff…but it never occurred to me that I had to keep rotating it constantly or it would catch on fire. Oh well–I ended up making a rocking chole that tasted exactly like my mom’s purely by chance.
And on a more sober note…I opened the fridge in the kitchen/lounge of the teacher’s room to get some milk this afternoon, and noticed an uncovered plate with some large leftover boiled crab legs on it. It didn’t hit me at first, but then yesterday morning came back in a rush, and I slammed shut the fridge door quickly and just stood there for a moment, feeling a little queasy, physically and emotionally. There are some parts of Japanese culture that I think are truly beautiful…but this is one thing that will never cease to horrify and sicken me, and it’s one thing I can never and will never understand. Vegetarianism and that Buddhist belief in the equality of all life is such a crucial part of who I am. This felt so cruel and barbaric.