The vacation is over and, just as in my own school days, a bitter pall hangs over the classrooms. As a student, it would never have occurred to me that teachers could feel depressed about the end of summer vacation and yet we mope, picking solemnly at the piles of candy brought to school by the staff members who left the country for the vacation. Tim Tams from Australia, Turkish Delight from the UK and chocolates with Korean writing line the front desk, as well as a hand sanitizer from Walgreen’s. Vacation tales are swapped. One teacher went to the Philippines. One teacher went to Malaysia. This little teacher stayed in Japan but no hard feelings – I’m planning a mega South Asian tour at the end of my contract in April and enjoy all the travel advice I can get.
Sean has returned from Ireland, winking and clicking his tongue to beat the band. He also read my blog while he was away and has corrected a couple of my entries on the Sean’s Dialect list:
- Yer Man and Yer One, not “Your” Man and “Your” One. I should have known – proper spelling in Ireland? Playa please.
- Langer Usage 3) Jerk. “I can’t stand that langer!” Not that an Irish person would say they “couldn’t stand” anything. Langa please.
As expected, he’s brought something new back with him – an entirely new grammatical form that I have to get used to, just like I once did, “Yer man.”
- After – sometimes used to mean “Just having done.” Example: “I’m after coming home,” or “He’s after getting his degree in Science.”
Something else Sean has brought back with him are two bottles of Head and Shoulders Smooth and Silky Shampoo for me: E. Sean has heard me complain many times about the lack of decent dandruff shampoo in Japan and kindly helped silence my cries for at least another couple of months. My hair will be flake free again, and just in time for the weather to cool down, meaning my hair will also be less puffy and I will be this much closer to being presentable. The last few days have been lovely and because the weather has cooled, the issues with the door have also abated – I can now open the lock and leave the apartment without Sean’s help. Too little too late, however – Sean hadn’t been back for a couple of days before he made an announcement, hovering in my dark doorway, rubbing his eyes like a cranky 3 year old.
“I have to move,” he blurted. “I can’t take not having light.” He cites being back home in Ireland, in his father’s house with plenty of natural light, as the straw that broke the camel’s back – there, for the first time in months, he slept peacefully. As he spoke his piece, excitement fluttered in my chest: I had been on exactly the same wavelength and had been looking for the straw to break my camel’s back, too, and put him out of his misery. So now Sean and I are once again on the hunt and after an apartment.
- Two burners on the stove
- Furnished or at least semi-furnished
- As cheap or cheaper than our current apartment – this part-time schedule thing has hit us hard
- Storage space
- Convenient location
- Natural light
It’s 2:01 A.M. here, and I’ve been up since 12 A.M. I fell asleep after returning from work at 5 because, due to the light issue, I’d lain awake on my scraggly futon all night long. As much as I hate moving, the change will be very welcome. And now that I think about it, a bed wouldn’t be a bad thing, either. Getting a good night’s sleep could only help me at work, as I fear my frustration with the job is venting itself in unintentional ways: yesterday, while waving puppets around to entertain my 2 year old dollies, I accidentally whacked one of their mothers in the face.