Tags: down japan


Me, My Job, and the Perverts

As some of you already know, I have a job selling clothes in a really trendy Japanese store. Part of working in any such environment in Japan are two duties called "chirashi-kubari" and "kamban-mochi," which translate to "flyer handing-out" and "sign-holding" respectively. Collapse )

Well, sure enough, he apparently showed up after the store had closed, asking for me. Since then, he has apparently been back regularly (luckily never when I've been working) and has said things that have made the managers and Boss Bosses so uncomfortable they actually had us doing chirashi-kubari indoors for several days. Not blowing me off now, are you Boss Wife?

Collapse ) That was bad enough, but nothing like today.

Because oh, Collapse )

I felt, after all this, that I deserved a trip to Book-Off. The largest Book-Off in the city is three storeys, which are connected by an external elevator. As I was riding the elevator down to the first floor I noticed a kid in his late teens/early twenties, kneeling a few steps below me. I figured he was just tying his shoes or something, but he noticed me behind him, stood up, and hurried off the elevator. It took me a moment to realise that he'd been taking a photograph up the skirt of the girl in front of him with his cell phone. Oh, Japan.

That will be all.

I'd forgotten...

...how obnoxious the perception gap in the way Japanese treat foreign women and foreign boys men really is.

Ugh. I wish I'd just kept my mouth shut about this morning's class.

That will be all.

I just had a lovely morning here in Dai Nippon...

...which I will write more about later. Perhaps it's precisely because of this that I'm so irked at having come home to find this article in the NYT.

The gist of it? Seventeen Japanese citizens--elderly citizens, no less--are currently under investigation by the Chinese government on suspicion of having travelled to China for illegal organ transplants. That's odious enough on its own.

But what makes it even worse, and what the NYT article inexplicably fails to mention is why Japanese people go to China for illegal organ transplants. Namely, because Japanese people refuse to be organ donors. Seriously, this is such a well known fact that it's been used as the main plot device in modern American fiction.

And it will never cease to gall and disgust me. If you find the prospect of being an organ donor so repellent, then suck it up and leave the donated to organs to people in societies that don't hold such views.

That will be all.
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The mind boggles

I'm forced to teach an English conversation class at the city hospital. I prepared some discussion materials late last year about the French woman who'd received the world's first face transplant. The discussion went on from there to the broader topic of organ donation.

"Are you an organ donor?" one of the doctors asked me.

"Yes, of course," I said, and showed him my American driver's licence. And as Kurt Vonnegut would say - get this: the six doctors (including a surgeon and two OBGYNs) were horrified. After I'd convinced them I wasn't joking, that is. Upon further probing, I discovered that while five of the six were hypothetically willing to receive someone's donated organs, none of them were willing to donate themselves.

My prefecture made the news today when the family of a brain dead patient approved the harvesting of said patient's organs for the forty-second organ transplant in the history of the country.

Now, I don't know much about the history of organ donation, but I imagine enough time has elapsed between the development of the technique and the present for a few more than forty of the procedures to have taken place in Japan. And yet the concept is apparently so odious to the public at large that the family asked the news not to reveal the name, age, or gender of the donor. Compare this with the atitude in the west, where women's magazines are full of interviews with surviving family members talking lionizing the choice of their deceased loved ones to help others post-mortem.

That will be all.

How to Get Real Paid in Japan

I should have mentioned this in the previous post, as it does much to add to one's understanding of my situation:

Salaries are paid on a monthly, not weekly, schedule in Japan. So when I express a bit of...exasperation...at the fact that someone's forgotten to pay me, it's merely because this oversight has set me short by a few thousand dollars, which I had counted on receiving this past Monday.

Another interesting Japan Tidbit is that no one receives a paycheck, ever. In fact, Japan doesn't use checks, period. One's salary is deposited directly into one's bank account by one's employers. Now, as Japanese society generally runs like clockwork, I'm usually right on the (ahem) money when I assume that my pay has been deposited on schedule. So you can imagine my surprise when I kept updating my account ledger at the ATM, only to find that no deposits had been made by the city since last month.

C'est la vie.

That will be all.

Ah. Ahaha.


Another snippet from In The Life Of...

Payday was last Monday. I was not paid. Nor was I paid on Tuesday, Wednesday, or yesterday. My city's CIR was contacted. City hall was contacted.

They'd forgotten to pay us.

Yes, that's right. Forgotten to pay us.

City hall is apparently shocked and horrified by this oversight. So am I.

You know, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

In other news, while looking for Fourth of July images to slap on a listening test I'm writing (don't ask), I came across this photo. Doesn't it make the Washington Monument look rather...demonic? (If you don't get what I'm talking about, look carefully at the top of the monument.)

That will be all.

Oh, god damn.

I was sick as a dog yesterday. I am not joking when I say it was the sickest I have been in years. I spent all day at work on the urge of vomiting, constantly sneezing, and I hadn't been able to eat for three days - the sight of food was just nauseating.

I put myself to bed at seven pm with the heater on full blast, buried under two layers of thermal pjs, three blankets, and two wool comforters. I was periodically woken up during the night by the force of my shivering, although I was running a massive fever (I soaked through those two layers of pjs with sweat), and I was starving but still unable to eat.

The fun continued today, when I had to wake up extra early to walk the four kilometers to my secondary school. I overslept, meaning no time for a shower, meaning I'm chilling out for a full work day covered in old fever sweat - ugh. However, I do feel better, thanks to the rest.

So yes, the fun: my body has decided to turn all available body fluids into liquids which it is currently evacuating through various orifices. Having exhausted my own box of tissues, I am now working on sneaking spares from the desks of teachers who are currently in class. To make matters worse, although I've never been told anything along these lines directly, I have the sneaking suspicion that blowing one's nose in public is a big no-no in Japan - I have never seen a single Japanese do this once in my entire three years in this country. So it's off to the bathroom for me between each and every class I teach where I hawk, cough, and blow my nose to my heart's content. (Aside from my tissue supply, I've also decimated half a roll of toilet paper.) My eyes are streaming so badly my vision is blurry.

It got so bad that I actually did the unthinkable and took some tissues along with me to the class I just taught, because there was no way I could get through it without them. Which was when, at some point, I managed to blow my nose stud out of my nose, and spent the last half of the class trying desperately to locate it on the floor without drawing attention to myself. I couldn't find it, which means I'm now sitting here with a length of disposable pencil graphite in the piercing to keep it from swelling shut, and am down another expensive nose stud - one which, to add insult to injury, I only bought two days ago.

And then to ice the cake, my body woke up from it's long fever-induced lethargy to say, Hey! Now would be a great time to start menstruating! I still have three hours of work left to go, no pads or tampons, and absolutely no chance of being allowed out early to go buy any, so here I am trying my best not to sit down anywhere. Dammit.

I'm just waiting for a limb to fall off. Urgh.

That will be all.

I have been having THE BEST TIME EVER!!

...for the past twenty minutes using my new $10 can opener. Because when one throws down $10 for a can opener, one had best be prepared to have a DAMN GOOD TIME while using it.

Actually, scratch that. I've been using it for the past twenty minutes because it's a total piece of shit with a weaker grip than my dead Granny. If this is my last lj post, it's because I've starved to death while trying to open my dinner since there's only one can of soup left in the house and I don't have enough money to buy other food, thanks to my new $10 can opener. You rock, inflated Japanese pricing system!

The preceeding histrionics have been brought to you by akujunkan. You may now resume your lives.

That will be all.

Just the rants, now...

How does rural Japan suck? Oh, let me count the ways... New Year's kicked ass, but before I wow all of you with how cool it was, some bitching is in order. I was going to try and make it humorous, but it wasn't worth the effort, in the end. So, please allow me to treat you to a glass of ice-cold Collapse )

And then, just when I think I have it bad, a good friend of mine IMs me to say Collapse )

That will be all.