This is a very text-y post! I’m sorry…
The biggest problem I’m having here in Japan is remembering people’s names. I’m approached many times a day by people, who greet me with spirited “Hey, Colin!”, or a “Hello Colin”. I don’t actually have a problem with these comments, though the problem is that, frankly, I don’t know who most of the people are. And many of the ones I do know I can’t remember the names of. Which results in me saying awkward things like “Hey, you!” or a weird-sounding burst of “Hello!”. Which makes me feel really bad. It’s been about two weeks now that I’ve been in school, and I can count on my fingers the number of people who’s names I know. I don’t even know the names of some of the people who come up to me and talk with me everyday, which makes me feel bad and I feel like I’m at a point that I’ve talked to them so much that popping a “Hey- What’s your name again?” would destroy all liking they perhaps had of me.
Though, perhaps the weirder thing about the whole situation is that I do know random factoids about pretty much everyone in my classroom (just not their names). They’ll introduce each other by saying things like “This kid here likes to steal porn. If you bring any to school, don’t tell him.” or “This kid is very lazy. He only left his house like 2 times over summer break and stayed inside and played video games.” They just don’t introduce themselves like they do in the US.
And the unfortunate thing about the factoids is that it still doesn’t leave me with something to call them. I feel like “Hey, porn thief!” or “Hey, lonely!” wouldn’t exactly make them like me.
Plus, I don’t know how to say “Porn thief” or “Lonely” in Japanese.
On a side note, blackboards actually scare me and are making me very obsessive compulsive. I don’t mean that in a lame, exaggerated way, but they actually do. All I can do when I see the remaining chalk dust on the board in a weird, not-organized erase is think about the taste of chalk in my mouth and suffocating in a cloud of chalk dust and how I want to attack the board with some 409 and a squeegee.
I actually took the time to erase the board the other day in a neat fashion, erasing in lines and erasing every part of the chalkboard evenly, even the parts that didn’t have chalk on them.
I miiiiiiiiiiss you