My life, stories and shenanigans from Japan


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


Comments on: "Hey…you…" (9)

  1. Wow, our whiteboards at school are really dirty (semi-permanently). >_>

  2. O___O I’d be flipping out over those chalkboards. I have two classes that still use those and they just…I dunno. I think it’s the sound of them, the grit of chalk on your hands and the possibility of your teacher scratching them that bother me the most. @_@

    But anyway, I’m sure you’ll catch on to names soon… o____o;; Good luck with that really. You’ll figure something out.

  3. My class consists of Rugby Guy, Shouting Guy, Shouting Guys Slave, the Twins, the Guy Who Always Takes His Shirt Off, Scared Girl, The One With The Hair and so on.
    Still, it’s better than “porn thief”.

  4. haha lonely…. i miss you too colin
    oh and i have the same problem with names, i’ve worked at davannis for a year now and i still dont know anyones names even though they know what i will order on a daily basis; toast and a solo thin crust cheese.

  5. eventually someone will call them by their names….thats how i figured it out hah…

  6. Hey Colin, i know that the names are hard… i can only remember the names of the people i usually hang out with every day but i dont know their full names. And some people i only know their nicknames :P.

    One of my friends is called “kawaii” and another one i call “Johnson” because thats how he introduced himself when we first met.

    I think the japanese students arent making it easier for us when they all the time say “This guy`s name is … something funny…” But just observe and you will eventually get their names from somewhere :P

    I noticed you dont have my blog in the list…
    its, just thought you could add me. I havent got that many followers :P only my close friends.

  7. I remember doing networking at some of the schools a few years ago and in the richer schools they didn’t use white boards or blackboards (or greenboards :P) Instead they used some kind of HP brand “touchboard” where you would write on the board without using ink of any sort. It had sensors and a camera/projector. It was cool because apparently students could download the notes instead of recording them. It would be good for people like me who can’t write and understand what I’m writing / listening to the teacher at the same time =P

    A trick to perfectly cleaning chalkboards is to use the thick big erasers and flip them on its edge or on the back of it, and just use that part to wipe off the board once your done with the basics. With one swipe, it looks completely black or green. I donno if you’re suppose to do that, but we always did that in school.

    As for your name problem, remember people by game, anime or hentai names. Like… You could remember kagami from Lucky Star so you’re like… Oh right! Lucky Star! But knowing you, colin… You would probably remember a name like Kagome from Bible Black. heh xD

    • Yeah I don’t think I’ll be able to connect people to anime. Because I haven’t really watched it.

      Though it might work with someone named Ash or Pikachu or Jigglypuff.

  8. I was reading something else about this on another blog. Interesting. Your linear perspective on it is diametrically opposed to what I read in the first place. I am still reflecting over the diverse points of view, but I’m inclined heavily toward yours. And no matter, that’s what is so great about modernized democracy and the marketplace of thoughts online.

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