I already feel left out with the obvious language/culture/ethnicity difference. I am the only non-japanese person who works at all 4 schools. Of course I seek a lot of comfort in my other ALT friends who experience the exact same thing at their respective schools. In fact we even have an ongoing online chat group where we regularly discuss the weird things we encounter day-to-day and make plans for our free time. This is our daily reminder that we do belong, we have a community. Anyway, it all started a few weeks ago when a really annoying woman working for a newspaper subscription company came to my apartment and caught me just as I was about to rush off somewhere. Long-story short, there was a lot of misunderstanding due to our inability to communicate and she wouldn't leave until I signed a stupid contract for a newspaper subscription starting in the new year. What a forceful annoying woman. I have learnt not to ever open my door to people I dont know now - everytime ive had to commit myself to something I didnt want or need - like this other woman who made me complete a housing survey. Why people bother me with this nonesense when I clearly dont speak the language is neither here nor there.
Back to this morning, I found that damn contract and thought I would face the music. Of course, if I was capable of doing things for myself I would just take care of these matters alone. Because I cant speak Japanese, I have to go through the school. Therefore everyone knows my business. I knew everyone in the office would laugh over the newspaper subscription thing. Thats why I didnt bother dealing with it for a whole month - but as Im going away next week I thought I should get it sorted before i forget. So I was laughed at as always. When I get laughed at like that, its like "oh, stupid foreign girl, never knows what shes doing and always gets things wrong". Ok, yes, I'll admit everyones incredibly helpful and understanding- but its still humiliating damn it.
Because of being distracted by this matter this morning, I forgot to sign up for a bento box today - so by 11 I suddenly realised I hadnt ordered a lunch. How annoying. So I had to buy lunch at the little school shop for the students like a shmuck. Of course when I went down there at first it was closed. So I had to ask a teacher in the office about when it opened. Again - I get laughed at because people have clocked into the fact I've forgotten to buy lunch. Meh.
Its not just the teachers. When I walked into my second graders class today I got an uproar entrance. They think im a joke - so they welcome me like one. OK, I know this means im popular with the students - but I wasnt in the mood for it. I get this weird applause like an animal coming out to perform circus tricks. Im 100% certain that none go the other teachers at this school get an entrace like that. In fact some of the teachers find it funny and make me walk into the classroom first just to watch it happen. After my class, as I was walking back to the office, a group of girls going the opposite direction down the school steps said "hello" to me I said "hello" back - naturally the girls were beside themselves. They giggled wildly and ran off yelling "kawaii" .....oh just get over it already.