Swim with the Jelly Fish/ Why I like the beach

On nice days I go to the beach, and those Fu@%ing jelly fish! You never even see the bastards, but they Sting!

There have been 3, …maybe 4 nice days in the last month. The whole rest of the time it rained. We’ve had lots of promising looking blue patches in the sky but the grey keeps on beating them out.

Half the time I drive around with my backpack full of paint and brushes – hoping there’ll be a good sunny hour or two.

Maybe 30 minutes at 大鳥峡 and the blue patch I was pulling for gave up. It drizzled as I packed up my paints, and poured as I hiked back to my car.

30 minutes at Sakurajima – and the top of the mountain got swallowed by a cloud, which waited a few more minutes before raining, stopping, and raining and stopping again. I’ll assume that some of the people who stopped there in the rain to watch me were art enthusiasts, but some of them probably just wondered what the volcano looked like under all that cloud.

One day it poured and it shined 6 times in rapid succession.

It was only “rainy then sunny” 3 times so far today; Raining now.

Rain and paint just don’t mix well.

Paint outside on cloudy days and you wind up with dismal dark paintings…, so I haven’t been as productive as when I 1st arrived here.

Mind you, 2 paintings a day, 4 days a week is difficult to maintain – even if the weather is nice.

I make it a point to go down to the beach any day that I have off. The water there is so warm, it has to be at least partly heated by the volcano (Mt. Sakurajima) up the road. It is of course cooler in the rainier times. And you’ll probably get stung once an hour. (Jellyfish)

When I lived in Saitama, my girlfriend would visit me most every day.

My new best friend, is a giant driftwood log. Every time I go to the beach I go find my log, roll it down into the water, then swim around it/ hang off it like an otter. Ask it how it’s been, tell it about the 1 yen coin I found, …It’s a good log.

2 sunny days this weekend, so I painted 4 pictures on the beach – and got stung 2 times.

Fu@%ing Jelly fish!!

I used to bring my goggles to the beach, but there’re no fish and no plants to see. Long ago I was throwing the jelly fish I found washed up on the beach – back into the sea. No I don’t see them on the shore anymore. Maybe they’ve learned?

I don’t know if I would repeat my kindness to them if I saw any more washed up on the shore. I hate those damn jelly fish.

Something else I found on the shore just after I finished painting one day:

A mother and a little girl were building a sandcastle just a few feet away. It might’ve been funny if I’d asked the mother to take this picture for me.

I wonder where the rest of this rubber woman went to….

Anyway, I like the beach.

Despite the Damn Jellyfish!

Something/ not painting – that I have accomplished lately:

I cleaned my house.

Also, I moved into a newer nicer, much much much cleaner house. (That is the one I cleaned.)

New house video:

For some reason there was no mailbox at this house. All the other houses have little metal boxes nailed to the sides of them – mine just has a number of nail sized holes. I thought it odd that somebody would take a mailbox with them when they move, but then I went to a hardware store + saw how much they were charging for those little metal boxes.

When I went to the beach later that day I found a large plastic jug + thought I might be able to make it into something like a mailbox.

I did that “successfully”, though it nearly cost me the tip of my pointer finger. I only have a folding/ swiss army knife – which folded itself about a fifth of the way through my finger and nail when I was trying to cut through the plastic.

I’d like to say I learned from that mistake. I couldn’t use that one finger for a few days./ I gave it up for 2 weeks, then got 2 more bloody gashes, before I finished the job.

I’m happy with it/ and mostly healed now, …although I never get any mail.

My job here, I’m not wildly pleased with.

The 2 and 3 year olds just sit there with their hands in their mouths/ their friends mouth/ their drool spilling out of their mouths. The older kids have learned how to punch, and they often seem to want to practice on me. This one little bastard took a running swing at my balls (which are at just the right height for a little kid’s arms). That hurt for hours, but I can only twist their little arms for a few seconds.

“It’s not English class unless somebody cries”.

Some of them think I’m gym equipment, some of them think I’m a petting zoo, some of them think I’m an Un-dress up doll, some of them just sit there and drool.

We played a game today where I had to chase some kids. I lunged at a little fat kid, and my pants ripped, and they all laughed at me. I missed him too. He was slow, but slippery.

The place where I once had to spend 20 minutes trying to get 2 mentally handicapped children off of me, so I could try to quiet down their 50 otherwise unsupervised classmates,…

It had improved significantly.

Hardly anyone ever tried to take my shirt off of me anymore, and they hadn’t given each other any serious injuries in a month. One time (within that 2 month period), the school’s principle looked in, and everyone behaved until she had gone (almost a whole minute). She canceled my company’s contract a few weeks later saying: “the kids aren’t having fun”. I was astounded! Those damn kids had soooooo much fun. I was only ever able to keep them from breaking bones/ shedding blood. I could understand if she’d said they weren’t learning anything. I could hardly hear myself over the din a lot of the time I was there (…they

This ticked my boss off.

I like money, you like money, he’s really really concerned with getting and keeping as much money as possible. He’s also pretty stressed out. I was hired to replace 2 people, and I think he had employed even more before I came.

Everything is, of course, my fault though.

The day before those people canceled that contract I had been talking with the only other foreign teacher he has. One of the reasons I switched to this company was so I could go back home for Christmas. This other guy too, seems to want to not be stuck having little kids try to stick their fingers up his ass on the most celebrated day of the year.

My Boss said only one of us could go home for Christmas. The other guy here really wants to go, and I value going -more than I value my job certainly, so it’s an easy decision for me – as to what I should do. Fa-La-La-La-LA!

Unfortunate about the timing though really. I don’t know what the deal was with them canceling, but I know why I’m not going to work through Christmas.

This other guy had to go and do my last 2 afternoon classes at the place that canceled. Because he and I are the only teachers, I got sent to do his 2 afternoon classes, plus his 2 night classes. I still had to do my own night class on top of that. Canceled classes means a short term increase in classes.

His anniversary was a week ago, so he asked me to switch one of his later night classes for one of my earlier night classes. It’s a pain for me to have to sit around for an extra hour, but it was his anniversary. The part that irks me, is the student I was supposed to teach called a few minutes before his class to say he forgot he had to come that night. So, the other guy got to leave 2 hours early, I had to stay 2 hours late, AND make up for the extra class the other guy didn’t have to teach the next day.

That was the day my girlfriend flew down from Saitama to see me. I hadn’t seen her in over 2 months, so my boss, who likes money, looked upset that I didn’t want to leave her outside for an extra hour and 10 minutes ,in the perpetually raining weather, in an unfamiliar area, with a heavy suitcase to drag behind her, so he could let somebody else come in and bore me a little later on a Saturday night. I’ll take care of your girlfriend he said. “She doesn’t like creepy old men” I thought, but decided to just stick to: “No Way”, and “You don’t know what she looks like.”

He was starting to get mad at me refusing it, when I suggested, as calmly as always, that he could just have to guy come earlier in the afternoon. Which was no problem for him.

As for the Christmas thing, he has wisely resolved to allow me to take off. As I had said, I would have taken off anyhow. He’s decided that he will let me use my vacation time to go, but all of my classes from now until then will have to be 15 minutes longer each, …so he doesn’t have to refund anybody any money.

That I’m going, is of course, the most important thing, that I’m using up all of my paid vacation time, when I’m being forced to do most of that work beforehand – is less than ideal.

I complain, but then I took a peak at the other guy’s schedule + it’s a lot busier/ he has more to complain about than me.

I took a look at my new monthly schedule too, and found I had one extra class. My boss never wrote where that class is… I asked him that morning, and he said it was there in the office. He moved the time of my next class back 20 minutes – I thought – so I would have just the time I needed to make it there.

I finished my new class + hurried the 30 minutes distance to my usual class – to find my boss there. “What are you doing here?” I asked. “What are you doing here?” he asked.

He hadn’t written a location for that class for me, nor had he given any indication that I wouldn’t be going there the same as always, + I assumed it was the same place as always. But it wasn’t.

He was/ is mad because I didn’t read the empty spaces the way he didn’t write them.

The funny part was that I left the stuff I need to teach at the school I wasn’t supposed to go to, while I was cleaning it.

This morning I went in the office, …because I have to go in the office every morning – in case he needs anything. He never actually does need anything, but he gets mad when I don’t go and tell him that I’m going now. He wasn’t there today, but his wife was. His wife asked me where I was supposed to work today + I told her + she got mad.

“Oh no, That’s 20 minutes away” she said.

“It’s 15” I said.

“Can you really make it there on time?” she said.

“Absolutely” I said.

“Can You really?” she said.

“Yes.” I said.

“You can make it there on time?” she said – again!

“It’s 20 minutes away.” she repeated.

“It’s 15 minutes away, and the clock you’re looking at is 5 minutes fast.” I said …slowly.

“I don’t think you can get there on time.” was what she said next.

+ these are the times that I wish my Japanese was better.

If someone you knew was running late – do you think it would help them, …or, perhaps, make them later – to ask them the same dumbass question over and over and over.

I got there 4 minutes early, and I wanted to call her in the office to ask her where I was and what time it is.

It was nice to have my girlfriend over for a few days anyway.

She thought it smelled awful here too, but she has no idea how bad it can be.

This time she stayed up 'til 12!
This time she stayed up

We went to where the 1st Emperor’s grandparents are interred. It started pouring as soon as I parked the car. We went to the waterfall + saw lots of those weird orange cave crabs. We went to the beach and swam out to the shrine on the rocks. We went to the Indian place in town, and both felt sick the next day.

We went to Kagoshima city, bought a few art supplies, souvenirs for her mom and coworkers, then hurried back to the volcano side, to get in my mini car and drive like mad to the airport.

I was pretty mad too. We had to stop and ask directions twice, because there were/ are no airport signs at 2 of the intersections you have to turn at.

I drove for just under 2 hours – which should have been about an hour and 10 minutes. We got to the airport about 10 minutes before her flight. The people at the check in counter told her that she needed to be there 15 minutes before the flight, but they gave her a ticket for the 1st plane the next day, and I bought a map at a gift shop. We found another Indian restaurant and a hotel a few minutes away. I was glad to get to see her a little more, + dropped her off the next morning before my 2 and a half hour drive back to my city before I had to start work.

It rained again while I was getting ready to go out painting.

The next day looked nicer, but I decided I would just go for a swim instead. The Jellyfish stung me 2 times!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s