Today, I frightened a four year old so bad she sobbed hysterically for fifteen minutes straight. And all I did was walk into the classroom.
I have to admit, I was a little offended. I’d spent an hour getting ready for work and thought that I looked fairly decent, maybe a little frazzled by the sprint from the train station, but reasonably dressed and well-groomed. But judging from the way she looked at me, so accusingly, almost angrily, you would have thought that I had come to class dressesd like Frankenstein with the express purpose of scaring her. That really got to me.
But alright. I know to a four year old Japanese girl, not familiar with foreigners, I probably look a lot like a clown (big nose, curly, poufy hair) and anyone who’s seen the movie, Chucky, can empathize with how scary clowns can be. But it was still sort of an unpleasant shock to find that my nautral rapport with children just doesn’t exist here. I’m more boogeyman than best buddy, and that’s tough to come to terms with.
Yesterday, I mistook drain-o for laundry detergent and subsequently bleached a washload of clothing. How in the world could I confuse detergent with something that you use to unclog drains? Quite easily actually, when both bottles are pink, stored near the washing machine and written in foreign scribble scrabble. It’s so difficult being illiterate. Most days, I feel like a deaf and dumb, slightly mentally-challenged three-year-old. It’s so frustrating!
Two Days ago, I got locked out again. This time for a record breaking three hours and 45 minutes, (my previous week’s record was three hours). That’s seven hours that I’ve spent in total, sitting on my apartment steps like some vagrant homeless person with nothing better to do but people watch and waste time. I’ve practically become a permanent fixture in my neighborhood, a sort of statue homage to all dumb, forgetful foreigners.
And the best thing about this week? It’s only Tuesday!