Gaijin Wars: Episode I

Arriving in Japan a second time was nowhere near as good as the first. In the past I had been a fresh-faced traveller, new to the weird smells of airport toilets, the sights of beautiful women wearing Donald Duck skirts and sounds of weird high-pitched super genki songs on Japanese commercials telling me to get some germ killing product I would never need. From the look of the housewife on screen I would need to kill every insect in the universe before getting a good nights sleep but for me now those things just seemed so damn annoying.

Eikaiwa: 

Reflections of an outgoing GEOS Teacher

Tokyo City, my school. A place where the sun never shines, the birds never sing, yet there's always muzak in the air. The home of my workplace for the past fourteen months, and the source of many of my trials and triumphs in Japan. As an outgoing teacher who has been working for GEOS for about a year and a half, I'd like to share some of my thoughts about working for this company. Would I recommend it to someone fresh out of university like myself? And if I fell back in time, would I do it all again, having experienced the highs and lows and knowing what I do now?

Arrival in Japan

My traveling companion, Amy, and I arrived at Tokyo airport approximately one hour and fifteen minutes late. We had questioned the GEOS trainers about whether or not two hours connection time was enough to make our second flight and were told "No problem." Now 45 minutes, this is a different story. We managed to find an airport employee who could understand what we were trying to tell and her ran with us through the airport and we got to skip the line for immigration. Then we found our way down to our baggage platform only to informed that our luggage was also late.

Eikaiwa: 

Predeparture

When I received a call from GEOS in the beginning of July I was incredibly excited! At this point I was no longer concerned with which eikaiwa hired me, only that one did in fact hire me. I eventually had interviews scheduled with NOVA, GEOS, AEON, and ECC. However, after doing more research on all the schools, I decided to cancel the interview with NOVA as I was put off by 1) the no-socialization rule and 2) the idea of paying the same rent as with other companies to share an apartment with one or two other people. So I headed off to Toronto to interview with GEOS first.

Eikaiwa: 

MOTHERFUCKER!

This story is aimed at all of those motherfuckers who for some reason unbeknownst to mankind want to come to the land of the spewing sewers. Just in case some of you are slightly unsure as to what land I am in fact referring to, it's Japan.

"What the fuck is Skweekah up to?" you may ask yourself. Well, let's just say that I have a little story to divulge on the faithful audience of the LetsJapan Web site, the online presence that won some fucking award. "What award?" you may ask. Let's just say that you're asking the wrong piece of shit.

Almost worth KILLING my boss!!!

Well, if anyone has a contract horror story, tell me if mine doesn't stand next to the worst of the worst. I swear, I have never had any feelings of wanting to cause bodily injury to anyone, but after being put through the shit that my boss put me through, I was ready to put a weapon of mass destruction up this guys @ hole and have a whole slew of weapon inspectors follow. Even to this day, I think I would gladly give up a months salary for one shot at him "wanna know why"read on.

Life on the dark side

I used to work for an Eikaiwa in Sendai city. It is a medium sized school and Barten makes reference to it in his previous post. If any one cares to know its name I will gladly share it. This school on all appearances seems friendly and proffessional but I want to share with you its dark secrets...

Trading Places Part 3

The atmosphere in head office had descended to such depths that almost no-one spoke to me at all. Information dried up so I didn't know when or where to attend meetings. The sheets that got passed around the office with new policies for everyone's signature mysteriously bypassed my desk. Even more worrying for the long-term health of the company was the high turnover of staff. People were dropping like flies, and soon I didn't know half the staff working around me. Around this time, three incidents stick in my mind as particularly repellent.

Trading Places Part 2

The first warning I had that things were heading towards shit creek was on a random school visit. Having talked about the usual things, the teacher asked me why he had been interrogated by a couple of Japanese guys and pressed to make complaints about me and others in head office. From his description of the main guy, I surmised that he was one of the branch managers, whose face bore such a striking resemblance to that animal that he was known as "Fuguman."

Most Embarassing Classroom Experiences

What's your most embarrassing classroom experience? I can think of a few of my own.

Note: Anecdotes originally posted on the message board on January 14, 2002 and February 5, 2002.

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