The following conversation took place yesterday between a co-worker and I in the teacher’s office
Me: So, what are your plans for the weekend?
Co-Worker: The teachers are having a drinking party Friday night
Me: Really? I didn’t hear anything about it…
(This is actually a common occurrence due in part to the nature of my schedule, bouncing between schools on a bi-weekly basis, things like these tend to slip between the cracks)
CW: Nobody told you??
CW: Oh, so sorry.
Me: Don’t worry about it…no big deal. Where? In Yokohama?
CW: No, in Chiba.
Me: Chiba? Kinda far for a nomikai (drinking party) isn’t it?
CW: We are staying until morning…it’s an onsen. (Hot Springs)
Me: Oh! I see… (my initial reaction, that childish emotional response of “Didn’t want to go on your stupid trip anyway” must have registered on my betraying face))
CW: So sorry, Loco-sensei…to be honest (she looks around) I don’t want to go. I envy you. I have to go.
Me: Is the school paying for it?
CW: Of course not! It’s 18000 yen!
CW: Are you sure you’re OK?
Me: Of course. Since you were honest with me, let me be honest with you: I wouldn’t have gone even if I had been invited.
CW: Really? Why not?
Me: I hate public onsens…that is to say, I hate getting naked in front of people here. I feel so awkward, with everybody staring at my You know what…you know? And making comments about my…you know what…
CW: (innocently perplexed) Your what? I know what?
(I give her some deep eye contact…then look down at my crotch…she follows my eyes down…)
(She burst out laughing…)
Me: Seriously! I ain’t got no problem getting nude in front of men back in New York, but here it’s like we got to have this conversation about siz…(I catch myself) about you know what.
CW: That’s how you say it in America? Your you know what?
Me: Yeah, sometimes. in mixed company…
CW: That’s so funny! So, you never go to onsen?
Me: I actually used to go quite often. But not to public onsen…only private ones.
PS: Could use a dip right about now, actually