I was sitting at my desk just now, mouthful of lunch, eyes locked on my PC, reading up on my new obsession / guilty pleasure, the TV show “Arrow”, one of the new English teachers taps me on the shoulder.
Me (still holding the chopsticks to my mouth, tearing into a piece of the tastiest ass broiled chicken I’ve ever had in a hot lunch box in Japan as he stands there patiently waiting while I chew and swallow it): Yes?
Me: Do I like Japanese food???
NET: EEE? Eeeeeto… Anoo… (He makes the universal symbol for chopsticks and pantomimes eating.) You eat?
Me: Do I eat Japanese food? You’re asking a man eating Japanese food right in your face can he eat Japanese food?
Me: No. (He was starting to rub me the wrong way at this point. I could see he was going to make this a trying year ahead. So I returned my focus to the PC, wondering why he’d interrupted me in the first place. He’d come at me like it was an emergency that could hardly wait for me to finish chewing. Moments like these I wish were the Arrow!) Yesterday, I told you I’ve been living here 10 years. Remember?
NET: Eee?? Chotto Wakannai…(I don’t understand)
Me: １０年間日本に住んでいるよ！What do you think I eat everyday? Starbucks and McDonald’s?
NET: Anooo…You Japan long years? Eeee… Japan, food, nani, kirai, don’t like…what?
Me: What do I dislike in Japan? Well for one, こんな質問がきらい (I hate these kinds of questions)
NET: (bows deeply and scurries away)
(I’m looking forward to watching Arrow tonight.)
(10 minutes later after lunch I see him seated at his desk, trying not to be seen. Feeling kinda bad, I go over and tap him on the shadow, startling him.)
Me: Actually I don’t care for natto very much.
NET: Ah, so. Me too…