Sunday, May 16, 2010

The GIVEAWAY winners and some "shit to the bull" that, sadly, is just a part of life

 The time has come, my dear readers, to announce the winners of the giveaway....
but first, I want to say thank you.
Thank you for coming here and reading...thank you for your comments and support...
and thank you, especially for your friendship.
When I started blogging in October, 2006, it was mainly for my family and friends back "home".  Never in my wildest imagination did I think this blog would become so very important to me....that the people I would "meet" would become such good friends...and the ones that I would actually meet, would become extra special friends, indeed.

And now....the other night, the names of all those entered (from here and FB) were written on small pieces of paper, folded neatly and placed in the bamboo noodle strainer/"hat".....
Both boys had the very important job of drawing one name....
And the first winner is.......
(but really, with no-e, sorry, Vicki)

And the other winner is......
~~Congratulations, ladies!!!~~~
The boxes will be in the mail sometime next week...I'll let you know when they are on their way!!

For the rest of you....never fear...the stuff is already amassing for another giveaway!!
Stay tuned!!

Someone commented to me one time that "life in Japan seems so nice, so fun".
I had to chuckle and then I wondered,
"Is that the way I'm coming across..that everything is just positively peachy?" 
While 80% of the time, my life in Japan is actually really good, it's that other 20% that kicks my butt to the curb and makes me wanna crawl in bed and stay there for a few days more hours.

As a foreigner living in Japan, it is more often than not difficult to understand the ins and outs and whys and wherefore's of dealing with Japanese people.  On a daily basis, with the neighbors in our 'hoods, with co-workers or parents from our kids' schools, we may find ourselves in a false sense of security.  We join the neighborhood groups, volunteer at schools, take part in programs throughout the school year,  we try to involve ourselves as if were were in our own countries, but....we're not ever ,100% accepted and we will, unknowingly be rude or disrespectful to someone...sometime...quite often.
  We bow, apologize, and life goes on.  Many things that happen around us, we canNOT explain or understand...but, the sooner we accept this fact, the better life will be.
Of course, we all have our moments of self-doubt, fear, anger, bang-your-head-on-the-table-WTFjusthappened-kind of all comes with the territory.

As in any society, any culture, everyone is expected to behave in a certain manner, observing the unwritten rules of society here in Japan is like watching a foreign movie...with no subtitles and no freaking clue as to what is even happening on the screen. think you have it worked out and could possibly figure out who the woman in the green hat is, but, when the duck walks in the room, wearing a tie?
  You just hope you can figure out how the hell he got the door open.
(If you thought that was confusing...welcome to my world.)

Now, sometimes, we come across situations where the Japanese are the ones 'in the wrong' and while we are waiting for either an explanation or hey, wait a minute, where's the bowing and the apology that should be directed in this direction (for a change), it seems that some Japanese people feel they are not expected to do that whole "bow and apologize" thing.
And I'm not sure why.

Lately, I have been in this kind of situation.
It sucks....and knowing that I am not the first foreigner to have had this happen, is not really comforting at all.
Long story short:
a group of supposedly highly educated people made a contract with me to teach classes for a year.  After the first "term" was over, we had a break and while I was waiting to hear from them as to when the next term was going to start, they hired someone else and failed to tell me of this decision.
I had previously turned down two other teaching jobs for this particular group.
Now....I'm out three jobs.
And from them?
No explanation.
No apology.
No replies to letters I have written.
(and yes, I was nice in those letters!!)
It's as if I was never there.
And there is nothing I can do about this.
(No, would take too much time, effort and money..all of which I have precious little to spare.)

I'm thinking that when they said "We'll let you know about the next class",
that must have meant "Don't call us we'll call you."
Of course, I could be wrong. 

I just have to remind myself (as much as possible)...
to stand up straight and smile,
to be positive,
to NOT let the little guy (with a small.....................amount of self-esteem!) get me down,
and that group?
Yeah....they did not deserve me.
(Thanks, Karen!)

"How is life in Japan?", you might ask.
Right this very instant, things are just okay.
But tomorrow...

I feel a Big Dawg kind of day coming on!!
I sometimes forget I can have these days to counteract that crap that sometimes gets tossed/thrown my way.
Yeah....I'm looking forward to tomorrow...and the next day...and the next....


smalltownmom said...

Hang in there, baby!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I have a friend who is adopted--her mother was Japanese and her father was an American serviceman. She has some pretty sad stories about the way Japanese feel about white people--I wondered if you ever encountered that.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

It must be tough some days, and yet you do seem like the Energizer Bunny more than 80% of the time. What a blessing to be able to see the glass half full, and still be so real and so in touch with your feelings. I love that you share so much about your life and experiences in Japan. Does it also help to know that you have have such strong and real connections to so many people who love you all around the world, especially here in the States? The Blogosphere, as weird as it can be at times, is also a pretty cool place, huh?

Love you, Debbie.


Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

"have have" That's a new phrase in California. It either means you REALLY have something. Or I'm craptastic with a keyboard.

katydidnot said...

I'm sorry. I would be hurt and sad if this happened to me. I think you're owed a bow. Or something else even better, like some new shoes.

dkuroiwa said...

Jenn....I think this particular situation stems from the fact that I'm a woman...and taller than the main man in charge...and oh yeah, I'm a woman!
I've not had very many exeriences where people acted against me because of being an American...I have had the drunk old guy in a bar acting like I was the one that dropped the bomb and was in need of an argument of how the Americans were the bad ones in that situation...but, other than that...not so much. I'm lucky though because I have heard some really bad stories.
Funny thing though....the main negativity I get about being an American comes from other foreigners...we are not liked very much by many people. that sucks because i'm really a very nice peson!!! (^-^)

i'm also lucky...i have have some great friends....and yeah, shoes, if only i could find some great ones in MY SIZE here in this teeny-weeny (!) footed country! i may have to go net shopping.... ;-)

Ginaagain said...

Seeing things through your eyes makes everything exciting. Your wonderful attitude is what makes Japan seem like such a fun place.

I'm so mad at the jerks that stiffed you!

Janet said...

I'm sorry you're taller than that guy...

Anonymous said...

oh dang, that's when all the lovely intercultural smart books fail...
this situation will pass and you will come out stronger and smarter!

btw, really like the last picture you posted - no frickin way ;-) lol


San Diego Momma said...

That is unfair and inexcusable.

I am bowing in your direction on their behalf.


Susan said...

I was gone all last week, and come home to catch up on reading and boy did this piss me off! We love you Deb!

phd in yogurtry said...

This surprises me given the presumption, the stereotype (?) that Japanese are overly polite and courteous -- but not when they are in the wrong, apparently?

Or merely when they are in the wrong where foreigners are involved?

I often think about how much of a challenge it must be to learn all the nuances of such a different culture. It's one thing to be in France or Germany, quite another level to be in a country with a different alphabet, different dress code, etc. So, my (cowboy) hat is off to you.