I Broke My Blog, and Yet I Write!

Yep, according to my brother, who has been gradually nursing my poor site back to health, I have fouled something important up in the inner workings of my blog. Thus you cannot read my “about” link, “archives” link or see my blogroll. You can still click on posts per month on the left sidebar though. That, it seems, is still limping along. Hopefully my sibling shall figure it out and I can have this thing running back to normal. Now I know not to touch with that “plugins” tab in the wordpress control panel. You live and learn!

This week saw my introduction to Japan’s health services. It was the town hall’s annual health check-up so we all got to have our blood taken at the office, and then were ushered down the road to the hospital later on in the day. It was fortunate for me because a few days prior I accidentally leaned against the aluminium pipe of my kerosene heater whilst munching on my morning toast (with honey!) Yes… the heater was on. So I needed to have my arm looked at anyway.

Now in SA, where a significant proportion of our population is HIV+ and fast climbing, I’m used to every precaution being taken by medical staff to prevent blood-related diseases and suchlike. But here, the nurses didn’t use gloves at all when handling a score and more of blood samples and used needles. Heather had expressed a similar experience to me before where the nurses in Wakkanai also didn’t use gloves. It was rather disturbing, but I do realise that Japan has significantly lower HIV rates. Still… that’s not the only thing that could be transmitted via blood! Not that I could insist on gloves being worn either. They never brought any to the office. Eish!

At any rate, later on in the hospital the doctor thankfully did use gloves to prod and treat my ghastly-looking burn (when I showed it to my supervisor he actually closed his eyes and looked away!), so I think it might just be the nurses. Although I didn’t see any bleeding stumps come in for treatment, so I couldn’t tell if it was a universal SOP or if it was just limited to basic health check-ups. Likely the latter I’m sure!

Medical issues aside, and blog retardation notwithstanding, the week has been good! I’ve since discovered that teaching at the elementary schools is a far more enjoyable experience than I had imagined. The teaching part is relatively easy when compared to the impassive teenage masses at Takushin, but the physical interaction is exponential! The kids really respond well to loud English and are usually completely willing to try out new words without sounding silly. ‘L’ and ‘R’ is usually my favourite to display, and to get them all playing with their tongues and making “RRRRrrRRrR” bear faces is hilarious.

Those who know me of course understand how radical this sounds, because up until now I have been nothing but high-fallutin’ and pompous. My pomposity, in fact, is exceeded only by my well-rounded arrogance! With elementary school kids, however, that stuff is kinda destroyed at the first salvo of kids clambering to touch the Gaijin.

Sure, I wouldn’t want to cook and feed one of these ankle-biters. Nor would I particularly interest them if I wasn’t all foreign and hairy, but I find I really look forward to elementary school days, because I almost always come away from them with a smile on my face and a real feeling of accomplishment. Even if all I did was teach them how to ask “How does this look?” or somesuch.

Written by admin in: Things Japanese |

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