“Holy crap balls!” were the exact words I had muttered, but somehow that didn’t matter to the conservative and very strict man who stood before me.
“Let me ask you again,” he began. “Did you, or did you not, curse in front of the students?”
I felt like a student myself. I was certainly getting into trouble like one.
I licked my lips. “It wasn’t a curse as such…”
He slammed his hand down on the desk in front of him. This was highly unusual behaviour for a Japanese person; they never lost their temper and to be honest, I didn’t think what had happened was that big a deal. I knew he’d had far worse.
But then, the little voice in my head whispered, you are a woman and all those other incidents have involved men. Fucking double standards, I told myself. I suddenly thought, fuck it.
“Yes, alright, I did curse. I said, ‘holy fuck balls,’ because the situation called for such language and since this is a language course and a foreign language school, I figure that I’m broadening their education,” I stated. And their minds, I thought. Their poor, naive minds that have been protected and denied information from the outside world for so long, I added silently.
I could tell he was pissed. A vein threatened to explode near his hairline and I saw him grit his jaw in frustration.
This was fun, I thought. I hadn’t felt a thrill like this for ages. I’d been in the country for far too long and had suppressed all my anger and any sort of personality I may have had before, in order to fit in with their ridiculous standards which I knew I was never going to achieve. NO ONE was ever going to achieve, I corrected myself.
I decided then and there that I’d had enough. I was sick and tired of jumping through hoops, I was bored of where I was living and I hated the foreigners I worked with.
I stood up.
He stared up at me with a look that clearly said he hadn’t expected this. I had to laugh. Japanese people never showed their emotions on their face; they could have won a poker match hands down, but this, this had thrown him.
“You know what, sir?” I asked. “I don’t like the way you treat women here and I don’t like the way you are questioning how I teach considering I am the native speaker and you are not. Frankly, the methods you use are boring as fuck and your students will never, ever learn to speak English if you don’t expose them to the real stuff. And by real, I mean, slang and what you refer to as, ‘curse,’ words and what we Aussies consider sentence enhancers. Shove your fucking job up your arse mate, because I’ve got better things to do and better places to be!”
And with those parting words, I turned and marched out, head held high.
Which, is also how I ended up sitting on a plane back to the Mother Land. I’d had enough of the Land of the Rising Sun and I think, after that experience, they’d had enough of me too.
Thank fuck, I was going home.