I have finally realized that I really need to learn to speak Japanese better. As of now, I can only say very basic things. This is not going to cut it if I plan on staying on Japan on a long term basis. I want to be able to communicate with people better. There are two things holding me back: motivation and time. When I try to speak Japanese I tend to get frustrated rather quickly. When Japanese people do not understand me I feel like a total idiot and give up. It is not a good habit to have when living in a nation in which my native language is not spoken by most people. I feel like I am being judged when speaking Japanese. I am the kind of person who get a little nervous when I know I am being judged. I must get over this fear if I am do speak Japanese better.
I have a few options for improving my speaking ability. There is this student of mine who teachers Japanese to gaijin. I think she does it at a very low or no cost. She loves my lessons and I think it would be no problem for her to teach me. I actually really like her as a person. She is kind and cares about other people. She is a rare person in this post-modern age. I think she may be a damn good teacher. I have considered asking her to teach me Japanese. My shyness about asking such a request has prevented me from asking her to teach me. I may very well ask her the next time she shows up for a lesson.
My other options are varied. I have tried getting the gal to teach me but that usually ends in total ruin. We simply do not click on teacher/student level. She has no skill what so ever at teaching. It is better just to use her as practice for words I learn. If she understands what I try to say then I consider it a good thing indeed. I did tried to take lessons from a private school but that did not work out so well either. My teacher was good but I could not learn from her. She did not give a shit if I learned anything or not. I think it was a part time job for her anyway. My other option is try and get in on those lessons that the Nerima ward is offering. I do not think I will go for that because I what I really need is a teacher I can make a connection with. I am one of those people who needs to make a connection with someone before I can trust and learn from them. So, it appears that my student is my best option. I trust her and she seems like a person who cares about gaijin learning to speak the Japanese language.
On some other notes of interest in my life; there are some things I may need to improve about myself. You see everyone, I got a problem with dealing with people. I have this chip on my shoulder that I will never be able to lose. I was raised pretty rough and that really shaped me as an adult. I tend to worry a lot about things that I know I should not give two shits about. This makes it hard to some people to get along with me very well. I would like to be a little more smooth but my roughness comes shining though every damn time. When people are polite to me and appreciate what I do for them, it is easy for me to show them my inner self. Sadly, most people are just real assholes. I do not take well to assholes. I have seen a lot of people who are able to charm even the biggest dickhead on the face of the planet. I just cannot do that so well. I also have a hard time dealing with cold people. You know the type, no matter how nice you are to them they just will not warm up to you. I must learn how to charm even the toughest cookie.
The other thing I would like to get better at is showing people that I care about them. Recently, I have been practicing this with the office lady at my base school. I really do care about her but I have been pretty bad at showing it. So, I have started doing little things. When I arrive at work I try to bring a little food for her. I bring a little something for her everyday. You know, a rice ball or something like that. Her English is not so good but she is able to get out a few thank yous. Wednesday she was able to explain to me that the rice ball I gave her was her favorite kind. It almost brings a tear to my eyes that she puts forth the effort to speak English to me. I know it is very hard for her to speak in English. I also have started telling her that she did a good job before I leave for the day. I think it will make her work a little more harder. There is something about her that troubles my brain. I guess that her life is a little more complex than she lets on. In another life she might be a greaser gal. Sometimes she smiles and laughs a lot. Although, there are other times when she does not smile at all and seems to be rather sad. I will take the time to get to know her a little better.
Anyway, maybe I am just a messed up person. I allowed myself to become too rough. It might be too late for me to chance so much; but I am gonna try anyway. My hard noise greaser ways have made me into a complex person. Yeah, a greaser is trying to care about other people. This should be funny for sure. I will always be just a fucking greaser. Hell, one day I should write a book about my life.