The English teaching community is a small world

I am writing this post in 2014. It didn’t get an entry at the time, but was a worthwhile story. I believe the events actually took place sometime between August and October 2004.

At the time, the Lexington Queen bar in Roppongi was the popular place for Hello House residents to go. The Lex was famous both as a place where visiting celebrities might stop from time to time, and also as a “meat factory” pick up bar.

One day while hanging out at Hello House, I was talking to (name redacted), one of my Aussie female friends. She was nursing a particularly rough looking hangover. To be clear, she looked like death. Usually a massive hangover has a story to go with it, so I asked about what she did the night before. She explained that she went with a group from Hello House to The Lex and really overdid it. She drank far too much, and ended up going home with another female English teacher.

(Name redacted) had told me before that while she generally prefers guys, she does also like women and had dated one in University for 6 months. Therefore leaving with another woman was not a complete shock. Being the classy guy that I am, I tried to pry for details, but had no success.

The fun part of the story turned out to be the “who”, not the “what”. (Name redacted) asked me if I knew a Kiwi teacher named Ruby. I told her that yes, Ruby was a part of my regular Thursday night karaoke crew. It took me a minute, then I realized that Ruby was the woman that (name redacted) had gone home with. Who says Aussies and Kiwis can’t get along? Out of all of the English teachers in the Greater Tokyo area, my friend from Hello House managed to hook up with my Karaoke friend who was roommates with one of my coworkers at Kawasaki NOVA. The teaching community can seem very small at times!

(Name redacted) had some regrets about the experience, and didn’t really want to see Ruby again. Ruby had other plans, and was already texting (name redacted) to meet up again. For the next month or so after this happened, every time I went to Thursday night karaoke Ruby was asking about (name redacted); how she was doing, why wasn’t she returning messages, could I invite her to karaoke, etc. I relayed the messages to (name redacted) who asked for some good advice on how to tell Ruby that she really wasn’t interested.

When people think about moving to another country for teaching or travel, they often just consider the cultural experiences they will have. One of the most important things I learned about living in Japan is that the experience is so much more than just trains, temples, and technology. The interactions I had with other people were often some of my most interesting memories.

I moved to Japan to teach English, and for a brief period I got to end up being the reluctant message boy for a drunken all female one night stand. And that’s not something you will find in any of the travel brochures.

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