Saturday, June 12, 1999

I should be writing the conference paper that I will present in China in a little more than a week. But of course I am sick and unable to focus, especially after spending almost 1 1/2 hours writing and replying to email this morning. I have all day to sit in front of this computer, though, so hopefully I'll have a few pages to show for it at the end of the day.

The damn foreigners (me and my fellow American colleagues) were scolded yet once again Thursday for not properly segregating the burnable and unburnable trash. Apparently the bored housewives of Hatabu were snooping through our trash bags again. I do seriously think proper waste disposal is important, but a few gaijin not following the gomi rules is *not going to make one bit of difference in cleaning up the horrible pollution of Japan. And what kind of useless life does one have to have in order to snoop through foreigners' trash twice a week? And then to tattle to the university president? If they can't simply write us a very simple note in simple English to take care in packing our trash bags, they shouldn't have studied English a *minimum of five years in school! And as far as I can see, they should be more concerned about cleaning up the unbearable trash and pollution all over their own fucking country before they start snooping through the foreigners' bags to see if a bit of cellophane is in a bag of papers. It was just one more xenophobic, racist, ignorance-motivated thing directed at us over the past few weeks. Another example is the sign (in English, of course) posted at the high school across the street from our apato basically reading, "Foreigners keep out!" Have I said how glad I am to be going back to Europe where I'll blend in with everyone else and won't be the butt of stupid fear and anxiety from a village of racists?

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