Much as I make fun of the strangeness of life here, I have to say I'm doing my share to keep the locals amused. Some of the people who know me now have a kind of "isn't it cute that he's trying" smile after I've tried to speak Japanese--usually meaning that either I've botched it or that they're surprised I didn't. Today, I asked the Kyoto-sensei (vice principal) for permission to go out for lunch, proudly using my new verb, "to go out," and combining several grammatical constructions. After I finished, he looked up at me, a bit puzzled looking, and paused--then he said, "go out for LUNCH? OK." I noticed the school secretary sharing a smile with him as I walked away, one of those "isn't that cute" smiles. On the way out, I realized that it wasn't cute that I was trying--it was cute that I'd asked the Kyoto for permission to go out for my evening meal at 12:00.
Ramble, ramble, ramble. Once in a while I take my computer into school, just to have something to play with while looking busy (I do some work on it, too, now that the MS Word on the office computer goes buggy when I try to use it in English mode). Now, classes are over, so I'll run off and find some students to bother.