The universe decided to make up for a hideous Tuesday-through-Thursday with an extremely excellent Friday and Saturday.
Jerkface did not show up (which does worry me a little – the manager said his parents had called and said he had stuff to do, but I’m still going to fret about it), but Bonze and Ken’ichi did. And Bonze gave me a present that made my whole week.
As he was coming in the door for class, he said in Japanese, “Oh! I forgot. I have an egg.” He stopped and dug around in his bag, and pulled out a tiny tupperware box, which he opened. Inside was a tiny egg – a little bigger than a quail egg – carefully tucked into in some tissues. He said, “It’s for you,” and took the egg out of the box and handed it to me, then put the box away.
I said in English, “An egg! Thank you so much! …is it a chicken egg?”
“Yes,” he said.
“Yay! Thank you!” (“Yay” is my generic happy word.) Having no suitable container for a tiny egg, I went over and made a little tissue-nest for it on the shelf. We sat down to play a game which required splitting the ABC cards between us.
The “e” card has a picture of an egg on it. Ken’ichi ended up with that one. Picking the card up to admire it, Bonze said, “You have the egg! Can I trade you for it?” Eggs are clearly very important to Bonze.
As he was putting his shoes on at the end of class I asked him, “Is it from Bonze’s chicken?” There were little stains on the egg, which along with its size suggested to me it hadn’t come from a store.
“Mama’s chicken? Papa’s chicken? Grandmother’s chicken?” He shook his head, very shy about the egg, and left.
I asked the manager why he thought Bonze had given me a tiny egg. He said, “Ohhh. Bonze’s family keeps chickens. It must be one of their eggs. Oh, no! He probably thought it would hatch and you’d have a baby chicken!”
I said, “It’s an intimidating present! It has Bonze’s heart in it!”
“Taihen da na!”
Though I’m sure he was underestimating Bonze’s intelligence, here. (It’s unfortunately easy to do, because he’s so quiet and tiny. Jerkface knows better!) A kid whose family raises chickens is probbbably going to know that an undersized egg he’s carried around in his bag is not going to hatch. I also assume he has the sense not to give an egg he thinks might hatch to someone who may not be prepared for parenthood.
Nonetheless, I’m not sure what to do with Bonze’s egg. Should I eat it? I googled around, and it looks like it’s safe to eat these kinds of eggs. But then, Bonze did have it in his bag for at least two hours, and it was another hour and a half before I could get it home. Is the egg safe to eat? I’d feel really bad about just tossing it…
I feel very flattered that Bonze gave me an egg from his beloved chickens, but it really does feel like an intimidating gift.
The rest of the last couple days:
Yesterday’s trouble classes – Miss Dolphin’s group and Goody Proctor and the Devil’s group – were both really good (despite the Spongebob incident), and the good classes – Zip and Zoh and Mr. K – were perfect.
This is a review month, which means the curriculum demands the kids do role-play activities. Many of the younger kids are not actually capable of this (as I’ve said, the curriculum sucks), but Zip and Zoh turned out to be just on the right side of the borderline. We played doctor, and I had whoever was currently the doctor wear my glasses. Zoh pretended to be running into everything, and Zip was a very serious doctor who dispensed medicine to Zoh with a stern expression on her face.
Mr. K regrettably can’t handle the role-play in any real way – he doesn’t remember enough of the words to manage it – but to make up for my being grumpy during his class last week, this week I unleashed him upon the whiteboard. Mr. K has a deep fascination for the whiteboard, which I don’t usually let him indulge because he likes erasing with his hands. Yesterday, though, he was wearing dark colors and already dirty, so I figured it couldn’t hurt. This was nominally a writing game, and he did write his name, but I let him draw, too. He produced a very good Doraemon, and was still very pleased about this when he left.
Today Mr. Yodeler and Conan were both great, and then Mee was great. (She’s gotten sufficiently used to this chapter’s vocabulary to start insulting me. It’s good to have goals, Mee!) Zuzu and Princess unfortunately didn’t show up – it was their school’s field day – but Cookie did, and Mr. Wow came in for his class, and I so hope this is a permanent alteration, because they were adorable together. Mr. Wow loves everybody and wants everybody to love him, and Cookie is very staid and patient, and Mr. Wow is a massive egotist and kept saying things like, “I’m only in first grade, but I’m already really good at English!” and Cookie responded patiently, “Really! That’s good. Do you think the picture we’re coloring is a dog or a monkey?” (It was Sister Bear.) This was massively entertaining. For me, anyway.
(If the class-change is permanent, I do anticipate some problems when Mr. Wow first collides with Zuzu, who I judge likely to wish to deflate him. The situation may require some managing.)
Cookie’s little brother was hanging around a lot today, too, smiling and waving at me and jumping around in complete silence. He used to be scared of me, but he seems to have gotten over it – though he’s still unwilling to attempt any English. He’s about five, and looks like a short version of Cookie who smiles all the time. (It can be tricky to tell Cookie’s moods, because he doesn’t really smile. He widens his eyes.)