Friday, August 10, 2007

The Heat

Today has been the hottest day of the year so far in Tokyo and I had a chat about the weather with "little old man" (LOM) before he launched into a long talk about how he spent a sweaty but "exciting" time on the golf driving range. LOM loves his golf. He once spent three lessons getting through telling me about one game in minute detail.

Getting back to the weather though, LOM told me that one of the effects of all this heat is that he doesn't sleep very well. He said he has an air conditioner but he doesn't like to use it all night so he puts it on a 30-minute timer just before bed and when the heat inevitably wakes him up again and again, he runs it each time on a 30-minute timer because he thinks running it all night is going to cause him to freeze to death or get very sick.

After telling me about this drawback of the heat, he wanted to tell me about some other ill effect so he pulled out his electronic dictionary and started poking at the keys. He slowly said that the heat makes him "im-po-tience". I was pretty sure he didn't mean what it sounded like so I just smiled and said, "impo... what?" He repeated "impotience" and I asked to see his dictionary at which point I realized he meant, "impatient".

Sometimes I wonder what the students would think if they could read my mind when such little errors occur. Generally speaking, I'm rather glad they can't.


Emsk said...

Funny English indeed. One of my students, a 26 year-old punk rock loving salaryman, told me with great excitement how much he liked to go 'cruising'. I decided to let it drop because he had mentioned a boat to Hokkaido as well.

Now, if he's said he was looking forward to going to London or Sydney or SF to see some bands, then I would've taken him aside after the lesson.

The weather is unbearable in Kansai right now.

Miko said...

I once had an elderly student tell me, in great detail, about his forthcoming prostrate operation. At one stage while describing the actual procedure, he drew a diagram of his genitalia for me, just to be sure that I got the picture.

The heat is dreadful, isn't it? Climate-wise, this part of the country is only habitable for about 3-4 months out of the year. If I had my way, I'd spend my winters in Okinawa, my summers in Hokkaido, and spring and autumn right here at home.