So, yesterday in class, I handed out some gifts to my students that YaYa had sent in the mail. When my parents (YaYa and PoPo) were here during Christmas, my Ome class took them out to eat at a traditional Japanese restaurant. To repay their kindness, YaYa sent some Rockport, Texas, postcards, coozies, and magnets for the class to enjoy.
After I passed out the gifts, one on my gentlemen students screams out in Engrish, "You are a real eetch!"
"What? Nani," I asked in my half ass Japanglish.
"You are a real eetch!" he repeated louder.
"Gomenasai!" I said, confused (that means excuse me in Japanese). "What did you say?" I asked again.
"YOU ARE A REAL EETCH...DO YOU UNDERSTAND??!!" he yelled in English with a very thick Japanese accent.
"NO, I don't understand...I'm a real WHAT?!" I yelled back.
At this point, the entire class was laughing hysterically, and so was I. I was holding back tears of laughter. In the back of my mind, I was trying desperately to figure out what the hell he was calling me. I kept trying to think of words that sounded like eetch. My mind was searching desperately for the word. Of course, the only word that came to mind was bitch.
"YOU ARE A REAL EETCH...EETCH....EETCH...DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!" he yelled at the top of his lungs again. The class was beside themselves.
I turned to the student closest to me and asked her, "What is he saying?"
Her response was, "I don't know...I don't understand him!"
In my mind I thought, how in the world am I supposed to understand him when his own classmates have no freaking clue what he's saying.
"I don't understand, please speak slowly," I told him.
He responded by speaking even louder than before, but very, very slowly..."YOOOOUUU......ARRRRRRRE.....AAAAA...REEEEEEAAAAALLLL.... EEEEEEETTTCCCHH!"
I still had no clue what the hell he was calling me. Finally, I yelled out, "I'm a real BITCH?!"
"No!" he yelled back. "You are a EETCH!"
In my frustration, I finally asked, "Could you please spell the damn word?"
Keep in mind, the class is now laughing even louder. The conversation was hilarious, and they could not control themselves. I, too, was laughing, but still very confused at what the man was trying to say.
So, he began by spelling P-E-A-C-H. In my mind, I was relieved.
"Oh, you are calling me a real peach for giving you presents...now I understand!" I said loudly over the roar of the class.
Now I understood. My mind was at ease. I was no longer searching my internal lexicon for a word that sounded like eetch. The mystery had been solved!
Last week in class we discussed several idioms. You are a real peach was one of them. He was trying to practice what he had learned last week. I felt bad for laughing at him, but he seemed to enjoy the attention and laughter he had caused. I had never heard my older Japanese students laugh so hard. It was good to see them literally falling out of their seats in laughter. It was just too damn funny!
Just another day in Weenie's World!
***Engrish is when my students try to speak English using Japanese pronunciations.