Monday, January 24, 2011

The good and bad...

Living in another country always makes you aware of "differences" and you find yourself weighing up what things are "good" or "bad" all the time. This week a couple of things happened that showed both the good and bad about life here at the same time.
The first was that my daughter got sick. She was not ultra sick - just a sore throat, but with the "influenza" season in full blast here I made her stay home from school. It was her first sick day from school since she started almost 4 years ago. She was not impressed! Anyway, back to the good and bad... one of the possible reasons that she got sick is that the classrooms at school are so freezing.... and the corridors are even worse. I won't even start about the gymnasium where they still do P.E. in shorts and t-shirts. The teacher took great pleasure telling me that they had the "stove" on all day in the classroom and it still only got up to 11 degrees - I repeat INSIDE the classroom, a MAXIMUM of 11 degrees. As a result of the day off I discovered one great thing that they do here at our school - I have no idea if they do it at other schools or not, but when my son came home he handed my daughter a big envelope which one of the children had written all the things they had done that day, all the things they would be doing the next day and then there were messages from each child to Emily telling her to get well etc. as well as a message from the teacher. Of course there was also homework inside the envelope, but if you ignore that I was really impressed with the effort that was taken to keep sick kids up to date. Apparently they do it every day for any student who is away and often the teacher will take it to the child's house if they have no siblings at school. I have absolutely no idea if anything like this is done in New Zealand, so it may not actually be a "difference" as such.

The second good/bad thing happened to my son. For anyone who has ever been to Japan you will you know how wonderful Mr. Toto is. He is the king of toilets and although most people are usually a bit scared to try out many of the buttons on the warm-seated, technological wonders in the beginning, after a few months most people succumb, push the odd button or two and never look back! My son has recently discovered one of the buttons - the bottom wash one! He takes after both his New Zealand and Japanese grandfather and takes a book with him to the toilet while he takes his time to completely cleanse out his system. In an attempt to speed up the process a little my husband showed him how to use the bum washer. The other day he tried it by himself for the first time. He had the door locked. He was calling for help. Unfortunately my husband had shown him the on button, but not the off button so my son was sitting helplessly on the toilet with water gushing up to clean his bits, unable to reach the lock on the door to let us in to help him and starting to get a little worried! Fortunately we were able to tell him which button to push and I don't think he was scared of the marvelous buttons for life....
I have millions of posts that I am behind on again... maybe tomorrow!


  1. I hope your daughter is completely back to health tomorrow - Yoshi's JHS does the same as your school but the elementary school let them be sick for a couple of days before starting it, though the teacher always phones in the evening to see how the sickie is, which I find very kind.

    You might experiment with the bottom washer but I think the new ones stop automatically when pressure is released from the seat, ie, when you stand up! I was caught out in the early 1990's with one that didn't stop and I couldn't read the kanji for STOP! Oh noes! I had a very clean bum and a quick and long-lasting Japanese lesson.

  2. hey, what's the prob with a good quiet place to read!
    Grandads do it! Well this one does. And I've noticed some of the younger generations here following my lead too.

  3. I really like that too Jo, the whole....delivering to the house the packet of what was missed to the child who missed school. I think that's a wonderful system. The "boy next door" brings it to Branden if he misses. Because they're in the same class and live right acros the street from one another. And the teacher knows. And same when the boy next door gets sick. Branden will bring the packet to his house. And I enjoy that all the kids write little. Get well notes. Or "what you missed at school today." Or..."make sure to bring your such and such for school tomorrow" type notes. It's all honestly really nice. And it makes the child feel special. And part of the group that way.: ) I really like that way they do that here. We also get an evening phone call like Vicky mentioned from the teacher to check on how he's feeling. Which is nice too. : )

    Your poor son stuck on the toilet. That is one of the cutest stories I've heard in a while.

    Have a wonderful weekend over there you guys. : )