悩む = nayamu, meaning “to be troubled/worried with.”  I think, something about the way the word sounds makes me think it more appropriately expresses the sense of being troubled by something.  Must be the “naya” part makes me think of going “nyaaa nyaaa nyaaaa” but I don’t mean “nyaaa” as in the sound cats make but “nyaaa” as more like “nyeehh” like the sound the Enlish dub of Yu-Gi-Oh!‘s Jounochi (aka Joey Wheeler) would constantly make. Then I added “ing” to make it into the present progressive, which exists in Japanese, but it’s more fun to make these linguistic chimeras.

Anyway…

Yesterday I got permission from kyoutou-sensei to go to Korea in February.  It’s for the Distant Worlds concert in Seoul (a concert of music from the various Final Fantasy games, performed by an orchestra with choir, and in some cities, a rock band!). I can’t be bothered with traveling, but for Distant Worlds, I want to go so badly.  But that’s where the nayanderuing comes in.

I came on JET with a large amount of debt.  Not student loans either.  Of all things, medical bills from an accident.  Now that I’m employed (I had the accident while a college student after doing two years of full time volunteer work; not the best time for things that require large sums of money) it’s not a problem to make the monthly payments to the hospital.  The thing is, I feel guilty about doing anything extra.  Even my Elixir habit (at 200 yen/2.20USD  a can, it’s kinda extravagant) is starting to make me feel a bit guilty. A fellow JET reassured me that he was able to live “like a king” and still saved up over 10K dollars.  But I still feel bad because living extremely frugally would mean I could get out of debt faster.  Each month, I’ve sent a larger amount of money home than the previous month, and I feel like it won’t do to send any less.  But, affordable though the trip to Korea would be, it’s still money that could go to the hospital instead of for getting on a plane to geek out.

Yet, there’s something else bugging me.  Granted, this shouldn’t be that important, but since people constantly bring it up, it’s become annoying.  Many JETs spend their extra time and money traveling.  I think everyone (JETs, teachers, staff, random neighborhood people) expects JETs to travel, so I feel a pressure to travel.  When people would ask me “where are you going for winter break?” I started saying, “maybe I’ll take a day trip to Nagasaki or something.”  While I do think it would be interesting to go, I don’t really want to.  I just don’t get traveling for travel’s sake.  It’s different when you go somewhere after studying about that place, or will do some study there, or want to go to a specific event.  But just going somewhere to gawk for a few hours, take pictures, and buy a bunch of kitschy things…what’s the point? I’d rather be at home drawing, studying, watching dramas, anything rather than deal with the hassle of making travel arrangements just to go abrir la boca somewhere. (“Abrir la boca” literally means, “to open one’s mouth,” but is used to mean “to waste time”, especially by looking at stuff or doing things absentmindedly.)

So I figure, I don’t go anywhere, I can at least go to Seoul, since seeing Distant Worlds is actually something that I truly want to do. But then it just turns right back to my worries about my debt, and it’s an endless cycle of nayanderuing. Blergh.

Only my spreadsheet of expenses & savings keeps the nayanderuing in check.  *sigh*

To end on a funny side note…one of the things my students like to do when they’re avoiding paying attention in class is use various “fortune telling” websites (our class was held in the Language Lab; at least until the teachers got mad enough at the students for pulling the keys off the keyboards to banish them from the LL, lol).  Maybe it was in my second month here, but these two girls were on one site where you input a name, and it would display a “diagram” of the person’s brain showing what was on their mind.  Predictibly enough, when male names where input, it had a higher percentage of “H,” standing for “ecchi” meaning the person was thinking perverted thoughts.  (How it figured out that the katakanization of my co-ALT’s name was a male name, I’ve no idea, unless it has been programmed with common foreign names.) Anyway, when the girls put in my name, or rather, エリー, the diagram displayed a pretty even distribution of three things: 食、金、and 悩. In other words, what was on my mind was food, money, and worries. I couldn’t help but laugh and say, “Yup, sounds about right…” ^_^;;;

Advertisements