Monday, November 21, 2005

inevitability strikes

In the English teaching world of Kyoto there are places to advertise and places to meet, but no matter what you do, you will inevitably end up at the Sanjo Starbucks. Out of six interviews I have this week, four prosective students requested that we meet at this beacon of internationalism. In hindsight, I should have skipped putting out flyers elsewhere and just lounged around in Starbucks for a few days trolling for students. The lower level is a haven for “cultural exchange” seekers, some of them sketchier than others, but all on the lookout for some sort of partner.

I usually try to avoid Starbucks, especially this particular location, because I know I will most certainly run into another foreigner there. I guess it’s comforting for many people to find something in a foreign country that is the same as back home, but seriously, do we have to stereotype ourselves? It’s almost worse than foreign bars packed with Heineken drinking tall white men smiling condescendingly at giggling Japanese women.

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