Today was the first day students returned to school after their summer vacation. As per Japanese tradition, we had an opening ceremony today. (Remember, the school year starts in April in Japan, so this is not the beginning of the school year for them.) The older students know me from last year when I was at their school, but the youngest students haven’t met me yet. So, the principal asked me to give a small introduction speech at the ceremony.
On more important thing to know about Japanese schools is that you need at least three pairs of shoes to function here. For the students, I think they’d actually need four. One pair to walk to school in. One pair to change into when they arrive and wear around school and in their classrooms. One pair to wear for sports and activities outside. And one pair to wear in the gym.
I don’t have a pair for the gym. I think my indoor shoes are good enough for inside the gym. They are clean. I only wear them inside. They have never been soiled by the dirty, terrible outside world. But apparently they were not good enough today.
One of my co-teachers dug up a pair of white tennis shoes for me to wear in the gym.
Let’s just say they looked ravishing with my pencil skirt and business attire.
Let’s just say I had a mild panic attack about having to look so terribly uncoordinated up on stage.
Let’s just say I felt like the shoes were like the Ark of the Covenant, and if I dared lay eyes on them, my face would melt off.
I know it shouldn’t matter. I know I shouldn’t care. But oh, heaven above, just look at them!