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Amparo Bertram

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08:43 pm: I should have checked the fluoridation level before I left...
Yesterday a school official came to say that he needs to take me to Otsu next week to renew my visa. The vice-principal brought him over to my desk to explain. Now, my vice-principal is a really sweet guy, but he truly cannot get it through his head that I understand Japanese.

VP: Kayoubi. That's Monday...Saturday...

Me: Tuesday.

VP: Yes, Tuesday.

I've been living in this country for nearly four years...you've seen me doing nothing but read Japanese novels for eight hours straight over the past two days...and you think I still don't know the days of the week?!

At least sometimes he gives me credit for knowing the vocabulary and just speaks...really...slowly.

Official: I'll come by to get her at 2:30.

VP: He'll...get you...at...2:30.

Me: ... <tries desperately--and rather unsuccessfully--not to laugh>

Today I went to the "MINNA no Salon" meeting, which was about the one-child-per-household policy in China. (I discovered that MINNA--the Japanese word meaning "everyone"--is supposed to be an acronym for Moriyama International Friendship Association. The Japanese really don't get how acronyms work...but they are certainly creative about it. @_@) The meeting ended with a demonstration of a Chinese martial art style called Taikyokuken. (It looked quite similar to Tai Chi, from what I could tell.)

After that, I went to the dentist for my cleaning. When I was done, the dentist came around. He said he had two questions for me.

Dentist: What is the fluoridation level in Michigan?

Me: ...?

Dentist: Do you know fluoridation?

Me: I know fluoridation...I don't know the level... ^_^;

He seemed kind of surprised by this, for some reason. Yet he accepted it and moved on to his next question.

Dentist: What proportion of elementary school students have orthodontic work done?

Me: ...

You know, when I came over here, I was aware that I would be a cultural ambassador of sorts. But now I realize I just didn't do enough homework.

After I got home, I finally turned on the air conditioner for the first time when I decided the fan simply wasn't cutting it. I checked the temperature, and it seems it was 90° F in my apartment. <whew> No wonder I was sweating...

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[User Picture]
From:melf42
Date:June 18th, 2005 06:58 pm (UTC)
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and you think I still don't know the days of the week

I've given up on explaining that I can understand Japanese pretty well (though not as well as you) and just assume that they really want to practice their English on me.

and it seems it was 90° F in my apartment.

So HOT!!!! I hate summer.

You don't know the fluoridation levels of all 50 states by memory? What's wrong with you?

(I wonder if Colorado even has fluoride levels...)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 18th, 2005 07:07 pm (UTC)
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I've given up on explaining that I can understand Japanese pretty well (though not as well as you) and just assume that they really want to practice their English on me.

There was a guy at the Salon meeting who talked to me, hoping to get English lessons. I have to give him credit for courage in asking, but that's just not something I do.

So HOT!!!! I hate summer.

I am debating moving the table out of the living room when you guys visit so there's space for us all to sleep in the air conditioning. (You're welcome to have one of the guest rooms if you like, of course, but I imagine by next month it will be even HOTTER.)

You don't know the fluoridation levels of all 50 states by memory? What's wrong with you?

I can only hang my head in shame...
[User Picture]
From:mvrdrk
Date:June 18th, 2005 08:43 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Floridation levels vary by water district. Unless it's state mandated. And you can still get around it, for example, if you had a well.

Colorado water is floridated.
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:June 19th, 2005 07:51 pm (UTC)

Hmmmmmm....

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Reading over the 2004 water report for Adrian, Michigan, I see that the fluoride level in the tests ranged from 0.8 to 1.2 parts per million with up to 4 ppm being the maximum contaminant level allowed before being in violation of regulations.


I might call a local orthodontist to check on the proportion of elementary students in this city. What is considered elementary school in Japan? This year was the first year that we included fifth grade in our middle school system, so I guess, technically, our elementary system is K-4. On the other hand, our teaching certification says secondary is 7-12, so maybe elementary is still K-6....????
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:June 19th, 2005 07:53 pm (UTC)

Correction...

(Link)
It is the 2005 report.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 19th, 2005 09:00 pm (UTC)

Re: Hmmmmmm....

(Link)
I might call a local orthodontist to check on the proportion of elementary students in this city.

That's sweet, but I'm pretty sure he was just asking out of curiosity. Maybe he was wondering whether Americans have better or worse teeth than Japanese people do.

What is considered elementary school in Japan?

Elementary school in Japan is grades 1-6.
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