Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I've mentioned before that one of the positions at our school (and most Japanese high schools, I believe) is "tea lady." At Koyo, the woman who fills this position has other duties, as well, but I think the task of keeping all these thirsty teachers in freshly brewed (from her own mix of leaves) tea is a full-time job! There is almost always a fresh pot of hot tea in this area of the teacher's room, and I know it's the same all over the office.

Lately, we have had a lot of "office days" in which we (ALTs) don't teach any classes, aren't given any responsibilities (even if we ask, and believe me, I do.), and must only be present. From 8:40 to 4:40. Just present.

These days get terribly grueling. I've been planning next term's classes, studying Japanese via the Rosetta Stone program, making paper lanterns, designing holiday cork boards... and that only takes up the morning hours. When the other teachers are in meetings (to which we are not, understandably, invited), it can be particularly maddening.

Tea Lady to the rescue!

Our lovely tea lady has been suprising us with special treats during these times. I don't think she gives them to everyone, because she always pops in when the rest of the staff are in meetings. Last week she poured us piping cups of hot coffee, and today she came armed with a tray of these:

Just the sugar rush I needed to tide me over to lunch. Thank you, Tea Lady.

How will I ever function in a work environment that doesn't provide constant, free caffeine and sugar? I shudder to think.

nom nom nom


  1. Wahh! I had the same problem with my school in Korea. I spent WEEKS during summer vacation where I was required to be there but couldn't do anything! But I did so much blogging! :) haha. I think my blog was at it's peak back then!

    Love the tea lady though! It's so wonderful that she brings you special treats! That's love. :)

  2. You ARE spoiled. ;) I wish I had someone bringing me tea and coffee and muffins at work! That would be bliss. :)

  3. "How will I ever function in a work environment that doesn't provide constant, free caffeine and sugar?" Haha.. that's funny. But I've worked at Starbucks for 4.5 years now, so trust me when I say this, free caffeine and sugar CAN get old. Not to mention the effects that it has on the body.

    But in all seriousness.. I love reading your posts Rebekha! And I can't wait to come to Japan and "work:)"

    Regarding the "tea lady." I'm glad you posted about that... I was perusing some websites aimed at helping JET applicants with the JET interview and there was a blog where one applicant told about an interviewer asking her what she would do if she was appointed the position as "tea lady" and was asked to serve tea to her co-workers around the office. I thought the question was hypothetical but I guess not. Either way, adorable tea cup you have there and I hope Rosetta stone is going well!

  4. It is bliss!
    Kortney-I can't wait until classes start next week... I am going nutso!

    Tasha- Oi. One of my close college friends worked at Starbucks and got SUPER sick from caffeine. She had to seriously detox from all those insane Americanos. Luckily, tea is a bit easier on the system, I think. I hope.