Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Hibiya Beer

This happened in Hibiya park in Tokyo:

A German beer festival. It was a hot day.

Following this, me and Josh (new Tokyo person) snuck into an amazing progressive rock concert. Apparently the tickets were 4,300 yen. HAHAHAHARRRRRRR. I bought a T-shirt. The name of the band is Rovo. I really need to listen to more of their stuff. We befriended a pseudo-hippy, this little Japanese dude who clearly couldn't hold his drink. But, those are always the best people to practice Japanese on for some reason.

Following this was a birthday dinner for Robbie at an ezakiya in Shinjuku. I can't find the pictures inside the place, which is a shame because it was a themed Kabuki restaurant... but I found these ones.... we all got a free sword and posed with them afterwards:

Following this we went to the gay-district in Tokyo, cannot remember the name. And there was a lot of waiting around as dramas unveiled. Some parts of that night are better not remembered.

On the Sunday we went to cookie time in Harajuku. I ate a caramel sundae and it changed my life.

Robbies birthday and an ALT meet-up.

This was the week before last I am accounting for. Although it looks like I have abandoned this blog, I actually wrote this all out at the time, but annoyingly the post got deleted - and it took me a little time to get round to re-writing it. As anyone who has written long emails, or worked on essays, or any work on a computer really will know, there is nothing more frustrating then having something you just spent time constructing getting deleted.

So I am back, and I will fill in some blanks. before I go into things, I might add that only this morning have I had such an obvious revelation. The way I have been studying this entire time has been wrong. From today, I will be getting much better use out of the みなの日本語 (minna no nihongo) textbook. I will also be hitting the save button after every paragraph.

Robbie's birthday fell on the day of the last JET ALT meet up for this academic term. Naturally, a night of hard karaoke was had the night before... a hang over being the only way that those oh so boring meetings are tolerable. As Freddie so wisely described to me, as we were having a little complaint session over it in the car afterwards, the meetings are more of a "meta-meeting".... In many ways the meeting feels like it is a meeting about a meeting. "I have a question about your question".... is something I heard more than once. Although, I shouldn't really complain, the meetings are a fun way to get everyone together, and you always see random JETS that you wouldn't otherwise knew existed. Also a group photograph was taken. Unfortunately, the only version I can get hold of was taken on Hana's iphone with questionable quality:

I don't want to ever forget the state of daniel, tommy and chris G. as they entered that meeting... the form they were in and the night they had had before.. Unfortunately I cannot share any of this here. But know that it was, as is all things experienced by those 3 collectively, ridiculous.
I also went for a rather lovely lunch with a certain Mr.John Dicks. He struggled to eat a tiny piece of extremely boney fish with a pair of chopsticks. I think I filmed it, and might try find this video at a later date.

Robbies birthday extended to a weekend in Tokyo which I will describe in the next post.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Ups and downs

I've been on a slight downer lately. I know why. The novelty of living in Japan has worn off. I feel settled and I find my impressions of what happens around me to be entirely different to what they were at first. This isn't such a big deal. I've never had a job this long, and the flakey part in me which usually would expect a change by this point is growing restless. But this is good - I need to stick with one thing, I need to learn perseverance, obedience and patience. I need to keep working hard at my job, be early, do my best and behave. This is all part of growing up, and I need to grow up. I can't keep seeing things as a holiday. People stick with jobs for years, through the good and the bad, and they remain happy. I need to learn to be one of these people. I love this job, I do, and I need to remind myself more often of how lucky I am to have it.

Unfortunately I've been feeling isolated, bored and lonely in the workplace. The language barrier is a real issue when you can't have simple conversations with your work colleagues. Japanese is incredibly difficult to learn, and I assumed that by this point I would have a far better grasp of it than I currently do. I so rarely try to actually speak Japanese, I never practice and that's bad. I used to meet people who had been living in England for years, and couldn't understand why they spoke such poor English. But I completely understand now. Just because you are living in a country with a different language, it does not mean that you will automatically learn it by means of osmosis. I rarely socialize with Japanese people. I was very fortunate to find an amazing group of foreigner friends. But I have become too absorbed with my gaijin social life, and less concerned with my work relationships. I need to start trying, because over time I have actively isolated myself. It is so embarrassing to speak in Japanese at work, I feel so shy and I make so many mistakes... but I have to make a change. I renewed my contract, I am not even half way through my time here, and I recently started regretting this decision. But it's a challenge. There's no challenge in only staying one year. One year is a holiday. Two years is reality. I need to push myself. When things get hard I need to learn to see them through.

Yesterday I was in the worst mood. I didn't want to be at work. I had a whole day with no classes, and I'm really starting to hate those days. I forced myself to go out last night, I went to a small bar in Mito called "Babas" some old Japanese rockers mixed with my friends were jamming to live music all night. Apparently this is what Monday nights now look like here. I joined in with James to sing "Walk this Way" my version of singing is basically just head-banging in front of a microphone... but still. I woke up this morning feeling great. On my drive into work today I told myself that from today I am going to try hard. I am going to stop being grouchy at work - start being friendly, I want to try, I want to learn Japanese and socialize with my colleagues. Stop blending into the background, make conversation however embarrassing it may feel. The only one in control of this situation is myself.

Thursday, 1 May 2014


I haven't studied Japanese this week. That's really bad. I'm getting behind. It seems the only real chance I get to actually practice the langauge is when Japanese chicks are too drunk to bother talking in English anymore.


I went to Phil and Jury's wedding party. It was a lovely event. I was running so late due to my own stupidness that I almost didn't go. I'm glad I did.

A-Team. I love these two dapper idiots:


Kanoko is a yoga teacher:

Please adopt me you wonderful human beings:

Ma-"mean"-na is one of the sweetest girls. And I love that she is going out with Tommy because not only does she always laugh at my dumb expressions, she takes so many pictures which makes maintaining a blog ten times easier. Also I tried to teach her how to say some expressions in a posh English accent to piss off Tommy, he complained that I have taught his girlfriend to "talk like an asshole". Tough shit.

You already know:

how am i getting away with this

those oh so hung over days at work being the most unbearable parts of my week. the days where pressing the shift kep to make capital letters is too much of a stretch. it is 8.46. I am sat at my desk with a pot noodle brewing for my breakfast. that will by far be the best part of my day. that and when i sneak out for a 2 hour long lunch break. oh whoops, did i let time get ahead of me?. upon learning that my thursday school was off this week, I was pretty happy. we were out for chris' birthday last night. naturally, i was convinced at the last moment - probably an hour after i had originally planned to leave - to start drinking. leave your car at the duck. it will be fine. lets all go back to robbies new apartment. leaving a set of pajamas there when he moved in was the best bit of pre-planning ive probably ever done. a beautiful moment occured when robbie presented a brand new anpanman toothbrush to me, fresh out of the package. it was the right piece of equipment at the exact right moment.