Archive for July, 2010

And a few days in…


So I know you can’t see it well, but that right there is a yellow Pokemon airplane. And we flew in the Gundam plane! (or, at least, I think so. there was some debate over this, as we could not see the ACTUAL plane from where we were sitting).

I’ve been here for a few days now, and I must say the people are extremely nice. Sometimes a little TOO nice…But to be honest, I already miss the city. I desperately want to get back there, and I don’t know when that will happen. I’ll do my best to job hunt while I am here, and if all else fails, I can either renew another year or enter language school!

I’ll take pictures once the car is fixed and I can actually get to a place to buy a charger for my camera’s batteries….


First Impressions of Taiki-Cho…

Tokyo Orientation lasted 3 days, and on the last day I was hit hard with jetlag. It really sucked, because I was supposed to go out and do something for one last “hoo-rah” in Tokyo.

In order to get to Taiki-cho (located about 40 minutes to 1 hour south of Obihiro, Hokkaido) from Chitose Airport (about 1 hour south of Sapporo), I had to get in a car with my supervisor and drive for 4 hours along the coastline. If I wasn’t so zoned out due to jetlag, I would have taken some pictures because it is GORGEOUS here. The Tokachi Plains remind me of Pennsylvania quite a bit, what with farms and cows and such, but drive an hour south and it’s nothing but fishing villages.

The first thing I had to do when I arrived was greet everyone at the office. I only remember two people’s names…this is a problem. And then I had to go out to the welcome dinner, which was yakiniku. I forgot how much Japanese people can eat, because they ordered SO MUCH food, it was ridiculous. I tapped out after about an hour. Immediately after that, I was driven to the nearest 7-11 and bought breakfast, then was taken to my apartment for the first time.

It’s big. It might be too big. And I so need to buy new towels and air out the blankets because they smell musty. And buy new detergent, because the stuff Aaron (my predecessor) left irritates my nose…I might just buy some Clorox from FBC and go from there…

Today I see the government officials (including the mayor) and my teaching coworkers. At some point I will hand out the omiyage, though they really don’t seem to care about it…Will update tonight with pictures and, hopefully, a better idea as to what is going on!

JET Orientation, Tokyo

So I have just finished my JET Programme orientation in Tokyo, and I have a few things to say about it:

  • I realize every placement is different. As such, STOP GENERALIZING.
  • Jet lag makes people skip.
  • Tokyo being Tokyo makes people skip.
  • Does everyone really have to wake up by 7 for breakfast?
  • How did some of these people get on the program?
  • Stop generalizing situations.
  • I want to do Karaoke, so make time for Karaoke.
  • Why do we have to check our bags the night BEFORE we leave for our placements?

Ignoring that, it seems that I have managed to find a drummer and a guitarist for the band. However, it is under the condition that it is done for fun. I can live with that for a while, but if I end up moving to Kansai, that won’t really work for me, will it…? Will keep you posted!

Leaving the States on a New Adventure…

I leave tomorrow for Japan. I haven’t updated in all this time because life has been insane, but I promise I will do better from the moment I settle in on!

I bought a new DSLR, so hopefully the pictures will be better than the ones with my point-and-shoot. I didn’t have the money for it, as only my grandmother gave me money at the farewell party, but I suppose I will pay it off a little when I finally get the money paypal has been withholding. I sold a bunch of magic cards (and made about 200 dollars on them), but two sold for a lot more than the rest, so paypal is holding about 90 dollars from me. Sadness…

In other news, I am now not JUST a JET. I am a columnist at MadHatterMagazine with the monthly “State of Play” and other occasional contributions. It is an internship, but experience in any capacity is much needed right now. I also managed to wrangle a translation job at HearJapan in which I get paid about 300 per unit (it’s a little complex, but it is, essentially, a unit-oriented job). I may have found another translation job as well, but I am waiting for the details on that. Hopefully, with this extra money from the translation job, I can directly pay off quite a bit of my leftover loans from college without having to transfer too much money from my Japanese bank account to my American one. If you know of any other freelance jobs or translation gigs, please let me know! I am willing to work for free for a set period of time to prove my worth ^_~

What I will miss most about America:

Awate showing up on my doorstep unannounced with a look of sheer insanity on his face. Salute the Admiral!

Talking to Jasmin online in #hashtag format, just because we can. Oh, and getting cupcakes.

Linh being…Linh. Best roommate ever? Quite possibly so! Just keep holding that cup of water, Linh…Just keep holding it.

Being random with Leslie, who is definitely certifiably insane.

Shocking Chris (and various family members) into silence at my inane and off-the-wall comments.

Will and his awesome back rubs and kick-ass personality.

Lisa and Julie…well, what can I say? We grew up together.

Kevin and the pics of the lab. Or, more specifically, what he DOES in the lab when he is bored.

Joelle, her amazing singing voice, and her outrageous stories about her mom.

Repka and his uber-nerd-ness, which never ceases to make me laugh. And he doesn’t deny it, either!

Late-night chats with Mike about anything and everything.

My cousin Mike being a dumbass.

What I am heading to:

Kazuki. Complete with random conversations about people in a language they don’t speak right in front of their face in a coffee shop.

Azusa, my little birthday soulmate!


Ryuta, the most ADHD of all Japanese males.

Natsuko and Mio, because they come in a set.

Nozomi, the girl who spent many a late night helping me out on the closing shift of the cafe.

Non-chan, photographer extraordinaire!

Shiori, at least until she goes back to Pittsburgh.

My host family and host dogs!

Yusuke and shabushabu.

Toru and Kobe beef.

Visual Kei.

A mystery individual whom I do not/can not say too much about.

A new life.