I came into this blog with a lot of dreams. For years I had read blogs about living in Japan and all sorts of different things. When I moved here I decided that that was what I was going to do. I’ll admit now that so far I have been a disappointment to myself and probably to the family that eagerly awaits these posts.
It’s hard to keep up with this kind of thing. It’s not that I don’t have things to write about. I do. I have had some amazing experiences over my year here. But I guess I’ve been too busy living to take the time to write things down about it. Life gets away from you. There are always other places to go and things to do. Or if you want to be a little more truthful, there is always something new to watch on youtube. Or a writing challenge that you signed up for. A myriad of things. What it boils down to is laziness in a lot of ways.
I’m hoping to change that from now on. I won’t make promises because I doubt I could keep them but I do intend to keep posting things and writing about my adventures in Japan. Until I catch up, the post will probably be about things that happened months ago but I’ll do my best to catch up soon.
This picture was from last April at Kiyomizudera. It’s been almost a year since then. It doesn’t feel like it.
Well after the week of training it was finally time to head to my home city of Otsu, in Shiga prefecture. It was a very busy week with moving in and I had to get all sorts of things sorting like buying things for my apartment and getting a cell phone. My apartment is small but I quite like it. It is just enough space for me right now. We’ll see how I feel about it in a few months.
I really like the neighbourhood that I am in as well. It is very much residential and like a suburb but it’s quieter than some places. I am also a very quick walk to trains and groceries. Also, to one of my schools. I am hoping that won’t be too much of a problem if kids find out where I live.
In my first week I did a little bit of sightseeing around my neighbourhood and Otsu but I mostly took it easy and worked on making my apartment home. I did go down and check out the lake briefly though.
I also made a late afternoon visit to Omi Jingu shrine. It was very cool and I was nearly the only person there at the time. I look forward to going back there in the summer because they have a cool festival that involves horses and archery that I want to check out.
I am a lover of books. A collector of books. Unless I really dislike it I will always think in the back of my mind, but what if I want to read it someday. For fiction books I don’t really mind this because I will read them again, several times usually. My university textbooks however are another matter. I managed to make it through seven years of university and I have seven years worth of textbooks to my name.
There are a few reasons why I kept so many of my textbooks, most of which I never ended up cracking the cover of in the course. One reason was that I might really want to read them one day, they tended to be on topics I enjoyed at least a little bit. Another reason was that I couldn’t bring myself to sell back a 90-150 dollar textbook for 2 dollars. That wasn’t worth it to me, I would rather add it to my library. Ah yes, my library, my other reason for keeping so many textbooks. I don’t actually have a library, I have a few bookshelves that are quite overflowing already. However, I have always dreamed of having a library. I have always wanted my own little library one day. I cozy place that is filled with all sorts of books. So, why not keep my old textbooks and add them to my library one day?
The reality of going to Japan has changed things. I have a lot of stuff and a lot of it can’t go with my. My library starter pack can not go with me and honestly I wouldn’t want to take it. I’ll most likely be living in a room the size of my current living room or so and believe me when I say that my stuff just won’t all fit. So I have to say goodbye to the idea of a library for now and say goodbye to at least a good chunk of those textbooks because I need all the money I can get. I sorted through two boxes of books the other day which held most of the textbooks from my first four years of university, not even all of them. I used my university’s book buyback app and anything that was worth anything, even 2 dollars, I will be selling back here soon. It’s not that I don’t want the books but I certainly don’t need them right now.
The books is just one part of figuring out what to do with all my stuff as I plan this move to Japan. What things will stay and what will go? I have a lot of things that I bought because I had no inkling that Japan was in my immediate future. Now that I know it really is I am starting the slow but sure journey of getting there.
As an update about Interac, I received an email on October 2nd. This email was not much different than the original offer of employment I received. They asked for confirmation again as well as my preferred start date and confirmed the documents that they had already received. I have two documents left to sent, a signed copy of the offer of employment and the certificate of eligibility form. I plan on making a quick check about my passport before I send these in but otherwise things are progressing. Slowly for sure, but they are moving forward. I have a feeling that once January hits things will begin to happen very fast.
I thought I would make a bit of an update post as far as how everything is going so far. On the Interac front it has been quiet ever since I sent off my paperwork around the end of July. As far as I am aware it was received, deemed acceptable by the American branch and sent off to Japan. From the emails I received I won’t be hearing much of anything again until October 1st or so.
In the meantime my main worry and concern has been money. For those who might not know Interac asks that you bring over the equivalent of around 5000 dollars in yen for your various startup costs, not including your flight and etc. This is quite a bit of money and I’ve been quite concerned because of not having more than a part-time job that was content with fluctuating my hours to a pretty big degree. I’ve been on the job hunt since I started interviewing with Interac for that reason. Happily I finally landed a full-time job at a place that I really think that I will enjoy. The next few weeks will be busy while I transition but hopefully after that I will be busy making money.
Why am I so worried about this 5000? It seems like it wouldn’t be that hard to save up but in reality I’d like to have around 7000-9000 saved at least before I go. The reasons? Well for one there is still a flight to consider and things like work clothes and etc. I also have a student line of credit that will need paying off and I’d like to have a little set aside back here so that I don’t have to immediately worry over sending money home. All that considered I intend to be a very, very frugal person for the next few months.
That’s right folks! Start the countdown because I will be going to Japan next spring. I received an email with an offer of employment from Interac at around midnight last night, not even a day after I’d been informed that my information had been released to the Japan office. I sent an email accepting it this morning. It doesn’t quite feel real yet and I have a strong feeling it won’t until I do something like buy a one way plane ticket or possibly get on the plane. Anyways, March is a long time off and I have plenty to do in the meantime. Namely find a way of making at least $5000 before March. Other things I need to work on are getting my passport renewed, getting any documents ready, and obviously working on my Japanese. I wonder if my old Japanese sensei will let me TA again…. Probably not.
I will try to keep this blog updated semi-routinely as things progress with getting the paperwork in this fall and any other preparations that I am making for Japan. This is happening! Like really truly happening!
Not that I think the world is reading this or anything. Cause they probably won’t be. If I’m lucky this will be something that friends and family and perhaps a few weird people who enjoy reading people’s blogs(like say me) will discover. I’ll try to keep this pretty short and sweet. I first started to read blogs when I looked in to going to Japan to teach English. I wanted to hear from people who were actually there. I found that I enjoyed reading about their lives and adventures. Blogging was something I decided I wanted to do if I ever went abroad because not only would it be a way to connect with friends and family but maybe someone out there would find it fun to read.
That’s is what brings us to here and now. I’m not overseas yet, not even close really, and maybe this blog will never get much further than this but I want to give it a try. I am currently in the process of interviewing for Interac Japan to go and teach English next March. What’s that? That’s ages away you’re saying? Yeah it kind of is but I figured I would start writing now while everything is fresh in my mind. If anything now is the best time to start writing something like this because I’ve finally reached the end of the road-map you could say. As of June 9th I will have graduated, again, and finally I will no longer have school on the horizon. It’s terrifying. I honestly have no idea what I am doing really and it scares the crap out of me. I have no clue what I really want to be doing with my life. I am just intending to keep pushing forward and figuring it out as I go.
A little while ago my best friend posted her yearbook entry from grade 12, I asked her to show me what mine was because I never picked up the yearbook for that year. One of the questions we were asked, in those obligatory graduating comments, was what we saw ourselves doing in ten years. I smiled when I saw mine.
Out living my life! I can’t say what I will be doing but it will be great!
I haven’t changed much really. I still don’t know what I want to be doing but whatever it is I want to enjoy it. Life is here for us to enjoy after all.