Recently, I have been spending a lot of late nights (when I am trying to get to sleep esepcially) reflecting back on my life… so be prepared for a lot negative and some positive thoughts!
I know this is a strange reason to suddenly post something. But this year has be fun yet only recently has some challenges came to light.
The first challenge appeared shortly after failing the N4 test. To some it may not seem like a big thing to others. But as someone who worked hard and tried to study as much as I could. It was a blow. Ok, I know I shouldn’t have thought that I would actually pass the damn thing. But still. Now in my life, this is the fourth test I have actually failed.
The first time I was told my graded ballet exam, after my dance teacher ended the call, I burst into tears. This was ballet, which I had always been the one of the top students in my class. It literally broke me heart. However, I then went on to be my dance teachers first student to pass grade 8 RAD ballet. The second exam I failed was Social studies in Sixth form. But that was shit and I hated it. The third was failing N5. It was my first time taking the JLPT. But still, it made me feel worthless and a waste of money.
Now failing might not seen like such a big thing. But I take many things to heart and it chips away at me inside. N4 might seem like its ok to fail the first time, but I was doing well for the practice tests. So why did I fail the actually exam?????
Anyway, recently, I have started to play an online game in Japanese, to help me study. But once someone starts to talk to me in English, I slide into English mode. But then someone made me feel so small because I was having trouble and they said to stop playing in a server and change to another one.
I suffer from anxiety, so this made me worry even more. Thinking if my Japanese is even good enough? What if I am wasting peoples time trying to learn this language? What am I actually doing here? Will my boyfriend even stay with me if my Japanese is so bad???? Even now typing this has started to make me cry because I feel so hurt and out of place. Yet the reason for leaving the UK, was for feeling out of place and an outcast. That’s not the only reason of course.
I am trying but its never enough!!
This leads to my current problem, I can be socially awkward. I can only really get along with certain people and others can target me easily because I will do what they say under some degree of pressure. The last time I was pressured so much, I literally buckled. As in I had therapy. I was diagnosed with anxiety and mild depression. Never in my life have I been told that I am useless, until I was in my last job in the UK. I kid you not. My manager told me I was useless and that my pay rise was a mistake. It hit me so hard, that suicide was an option. I was doing my best. Trying to help other sections and my own. Running around and doing too many things at once. The best thing for me was to reach out for help. So I went to my doctor. Who just told me I was an easy target and too soft. Of course. I didn’t tell my parents because my mother was preoccupied looking after my Nan at the time and Dad had work. So I asked for an appointment to see the doctor.
Only after all of that, I got a job to work in Japan. I am so glad I came and I love my job. But anxiety is always difficult to deal with. I wonder if I am really doing a good job. If my students actually understand my English instructions and if the teacher understands what I am trying to do. Its just recently hit me all like a tone of bricks. Even thought my new company bosses has said everyone has done a great job and they have no complaints this year, I still wonder if its just in general and they hiding something.
Now, I wouldn’t say I am overly socially awkward, its just I have problems with dealing with some situations and it doesn’t help when I live out of the city centre and people think its easy for me to go to places quickly. I don’t like short notice. I don’t like intruding on people. Above all, I don’t like places where I don’t know many people and my paranoia creeps in. I know I should be setting an example to students and for my company. But there are times where its difficult.
Socialising with schools this year has been difficult. As I feel I don’t know many other staff members because I am in the English teachers staff room. Compared to last year where I knew many members of staff as everyone was together. I just guess insecure worry that my Japanese isn’t sufficient enough to handle conversations.
But the point of this post was to let of some steam. I just wish things were little easier but I guess I should try harder.
I can’t believe my last post was all the way back in January!!
There is so much to talk about:
- Moved to Hiroshima
- In a new relationship
- Working at HS and 6 ES
- Amazing friends
- Moved to Hiroshima
After living in Iwate for 3 years, the big move finally came! Although it was no way in hell a smooth ride! I was panicking because I had waaaay too much stuff to move and not enough time to pack it all up. But then the person who came to check was late by two hours! Then the car broke down near Sendai, so we had to travel the rest of the way to Hiroshima on the Shinkansen. Which was all ok, but it was all on my 30th Birthday.. yaaay -___-
But after a week of training in Okayama, I finally moved into my new apartment. It’s great, about the same size as my previous apartment. The only downside is that I am now without a car! I got rid of it because it would be too expensive to repair. However, My Father and I had to travel all the way back to Sendai, pay to get remove my additional paid parts and then travel all the way back with two suitcases of whatever we could pack from a tightly packed car T__T
It was a good thing that if didn’t take long with my parents help to unpack everything and settle it. It was also lucky that my friend had a washing machine and fridge freezer going spare, so I took it off her hands.
- New Relationship
Well, I won’t go into detail with this because we like our privacy. But I met someone and we have now been dating for over 3 months now (almost 100 days!). It is still strange to be in a relationship and be in Japan. But I am happy and that is what matters.
- Working in HS and ES
One thing about the move is that my role here is very different to before. I teach at one HS (High School) three days a week. My workload has drastically changed. Instead of having the teachers telling me what lessons I should be teaching each week. The roles are reversed. I tell the teachers what lesson I will be teaching. I was very nervous at first with all the weight on my shoulders. But I have settled into it and I love it. I don’t have to deal with grammar translation but instead focus more on the communicative activities for my lessons.
In addition, I now teach at 6 ES (Elementary Schools). All the schools are in a weekly rotation so it’s a nice change to end the week. I was nervous about the new challenge, but now I really enjoy it. Of course I get a little nervous teaching infront a whole room of students after only being told what the JTE (Japanese Teacher of English) wants me to do 30 minutes before the lesson. But the students are so energetic and open to learning English, it’s a nice change LOL!
- Amazing friends
Now this is the real reason for posting. I would be so lost if it wasn’t for my amazing friends Nathalie, Kelly, Hoiming and Lu! These 5 amazing women have been so supportive over the past 6 months and I do miss their company with crazy nights out and chats! Thank Gawd we have LINE (a messaging app that is popular in Japan)!!!! Just having friends to talk to every day is perfect! I know that recently I don’t get to go out much. Even more so as I recently bought a PS4 and signed up for Netflix. Plus, I spend my weekends with my boyfriend.
Its just great to have friends who understand me and we get along so well! Plus we even have amazing conversations. And this is the reason for the up-date. Just to prove how amazing well we get along!!
Me: I glad we all still talk. I would totally be totally lost.
N: Me too… Seriously you ladies are one of the best things that have happened to me EVER. Heart
Me: Yup yup
N: I feel bad because I post often but I’m not kidding when I say it helps to talk with you lovely ladies.
H: Sent a sticker
Me: Dont feel bad. I feel bad for not posting much.
H: Imagine that as group hug
N: I think we would huddle together like that too. lol
H: and that’s the beauty of LINE – we catch up at our convenience
Me: Thats true
N: Very true.
N: So nice.
Me: And leave lots of messages for Peter and Noodles to read
N: I’m pretty sure this is like a woman’s talk show and we give insight into the female mind.
Me: Or a free novel to read with multiple characters
Me: Minus a few dragons, witches, ghosts, etc
N: Wait, EXs are kind of like ghosts
N: And problems are kind of like Dragons
N: And bitches be witches
Me: Bitches be zombies
N: Shotgun targets
Me: They die but still come back uglier than before
N: Yes yes
N: Sent a sticker
Me: Exs be vampires.. they suck the life out of you
N: But vampires can be cool…
N: How about poltergeists?
Me: Or a shapeshifter
N: Using their knowledge to get to you… And having ugly skin shedding abilities.
N: Yup sounds about right
Me: And easily change to a different person
N: “I’ve changed now! I’m a new man!” (=___=;;;)
N: That works
Me: Totally works
Me: Old best friends are like witches… once they gain power or what they want, they leave you or use you.
N: Oh. MY. GAWD. It’s too perfect!
N: Sent a sticker
N: That’s EXACTLY how I would describe it!!!
Me: A poltergeist is more like that stalker/groupie. Looking for your attention. To be noticed.
N: Creepers be creeping
N: We seriously need to write some of the stuff we come up with down. Lol
Me: Or achive the chat lol. Send it to an email address and save the copy lol
One of the best conversations to have. Even if it was influenced by Supernatural ROFL. It still totally works, right?!?!
Its the start of 2016 and the end of 2015!!
Well I’ve had my fair share of okay New Year Eve’s and 2015 happened to be the worst of them all. It was going really well. I was having a wonderful time with my best friends in Osaka.As we all had decided to spend New Years together and spend a few days before hand, going to USJ and shopping in Shinsaibashi. Yet just before going shopping on New Year’s Eve, I get a message from the guy I like telling me we can’t meet up and that he doesn’t want any thing more. So basically I got rejected. The day before I arrive in Kyushu for me weeks holiday here. So basically its become a wasted trip where I had booked hotels and flights so I couldn’t just give up and return to Tohoku. I got so pissed off at myself more than him. I can’t believe I allowed myself to think that I would actually talk about possible starting something. I am not going to change my mind to transferring to Kyushu. There are more better opportunities to meet people here. I have seen a lot of Korean people in Fukuoka City, so I might be able to improve my Korean and Japanese at the same time. Its just his timing totally sucked. No, sod that, it FUCKING SUCKED!!!!!!! I was on the train and almost burst into tears because I can’t believe people actually do that.
I am just glad I was with my best friends at the time. Because they have been wonderful and cheered me up with some shopping. Even though I was very good and I didn’t actually buy much because all the hotels and shinkansen’s are costing a fair amount. I proud of myself for not going crazy but I hope I will be okay for the rest of the month (>.<)
I know life goes on and I know that nothing is going to go to the way I want it to. So I am just gonna accept what happened and do things differently in 2016. I plan to move after my 30th Birthday. So I have the new experience to look forward to. I have got to plan a lot for that as I will have to drive across the country to get there. But it will do me good to get into new surroundings and try many new things. As much as I like my schools in Kuji. So far, that is all that is keeping me there. I am very happy to have taught one year group for all of their High School Life and I hope they don’t forget me. But its time for me to move on and move away from the long winters. I am not good with the cold. So I hope moving to a warmer climate will suit me better.
So here’s to the New Year! New Experiences! and to New Friends!!
皆さん、明けましておめでとうございます！！今年はどうぞよろしくお願いします m(_ _)m
This is going to totally be a rant about my thoughts, but I’ve been doing nothing but sit here and wonder about what it must be like if I would in a romantic relationship right now.
I’ve been living in Japan for over two years and I’m sure most people are still wondering why I haven’t found a boyfriend yet. I sometimes ask myself this question but then I remember the real reason I am here. I came to Japan to teach, not to go in search for a guy every day. I have finally found a job that I love doing and nothing is more rewarding that see a student whom in their first year at High School didn’t even speak English to finally being able to memorize 5 sentences with only looking at pictures to give hints in English in their third year. I’ve seen these students grow and actually speak more to me in English than in my previous job, which was a horrible place for me to ever go to. I admit it wasn’t a wise choice, but there was no where else for me to go.
Romance is going to be hard in a different country where there is different ways to date some one, where public affection is frowned upon and above all, where foreigners are treated differently than native people.
Everyone can tell me to get there, go to pubs and clubs, try to chat to people and make new friends. Yet they fail to see how hard that actually is for someone like me. Its taken me this long to realise that I know enough Japanese to speak to natives. It might not be great, but I can get by. For someone who is highly paranoid and has very little self-confidence, surely you can see how much of big step this is for me.
However, this doesn’t mean that I can waltz up to a hot Japanese guy and instantly spark a conversation with him. Its very daunting to actually speak to someone in a language I’m not good at. Of course, this can also be a great conversation starter, but only if its the right people. You see, here, some guys perceive foreign females to be easy and that they can ride that white horse in an easy step (Its a nice way of saying that they just want to have sex with a foreign girl and that’s it). Its harder for a female to settle down than a male here.
What I am trying to say, is that as much as I would love to find romance, I am still happy with how things are and I’m busy enough with working 6 days a week teaching students who always make each day interesting and I’m never bored.
So I hope you all understand. If you think I am still avoiding dating, I might be because its expensive to go out drinking every week when I’m on little pay. Plus I’m saving up for visiting my friend in Tokyo. I would love to meet someone, its just I have a lot to deal with first.
I can’t believe its Spring Vacation already. Its already been a bit of a roller-coaster.
To think that I’ve finished two years in Japan. I’m loving every minute and I’ve still not had the thought of really not wanting to go to work because of some people I work with. The students still make me laugh. But this vacation has been very relaxing being able to spend time with my family.
Starting my vacation was two days in Tokyo. I arrived after renewing my contact with Interac. In Tokyo, I went to Shibuya to see more of the shops and wonder around to see what was there. This time not being ill compared to last year.
The only downside, was that I went back to my favourite place in Tokyo – Ikebukuro – to see Sunshine City and try to find food. Only Ikebukuro was too busy on both days, so I only ate quickly at any fast food restaurant I could find. But I went shopping really on the first day. Because I had a list of things I wanted to get and thought it would be best to buy in Tokyo as the stores are bigger and things are easier to find. Except in Tower Records in Shibuya, where they have 7 floors and I eventually found the things I was after. To only have to down to the first floor to collect my posters. Which does make sense, it was just difficult because there was going to be a LIVE event on the first (ground) floor and everyone was crowding round.
For the second day, I walked around with my camera and went to Akihabara to see what it was actually like. I think you really need to go with an Otaku friend and walk around the shops. I think I only went into their small Animate store. Before going back to Ikebukuro because its a great place.
The only thing that made me feel uneasy, was when I was at the airport and instead of going to JAL gates, I was directed to British Airways. But I went straight to the desk, I handed my ticket and passport (plus resident card, just in case). I kept replying in Japanese out of habit and got my window seat. I was so happy to have things sorted out quickly.
I arrived back in England safely and I surprised my Parents as they weren’t looking in the direction I entered. After a long almost 13 hours flight, my parents walked me to the car as they drove me back home. It was so strange to notice the real differences between Japan and England. The fact that I could understand most people threw me off a little. Even the little things in Japan I missed. Like the organised queues on the escalators and being able to find vending machines everywhere. You think I would find it strange the other way around. But living in Japan is more like a home. I guess I just adapted a lot more.
Since being in England a lot has happened. I’ve tried to spend time with the friends that I’ve missed. I even had to get new glasses to get a stronger lens for my right eye. I even celebrated my 29th Birthday with my parents and my best friend and her family. I had really missed my best friend. The year has gone by quickly, but it felt like forever since I saw her last. Her little princess has grown up so much. She is so cute and she has grown up so much since I saw her last year.
For my Birthday treat, My mother and I went to Harry Potter Studio Tour in London, UK. I was so gutted last year when my parents went soon after I returned to Japan. It was amazing! I loved seeing parts of the sets, costumes, props and creations used for the movies. We spent almost four hours just walking around and taking 376 photographs. I took a lot of selfies with my handy selfie-stick.
Yet, something’s don’t happen as planned. Last week, I was spending time supporting my Mother as we both spent time with Grandmother before she sadly yet peacefully passed away. All of her family, only a few members who weren’t able or respectfully had space, were with her.
There are a lot of moments that surprise you. But others you will treasure and never forget for the rest of you life. You will always have those who support you. Who will be a shoulder to cry on. Who understands how you feel. You just have to be there for each other. Because you never know when one might be too stubborn and fight OR give in and let go. But waiting for that peaceful moment is the hardest. As you don’t know when things are going to happen. Yet words are always hard to find.
At the moment, I am waiting to hear news about possibly getting funeral dates, which might not get sorted till I have returned to Japan. I am also waiting to hear about my year schedule for this year. I hope it hasn’t changed much, but I only know that my schools haven’t changed. But I am looking forward to meeting the new students this year but it will be the last year I see the students who were in their first year when I arrived. To see them graduate will be something special next year.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently. Well, trying to at least. It tends to get really complicated and it all gets confusing. So here are the things that I’ve learnt.
First of all, Life is never going to be easy. Nothing will pan out EXACTLY how you want it to. Because you can’t consider everything clearly on the spot. There is always going to parts that we don’t think about it. Its not like we are super human and read all the different outcomes of one decision. As much as I wish I could see how things turn out or learn more about a situation, then that will definitely help me. But sadly that is not the case T__T
Second, If you are a foreigner in Japan and came for the possibly trying to settle down here… yeah, I am giving up on that right now. Most Japanese guys are interested in sleeping with a foreigner as some kind of trophy and never think that those who actually stay in Japan for longer than a holiday and the ones who are not those kinds girls. So guys should just stop even trying. It kind of makes me not want to be sociable here in Japan. Because I’m going to see at that horrible kind of prize. I am sure there are some guys who would like to be in a relationship where they want to settle down with a foreigner. But its even harder to find such a guy where I live. Sorry to say it.
(This is more of a reminder to myself than anything, I’ve just had horrible experiences with guys here so far, it could change in the future. But it most likely won’t).
Third, I really need to decide on how long I stay in this country. There have more moments than I like, where I do feel alone and like an outcast. But that is not just in the staff room at my schools. During my first year it was a lot better because I had a friend who I met up with a lot as we both arrived in Japan together. But since they left, no one has filled in the gap and I am at a lose at what to do. Now, I have been visiting friends in other cities and they have been a great help. Its just there are now some other factors creeping in where I feel like I just want to curl up into a ball and hide away.
Recently, I was asked if I could do more English lessons at my second job. Now I was very reluctant to say yes. I was basically asked if I could 6 days of the week. No offence, I love helping people learn English and have English conversations with them. . I was then told that it would move to Thursday’s so I would then get the weekend off to help plan for Monday’s lessons. This week however, I was asked to continue with the Saturday. Am I really over worrying about this? Because I work at three High Schools, most days I have 3-4 lessons I have to plan the whole lesson and worksheets. For myself, I also add in drawing pictures to help the students learn new words. All of this takes up a lot of my time. Recently I’ve been awake at 1am trying to finish it all and have the alarm sent for 5:40. That’s only a little over four hours sleep. I honestly don’t know how long I am going to last with all of this. I signed a contract where I told my company that my second job would not interfere with my primary job. I just hope that it doesn’t or I am going to be under so much pressure that I hope I can cope with it all.
Fourth, I really would like to try living in Korea after my time in this city is up. I really enjoyed my week holiday there during the summer and would like another holiday there to see different aspects that I didn’t get to see the first time. Then I will make the final decision of trying to apply for work there and move there for two years or more. The only uncertainty I have, is that most foreigners who have lived in this city in Japan can stay here for 3 years and then move. This is my second year and I don’t know if I have a longer limitation because I don’t work for the same company. That’s the only annoying this is that, I honestly don’t know how long I can here for. I don’t know if I can ask someone.
If I do get only 3 years, then I will certainly move to Korea in two years time for maybe 2 or 3 years. Before moving back home to England and finally move into my own house which is currently being rented. I just want to experience these two cultures before moving back (or if I go back depending on how things pan out). I feel like I wasted most of my life and wondered around in circles. Even last night I had a dream I was back at my old job and it was yearly review session with the head of my department. When someone I knew came into the room, sat down beside and then elbowed me when I started to agree that I was crap at my job. Instead, he flipped my switch and told my head of department what I really thought and got so angry that I punched them in face because I had enough. After that I woke up. I hope I never have a dream like that again. I want to be in a job that I enjoy and teaching here in Japan is something I enjoy and its a great life experience. I just wish I can make a decision on what the next chapter is going to be and when so I make more concrete plans.
I am so glad I finally went to see at the cinema today here in Japan. It was definitely worth the wait.
For manga fan’s, the action scenes are definitely the best and Sato Takeru does an amazing job at playing Kenshin. I am so glad he was chosen for the role.
I was wondering how this follow on from the previous movie and which parts of the manga would be skipped. There was some chapters that I would have liked to have seen in the movie and other’s were put in later on. But it didn’t confuse you and you still saw how things progressed to the actual fire in Kyoto (as the name suggests).
This movie really did follow Kenshin more as he travelled to Kyoto. It didn’t show how Kaoru and yahiko got to Kyoto. But then again, it gave less chance to show an annoying Kaoru like in the anime. In the manga she is okay. It also didn’t show Sanosuke’s travels to Kyoto, so I wonder how they are going to incorporate that in the next movie, if they are going to add it at all. Its not like they can show all the manga in the movie….
Its definitely a great adaptation and I cannot wait till next month to see the third at the cinema!
So in Toho cinema’s you can also buy merchandise for the movies they are now showing! How cool is that. I really wanted to buy most of it, but had to restrain myself and ended up buying two posters, a pamphlet and a sketch book.
I cannot believe I failed to review this when I first saw it in August 2013.
I am such a bad person!! But seeing as I plan to see the second movie this weekend (or in the near future), I am writing it now.
Before I get started, My wonder friend Lydia (Bluesnow – you know who are!) got me into the anime back in 2009. OMG! Its been so long since I saw that anime and the OVA’s but I clearly remember them. That is how good it was! Honestly! Watch them!
To the movie..
When I first heard who was playing Kenshin, my heart stopped, I fan girl screamed and became overly excited. Sato Takeru is one of those little gems that you find once in a blue moon. I first saw him in Bloody Monday (which I did write a review about a few years ago, but it got lost when I wasn’t able to export all my entries to back them up). He was good in the drama next to Miura Haruma, that I went in search for other drama’s he had previous been in. He was great in Rookies with his wild dread-lock styled hair. Then I found the first drama he had been in, Princess Princess D, which to this day, refuse to remember what it was like because I couldn’t bare to see him in a lolita style dress. Stick to just being awesome as you Takeru-san!!
The rest of cast was well chosen. Although, some I had not seen before, other’s I had seen and not realised it. Especially, Takei Emi (Kaoru Kamiya in the movie) who I found out played Hibino Tsubaki in Kyou, koi wo hajimemasu.
I was really interested in seeing how they were going to shoot the action scene’s. Because Kenshin is a badass with a sword and has great agility. I had watched the trailers for the movie many times and sang along with my favourite J-Rock band ONE OK ROCK! The movie scene’s really didn’t disappoint.
It was great to see Takeru running around in this sexy way avoiding swings from well choreographed sword fighting and knocking them down with Sakabatou (thats the name of his sword for those who don’t know). With his sexy calm collected facial expression to the small polite, yet cheeky smile when he is talking to Kaoru-dono.
If you are a Kenshin fan, then this is a must see movie! It is great to see the characters come to life as an actually person. And I am sure Sato will forever be remembered for such his great performance as Kenshin for the rest of his life. But its definitely not someone to be ashamed of. Its a great movie, has great fighting scene’s and blood splats every where with the one of the most sexiest Japanese actors playing the main role.
What is there not to love about this movie?!?!
(thats a rhetorical question, BTW!)
I don’t mean to offend, but…
Someone posted a video about a women eat Frog Sashumi and said “The Japanese are a sick and twisted community”. Now I am going to defend this wonderful country that is my home!
I am not going to link to the actual video, but I feel that people would hate me for it, so google it yourself if you really want to watch it!
Sashumi literally means “prepared alive”. Now in Japan, you can get lobster, squid, shrimp, fish and octopus prepared this way. This a delicacy in Japan and can be very expensive to eat. I personally am not a big fan of sushi (raw fish), I have tried it here in and there is some that I like, but the herrings eggs was a little too much for me. It really boils down to personal preference and no one is really forcing you to eat this kind of food. Its on the menu, you choose to buy it or not!
I feel that someone misunderstand this wonderful country and their taste in food. I have eaten food I never thought I could actually eat. So far I’ve only really tried Eel, which is made by my wonderful friend Ruri-san, and Ox tongue, which I tried when out friends at a local restaurant. But I will get round to trying Sea Urchin, which is my city’s local speciality. Its just that sashumi is quick and easy to prepare and is best served as fresh as possible. The only way to do this with raw food is to kill it when the customer asks for what they want.
Personally, I don’t see anything wrong at all with people killing the food and preparing the food there and then. If it means its better, than so be it. We see it all the world where animals kill their prey and then eat them. How is this any different? We are killing are food with a swift blade before eating it. At the end of the day, its still food.
But its a different country and culture. You might not understand why they do this, yet it doesn’t really call for such strong use of words.
I just don’t like it when people see a video and then actually make assumptions that every where and everyone does that. I guess I’m just annoyed that people don’t fully understand this countries culture and diet but are very quick to judge. This country I now consider my home and I just want people to have the correct understanding about this country.