#lifeupdate : I’M LIVING IN JAPAN!
Hello, everyone. (I feel like this has been my favorite phrase for a long time…)
It’s been…a long ass time. I know. But I’ve been busy, trust me.
I haven’t talked about this anywhere on the Internet before, and I haven’t updated the location of my Twitter to reflect this fact, but….
As of February 1, I officially moved to Japan. Yokohama, to be exact. I’m currently working as an English teacher but NOT at an eikaiwa and NOT as an ALT. It’s kind of unique. I don’t want to talk about my company while I’m still employed by them though. Even if I were to give you their name, there really isn’t a lot of available information about them online apart from countless job postings…
Anyway, I’ll be addressing some questions you might have about all of this below.
1. Why haven’t you been writing?
This is a little bit complicated. I graduated from SFU (BA in Linguistics, minor in Political Science) this past October, and immediately after that started a job search for a teaching job in Japan. This was somewhat difficult because the companies that I DID want to apply to wanted an in-person interview and their recruiting offices were all in the US (and I am not about to drive a whole bunch of hours to a job interview in another country). In addition to this, I was also studying for the JLPT N3 (which I DID pass) and also took a month long TESOL course with a week long practicum in December.
Now before you say “TESOL isn’t that bad!”, WAIT. My course was from 9:30-5:00pm every day, after which I still had to go to work from 6:30-11:00pm…in the midst of this I was also preparing for the JLPT which was at the end of that month. Not to mention the fact that the last week of that course was all in-class teaching practicum where I had to submit all of my own lesson plans for evaluation and actually teach things to adults for the first time. It was fun! And very stressful and time consuming.
I got the job offer sometime in mid-December in the middle of all of this madness, and the final departure date wasn’t even finalized until early January, leaving me with not so much time to prepare. I was also reluctant to share that I was leaving until I was actually in the country because at the time, it didn’t even seem real. Receiving the job offer was quite literally the culmination of all of my lifelong dreams (which really makes me sound like a weeaboo, but hear me out). This isn’t just a question about a love of anime and Japanese traditional and pop culture, but it’s also the fact that I’ve been studying Japanese formally and informally for about ten years. Receiving that offer was like receiving a chance for me to finally become independent and test all of the knowledge that I had been accumulating. And it has been exactly that.
As for why I haven’t been writing while I’ve been here, I BLAME JAPAN because I LOVE IT HERE SO MUCH AND EVERY DAY IS A PARTY.
2. What do you love the most about Japan?
The FOOD. OMG. Just, everything in this country except natto is delicious (I can’t stand natto. Sorry). Having reliable public transportation is also a big plus, and everything is just so CONVENIENT.
Also my friends because most of the Japanese friends I had back in Vancouver were from the Kanagawa area. Many of them were from Osaka as well so I’ll be making a stop there sometime soon (hopefully during Obon)
Also the shopping here is SOOOOOOOOO GOOD. There are actually dresses and skirts that fit my body here. All of the dresses and skirts in Korea were far too short on me, but everything is about the right length in Japan. So happy. I also like the trends in Japanese fashion and graphic design a bit more. Lately I’ve been developing more of a minimalistic sense of style, so it suits me pretty well. That being said, I’ve given up on being able to buy women’s shoes in this country…
3. What do you hate about Japan?
The coffee culture. The cafe scene in Korea is honestly a LOT better and I miss it a LOT. Blend coffee and canned coffee is a ****ing abomination that needs to be STOPPED. Damn you Tommy Lee Jones for starring in those epic commercials for the worst offender in this whole country.
I also dislike the fact that entertainment related purchases on mediums like Google Play and iTunes are almost DOUBLE what they are back in North America. Additionally, I don’t like that the regional differences prevent me from accessing my family’s Steam account so I can play their games. Region restrictions in general just suck.