Saturday, 28 July 2007

PostHeaderIcon It was the night before Tokyo

When all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse

Sadly that has not been the case this past week, especially today and last night which I will expand on later.

So it's now 1am and I leave for Edinburgh airport in about 9-10 hours for Tokyo! Woohoo. I've worked out my journey will be around a straight 24 hours from the moment I leave my house to when I get to my hotel in Japan. Although most of that is waiting about at airports in Britain. Should be fun.

I've been buying loads of things this week and spent a fortune. First I went for a dental check and apparently a filling had broken and it needed replaced. Turns out decay had got in and it needed a massive job done on it and by the end the dentist tells me "Now in a few days you may experience extreme pain and need emergency surgery on your dead root". Alright... so I exaggerated a bit but it was stressful. Thankfully I haven't felt a thing but the £30 sting to my wallet.

Then along with clothes/books/toiletries I went and got my eyes tested and it turns out I could probably do with some reading glasses. So I got a lovely fashionable (ie expensive) pair since I'll be away for a year and I look damn good with them on.

I've spent the past two days breaking my back trying to get a years worth of stuff in two cases with a maximum weight of 20kg. Awful. I had my faithful mum on standby to see me through this terrible ordeal and when I finish this entry my laptop will be put away and I'll finally be done!

I'm feeling a mixture of nerves and excitement which is normal I guess. My brother went off on holiday earlier in the week so that was a strange premature goodbye but we're men and didn't bother much. My parents are taking me to the airport tomorrow so that'll be more of the same too I guess.

Right, this is probably full of typos but I'm very sleepy and I haven't even got a picture to add... or do I?

No, I don't. Time for sleep.
Tuesday, 17 July 2007

PostHeaderIcon Scooby Doo: Out to Lunch

I quite enjoyed writing my blog entry yesterday so I thought I would add another small update. I finally got around to trying to figure out tax/banks/forms but I missed the 5pm deadline so I'll need to sort them out tomorrow. A special mention to the electoral commission website who after numerous searches didn't explain proxy voting to me. I fought in three world wars for my right to vote!

I went down to East Kilbride town centre again today knowing I had to buy anything for Japan that would make me feel more organised. All the kids were off school so the proportion of oldies, fatties, uglies and junkies hobbling around didn't seem as high as usual. I spent a fair bit in a shop on the most tartan och aye the noo tourist mince but it will all be very useless as gifts/teaching aids. I got an awesome book with lots of pictures of Scotland (reduced from £12 to £3 woo). The best image of Dundee was a woeful concrete fountain in the city centre which made me laugh.


For some reason there was a booth set up in which children could get their picture taken with Scooby Doo. A wise capitalist must be taking advantage of the summer holidays by dressing some poor sod up in a suit and charging £6.99 for a crappy picture. Nevertheless, the children all looked upset as it appeared Scooby had went away for his lunch. He must have run out of Scooby Snacks hur hur hur.

Too obvious?

Monday, 16 July 2007

PostHeaderIcon A lazy Sunday

I’m currently waiting on my lovely steaks to defrost so I thought I would force myself to keep my new blog alive.

On Japan: I’ve still got to get in contact with the tax man, student loan people and organize my numerous essential!! items into 20kg. Never mind trying to figure out what omiyage (gifts) to bring and give to my new Japanese employers. I’ve read so many conflicting reports that I’m getting fed up with it...
  • Don’t bring alcohol they may find it insulting
  • Little whisky minatures are a perfect gift
  • Bring some teabags
  • Don’t bring anything consumable
  • Wrap up some biscuits and they’ll love you
On Blog/Life: I have decided to continue this blog and have been reading some idiot guides which have advised me to add some little features and that. Also, I often find myself moaning relentlessly about mundane things that happen to me. It’s a good way to get rid of the stress so I may expand my blog to include my whinging.

For example, the other day I had to return my graduation gown. So I went down to East Kilbride post office only to be greeted with a queue of 25 old women wearing the exact same coats (the same they wear in Winter) and hair styles. Not a single one was posting anything, they were just picking up their pensions or something. There is nothing wrong with that of course but BUUUUT having a nice wee chat with the sole worker whilst a massive queue behind you sighs themselves to death is not okay.

" Oh aye oh aye ah says tae wee Jean not tae bother "

Oh my word. Furthermore, the bright orange bag the gown people gave me to post didn’t have a valid post code so I couldn’t get a proof of postage or something. I worked my ahem... charm on the lady and she agreed to send it off anyway.

The promising summer morning had given way to a looming cloud of despair outside much like my mood had done inside. As I left it started pouring down and I noticed all the old women mocking me with their pastel jackets and umbrellas to protect that purple hair. They had beaten me again.
Thursday, 12 July 2007

PostHeaderIcon Hello

This is my first post on my first blog and all the options are more confusing than I first thought.

I tend to dislike the 'aren't I special and unique' attitude that blogs tend to have so I'm somewhat reluctant to continue writing this.

Nevertheless, I am going to teach English in Japan in a few weeks time and I thought it would be nice to document my experiences throughout the next few months. I'm not even sure how to write such an entry... do I write it like a personal diary entry or pretend I have an audience? Argh

Ok

Well, after months of applying/waiting/interviews/waiting I was finally accepted onto the JET Programme. It is run by the Japanese government to promote English language in schools and cultural exchange between nations. That's the way they like to label it but personally I think it's a haven for Arts graduates who would have spent a year contemplating suicide in their post-University office cubicles of doom.

I'm going to be staying in Kōchi Prefecture on one of the four large islands called Shikoku in the south of Japan. I have been in contact with my awesome predecessor and everything he has told me about the area seems very positive.

I returned from the Edinburgh orientation yesterday after an intense few days of seminars/workshops but I met lots of other JETs who seemed pretty cool. We even got to attend a fancy function held by the Japanese consul - a poor man's ambassador really but it was all very nice. Although I did manage to lock myself out of my room at 6:30am with only a towel which put a rather literal damper on events that morning. Further woes that day included me getting lost in 'Edinbra', falling asleep on the (£10.60!) train home and getting woken up by a rather angry old lady at Falkirk.


Here ends my rather long first blog entry. This might be the start of numerous months of complaining or I might forget my password and never add anything again.

Cheers!
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About Me

I am a 24 year old Scotsman currently teaching English to Japanese schoolchildren. I live in a small town on the east coast of Kochi prefecture.

Shashins