Here are a few things that have happened with me in the last while.
It’s hit home that in many cases I’m now a sempai in Japan. Not only in Japan, actually, but that’s the current setting. This became evident a year or so ago at a picnic with a heap of newly-arrived JETs. They were all so shiny-eyed and excited to be in Japan, which was, well, refreshing. It reminded me how it used to feel to be new and as foreign inside as out. I’ve become one of the people explaining and showing other new people how to do things. Stranger still, I’ve had to do this for a co-worker who actually is my senior in both age and in our workplace, because they’re going to do an ALT position, which is what I’ve had both more training and experience in than maybe anyone else at work. Of course, the longer I stay in Japan, the more people I meet who have been here for 10 or 20 years longer than I have, and who can speak, read and write fluently in Japanese. So it’s all relative.
As well as the end of the school year and a number of changes at work, I had a parental visit over the March transition period which was terrific, and also intense. Mum and Dad came and even though this winter was mild, the trees were still just getting ready for spring. There were some buds on the sakura, but that was about it. Everything was still grey and ugly, but Mum and Dad got to see it all start to change, which was nice. And now everything’s green, the humidity’s on the rise, the doona/duvet/kakebuton is in the cupboard, and the hydrangeas are coming out. No dragonflies yet, but mozzies have started.
Study, work, whelm
I’ve been trying to watch Japanese news, listen to Japanese news, do reading comprehension exercises, read books and study kanji in some combination every day, while working full time and also eating and sleeping. And, you know, brushing my teeth, showering, and even exercising sometimes. And trying to socialise with people. This means that things like watching dramas, reading books (without a dictionary nearby) and alas, self-care take a back seat. Which is a real shame and doesn’t make sense, I know. If you don’t look after yourself, it’s natural that you’re not functioning at your best, which would of course be the ideal way to be for work, study, socialisation and life in general. I guess I’ll make a point of prioritising it for at least the next couple of weeks and see how that goes. With luck the study, etc. that I get around to should be a bit more effective that way too.
What else has happened?
Got my gold licence. When you first get a driver’s licence in Japan, it’s green. Then after a while you have to renew it and it changes to blue. If you have the blue one for a set time (3 years?) and you don’t have any traffic violations in that time, the next time you renew it’s gold. Not sure if it changes to blue the next time if you’re involved in any incidents or what. Hope I don’t find out.
Australia had an election… not much to write home about there.
Japan had an election… not much to write home about other than noisy trucks driving around with recordings of people just saying their names and good morning, hoping that you’ll vote for them.
I went to Kyushu for Golden Week. Kyushu’s great. I failed to go to Yakushima because of weather conditions, but succeeded in having some adventures and spending some money. And finding how popular Kumamon is all over Kumamoto. Most of the week I had in Kyushu was rainy.
I also saw an interview of a famous ex-porn star, I mean really a star. There was one of a famous man and one of a woman who wasn’t so famous. The man is charismatic and speaks well. His interview is interesting.
Oh, and I saw the Green Book movie the other day and thoroughly enjoyed it. Also found a beautiful cinema where it was showing.
So not that much news going on, but that’s what there is for the moment. At some stage I should have some more to say… maybe in Japanese! That way I could blog and study at the same time.
HW: self care. Hope you’re looking after yourself, reader!