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|Saturday December 10 2005 - 2:14 pm|
bk & dave randall - ascensionLife most certainly is a rollercoaster. Well, at least my emotions are at least - if I wasn't certain I was a bloke, I would swear I was on my time of the month...
Not totally sure what the problem is, I just think not a lot of good things have happened recently, so it's sometimes very difficult to stay "happy go lucky"...
In usual yo-yo fashion, this post will now go on about how I feel a lot better - doh! I'm tempted to not write anything unless I am in a good mood, but figure it might be nice to look back over everything that has happened in my time here, just maybe, if you read something bleak, give it a day or two until you sign me up to the samaritans
Let's jump back to Thursday as that seems to be where I left off...
So Thursday was my final "end of probation" observation, basically where the head boss comes in and observes a lesson to make sure all is good. If I pass (and taking into account everything else I do at the school) - then I pass probation and get onto full pay (it goes up to the 195,000 yen (£975) from 180,000 (£900)) - not a huge difference, but enough to seriously muck things up if I don't make it....
Maybe I was worried about this, not sure - there's a few other bits and pieces, though I probably shouldn't post these - just in case....
I went in an hour or so early so I could prepare the lesson and made sure it was all up to scratch. Picked one I thought I could do a lot with and worked it all out to a tee.... so come 5:50 I was all ready, so went to the classroom....
No one there - hmmm.... sat and waited a bit more ... nope, nothing - great a no show... i now had the danger of being given a different lesson, which i hadn't prepared for ...
(interlude - i would like to apologise now for the lack of capital letters - it's much easier (and faster) to type excluding them, hence the reason they have no disappeared!! )
The school called her up and apparently she had totally forgotten, but as she was due for a second lesson "would try to make it in if she could" - didn't sound too good, but better than nothing - so it was back to the waiting game.
Come 6:40 and she still hadn't showed, however i was told she would probably be 10 minutes late or so. Whilst this usually wouldn't be a problem, this now meant I had to cut bits of the lesson to make it all fit, yet at the same time covering everything i needed to pass the observation....
So at 6:55 she comes in and the lesson goes ahead - how did i do? well, i think quite well - i managed to cover everything needed and she was able to complete all the parts of the lesson with no problem, so i guess i was cheered up. although Steve (the head guy) couldn't give me an answer right then, he did say it was very good and no problems to shout about - so i guess as long as the rest of the month at school goes good i should be all ok
Thursday (ohhh look, a capital letter ) also saw the return of Shimpei (ahah! another one...) who had been travelling around europe for the last month. So even though money was pretty scarce, we all went out to a korean bbq restaurant in Umeguoka. Probably not the best choice as they seem to eat tiny portions (that aren't massively cheap) so i had to order a bit more than everyone else just to get full. Still wasn't feeling so happy, which apparently showed as yesterday (fri) i got a load of messages asking if i was ok (awww... )
Friday morning and school time, except, i had forgotten my tekiken (travel card) had expired and had no money to pay for a train ticket STUPID!?!? Ho hum....
Once the local atm (which takes my natwest card) was online i was able to get some money, but by then it was too late to go in. Not wanting to waste the time though, i figured it would be a good idea to head to Gusto for food, quiet and some Japanese study (as if i stayed at home i knew i would just get distracted by the computer).
So Gusto it was, where I ordered a seafood pasta and set down to work. The pasta arrived and looked lovely, so i carried on working and eating. It was only when i had got to the bottom of the bowl i realised that there hadn't been any seafood in it... ... not wanting to cause a fuss as it was still really nice, but then knowing that if i didn't, i would have paid £5 for a tomatoe pasta - i figured it would be best to point this out...
So using my best Japanese - sumimasen, demo, seafood ga arimasendeshita (i'm not sure if seafood is the same in japanese, but the rest meant: excuse me, but, there was no (seafood) in this) - the waitress then apologised and took my (almost empty bowl away).
I'm not sure what i was expecting her to do, but i assumed i would just get a little selection of seafood to eat. Not so, within a few minutes I had a brand new bowl of pasta complete with prawns an suchlike result.... except, i was quite full from all the previous pasta but felt it would be rude to not eat it.....
30 minutes later it was time to head to school, so off i went - 1st lesson was a no show, so i took the opportunity to get on with more japanese, followed by .... another no show hurrah!
The next lesson was a lower class so we were going to work on colours and clothes - i like the lower lessons, they're always so much fun.
I had two students, so to start with i got them to describe what clothes each other was wearing. The first girl was fine doing this, but the second girl was a bit shy and couldn't describe the first girls trousers. As I couldn't see what she was wearing (due to the table) and not thinking properly, i looked until the table to help out - of course she wasn't wearing trousers at all but a very short skirt, which i inadvertantly then went and looked up... whooops
The rest of work went fine, but it was still nice for it to be over and the weekend to begin.
Yumi had also had to stay until 9, so we decided to go have a look around Shimo and find somewhere to eat. After walking for a little bit, we found a place that advertised everything as 390 yen (about £2), so down the stairs we went...
Wow! The place was amazing, like a little town square type thing inside a building, down the bottom there were all picnic tables, or you could sit in the upper level (where we did) - i wish i had taken a photo as it's too difficult to explain, but i will go back - so next time!!
They sold pretty much everything, so we ordered some drinks and a curry set with naan (which was actually quite delicious). When taking your order, the waitress then asks you to play "rock, paper, scissors" - if you win, you get free desert. After getting confused the first time () we did it again, but lost ... oh well ... you also get a bingo card when you come in, everytime you order a drink, your coaster has a number on it. You then match this to the bingo card - complete a line "BINGO!!!" and you win 5000 yen (£25!!) - see, this place is sooooo cool
But wait! There's more - just before we were about to leave, some Japanese bunny girls came around with a lucky dip machine thing promoting Jack Daniels. After having the instructions repeated to me about 5 times (lol) - i finally figured out that if you buy a drink, you get to have a go in the lucky dip machine. Well, I don't like whisky, but i wanted to play on the machine, so bought a jd + ginger and reached into the box to get a ticket.....
.... seems maybe i am on the up, as in true ben-luck-stylee i won So i am now the proud owner of a Jack Daniels t-shirt... w00t!
And finally for the best bit - after a little alcohol (which for me equals about one glass) and because i was with just Yumi, i lost my shyness about speaking Japanese. Even to the point where I could actually remember things from my book that i had only ever gone over a few times, wow! Ok, it's still not up to the level i should be at, but for me, just being able to remember anything at all is quite an achievement - i was even able to comment that "the atmosphere in here is very good" (i have only ever done that lesson once, which means it must be going in somewhere...!?!?)
This has inturn spurred me on, so when i finish this, i'm back off to Jonathans (haven't been there for ages) to get some food and continue with the study session..... hurrah!
I'm not sure if i mentioned it before, but in Jan i promised Nagisa that i would be able to speak to her only in Japanese. Until recently this looked like a rather stupid suggestion to have made, but now, i think there is hope!!!
Other good news, well Mum, Dad and Nan have very kindly offered to put some money towards my plane flight home, so this has cheered me up loads (THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!) - though i still wish i could be able to fund it myself - i don't like relying on other people for money...
Shimpei has also found an electronics store that will sell me some speakers and a mixer on a 0% interest payment plan for 10 months, so hopefully we will soon have some music in the flat. This *also* means we can do karaoke, which in turn means more people will come around... etc etc...
I've also had a new idea, which whilst i can't execute yet, has also helped towards my good mood. Once we get some sofa's, i'm going to start an "English Discussion Afternoon" here at home. Basically, people just come around who want to practise their English, so we can all meet in a group, just to randomly talk. I've also rather brilliantly decided to make it at lunch time, as knowing what the Japanese are like, means people will bring food - to start with, it will be free, but once it gets popular i can start to charge for it (maybe £10 a session or so) - this is good for two reasons, one I get to make some money, but 2, i get to meet more people (see, genius!).
I've got more ideas to add on this, like doing special "English Karaoke" sessions (which will help them with their reading skills) and a few other event things that i worked out with Yumi. Combine this with being able to then offer private lessons and it seems like a pretty good idea.
But as I said, we have no furniture now, so can't do this yet - however, hopefully soon... fingers crossed
Right then, it's now 15:05, so I need to get going - a students life is always busy
|Thursday December 8 2005 - 1:56 pm|
Well this is one heck of an emotional rollercoaster, yesterday was all good, I felt I had got somewhere with Japanese and was starting to like everything again, yet by the end of the evening, depression had set back in and my mind was not a happy place....
If I really think about what is causing it, I think it boils down to money...
I always was of the believe that you don't need a lot of money to have a good time, and i still stand by this - however, on the flip side, having no money at all is a problem.
Again, there are things that can bypass all these issues: being with friends, having loads to do to keep you occupied etc, however out here, I just don't have all those comforts.
I (rather stupidly) was thinking about the JET program that I turned down. Would have been an extra £7k a year, house sorted (no £1500 put down), flights all paid, in a proper school so you get to hang out with japanese staff.... kinda exactly what i wanted.... i turned it down to come here to be with Seiko and in Tokyo. But I don't think I needed to, she is perfectly happy being with her sister and is out most of the time anyway.
Tokyo isn't as great as is made out, or maybe it is, but I just can't afford to do the really good things... i dunno...
Now with graduation coming up, work have told me I need to show them the flight details in a week, so I have to buy all that now. The sensible person inside me should really say "you can't afford it, you will have to leave it" - in the UK there would have been no problem, I could have easily gotten the money, but out here I am kinda stranded.
But no, this will only happen once in my life and I really want to see everyone, so I will do it. There will however be no way I can clear the debt it will cause whilst I am still out here... that is depressing too....
Maybe I'm just having an off day, I don't know - I hope so. But it's hard to work out what I need to do to cheer up. I can't go out more to meet more people as I have no money, so it's just once at the weekend, so I have to spend time sitting at home.... the longer I am home with other people in, the noise really gets to me and makes me irritated...
I can't win.... what to do, what to do.... oh dear....
|Wednesday December 7 2005 - 3:18 pm|
The Offspring - Gotta Get AwayHmm... I've just come back from christmas card shopping, a grand total of 8 cards has just set me back 3 days food money!!?!? £25 for cards and a nice padden envelope to sent them in, sheesh....
Dad has pointed out I neglected to say what the matter with Yumi was, I remember this last night, but didn't want to get up to write anymore.
Basically, since she has been here in September, the manager has always taken out his grievences on her (if he is having a bad day, she will have a bad day etc...) - well she finally had enough and broke down On the plus side, the manager apologised and promised he will be niced in future - she said if he doesn't she will go back home to Hokaido - so let's hope he's true to his word.
Last night I spent hours copying all the adjectives into my book, along with all the forms and types (to do, past, present, didn't do, didn't do past) along with both the polite and plain forms - well today in class, we were given a sheet on how to easily work them out by just using the first term>1>!> I guess this won't mean much to many of you, but to me it meant I only had to write the "to do" form and I would instantly be able to work out the rest (instead of writing them all down).
Class today involved some tongue twister language, but at least I understood what was going on - I seriously need to get back into revision though, as this could run away from me very quickly.
Down to £15 to last 10 days (hmm....) - I wish they didn't pay us so late here, it's stupid. I've also been given a week to give my final holiday details - tricky as this means I need to book the flight now, which means I need to pay for it by the end of December... nuts.....
I also have a feeling I will get a kids class today, so going to go in a bit earlier to prepare it - the training was so bad, I have no confidence at all
Then after, I'll meet up with Yumi to go Gusto for dinner - then (I hope) bed early so I will be ready for my observation tomorrow - however nothign ever goes to plan in my life, so i'll probably make another entry at 3am or so
To Nova - AWAAAAAAYYYYY!!!
|Tuesday December 6 2005 - 10:19 pm|
D I G I T A L L Y - I M P O R T E D & HappyHardcore.com - Hardcore - DJ mixes, hard dance and NuNRG!Yup, I still couldn't get to sleep until about 4am, so come 9am i was in no mood to get up for school. I'm going to go to the pharmacy at some point to get some sleeping tablets or something, this is getting stupid.
I had also forgotten that I was starting work earlier (doh!) so awoke my usual time, looked down at the floor and shock horror, saw the piece of paper strategically placed to remind me... lol...
It was ok, I still made it in on time, but i think i was pretty lucky as i hadn't set an alarm or anything...
Arrived in work to find Yumi having a hayfever fit (or so i thought), it was quite amusing, so i just laughed and went into the staff room. It was only after listening to her through the wall that I started think maybe it wasn't a hayfever fit she was having - my suspicions were confirmed when she ran into the staff room and to me in a flood of tears. A brief bit of consoling then ensued (along with wiping the snot off my shirt ...) - however it was obvious she didn't want to say what was up in front of everyone and would much rather go to sleep...
Work was pretty much same old, same old, though had 2 voice classes which was a nice way to break up the time. Then it was all over, so it was back to mine where is was Yumi's turn to cook.
Yaki Udon again, but this time there was no Shiho to steal half of it, haha, so we sat on the bed to watch "The Shawshank Redemption" whilst we ate. It was only after an hour or so that I noticed Yumi had fallen asleep, so put the cover over her and carried on watching...
This proved to be a fatal mistake on my part, as come 1am (and when i wanted to go to bed) - she was sparko and wouldn't get up. Not wanting a repeat of the other nite (i needed good sleep as I had kids training today) - i managed to eventually wake her up (though i felt quite guilty) and send her back out into the cold
So as mentioned, today was "Kids Training Day" - essentially we (I) go on a course which teaches us the basics on how to conduct the kids lessons. It was an 8 hour day, held in the same place as my last training session.
Well, I've just got back from it now, knowing pretty much as little as I knew before. I can't say I really rated it very much at all and every one seemed a bit confused at the end. This seems to be a trend with Nova though, the training seems pretty basic and you are expected to pick up most of the knowledge on your own.
I also have a nasty suspicion I will have a Kids class tomorrow, which I really don't feel ready for. However this was true of the normal lessons before, so I guess it's just a case of doing it - thus getting used to it....
You may be wondering what the huge song names are I've been listening to, I recently started to listen to shoutcast radio stations again - in particular "Digital Imported" the "Happy Hardcore" station. This could (I suspect) be part of the reason I can never sleep as my mind is racing too fast, so I'm going to start switching it off a bit before bed and work on my Japanese (Still transferring between books) - if that doesn't send me to sleep, nothing will... haha...
Makes me really miss the music and clubs of the UK though - it's amazing how much music affects me I think, it really can turn a depressing time to a happy time. Shame my tastes are really not catered for out here - so god bless the internet... w00t!
Ah well, school tomorrow, so I better wrap this up and get on with my writing - Air Con ON!! Hiragana AWAY!!!
|Monday December 5 2005 - 2:19 am|
The voices in my head...This always happens, I sleep in too long and now I just can't get to sleep....
Grrrr..... just made some Corn Cream Soup, hopefully this will help me nod off...
|Sunday December 4 2005 - 5:14 pm|
Ian Betts - Love Ressurection (Masif DJs Mix)Well, that's all my coding done for today, just finished putting the "paging" section on at the bottom, so you no longer scroll for miles and miles, it's set to show 10 entries per page...
Of course, at the moment, due to the massive entries in place, you will still have to endure long scrolls (and page loading times) for a smidgen longer, but in a few days - everything should be cut down quite a bit
What else am I going to do here? Well, work on the gallery to make it a lot more user friendly / look a lot better. Probably Monday night for that. I've also got WinAmp tagging each music file I listen to, so will probably do something interesting (though ultimately pointless) with that data (most listened to, popular this week etc...)
Ok then, to the shower (where I hope it doesn't power cut me today) and then, JAPANESE ... w00t!
|Sunday December 4 2005 - 4:06 pm|
Lee Pasch - EmotionWell last night was an interesting clubbing experience
After making our "take out" drinks using an interesting array of alcohol..
.. it was time to brave the cold (it really has got freezing here) and head out to the usual weekend haunt of Roppongi (despite the fact that neither of us particuarly like it). So 3 trains later and we were there.
By now the bottle was finished, so of course I had now got hungry again - first stop a cheap izakaiya where we both ordered some more food (me a yakisoba and seiko what looked like the same as we had for dinner) and quite a few drinks.
A few hours later, we figured we should actually go somewhere, so headed for the high street..... looming in front of us was Don Quotie (or however you spell it) which gave us the alternate idea to go and buy a bottle of Moet and sit on Yukas roof drinking ....
£15 worse off (and a quick stop to McDonalds for me to get meal number 3) we were soon sitting on Yukas roof, all wrapped in blankets kindly supplied to us From here on is where my memory ends, I apparently drunk half the bottle or so then fell asleep!!!
The girls woke me up a few hours later (after Seiko had already now had her meal number 3 - ramen cooked by Yuka) as one of the neighbours had complained or something so we had to leave....
It was now 4am and *very* cold - it seemed the only sensible thing to do would be to go to a restaurant So First Kitchen it was: Cheeseburger with Bacon and Eggs plus a large chips please.... hurrah, meal number 4.
Then back home.
So that was last night, I've put some photos up but they're not really so interesting, especially since the battery ran out (not that there would have been much to photo anyway).
Now, I'm just working on a few bits and pieces here, will have a shower in a moment then get on with Japanese.
Yumi is coming over later for dinner, pehaps a little inconvenient as I have to ring home and Gowry, but I've told her this, so she can't be suprised when I kick her out ... haha...
|Saturday December 3 2005 - 9:59 pm|
DJ Bluecore - Candyshop V.2 (D I G I T A L L Y - I M P O R T E D & HappyHardcore.com - Hardcore - DJ mixes, hard dance a...Wow, looking back at yesterdays post - sheesh, that was pretty bleak eh?
Last night, I stayed up until 4am or so until Gowry got home so was finally able to speak to her And after an hour or so on the phone, I felt so much better... hurrah!
Today was the traditional "spend all day in bed until Seiko comes home day" - so that's exactly what happened... did a bit of work on this site (mood, listening to) and started work on my Japanese book.
At maybe 6pm or so, it seemed the right thing to do to take a shower, so braving the cold I escaped from the glass prison that is my bedroom and headed for places warmer.
To try and avoid the "waiting for the water to heat until you get into it" issues, I turned the bathroom clothes drying thing on, (which fills the shower room with steam so you can dry your stuff inside , clever eh) and put the shower on.
Everything was going good for the first 10 minutes or so, until the condensation of the shower (at least I assume this is what happened) reacted with the steam/heater thing and caused the power to trip lol..
Usually this wouldn't be so much of a problem, but remember the shower room is an enclosed room, which in turn is in an enclosed room. Result - pitch black. And I am talking proper pitch black, I was waving my hand right in front of my face and I still couldn't see it!!!
Figuring the power might come back on, I carried on with my shower, of course forgetting the electricity heats the water ..... Yup, a few seconds later and freezing cold water was shooting out, with me unable to find the off handle for ages due to the dark.... hahaha....
Anyway, back on here to keep programming until Seiko returned and cooked a really nice fried steak / potatoe wedge style combo on our okonimiyaki heater thing.
So plans for tonite? Well the usual I'm afraid Off to Roppongi in about 20 minutes or so, probably back to Hub then onto a club. I couldn't find enough people to come to the club I could play at, so that will have to be posponed for now - but maybe next week or so.... let's hope so!!!
Anyway, better get ready - Seiko is waiting.... w00t!
|Friday December 2 2005 - 3:28 pm|
Gammer and Micky Skeedal - Hardcore Revolution (D I G I T A L L Y - I M P O R T E D & HappyHardcore.com - Hardcore - DJ...For some reason today I just don't feel so happy...
I think I am really disillusioned with this apartment, it really sucks not having my own proper room. Last night, I was sleeping but Shiho had to get something from the front room, which woke me up, then I got woken up again this morning by all the school kids.... I would like to move I think, but would lose so much money doing so....
I'm also worried I'm not making the most of my time here, I've been here for 3 and a half months now, but not really achieved much, my Japanese is still really poor and it's not as if I have hundreds of happy memories. All I feel like wanting to do now is to come home to Gowry and realisitically I can't see that feeling getting any less...
Combine this with the fact I have now spent all my savings, no more safety money - so basically it just seems like I have wasted everything at the moment. I've shelled out £1600 for ONE MONTHS RENT on an apartment I don't like, I used all my savings just to cover the month of me being ill and I now have to try and find another £600 just to come back to pick up my graduation certificate. Perhaps it would have been better to wait for graduation THEN come out here... stupid... oh and then my overdraft finishes it's interest free period in June, so I need to have found another £600 by then.
Sucks hey.... well, to try and cheer myself up, I have bought a new notebook set (lol) for my Japanese All funky colours and a new pen... haha... simple things and all. I'll take a photo later... lol...
I intend to categorise each thing I do (adjectives/verbs etc) so I can quickly find them in class and maybe use them a bit more.
Hmm.. this post really sucks hey, maybe I am just in a mass depressive state - this has happened a few times since here and usually something cheers me back up. I suppose I need to keep thinking "wow, I am in Japan and I AM going to achieve something" - it's a once in a lifetime and all that.
I shall make more of an effort with everything (although this is still not going to help with the Gowry situation... ho hum...)
|Friday December 2 2005 - 12:11 am|
Guns N' Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine
First lesson cancelled, then a voice class where we discussed Japanese underfloor heating (no really) - a lesson on checking in at an airport, followed by a no show and another cancellation
Luckily I had brought my Japanese revision, so was actually finally able to get on with something... hurrah! Arai will be proud (my teacher).
On the downside, my razor must have been blunt as when looking in the mirror to check my hair (for the deadly wind/wax syndrome - i really don't think this is gonna work - maybe i will have it cut again) - it seems i have hacked most of my mouth area to pieces Damnit! I looked (look?!?) awful ....
So my tough day finished, Yumi came back where I cooked (yes, *I* cooked) some spaghetti and we watched the rest of finding Nemo. Well, tried to as Seiko and Shiho were in the front room, so it was quite noisy.
Sometimes I really wonder whether this is such a good situation. I know it's the front room, but, it's like my bedroom. It didn't matter before, but now they are home more often, sometimes I just want some quiet.... ho hum....
Anyway, she (Yumi) had work early (and I have school) so it was home early for her, and now, bed for me
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