That Time of the Year

If there is one constant in Japan, it is that you will somehow end up getting the flu here at least once. And I don’t mean the ‘flu’ as in a rather bad cold that makes you feel all miserable and grumpy, but rather full blown influenza that sees entire classes being told to stay home for fear the flu virus rampages through your school.

In my first year in Japan I was unfortunate enough to get my first taste of the flu smack dab in the middle of winter when I was living by myself. Needless to say the trek through to the hospital and the subsequent week of recuperating alone at home while sick was probably the toughest time of my first year in Japan. Continue reading That Time of the Year

The Snow Cometh

It’s that time of the year again when most of Japan finds itself blanketed under a layer of pristine white snow and my Facebook feed is filled with posts and photos from giddy ALTs who have never seen snow before.

Coming from South Africa I myself was far from ready for my first winter in Japan and I had no idea just how cold it gets here from December onward. One of the first things you come to love is your kotatsu, or heated table, that lets you blissfully sink into a warm and comfortable cocoon and helps you forget all about the mountains of snow outside your front door. Continue reading The Snow Cometh

Hitting Reboot For 2016

Wil Wheaton recently wrote a post about rebooting his life, which got me thinking about steps I could take to try and improve my life as well. The new year is also fast approaching so it’s pretty much perfect timing on my part to start reassessing where I am and what I want in the foreseeable future. Continue reading Hitting Reboot For 2016

Canada, Surgery and Backups

If you’re wondering what exactly happened with my last past where I talked about my Canada trip and visit to the doctor then fear not, you’re not just imagining that it’s vanished into the mists of time and crevice between the internet’s seat cushions. Some background changes to my hosting meant that my poor backup routines finally came back to bite me and meant that I lost my last post as well as numerous other posts that I had transferred over from another site. Continue reading Canada, Surgery and Backups

Summer Grumbles

If there is any time of the year that I feel ‘meh’ then this is it. The change of the seasons means that we’re in that zone right between spring and summer where the weather is just nice enough but has started tending towards being humid and sticky during some parts of the day.

Back in South Africa I was fortunate enough to live in Cape Town where we have mild winters and rather dry and hot summers and while the summers could get rather high temperatures there was always the option of jumping in the pool or heading off to the beach with friends to cool down. Continue reading Summer Grumbles

Back in the Jogging Rhythm

With spring and summer and all the awesome warm weather it bring (excluding the typhoons, humidity and numerous creepy crawly insects everywhere) it’s finally become possible for me to put on my running shoes and hit the road on a daily basis.

Living in Kagoshima I was lucky that there was hardly any snow during winter and even though it was freezing cold I could still go jogging as long as I was warmly dressed. Nagano has been a whole different beast to tackle in winter though. The snow here is almost constant in winter which means that every road and sidewalk turns jogging into a circus act featuring me as a rather clumsy clown sliding past everyone and frantically trying to grab the nearest light pole. Continue reading Back in the Jogging Rhythm

Checking up on 2015

Now that January is coming to a close I thought it would be interesting to see if a new year has led to any changes as such in my routine. Think of this post more as a way for me to evaluate myself than for any public consumption 1.

I have managed to finally drag myself out of the slump I’d fallen into with regards to my Japanese studies2 and it feels fantastic to be able to sit down on a daily basis and just work through some grammar points or exercises. I’ve also started using Flashcards Deluxe to work through vocabulary and kanji with surprisingly good results so far. One tiny little victory for me has been that I’ve finally gotten around to learning the Japanese terms for the day of the month. It was really a bit of an embarrassing thing for me seeing as I’ve been in Japan for more than 3 years now! Continue reading Checking up on 2015

Starting Off With a Bang

Its a brand new year and if you haven’t noticed yet the site has also been revamped with the Casperion theme so that it no longer has the basic default theme that ships with Ghost. Truth be told the redesign came about due to a failed upgrade attempt which meant I had to redo a lot of the back-end of my site so it was the perfect chance to do some much needed tinkering behind the scenes and get things looking a bit brighter for 2015. Continue reading Starting Off With a Bang

My 2014 in Review

This is the time of year that most people take time to be with their families and spend time with people they love or haven’t seen in a long time. As for me though, I’m spending time in the office working hard (or hardly working) which is the first time in my life that I’ve actually not spent time with my family or friends on Christmas day itself. Of course I’ll be spending time later tonight with my in-laws and wife so it’s not all bad!

It’s been a rather crazy and exciting year all told for me. I travelled back to South Africa in February, changed schools in July, got my Japanese drivers license in and got married in October. It’s only now at the end of the year that I have finally gotten into a rhythm of sorts and feel like I’ve got a handle on my job and new life. Continue reading My 2014 in Review

Let it Snow!

For me December has always been a time of warm sunny days that are spent relaxing at home with family or hanging out with friends at the beach. Japanese winters though are a beast of a different nature.

Especially now that I’ve moved to central Japan where snow is all too common during the winter months I’ve found it pretty tough to drag myself out of my warm futon to try and brave the blizzards and icy walkways on my way to school in the mornings. Continue reading Let it Snow!