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

Oh Konami…

Ever since Pro Evolution Soccer 2 back on the PlayStation 2 I’ve been an avid supporter of the folks over at Konami when it comes to their stellar soccer series that always managed to capture the pure essence of soccer as a sport. Granted, it’s far from the glitz and glamour level that the FIFA series from EA Sports hits every year, but it really grabbed me in with it’s combination of gameplay and it’s Master League mode that set you in the role of a soccer club manager trying to take a team of amateurs and nurture them to the top of the world’s best leagues and competitions. Continue reading Oh Konami…

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

My Thoughts on Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens

On December 18 I was one of millions of moviegoers around the world that headed off to see the first showing of Star Wars Episode VII.

Those of us who had seen both the original trilogy and the prequels knew that despite all the hype, anticipation, and awesome trailers there was a chance that the films would end up being terrible and a huge let down for us nerds and geeks who have so fallen in love with the characters and universe created by George Lucas. Continue reading My Thoughts on Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Tales of the JLPT

For all the times I’ve mentioned that I was studying for and planning to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), I’ve never actually gone through with my plans and written the test! On two previous occasions I just felt that my studies, or lack thereof, meant that it was pretty pointless to sit it as I was pretty much guaranteed to fail it.
On July 5 this year though I arrived at Matsumoto University and whipped out my pencils to take the N5 level test along with countless other eager Japanese language learners all across Japan.

Just over two hours later I emerged into the bright sun knowing that pass or fail I’m glad that I finally managed to work up the courage to go through and sit for the test.

So here’s what I learned after taking the test: Continue reading Tales of the JLPT

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

Hello Old Friend

So as you may have noticed I’ve gone and swapped over to WordPress after running Ghost for most of the last year and a bit.

While Ghost really is a fantastic writing experience and shows a lot of promise as a blogging platform, it is still far behind WordPress in terms of supporting third party plugins and the current rate of progress with Ghost’s API means that I’ll probably have to wait a lot longer for it to reach anywhere close to the same level as WordPress. Continue reading Hello Old Friend

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