Bye Bye 2016, Hello 2017!

Gah! It’s already 2017! It feels like just yesterday that a bright and shiny 2016 arrived at my door with promises of awesome things to come, but now it’s gone into that cold, dark night where time disappears to when one is not looking.

So seeing as it’s a new year I think I should quickly type out a few thoughts on the year that’s been as well as the year to come. So let’s get to it then shall we! Continue reading Bye Bye 2016, Hello 2017!

The Curse of the Middle Name

One of my pet peeves on about living in Japan is just how hard it can be sometimes to get things done when you have a middle name.

The last month or two have seen me frantically trying sort out a bevy of accounts that I’m trying to move over to my new bank account and my new credit card. Every few weeks I find a letter from one company or the other saying that I have to redo my payment change request since the names don’t match. This of course sees me having to go through all the steps of filling out more paperwork and frantically hoping that this time around the company will somehow accept my application. Continue reading The Curse of the Middle Name

Another Year, Another Hobonichi

Whenever September rolls around I scramble on the first day of the month to be one of the first people to order my Hobonichi Techo for the following year. Now if you don’t know what a Hobonichi Techo is then I wouldn’t be surprised. A Hobonichi Techo is really just a Japanese planner or diary, but at the same time it’s a book that prides itself on being a vessel for your thoughts, your life, and anything you want to use it for. If you look at the usage examples on their website you’ll find a million and one ways that people around the world have customized to fit their lifestyles. For a quick refresher you can also read my initial impressions and see what I thought of it when I first started using it back in 2015. Continue reading Another Year, Another Hobonichi

Back in the saddle

So after a long break that started at the end of July when JET contract ended, I’ve had to finally get back into the groove of waking up early and going in to work.

After the wonderful holiday I had back in South Africa and the relaxing week I had back in Nagano, it’s a bit of a shock to my system to go back into school and nothing much has changed. Other than my desk being full of newspapers from the last month or so it could have been just yesterday that I had last come into work. Continue reading Back in the saddle

Saying Goodbye

April is a time of year in Japanese schools that I’ve written about before, but despite that it still hasn’t gotten any easier every year to see teachers I’ve come to know well move on to other schools.

This year I’ve had to say goodbye to one of my favorite teachers at my visit school as she has had to move on to a new school after 8 years of teaching at my current visit school. Continue reading Saying Goodbye

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

The Transfer Turntable

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated my blog much to my shame. There are many, many reasons why I haven’t had a chance to set aside some time to sit down and knock out a short post or two.

I’ve recently changed schools (for the third time during my JET programme career!) and that means that there’s been a lot of organization and paperwork to get out of the way and it’s only now that I’ve managed to get settled in at my new school. This is the first actual free time I’ve had since then while the summer holidays are in full swing with September being the start of my actual classes with all my new students. Continue reading The Transfer Turntable