The musings of a South African living abroad

Category: japan

four markers on table

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.

silhouette of airplane on sky

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.

Golden Week Adventures

The end of April and the start of May in Japan is always the best no matter what your job or where you are. It’s a glorious period know as Golden Week, which is the Japanese equivalent of Easter holidays in the there’s a slew of national holidays that see all and sundry take to the roads and the sky on their way to a week-long vacation.

Spring in Japan

Spring in Japan is one of the most beautiful seasons anywhere in the world. Every street and park is filled with cherry blossom trees in full bloom and families and groups of office workers eating and drinking under the trees.

It’s also a bit of a respite from the freezing cold of winter before the humid heat and rain of summer arrives.

Of Parties and Fish

So after all the movement of teachers and students during the end of March and the start of April it’s finally gotten a bit more settled at school with only the final welcome enkai later today remaining before the new school year starts in full earnest with the official opening ceremony.

To New Beginnings

With the end of March finally here the school year is now officially over and us teachers have to get ready for a new group of students to arrive and try our best to make sure that they can cope with their school lives and start their journey to university and an eventual career in whatever field they choose.

white suv on road near brown wooden shed during daytime

The Annual Teacher Swap

Every year at the end of March there’s a lot of important events in schools around Japan. Not only are the students finally coming to the end of the academic year and the hundreds of tests that they have had to endure but the teachers themselves find out if they will be staying or transfer to another school.

snow field and green pine trees during daytime

Japan is Cold!

One of the biggest shocks to my system when I first moved to Japan as just how cold the winters here can be. Now those of you who come from the US or Canada will be laughing at me and telling me that your winters get just as cold if not more so, but what you’ve got to realize is that South Africa has particularly mild winters paired with hot, dry summers.

silhouette of people standing on hill

Graduation Day

This week was the graduation ceremony for the third years at my main high school. It’s the main event of the school year and all the staff and students try their best to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch.

As with most ceremonies in Japan it’s a very formal affair with all the teachers and parents dressed as smart as possible. The teachers also make sure that all the kids are behaving themselves and not falling asleep during the ceremony (something they seem able to with alacrity).

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