The musings of a South African living abroad

Category: japan Page 1 of 2

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.

Seeing Japan Anew

It’s been a whirlwind two weeks for me recently, with my parents and two friends coming through to Japan. I’ve had to try and organize hotels, itineraries and transport for them as well as helping them navigate the many subtle things that make Japan so Japan.

Full Throttle

After a long and hard 3 years of trying, I can finally join the ranks of the driving elite here in Japan after successfully having passed my driver’s license test to transfer my South African license to a Japanese one.

Giant Robots & Japan

One of the first things that students learn when I introduce myself to them is that I’m a fan of the Japanese animation series, Neon Genesis Evangelion.

I’m not going to geek out though in this post and write paragraph after paragraph of prose about it’s deep themes or excellent take on the giant robot genre of animation that is so quintessentially Japanese. What I do want to talk about, though, is just how endearingly popular this show is in Japan today, even though it originally aired in 1995.

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.

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