Yesterday, I finished up my last class before summer vacation here in the smouldering heat of Japan.
I can’t believe it’s been one whole year since I came here, it still feels like only a few months. It’s the heat, man.
The sad part is that some of my best friends will be leaving to continue their lives overseas, but some new awesome people seem to be arriving next month, and I can’t wait to meet them!
As for me, so much has changed over the course of just one year. You can read some of my first few journal entries about JET and Japan here. You know, like how I was too scared to go outside because of giant spiders. Or how I didn’t know how to cook anything so I had to resort to eating cereal for a week. Good times.
Well, actually no, horrible times, but now I can look back and laugh at them.
I am re-contracted for one more year on the JET program. I will try to push for a third, but after that I might have to look for something more challenging. Don’t get me wrong, the job is great, but I don’t feel like I am using all of my abilities or my degree to its full extent. Or at all, really.
I belong to a world of videogames and art. I miss working within a big game company, even if it means starting from the bottom again and working my way up. If I could do that in Japan, score. I just hope the rumours about working 28 hours a day and never sleeping are all lies to scare away people who can’t push themselves to the EXTREME.
One year I dropped everything I had and gave up everything I owned for one small chance at getting to live and work in Japan. That makes me EXTREME right? Now that I am here and finally settled in, it’s time to think about the future.
Thanks to everyone who transformed this first year from the scariest thing I have ever done to the most comfortable journey of my life. You know who you are, and I think you’re just greato.
Now for some funny excerpts from the last year:
I feel uneasy, worried, and again, helpless without someone next to me or a simple pat on the shoulder to tell me it`s a-okay. Looks like I need to man up, right?
I had to contain my inner weeaboo but let me tell you if I was by myself I might have fainted.
Really? I honestly wrote this stuff?
“Welcome to Itayanagi High! Love Momo!”, “I hope we can study hard together!”, “Please teach us English James!”, with many a love heart and kiss, from all 105 or so kids.
Those hearts were all lies when I got nothing for Valentine’s day. Sadface.
For the first time, I was all alone in an alien, unknown town, with a closed Taxi rink, a bottle of Calpis, and a tiny handful of Japanese to see me through the night.
Kawabe town? Alien? Using trains? All a distant memory now I drive that way every day!
Going to my school – Without getting lost is a little challenge.
The school is 1km from the house. It takes less than 1 min to get there by car, 5 min by bike, and consists of: Turn left, turn right, turn left. Boy this is difficult, better get a map out.
I am buying an Xperia!
…that will be stingy on Android updates and is an all round piece of crap? GREAT IDEA, KID.
Plus, in closing, why do all the cute office girls live in Hirosaki or Goshogawara?
So I hope you enjoyed reading this…reflection as much as I enjoyed laughing at it. Let’s work just as hard this year too!