Category Archives: Daily life in Japan

Working up the Motivation… meh.

… when it comes to cleaning I am severely lacking in the motivation department.  My tolerance for clutter is much higher than your average woman’s…. or man’s for that matter!

So, instead of cleaning up my apartment some more and taking out the combustible garbage, I decided to write another blog entry!  Yay for procrastination!

Despite my lack of energy today, I did manage to get quite a bit done this weekend.  I cleaned up some more on Saturday and finally decided that I needed to whittle down my collection of books and manga to just one 20lb. box.  I then finally took that box and my huge box of stuffed Nyanpire plushies to the post office to ship off.  All together it cost me around $100.oo.  I plan to ship off at least two more, much heavier, boxes later this week.  I imagine that will be at least $150 to $200.  Which falls right into the budget I gave myself.

After that, I bagged up a large chunk of my wardrobe (three 45 liter garbage bags full) and brought them into a local 2nd hand clothing store.  They actually gave me money for them!  Granted, it all only amounted to about $12!  Still!  I hadn’t really expected anything for them!  I just wanted to give them away!   While there I also bought myself a new (used) wallet.  It was a designer label (Anna Sui) leather wallet.  At one time it had been a bright red but now it is faded and well worn… which I think adds to it’s vintage charm!  Plus it has a little brass butterfly button!  I love it!  It is a vast improvement over my old, cheap plain brown wallet!

I also managed to get a lot done earlier this week.  Aside from the usual combustible and soft plastic/vinyl trash I also remembered to bring out all of my old cardboard boxes, manga magazines and non-combustibles on the appropriate days.  (Hence my lack of motivation now.  I literally had to take the trash out to the neighborhood trash site every day this week!  Bleh!)

On Monday night I finally came to the conclusion that I should probably just sell my baby. (My 21.5″ iMac desktop.)  It is just too expensive and めんどうくさい to get it home!  So, I put an ad in at GaijinPot . com.  I went to bed with the ad pending approval from their classifieds section.  After work on Tuesday, I had already received 2 inquiries.  I hadn’t expected anything quite so fast!  (I also received several offers in the following days until I took the ad down.)  It looks like I will be getting 7万円 (around $700+/-) for it. Which is fairly good considering I have had it for nearly a year now.  But, man! I will miss it in all it’s 21.5″ LED black-lit High Def glory!!  At least I get one more week with it!  Then I will be back to using my ancient, but still functioning, MacBook.  Hopefully, with the money I make on this sale plus the sale of my furniture and appliances, I will be able to buy a replacement.  I will wait until Apple updates the iMac line though… which should be fairly soon one would assume.  Maybe I should get an iPad and a cheap PC instead…. hmmm…

Man, this week will be rough!

It is my last week at both of my schools!  I am going to be balling like a little baby by the end of this!  Thankfully I have laid down a good cover story.  I have been wearing my new specs all week because the cedar pollen has been irritating my eyes!  Hopefully they will see my red puffy eyes and just assume that the pollen is really starting to get to me!  LOL!  (;_;)  (=.=;)


Packing Frenzy!

Haaaaaaa…. I only have one month left here in Japan and right now I am trying to sort out all my stuff and get it packed.  So far I have managed to sort it into things I need to take home, want to take home and don’t-need-or-want-to-take-home.  Even so,…. I have a LOT of work ahead of me.  It is hard not to get overwhelmed by it all!  I just have to be thankful that, for once, I haven’t procrastinated! …too much!

Of course, I am trying to save as much money as I can.  (Especially since I don’t have a job lined up for me back home!)  Thankfully, I have already managed to sell all of my furniture and household appliances to the incoming teachers… but that still leaves a lot of stuff to take care of! I definitely can’t afford to ship it all home!

I did a packing dry-run today and it looks as though I will be able to fit all of my clothing in my luggage… and not much else.  I have bags upon 45l bags full of excess clothing that I need to somehow get rid of.  I miss Goodwill and D.I!  Japan lacks second-hand clothing stores.  Okay, not entirely true… they do exist, but they are harder to find!  I am hoping someone will accept all of my clothing.

I also managed to whittle my book collection down to two 15lbs boxes that I plan to send in the mail via boat.  Hopefully it won’t cost too much!  (-_-;;)  There is supposed to be a special rate for printed material called a tokubetsu yuuta intastu butsu, or, an “M bag”.  I am really hoping it is true and that my non-academic books will be accepted! It was very difficult deciding which books to keep!  … now I also have to go and sell my remaining books to other ALTs or to BookOff.  *siiiiiiigh!

Then there is the matter of all the knick-knacks and souvenirs I have accumulated through-out the years!  I don’t know what to do with them all!  I know I don’t need to bring a lot of my stuff home with me.  I am trying to focus on my art supplies, my electronics, scrapbooking material such as old tickets, brochures, stamps and stickers…  and small gifts I have received.  Which reminds me, I will probably need to leave space for gifts from students and co-workers etc…

That still leaves a LOT of junk to throw out!

…getting rid of garbage in Japan is a pill!  It is all separated into types.  Combustible, non-combustible, plastic and vinyls, plastic bottles, batteries, cardboard/newspapers/magazines…. so on and so forth.  I wish I could just put all the trash together in one can!  Or even two or three different types… but this is just a pain in the behind!  めんどうくさい!

I have heard that there DO exist some independent incinerators in the city though.  You can bring in as much as you like and they charge you by how much it all weighs.  I will probably end up bringing a couple carloads!  (Hey!  My car is tiny!)

Last but not least is my computer.  I am loathe to part with it.  It is barely a year old!  And it is a beautiful 21.5″ iMac desktop with the LED backlit HD screen.  If I tried to sell it independently I could possibly get $700 for it.  Softmap will give me $510 for it.  Either way, I will need to spend money on a new computer.  Ideally, I would want the same computer… brand new, they start at around $1,000.  So, I would be spending anywhere from $300 to$490 to get it.  OR- I could risk sending it home via mail (in it’s original shipping box) for around $130.  To be delivered in about 2 weeks via air and land.  That is with insurance.  I am hoping they won’t turn me away.  It is within the insurable rate and within the right size and weight so it should be fine…. but I am a pessimist worrywart!

Aaaaaaah!  Only 28 days left!  Can I do it?!?!


Happy 2011… Wait! Where did 2010 go?!

チョウー久しぶりだな。。。
Someone needs to beat me over the head with a wet noodle…  I haven’t posted here in faaaaaar too long!  I have been sucked into the Facebook update status machine!  (Let’s face it… it is a LOT easier to just post a few sentences on FB everyday as opposed to sitting down and actually writing a full-on journal entry!… at least it is for a lazy butt like me!)

… but it has been nearly a YEAR!   (_ _|||) ガ——-ン!  もしあわけありません!(^-ェ-^).oO ( バーカ)

I am still teaching at the same two schools.  They both asked if they could request me to stay (usually we all get switched around every two to three years) … but I had to turn my boss down.

I am FINALLY returning home!

I originally came to Japan with the intention of only living here a year or two TOPS… I have now been here over FOUR years!  (0_o)  And I could keep on living here indefinitely.  My Japanese has improved vastly over the last year.  I understand a large portion of what is going on around me now, I can answer most questions in simple, and oft broken, Japanese… but I usually manage to communicate.  My younger students don’t even realize that my Japanese sucks!  One girl even asked me if I found it easier to speak Japanese or English!!!!  LOL!  “English!”  The other kids laughed and said, “Of course!  She’s from America!”  (I have always been fairly good with pronunciation… and having learned Spanish has been a great help… grammar on the other hand…. I suck at.  Abysmally! … but I am good enough to pass as a 1st or 2nd grader! LOL!)

I have gotten even more practice in my church calling.  I am now a Primary teacher.  But I have to teach the lessons in Japanese!   I guess the Bishop caught onto the fact that I understand and speak more than I have been letting on! … dangit!  Even so, my classes are a mixture of English and Japanese.  Thank goodness my student has been studying English!  Her mom actually wanted to hire me to become their English tutor as well… and if I weren’t going home in two months I would be tempted to do it… which is saying a LOT! I don’t really have enough desire for extra money to go out and spend my precious extra free time teaching… but she is one of the few people I would consider doing it for!

Alas, once I return home to the States I will no longer need my Japanese skills… so they will likely wither away…  though I plan to continue reading manga and watching dramas in Japanese.  (My favorite way to study!)  Not much call for Japanese in Montana… or anywhere else, really!

I really do look forward to returning home, though.  I miss my family!  And, I can’t believe I am actually going to say this…. but, I miss the snow!  (We shall see how long that particular sentiment lasts!)

Once I return home I will be moving in with my sister and her three little munchkins.  She lives alone with her kids…all under the age of 3.  She is also working full time!  The newest arrival came in December, just before Christmas.  It has been really tough on her.  I am going to live with them so I can take care of the kids while she works.  While I am living with them I am planning on returning to college.  So far I am considering taking some refresher courses… in multi-media technical communications. We’ll see how that goes and whether or not I want to continue down the path of getting a Masters… or if I feel like studying something completely new. (As well as something more in-demand and with better pay…)

I am excited to embark on this new adventure.
I have come to the realization that I seem to feel the need to shake things up every 4 or 5 years… something I think I inherited from my father… at least, it seems we moved houses, if not towns, every 4 to 5 years for no particular reason….  Perhaps it was in an effort not to go stale or  stagnate!  LOL!