3 Years in Japan

I spent 3 years in Japan on the JET Program

Visiting a Japanese barber

Let’s go back to my first visit to a Japanese barbershop… As I walked in, an elderly gentleman was just finishing having his hair cut, and the lady who was working with … Continue reading

October 23, 2017 · Leave a comment

Naked in Japan

I’m doing that crazy I-don’t-know-if-I-should-bow-or-shake-hands thing when being introduced to a Japanese man, so we end up doing both. My American friend is introducing us after bumping into him in … Continue reading

October 19, 2017 · Leave a comment

Alone in Tokyo

Five years before I did the JET Program I decided to go to Japan for a month. By myself. I was 19 and woefully unprepared. It was the final part … Continue reading

October 19, 2017 · Leave a comment

JET changed my life

It is now more than fifteen years since I left Japan, which is indeed a very long time! Yet, current JET participants have read this blog and said they identify … Continue reading

April 22, 2017 · 2 Comments

Epilogue

Thank you to everyone that has read this blog about my experiences in Japan. It was a mammoth task trying to write about those three years of my life. I … Continue reading

October 28, 2016 · Leave a comment

July 16th: farewell

2000 Tomorrow will be the first anniversary of my arrival in Japan. I met up with four of my 8th grade students this afternoon; they’re in a band and had … Continue reading

August 18, 2016 · 3 Comments

July 15th: cycles

2000 I bought a bike from a JET friend who is leaving, and tested it out this afternoon by cycling along the beaches; such a wonderful sense of freedom. The … Continue reading

August 17, 2016 · Leave a comment

July 12th: slump

2000 Instead of visiting my usual elementary school, I was invited to visit a different one, in a nearby village. I was surprised to find that there are only two … Continue reading

August 16, 2016 · Leave a comment

July 10th: plum

2000 Had some fun classes at school, but lunch was the highlight of the day; the student next to me was playing with the plum on his tray, so I … Continue reading

August 15, 2016 · Leave a comment

July 8th: Tokyo Disneyland

2000 Our night bus to Tokyo followed a typhoon all the way there. The morning rain in Tokyo dampened our spirits, but once we arrived at Disneyland we quickly saw … Continue reading

August 14, 2016 · Leave a comment

July 3rd: walking

2000 As I arrived at school I saw that someone had written graffiti by the entrance; it looked like an ugly scar on the usually pristine building, and felt like … Continue reading

August 13, 2016 · Leave a comment

July 2nd: ganbatte!

2000 I woke up on the floor, in the hallway of a JET friend’s apartment, with my head resting on a pile of shoes instead of a pillow. I have … Continue reading

August 12, 2016 · 1 Comment

July 1st: shots

2000 Tonight was the party for all the JETs that are leaving; people that have been here for a year, two years and three years are all heading home later … Continue reading

August 11, 2016 · Leave a comment

June 29th: leaving

2000 I walked along the beach after school, watched the sunset. It was so beautiful, I love this place. Hard to believe I’ve been here almost a whole year. I … Continue reading

August 10, 2016 · Leave a comment

June 28th: overheated

2000 It’s so hot and humid, that when I go outside my glasses steam up. Spent an hour in the air conditioned male teachers’ locker room, eating Kit Kat bars … Continue reading

August 9, 2016 · Leave a comment

June 25th: seasonal

2000 For most of the year, this is just a sleepy, small seaside town with not much going on. When I arrived last July, it was the middle of the … Continue reading

August 8, 2016 · Leave a comment

June 21st: seven years

2000 Went to the elementary school this afternoon as usual, but as there was no English Club to teach, I was instead paraded around to visit each classroom. The students … Continue reading

August 7, 2016 · Leave a comment

June 15th: trapped

2000 My school in the fishing village is surrounded by dense forest, with the harbour on one side and then a steep drop into the open ocean one the other. … Continue reading

August 6, 2016 · Leave a comment

June 9th: fax machine

2000 This junior high is my favourite school. I remember really disliking it when I first started; it seemed so sterile, so big and unwelcoming compared to my other three, … Continue reading

August 5, 2016 · Leave a comment

May 30th: elementary

2000 Currently there’s no government requirement for elementary schools to teach English at all, so it is exciting that my school has decided to experiment with it anyway. This is … Continue reading

August 4, 2016 · Leave a comment

May 26th: Tokyo, Kyoto, Mexico

2000 Traveled to Tokyo on the overnight bus, arrived in the city at 6 this morning. F and I spent the day as volunteer support workers for a charity, at … Continue reading

August 3, 2016 · Leave a comment

May 23rd: snail trail

2000 H-sensei commented today that whenever I come to this school, I change the atmosphere in the staff room into “a light mood”, which I think was a compliment. The … Continue reading

August 2, 2016 · Leave a comment

May 19th: hangover

2000 Spent a drunken evening with a few of the younger teachers from my school last night; they came over to my apartment, drank beer. Much laughter, fun conversations, a … Continue reading

August 1, 2016 · Leave a comment

May 17th: I am a student

2000 It was the school marathon today. I stood with some of the teachers outside, made conversation with them while we watched the students run. I don’t really know what … Continue reading

July 31, 2016 · Leave a comment

May 11th: zazen

2000 I have Japanese school lunch everyday, which varies in quality, and as a result, I can’t face eating Japanese food in the evening. Tonight I had pizza and chips. … Continue reading

July 30, 2016 · Leave a comment

May 10th: KLF

2000 I’ve arranged to have drinks with a few of the younger teachers from my school next week. I’m trying to have a regular social life in this town, but … Continue reading

July 29, 2016 · Leave a comment

May 7th: marathon

2000 Went to a department store and had a mini panic attack. I suddenly felt incredibly conspicuous, and had to leave within five minutes of walking in. I wish that … Continue reading

July 28, 2016 · Leave a comment

May 3rd: hijacked

2000 There’s a live news report on TV, about a bus that has been hijacked near Hiroshima, there’s one victim so far, a woman. I don’t think I’ve ever heard … Continue reading

July 26, 2016 · Leave a comment

May 1st: ensoku

2000 I spent the day with the 7th grade students, on their ensoku (school trip, or excursion). We didn’t go very far though; their ensoku was to find six hidden … Continue reading

July 26, 2016 · Leave a comment

April 27th: Speechless

2000 The Board of Education delivered a new computer to school today, which caused chaos; desks had to be moved and rearranged, it was very entertaining. One class was a … Continue reading

July 25, 2016 · Leave a comment

April 25th: identical

2000 I was asked at the mountain school today if I could start staying later every Tuesday, so I can participate in the after-school activities. I’m only at the school … Continue reading

July 24, 2016 · Leave a comment

April 22nd: Twister

2000 It’s midnight and I’m drunk. Spent the evening drinking and playing Twister in my apartment with some of the teachers from my junior high school. They’re a cool bunch, … Continue reading

July 23, 2016 · Leave a comment

April 20th: pioneer

2000 Another slow Thursday at the school in the fishing village. The 7th grade student was off sick today, so I only taught one class, with the single 8th grade … Continue reading

July 22, 2016 · Leave a comment

April 18th: mountain

2000 What did we do at the mountain school today? We climbed to the top of the mountain, of course! It was a three-hour climb, followed by lunch at the … Continue reading

July 21, 2016 · Leave a comment

April 15th: school on Saturday

2000 Went to school after lunch to attend art club. I finished working on a 3D model of the Rolling Stones’ mouth logo, and started to make a gargoyle. After … Continue reading

July 20, 2016 · Leave a comment

April 14th: osaki ni shitsurei shimasu

2000 I only taught one class today, but stayed at work for eleven hours. Even then, I was still the first teacher to go home. My contract says I can … Continue reading

July 19, 2016 · Leave a comment

April 12th: hug

2000 I teach private English lessons every Wednesday evening, to a family in the next village; a job I inherited from my predecessor. I teach their two young children for … Continue reading

July 17, 2016 · Leave a comment

April 10th: best place

2000 It’s 11:30 and I’m feeling drunk. Just got home from the teachers party (enkai) to celebrate the start of the new school year. Had conversations with a lot of … Continue reading

July 16, 2016 · Leave a comment

April 6th: new school year

2000 Arrived home from England yesterday, and jet-lag struck in the early hours; woke up at three, fell asleep again at six, then the alarm went off at seven. The … Continue reading

July 15, 2016 · Leave a comment

March 23rd: all change

2000 I got up late this morning, as did my neighbour; we ran down the apartment building stairs together, jumped in our cars and sped out of the car park … Continue reading

July 14, 2016 · Leave a comment

March 22nd: globetrotter

2000 I can’t believe he’s back. My supervisor had mysteriously disappeared even before my first week at school, way back in September. Since then, for the past seven months, the … Continue reading

July 13, 2016 · Leave a comment

March 17th: pancakes

2000 Becoming friends with teachers beyond the English department at school has become so beneficial. Today I worked with Y-sensei, to team-teach in her cookery class. We taught the students … Continue reading

July 11, 2016 · Leave a comment

March 14th: White Day

2000 On Valentine’s Day in Japan girls give guys cookies (or other items of confectionery) and then on March 14th, guys give those girls chocolate;  this is called White Day. … Continue reading

July 10, 2016 · 2 Comments

March 9th: graduation

2000 It was my last ever class with the 9th grade students at the fishing village school today. The class consists only of three boys; it has been a struggle … Continue reading

July 9, 2016 · Leave a comment

March 5th: red and white

2000 Twice a month, on Sunday evenings, I have to teach a conversation English class, which is open to anyone in the local community. Today, one of the adults that … Continue reading

July 8, 2016 · Leave a comment

March 1st: secret

2000 Today a student asked me about a teacher “what do you think of N-sensei?” I have become very wary of answering these kinds of questions, so I fired it … Continue reading

July 7, 2016 · Leave a comment

February 28th: naked surprise

2000 Had a very sociable weekend with some Japanese teachers. I went out for dinner Saturday night with Y-sensei, a teacher from my main school who has been helping me … Continue reading

July 6, 2016 · Leave a comment

February 25th: stay or go?

2000 It’s official: my contract has been renewed for next year, so I’ll definitely be here until July 2001. It feels strange to say that out loud, a little scary … Continue reading

July 5, 2016 · Leave a comment

February 23rd: taiko

2000 There were no classes at school this morning because everyone’s taking tests. I was surprised when all the students went home at 11:30 (no-one had told me about today’s … Continue reading

July 5, 2016 · Leave a comment

February 19th: Belgian waffles & the Mona Lisa

2000 I went to art club at school, taking along an article about artists that had altered images of the Mona Lisa, to make their own versions. The art teacher … Continue reading

July 4, 2016 · Leave a comment

February 15th: snow

2000 I’ve never seen so much snow. My journey up to the mountain school usually takes twenty minutes, but today it took forty. My little car couldn’t make it up … Continue reading

July 3, 2016 · Leave a comment

February 13th: school work

2000 My best mate called last night. He always misjudges the time difference, but I don’t care, it’s good to talk to him, even if he has just woken me … Continue reading

July 2, 2016 · Leave a comment

February 9th: snow, snow, snow

2000 Had to clear all the snow off my car again this morning. School lunch was great today, curry rice and a kiwi, nothing can top that, really. The annoying … Continue reading

July 2, 2016 · Leave a comment

February 8th: chocolate dicks and boobs

2000 A more positive day today, up at the mountain school. Sometimes I wish I could spend everyday there, but that will never happen. Unlike at my other schools, the … Continue reading

June 29, 2016 · Leave a comment

February 7th: tired

2000 I’m so tired of struggling on at school, trying to figure things out on my own, without anyone looking out for me, or showing me the way. One of … Continue reading

June 28, 2016 · 2 Comments

February 6th: feedback

2000 Y-sensei (a teacher from my main school) came over again this afternoon, to help me study Japanese. She helped me with hiragana and katakana, so that I could read … Continue reading

June 28, 2016 · Leave a comment

February 5th: team-teaching

2000 I haven’t seen another native English speaker for two weeks, and it feels strange. I am the only JET participant in this town; there’s someone else in the next … Continue reading

June 20, 2016 · Leave a comment

February 3rd: English muffins

2000 Upon arriving at my fishing village school that I visit every Thursday, the principal told me that the English teacher was sick, so I’d have to teach the classes … Continue reading

June 18, 2016 · Leave a comment

February 2nd: “I am constipated” she said

2000 One of the Japanese teachers came over to me and said “I am constipated”. I looked at her, not quite believing what I had heard, when she then said … Continue reading

June 14, 2016 · Leave a comment

January 30th: integration

2000 A teacher from one of my schools has agreed to help teach me Japanese, this afternoon was my first lesson. I’ve been here since July and feel like I … Continue reading

May 25, 2016 · Leave a comment

January 29th: uneven keel

2000 Drove to a chopsticks factory (as you do) to buy gifts for my family, followed by lunch in McDonald’s. It tasted way too good, after having had Japanese school … Continue reading

May 24, 2016 · Leave a comment

January 28th: in from the cold

2000 The 9th grade students excitedly came into the staff room today, to let us know which high schools they’ll be going to in April (they had entrance exams recently, … Continue reading

May 24, 2016 · Leave a comment

January 25th: skiing & school

2000 First day back at school after being off sick since last week, so I hadn’t planned any of my lessons. Luckily the teachers at the mountain school are pretty … Continue reading

May 4, 2016 · 2 Comments

January 22nd: kakkoii!

2000 I’m still ill. A couple of friends came to visit for an hour or so, all wearing surgical face masks as a joke. Despite feeling unwell, I still tried … Continue reading

April 30, 2016 · Leave a comment

January 20th: drugs & gravy

2000 The school nurse looked at me and asked”drugs OK?” She gave me three pills, wrote out a note for me to take to a pharmacy, and sent me home. … Continue reading

April 21, 2016 · Leave a comment

January 18th: more handsome now

2000 One of the female teachers at my mountain school told me “you look more handsome now than last term”. I asked her why, but she didn’t know. I joked … Continue reading

April 20, 2016 · Leave a comment

December 22nd: misadventures with Betty’s Mayonnaise

1999 How did I end up in Osaka, at a post-op transsexual drag show called Betty’s Mayonnaise? This was my school’s end of year staff party; watching male-to-female transsexuals strut … Continue reading

March 2, 2016 · Leave a comment

January 15th: desperately seeking pizza

2000 It has been awful to be back at school this week, the first day on Tuesday felt like a huge waste of time. Nothing happened until mid-morning, when everyone … Continue reading

January 30, 2016 · Leave a comment

January 10th: Battery Low

2000 It’s another national holiday in Japan today; Seijin no Hi, or Coming of Age Day. It’s a day to recognize and celebrate those that have reached twenty years of … Continue reading

January 22, 2016 · Leave a comment

December 31st: Y2K New Year’s Eve

1999 Let me start off by pointing out that, generally, I do not like new year’s eve, so don’t judge me for wanting to be alone today. I spent the … Continue reading

January 1, 2016 · Leave a comment

December 25th: Merry Christmas!

1999 D and I have driven north for a few days to spend Christmas with V & J, so we’re four Brits together. D and I woke up and started … Continue reading

December 31, 2015 · Leave a comment

December 19th: party like it’s 1999

1999 Last night I hosted a Christmas party for some of my neighbours. The teachers were more chatty than they are in school, so I got to know them a … Continue reading

December 31, 2015 · Leave a comment

December 11th: Blue Hawaii

1999 Spent the evening with H, S and P; we had dinner together and then went for drinks in Bar Eden. They are all such good company; easy conversation and … Continue reading

December 22, 2015 · 1 Comment

December 10th: Santa, sento & cell phones

1999 I spent the day at school dressed at Santa. The students loved it, and some of the teachers who never usually speak to me actually came over and made … Continue reading

December 10, 2015 · Leave a comment

December 5th: highs and lows

1999 This has been one of the best days in Japan so far. It’s my neighbour’s birthday (he’s a teacher in one of my schools, we’re about the same age, … Continue reading

November 20, 2015 · Leave a comment

December 2nd: drinking, gingerbread & rejection

1999 Last night I’d prepared gingerbread dough, ready to make gingerbread men with my students today, but when the class started, we realized the school oven wasn’t working. We tried … Continue reading

November 16, 2015 · 2 Comments

November 24th: storms ahead

1999 I taught six classes today; two at my junior high this morning, two at my elementary this afternoon, and two private classes this evening. Every Wednesday after school, I … Continue reading

November 12, 2015 · Leave a comment

November 21st: toilet slippers

1999 I need to explain toilet slippers to you. In Japan, every household and workplace has special pairs of slippers (toire surippa) that you only wear to use the toilet; … Continue reading

November 5, 2015 · Leave a comment

November 20th: home

1999 It was my school’s Bunkasai (Cultural Festival) today. Students hosted different games and activities in their classrooms all morning, then after lunch each class competed against each other in … Continue reading

October 27, 2015 · Leave a comment

November 17th: sunset

1999 Had a good day at my main school; classes went well, and I felt more involved in the staff room. After work I tried calling G-sensei, to ask her … Continue reading

October 14, 2015 · Leave a comment

November 14th: love

1999 Spent the day in Kyoto, with G-sensei, a Japanese teacher from one of my schools, who had invited me to join her and her friends. We explored temples and … Continue reading

October 12, 2015 · Leave a comment

November 13th: hands

1999 The plumber came back this morning to fix my flooded bathroom, but otherwise I had a quiet day at home by myself. Tomorrow I’m going to Kyoto with a … Continue reading

October 6, 2015 · Leave a comment

November 12th: I feel so broke up, I wanna go home

1999 My bathroom is flooded. A plumber came over to fix it, but he flooded it even more. Spent the evening at a bar with friends in the next town, … Continue reading

October 5, 2015 · Leave a comment

November 3rd: rain

1999 Another national holiday today (Bunka no hi or Culture Day). It’s meant to honour traditional Japanese culture, but 3rd November is also the anniversary of the day that the … Continue reading

September 24, 2015 · Leave a comment

October 31st: Halloween

1999 I hosted a Halloween party in my apartment last night. I’d invited all my Japanese neighbours in the apartment building, as well as teachers from my schools, and much … Continue reading

September 20, 2015 · Leave a comment

October 27th: a closed book?

1999 The vice-principal at the elementary school is so enthusiastic I want to punch her face in. She’s like a vampire, sucking the life out of me every week. I … Continue reading

September 19, 2015 · 1 Comment

October 20th: working

1999 Another bad experience at the elementary school this afternoon; the vice-principal was more annoying than usual. She comes across as being so dominating and controlling that I feel used … Continue reading

September 13, 2015 · Leave a comment

October 13th: staying late yet leaving early

1999 The vice principal at the elementary school is driving me nuts. Not only is she incredibly enthusiastic about everything, to the point of being somewhat creepy and sinister, but … Continue reading

August 23, 2015 · 2 Comments

October 11th: teaching

1999 It is another national holiday today, Taiiku no Hi, which means Health and Sports Day, so there’s no school. Even though we’re in October now, it is still 30 C / … Continue reading

August 17, 2015 · Leave a comment

October 6th: Earthquake!

1999 Last night was another welcome enkai, this time for my main school. I hadn’t looked forward to it, because this feels like the least friendly of my schools, but in the … Continue reading

August 14, 2015 · Leave a comment

September 30th: bye, Buddha & bunkasai

1999 There was a formal farewell ceremony at the fishing village school today, for the lunch lady who was retiring after 30 years. She made a speech, was presented with … Continue reading

August 13, 2015 · Leave a comment

September 26th: life as an ALT

1999 My friend F is the ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) at a special school for children with learning difficulties, and she invited D and myself to go along to their sports … Continue reading

August 6, 2015 · Leave a comment

September 22nd: enkai and kyushoku

1999 Tonight there was another enkai, this time with all the teachers that live in my apartment building; the apartments are specifically for local teachers, and this was my official welcome … Continue reading

August 3, 2015 · Leave a comment

September 18th: schools, students & sports days

1999 Living here feels routine now. This morning I went grocery shopping, took the car to the car wash, put air in the tyres, did a load of laundry; normal, mundane … Continue reading

August 1, 2015 · Leave a comment

September 15th: naked handshakes

1999 Today is a national holiday, Keiro No Hi (Respect the Aged Day) so there’s no school and the stores are closed. I have no idea what Japanese people are doing today, I … Continue reading

July 29, 2015 · Leave a comment

September 13th: school life

1999 Arrived at my main school at 8, so I could photocopy an activity for first period. The JTE (Japanese Teacher of English) had asked me to prepare an activity to review … Continue reading

July 26, 2015 · Leave a comment

September 12th: sports days and parties

1999 Today was sports day at the local elementary school. I arrived at 8:45, by which time everyone else was already there, and the school sports field had been transformed … Continue reading

July 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

September 11th: haircut

1999 Barbershop I finally braved the local barbershop this afternoon. As I walked in, an elderly gentleman was just finishing having his hair cut, and the lady who was working with him … Continue reading

July 21, 2015 · Leave a comment

September 4th: stress, school & sumo

1999 Today has been full of frustrations and stress. My white shirt came out of the washing machine covered in red fluff, from a towel I’d washed a few days ago. … Continue reading

July 13, 2015 · Leave a comment

September 2nd: another day, another new school

1999 First day at the fishing village school. The JTE there (Japanese Teacher of English) guided me through the day. She introduced me to the principal; a seemingly mad woman … Continue reading

July 13, 2015 · Leave a comment

September 1st: Welcome to school

1999 First day of term. The school principal gave a lengthy speech in the sweltering school gym. All the students were sitting on the floor, in rows, facing the stage, … Continue reading

July 11, 2015 · Leave a comment

August 30th: Last day of Summer

1999 I nervously made my way to school at 8:45, but needn’t have hurried, because my supervisor didn’t arrive until 9:20. During that time, I took my shoes off in … Continue reading

July 9, 2015 · Leave a comment

August 26th: Cloudbusting

1999 We left town at 11am, in a couple of minibuses, to head to Mount Fuji. Before we even left the carpark, one of the minibusues hit a car; not a … Continue reading

July 6, 2015 · 2 Comments

August 21st: The Phantom Menace & the wrong hotel

1999 I’m in Kyoto for the weekend, staying in a cheap youth hostel with the guys H, W and C. Our hostel looks like an old paper warehouse, only with more … Continue reading

July 2, 2015 · 1 Comment

August 19th: locked

1999 I drove an hour north, to spend some time with F (an American, who will eventually become my wife – but that’s another story) and D (a British girl). … Continue reading

June 29, 2015 · Leave a comment

August 18th: friends

1999 This weekend, I’m going to Kyoto with some friends, so I called H today to confirm the plans. As soon as I put the phone down, my supervisor from … Continue reading

June 25, 2015 · Leave a comment

August 17th: hot summer

1999 I spent the morning hanging out at home, then ate ice cream for lunch (don’t judge: it’s a hot day). Took a nap, but got woken up by the … Continue reading

June 24, 2015 · Leave a comment

August 15th: lazy

1999 I woke up at 3 this morning, so I could call my parents (it was 7pm in the UK). It took a long time to go back to sleep afterwards; … Continue reading

June 20, 2015 · Leave a comment

August 14th: food, friends, fans

1999 I couldn’t be bothered to make dinner tonight, so I went to one of the restaurants in town. I still can’t read Japanese, so I ordered a random item … Continue reading

May 31, 2015 · Leave a comment

August 13th: videos, payphones and rolls of film

1999 I spent the evening hanging out with H (an American guy) and S (an Australian girl) in their town, some 30 minutes drive from here. We watched a LA … Continue reading

May 20, 2015 · 1 Comment

August 12th: schools, sento and successor

1999 I have three schools; I will spend Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at my main school (the junior high school in town), Tuesdays at a combined elementary & junior high … Continue reading

May 13, 2015 · 3 Comments

August 10th: buying a car

1999 After Japanese class, we went to an okonomiyaki restaurant. Okonomiyaki is like a thick omelette, with vegetables and meat in the mixture, that you cook yourself on a hotplate at your … Continue reading

May 11, 2015 · 2 Comments

August 7th: Japanese

 1999 After a lazy day on the beach with fellow JET participants, we all headed to the small town next to mine, to attend the summer festival. We ate Japanese … Continue reading

May 7, 2015 · 1 Comment

August 6th: steak, students & homestay

1999 After Japanese class, we went for lunch in Tomato & Onion, a Western-style restaurant. I had steak, one of the best meals I’ve had in Japan so far. I … Continue reading

May 4, 2015 · 3 Comments

August 5th: alien

1999 B and I spoke on the phone again last night, as we have been doing every night lately. She said that W had mentioned to her that I had talked to … Continue reading

May 3, 2015 · 3 Comments

August 2nd: sailors, baths & koalas

1999 Last night, I walked along the beach; it was so beautiful watching the sun set over the mountain. I can’t believe I live here. I took the 11:46 train … Continue reading

May 1, 2015 · 2 Comments

August 1st: Flowbee & tears

1999 I woke up in H’s apartment; I’d stayed over last night after we all went to a bar and karaoke. It was a great night, full of fun and … Continue reading

April 29, 2015 · Leave a comment

July 30th: potato pizza and going to Hell

1999 Two words sum up the highlight of my day: potato pizza. I met up with H in his town, which is about half an hour away by train. I’m … Continue reading

April 25, 2015 · 3 Comments

July 29th: communication

1999 Piped music was played over the sound system, informing us that it was 6:30 and time to get up. I was sharing a large room with all the other male … Continue reading

April 22, 2015 · 4 Comments

July 28th: camp, classes & climate

1999 First day of English Camp. We were taken on buses to a woodland retreat, not far from the city. It was an education facility, with dorms, teaching areas, and a … Continue reading

April 20, 2015 · Leave a comment

July 27th: looking ahead

1999 I caught the local train north, that heads to the capital of the prefecture, and along the route other new JETs joined the train at their respective towns. It … Continue reading

April 17, 2015 · Leave a comment

July 25th: in motion

1999 I got woken up by the phone ringing at 10. It was an American friend in the next big town, inviting me to meet him and another guy at … Continue reading

April 15, 2015 · Leave a comment

July 24th: lost

1999 I arrived in my apartment yesterday, and this morning decided to explore the town, to get some idea of this new place. I hadn’t got very far, when I … Continue reading

April 12, 2015 · Leave a comment

July 17th: departures

1999 The day I left home and headed into the unknown. My parents drove me to Heathrow airport, with my two new suitcases, both fully loaded. If you think packing … Continue reading

April 11, 2015 · 4 Comments

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