woahhh I’m all over the place. Combination of events have thrown me way out into the stratosphere. Good job I had my laptop in my rucksack at the time, and a very long Lan cable attached, cos there’s not much out here for entertainment except dodging a few dud satellites.

So what’s up?

1) Essays. Reading lots about topics such as Minamata Disease or the Japanese media (or in my case, both), is a right kick in the goolies. I think we should have a whole module in our final year devoted to telling us the good things about Japan, if there are any, so that we don’t all graduate asking ourselves “…Why???!!”.

2) This morning’s Kanji Test. I am pleased to say that it went really well, that is, comparatively speaking. When one bears in mind the fact that the thing I’m comparing it to is last semester’s test in which I managed to get 2%, it is hardly a surprise that it went ‘comparitively well’. I’d say 60 something % at least. Anyway, that was pretty stressful, but at least it’s over. Hurray!!

3) Only 13 days of classes remaining. Scary. Then it’ll be summer. This time-flying business is somewhat disconcerting.

4) Our business plans. *Cough* and I have been thinking a lot about the business that we want to set up once back in Japan. The whole new perspective that this puts on the next 18 months is taking some adjusting to.

5) I had the misfortune to receive an email from CrissCross (Japan) telling me that Metropolis magazine, the most popular English-language listings mag in Japan, has started a weekly podcast [please note deliberate lack of links]. This in itself isn’t so bad. It’s subscribing and then listening to the thing that has such a traumatizing effect. I think they must have put an ad in the print version a few months ago reading, “WANTED. Complete Twat to present show that will make you want to leave your iPod to soak overnight in a bucket of Ultra-Strength Dettol”. I only managed 9 minutes of the half-hour show. I can’t face giving episode 2 a go.

6) My monumental decision to learn how to use Dreamweaver properly. Having used it for about 5 years now to build various websites I guess it’s time I learnt what a CSS style sheet is, and stopped stealing code from other people’s websites. Anyway, I bought a book off Amazon Today. Oh, and two COMPLETE strangers in town told me how much they liked my hat. One of them then went on to talk about the location of the clitoris and how best to stimulate it. This would have been somewhat disconcerting had we not been in a bookstore at the time, and had she not been with her boyfriend (who had a sheepish, guilty look on his face as he tried to pay full attention to what she was telling him, poor lamb). The other person who commented on my hat did not say anything about female genitalia however as he was holding a bucket collecting money for the local children’s hospital, and it would probably have been a little inappropriate.

7) A bolt from the blue. I can’t say too much about it at this point, but basically today I found myself applying for something happening in Japan this summer. It’s half-expenses paid – I have to cover air-fare, transport and food.

What this means is that, should I be one of the lucky 40 to be accepted, I will be leaving for Japan almost 2 months ealier than I had planned, we’re talking mid-July, i.e. just 6 weeks after exams are over.

Transport is not a problem. I phoned my LEA, who received my application for funding for next year last week (yes, that’s right, next year last week), and they said if I was to buy my ticket now I’d simply need to send in the receipt and they’d send me the cash (minus the excess). A few weeks of gardening work would give me enough to live on for the duration of the three-week program (were I to be accepted), then I’d probably spend the remaining 2 months WWOOFing to pass the time without spending money. I guess it would have to be Hokkaido – the heat during those few weeks in the south last summer nearly killed me.

Oh, there will then be the small matter of having to leave Japan and re-enter on a student visa (I can’t get that until september, so I’ll be going out on a tourist visa in July). I’ve been instructed by the embassy in London to phone immigration in Tokyo in the morning, then the embassy in Seoul to check that I’ll be able to exchange my visa there.

So yes, this is all somewhat unexpected – watch this space.

If I DO go back to Seoul I’d better avoid the British embassy, as the last time I was there I ended up causing a real uproar by accusing the resident “Korean Friendship Association” of having a pigeon as its mascot rather than a dove. I still haven’t really got over the embarrasment of being found out as the sender of what I thought was an annonymous email .

There’s a lesson for us all there – you know who you are (and so do I!)

Anyway, *cough* is starting to growl. We only have one LAN cable, and two laptops. Best hand it over before she insists on spanking me.

Come to think of it though, I could just have a look at what offers Amazon has on today, or perhaps check my email account again. Maybe see who’s visited TGW today…

2 Responses

  1. From what I’ve heard from other current Jap students/websites with forums of people who have spent time in Japan I agree they should have a day a week when nothing negative is said about Japan and we should all do happy fun time stuff to equal out the bad.

    Oh I toooootally agree with the time going by so fast, Ive got just little over a month before im marooned in Wisconsin for 1/6 of the year! Looking forward too it though!

    Interested in hearing what your business idea is, obviously not to steal your ideas and have you shake your fist at me from afar, but your right when you say it is a good idea to look at putting your education to further use than teaching English to Japanese kids who don’t really want to learn, from what I’ve read/heard.

    A bolt from the blue. – more more ! (I’ll use this opportunity to ask how I can get RSS feeds to.. uh, tell me when certain websites (such as yours for example) have updated there content, bravo on being so regular by the way)

    Me and Jay(son) have been pondering the idea of wwoofing in Japan this winter money depending, hence his post on pekopeko.

    I’m currently spending my time deciding on what I should do post-camp and although Trekamerica has caught my eye I’m still looking into other options because the time frames for me to get from camp to wherever are pretty slim so I may spend some time up at Niagara Falls Chicago, NYC and the like.


  2. Well, it’s all a bit hush hush and may come to nothing so for now that’s all you get!!

    Re. CSS: if you’re using Firefox, whih of course is the ONLY browser anyone should use to browse the internet, you will see a little symbol that looks lie a satellite at the right of the address bar. Click on that to add it to your “Bookmarks Toolbar”. You will then have a little TGW logo on your toolbar which if you click on will give a clickable list of the titles of the past past 6 or so postings.

    So, that’s semi-automatic, i.e. you can check on new updates without visiting the site. However, for fully automatic CSS alerts have a look at


    I have the RSS feeds of all my friend’s blogs regsitered with Newsgator, which then sends me an email version of their entries as soon as they publish them, very convenient and helps to liven uup my email inbox!

    Sounds like the US will be fun. I wished I’d stayed on in the US for travelling after I finished my summercamp. Don’t know why I didn’t…

    WWOOFING in winter would be good – just avoid Hokkaido, you’ll have a devil of a job pulling radishes up at that time of year!