The bloggings of an Upstate NY-born Tokyoite. Now with 20% more verbosity!

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

An unfortunate (but not altogether unexpected) hiatus

hiatus |hīˈātəs|
noun ( pl. -tuses ) [usu. in sing. ]
a pause or gap in a sequence, series, or process
ORIGIN mid 16th cent. (originally denoting a physical gap or opening): from Latin, literally ‘gaping,’ from hiare ‘gape.’

It's much to my dismay that I write this post, but as the Japanese like to say: it cannot be helped! しょうがない (shouganai). Due to an impending visit from my Mother - her first time in Japan! - and all the other aforementioned extra work I'm in the middle of: 6 day work-weeks, a weekly morning kindergarten shift topped with a normal until 10pm shift and some business overtime classes, not to mention how I tend to use my free time studying Japanese as much as is reasonably possibly, I can't expect myself to keep up the blog this month. Better to out and say then leave the loyal devotees refreshing the page every couple of days.

There is reprieve for me however; a few days before the week of Spring holidays, properly designated "Golden Week," my Mother will arrive on this fair island. Which means traveling once again across the landscape of Japan, to Hiroshima, Kyoto, Nagoya and beyond. It'll be my first time taking the world-famous bullet train as well, which should be interesting! (I did the sketchy but cheap nightbus last time..... NEVER AGAIN)

I will make quick mention however that I've also decided, after a year and a half in my current location of sunny Tobu-Nerima (a suburb on the north-western end of Tokyo, near adjoining Saitama prefecture), I will most likely be moving within the next 2 months. For the sake of being closer to my work, a bigger apartment, my own private bathroom, and a change of pace. That may also clog things up a bit on the blog-front. I am however quite excited at the prospect of it all! If only I wasn't such a packrat, and didn't insist on keeping all these books, the dresser, the kitchenette, the fairly new acoustic guitar, the 4-foot disco lamp, the persian rugs, the gold-seated toilet... well it would be a much easier task. However I'm possibly going to get a friend to rent a car and help me move, which should help ease the financial burden and also provide fodder for an interesting future blog post.

Another year contract has been signed with my current employer, who I am happy to say I'm quite happy with. It's not every man who can say he has any level of satisfaction with his job. Recently I've pondered getting a Masters in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) and possibly going career with it. It's not so limiting as it might seem; not only would I be more apt to get higher paying (not to mention more dignified) jobs in various other countries, Asian or European, but perhaps I could use it as a vehicle for experience. That is how I have seen my current position for quite some time, and I'm sure many others do as well. A vehicle for experience. You get paid to do a job which can be (although it certainly isn't always) fun and rewarding, and get to live in a foreign country and rack massive personal experience points.

Case in point: yesterday I went to Asakusa for the first time. An amazing place with tons of "the oldest _____ in Japan" going on - including the oldest chronologically numbered block,* something like 1丁目1番1, which if you can't see it on your computer or read Japanese basically says: "1 city block of 1 numbered 1." Anyhow, the point is this kind of job drives the experience train. There's no predictable end to the need of English education in foreign countries. In a way, I could see the world and get paid to do so. Hmm hmmm hmmm. I'd also like to imagine racking up massive language fluency as well, but realistically I don't think I'll ever consider anything besides Japanese my second language, although I'd like to attain passable Mandarin Chinese. Really I would. "One language at a time Ben!" Another teacher once told me...

*all blocks in Japan are sorted and number chronologically or clockwise around a center block, and there are no street names save for major roads. Sound confusing? It is. Read more here.


This has really all been a cleverly-disguised ploy to put off an eagerly awaiting virtual flashcard deck of 100 cards. Curse this mortal coil and faulty memory of mine!!

Thanks for reading. Until May folks!!

-Ben

P.S. Popular Japanese blog Hello Damage has posted some pictures from the latest F.I.D. show, in case you want to see cute Japanese ladies, dudes in messed up costumes (NSFW - NOT SAFE FOR WORK) or the funny faces I make when I play guitar. Thanks Steve!