Monday, 8 October 2012


Today is a national holiday so we have the day off work. It's called 教育の日 - 'Education Day'. It's good that Japan has so many national holidays. It's the only time the Japanese people take a break.

I had quite a lot of hours at work this week. On Tuesday I was teaching at our Shinsaibashi school, and after a recommendation from a couple of mates I went to a tasty burrito place nearby. It's called El Zocalo and it's good value for money. Most of the burritos are around 600-650 yen.

On Friday night it was a couple of guys from works' birthdays, and to celebrate we had a big night of pizza and alcohol. It began at Shakey's in Shinsaibashi, where you get 食べ放題 (all-you-can-eat) pizza, pasta, salad, curry all night and 飲み放題 (all-you-can-drink) alcohol for one hour. I'd heard differing opinions on Shakey's from different people. Some said it was amazing, but one person said it was the worst pizza he's ever eaten.  We paid 1500 yen each and got stuck in, and I enjoyed it. It wasn't the best pizza I've ever had, but it was far from the worst, and when you throw in all the other food and beer it's a great deal. I enjoyed the dessert pizza as well - I think it was cinnamon apple.  Seeing all the pizzas lined up reminded me of when I used to work the lunchtime buffet at Pizza Hut, and how customers would be like rabid dogs when they knew they could eat as much as they wanted. At Shakey's it was much more chilled, probably 'cos Japanese people are a bit more reserved. And after Shakey's we headed to a popular gaijin bar in Shinsaibashi and drank till the early morning. Fun night.

Yesterday I played footy with the guys from work. They have a team in a league in Kobe, so we all caught the train to Rokko Island, very hungover. It's the first time I've done any real sport since dislocating my shoulder in May, but I've been doing push-ups every day and that seems to keep it strong.  My touch on the ball was a bit rusty, but I think I'll start to play a bit more football from now on. We lost the game 7-1, by the way, but apparently the performance was a lot better than in previous weeks.

During the past week I met up with a Spanish guy to start a weekly language exchange. I've been wanting to learn Spanish, so I put an ad in a local magazine called Kansai Scene and got a reply.  We met at a Starbucks and he taught me some beginner stuff from a textbook, and then we chatted in English after. Learning a new language like this showed me how students probably feel when I'm teaching them English at work, so it was an interesting experience. As today's a holiday I'm probably gonna study a bit more Spanish and then work on an online TEFL course I'm doing.

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