Friday, 1 February 2013

Movin' Out

I've been working a lot since my last post even though I've been ill for the last few days, but I'm over it now, and the weather's turning warmer so I'm feeling great.

I'm ready to leave Japan, and it's starting to dawn on me that I'll be in Chile in about four weeks' time. Can't remember feeling this excited about something in a while, even coming back to Japan this time. At that point I was more looking forward to getting away from the situation back home. Recently I realised that I've never had a full-time job and my own place in the UK. The only times I've had that have been in Japan, and maybe if I had that I'd enjoy life back home a lot more.  Anyway, I don't want to set my expectations for Chile too high, but I'm looking forward to it. It should be a big change from life in Japan. Things are starting to get too predictable here. Work all week, go out at the weekend, spend too much money, be hungover on the Sunday, rinse and repeat.

I've been here for two and half years in total, and it's not a place I can stay long term. Towards the end of my stays in Japan I always get quite bitter and I think it's been sped up this time because of my job where I sit and talk to Japanese people about nothing (There are a few cool students though. This past week I taught a high school student who loves MxPx so we just talked about music the whole time.) Some people can deal with Japan and stay optimistic, some people can't. Obviously, the former will enjoy Japan much more 'cos they feel like they have a purpose here and possibly a long term future. It's never felt like that for me. I've always known I'll be moving on after a certain period of time because, while there are things that are great about this place, there are also things that I don't wanna put up with. When I chose Japanese as my major about seven years ago I was a completely different person. I was really excited to come the first time, and life was really stimulating and interesting every day. But this time I knew I wasn't gonna stay for long because I'd already started looking at jobs in South America before coming.  Who knows what Chile will be like. I've never lived in a country where I can't speak the language. I'm learning as much Spanish as I can but I'll still only be able to do a basic self-introduction by the time I arrive. 

My leaving night out is gonna be on the 16th, which is also my last day at work. I've always enjoyed going out in Shinsaibashi and Nanba. The nightlife is one of the reasons I wanted to come to Osaka, and those first two months I was here I was going out all the time and it was a lot of fun.

I've had some great times over these two and a half years in Japan, and now that I'm about to leave I'm starting to value the good things about this country. My year in Kobe was an absolute blast, and so was Aomori for the most part. Who knows if I'll be back? Like I said, at the end of my time in Japan I always get bitter, but then I always come back. 

The other day I got my masters certificate in the post. I couldn't attend the graduation ceremony in Sheffield, which took place on January 11th. All that work last year adds up to this piece of paper, and I'm not even using journalism now...

In other news, something a bit odd happened last week. My Japanese friend's mum had been saying she wanted to take me to a group she goes to every week, so we went on Sunday. She didn't tell me much about it, but that it was a group "where you learnt to be a better person". When we arrived she had to introduce me and paid for me to sign up, at which point I received a membership card. We went to a big hall full of people, like 500 or so. We sat down near the front and my name was called out and I was congratulated for joining. There was a lecture about treating your parents with respect and changing yourself to make others' lives easier, and there was also a picture of the founder in the corner and you had to bow to it every time you entered and left the hall. Everyone was dressed up smart and had beaming smiles on their faces, although I was in a t-shirt and jeans. People were talking about how they were all rude and inconsiderate before they joined, but how their life improved after they starting using good manners. It was a pretty random experience. Another scenario that could only take place in Japan.

Today's my day off, so I'm about to bike it to McDonald's and use another free Big Mac coupon that I got. Then I'll study Spanish for most of the day.

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