Sunday, January 15, 2017

Found my neighbourhood sentou...



Ever since the first visit to an onsen, I've been wanting to make another visit again. Haha!

The thing is there are very few authentic onsens in Tokyo (I think). The next best thing was prolly the sentou (which is same same but different from an onsen).

Well, guess what, I was so glad when I learned that there's a sentou a stone's throw away from my apartment. Yay!

I meant to go the other night, but it was already closed when I checked it out.

Tonight, I got to visit the sentou. It's as local as you want it to be. The shoe lockers are made of wood. The reception is very simple and shared between the male and female sections. I made the stupid mistake of confusing the kanji for male and female and headed for the wrong section. Stupid gaijin. Haha!

The bath area was pretty small. It was okay because when I entered the bath area, there were only two other uncles. After rinsing myself, I went for the ofuro with the piping hot water. It was about 50 degrees Celsius, lol. I actually enjoyed it mainly because the weather outside was damn freezing.

I spent a good hour getting in and out of the ofuro and rinsing myself again. Of course, I felt super super clean again afterwards. I think I'll be a regular at this sentou...

Thursday, January 12, 2017

I'm home at 730PM!

Well, this is something that happens once in a blue moon. Haha!

Today, I attended a company training and decided not to teach in the evening anymore. I figured I'd be exhausted from the training (I was right!) so I thought I'd just go home and relax.

It was a good idea. I'm trying to figure out why Image Capture is not recognising my phone but after I solve that, I plan to watch an episode or two of Merlin. Haha!

Not planning on staying up late though because tomorrow, it's back to normal.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Another slow day...

Hmm, today is another slow day at work.

I'm not sure why, but I'm crossing my fingers that things will pick up by next week. For some reason, I'm not that worried.

Maybe because I know I have no control over this situation. What I can only do so far is just to ask for blessings from above that I hit my target number of lessons every month.

Perhaps, this is the reason why I'm not worried. I put my faith in Him.

Friday, January 6, 2017

First visit to the doctor...

I've been fighting the colds for so long and it looks like I am almost close to losing the battle.

The other day, I know something was not right when my voice sounded deeper than it usually is. Even my coworker noticed it. Lol! While it's a nice thing, I defo knew something was not right.

So, yesterday, I paid a visit to a clinic near the house. Thankfully, there is a clinic nearby. And I'm a lucky boy because there was an English-speaking doctor on duty. I went to the clinic, waited for a few minutes, and was attended to. I'm not sure what the doctor prescribed but I felt better after taking one pill. It must be strong.

In addition to the meds, I also tripled my Vitamin C intake. Ugh, the last thing any foreign worker should want is to get sick in another country. It's costly. The good thing is I'm covered by the government insurance and I only paid 30% of the bill. Still, I'd prefer to pay a monthly rider insurance to cover that extra 30%. I should do some research about it.

Another blessing in disguise this week is that the lessons are slow. It's not good because I'm not earning any money without any lessons, but it's also a chance for me to go home after my morning shift and get some rest before heading back to work in the afternoon.

Winter is just about to start. I hope my body acclimatises asap...

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Random emo post...

Now that things are starting to settle down, I started to feel one of the feelings I was worried about.

The other day, I messaged a friend who's also living alone in another country that speaks a different language and asked, "How do you deal with loneliness?"

I thought I should ask this friend because the person has been living solo for more than three years now.

My friend replied, "Well, FB, iMessage, Whatsapp have been most helpful." I agreed with this.

Thanks to these apps, I feel like my family, my best friends are one train ride away. I dunno how overseas workers in the 80s survived without all these apps.

My friend added, "Try to keep yourself busy." So far, I've been successful with this because I do hate idleness. Someone once told me that idleness is the workshop of the devil. Hehe! Hence, it's important to be busy all the time.

Faith has also been of great help. My friend agreed.

It's just one of those days, I guess. It's just like the weather in Tokyo these past few days.

On some days, it gets windy and rainy. Today the sun is out shining again. I want my sunshine again.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year...




Something nice happened before 2016 ended...

I had a super nice date. The date was originally planned for 30 December, but the stars aligned and we met up two days earlier.

Rarely do I go out on dates, but this was one good first date. Lunch at a ramen shop in Ueno. A leisurely walk around Ueno Park. Coffee and relaxed conversations while sitting at one of the park benches.

It was a date that got extended into the night. I told you the stars aligned, I managed to get off work early. He decided he'd get me a pair of gloves to warm my hands and to take the last train back to his prefecture. Yeah, the guy lives an hour or so away from Tokyo. I kinda feel bad that he had to travel all the way to Tokyo.

It was a good date though.

If the first date was good. The second and third one were double the fun and double the excitement. Apparently, there is a 5-day holiday leading up to the new year so that worked to our advantage. Hehe!

Friday started with a hangout at Haneda Airport, followed by a walk around Yoyogi Park, then exploring Daikanyama (which I've never been to), and ending the long day with a good dinner and a movie at Roppongi.

I've always thought that walking around Tokyo would be a superb date. Well, surprise, surprise, this happened and it was all his idea. Hmm, is that a good sign?

We'll see, but yeah, Happy New Year...

Friday, December 30, 2016

Thanks, 2016!

You were awesome! :D

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Quick post...

Can't believe the year is almost over.

The past few days have been crazy. Work this week is a bit slow. I think it's because a lot of the clients are on winter vacation mode.

Meanwhile, I had my first Christmas in Tokyo. Yay!

I'm glad good friend I-van planned a trip to Tokyo around this time. What would have mostly likely been a solo Christmas became a super fun one!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

What a year it's been... 1 of xxx

Sheesh, I can't believe it's almost the end of 2016.

What a year it has been. There are so many things to be thankful for.

In the next few posts, I'd like to have a look back at this wonderful year before I welcome 2017.

Lord Grantham did say, "If we don't respect the past, we'll find it harder to build a future"

The year started with me staying in Bangkok for about a month. Some time last year, I started thinking about what to do moving forward. I love Singapore. I really do. What I wasn't comfortable about was having to renew my work visa every two years. So after having my application for Permanent Residency rejected for four times, I thought it was time to consider my next move.

That's how I thought about teaching. I believed it was something I could do. It is something I think I can do for a long time.

I looked for some English language teaching courses to beef up my credentials. Initially, I found a few courses in Singapore. Continuous research led me to a blog post about CELTA. I got in touch with the blogger to ask some questions. I read some more about CELTA. I was convinced that it was going to be useful.

The next step was deciding where to take it - Singapore or a neighboring country like Thailand. I could take the course in SG but it cost an arm and a leg. I decided to take it in Bangkok. I found two centers that offered the course. In May 2015, I sent my application to IH Bangkok. I did the Skype interview. I got accepted. The next few months were spent preparing for the course. I bought English language teaching books. I signed up for an online grammar course for a refresher. I prepped as much as I could for six months.

Come January this year, I felt ready for the course. It was a good one month in Bangkok. I made some good friends. It was a foretaste of living alone in a country where I don't know anyone. Above all, it was an enriching experience. I'm glad I did the course. I was also happy that I decided to indulge in books and online courses. They were most helpful.

By the time I returned to Singapore in the first week of February, I already had a plan in mind.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Grammar Stuff: Past Perfect



Late last year, I bought a book entitled "Practical English Usage" by Michael Swan. It's one very useful reference book. It's my go-to for a lot of grammar questions. I was told that I don't have to know grammar since that's not the focus of my current company. However, I'm glad that I have the book because I've had a number of students ask some grammar-related questions.

So, on my free time, I've been jugling between Japanese grammar and English grammar. I thought it might be useful to write down some of the things I have trouble with... for easy reference. All these are from Practical English Usage: New International (student's edition Revised) by Michael Swan (ISBN: 9780194420969)

Today, it's about an Aspect I'm often confused about - the Perfect aspect. In particular, the Past Perfect.

Form: had + past participle ( I HAD FORGOTTEN.)

Meaning and Use: Earlier Past
Something had already happened at the time we are talking about.

When I arrived at the club, Jon HAD already GONE home.

Used to talk about things that had happened before the saying/thinking took place:

I TOLD her that I HAD finished... (NOT that I HAVE finished)

I THOUGHT I HAD sent...

Used for unreal events

Used to talk about how long something had continued up to a pat moment.

When they got married, they HAD KNOWN each other for 10 years (NOT... they knew each other for 10 years)