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)


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)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Fun Sunday night...

The highlight of today was meeting up with friend Dean.

I've been wanting to go to Shake Shack and find out what all the fuss was about. My original plan was to go with Tey. Unfortunately, her trip got canceled. I asked Dean if he wanted to go to the place. Surprise, surprise. It turned out he's never been.

We were very lucky because the branch we went to was not crowded tonight. Maybe because it's a Sunday? I dunno. The last time I was at Meiji Jingu Gaien, Shake Shack was packed. There was a looooong queue.

Tonight, we were blessed. Omg, the burgers were really good. Juicy, savory, heavenly. Haha! The cheese fries were also nice. However, it got cold fast because of the weather. The shakes were sinfully delicious! I tried one of the Christmas flavors and it was awesome!

After dinner, Dean suggested we go to a nearby batting cage. I've never been so I was up for it. It was actually funnnn! One round was 21 batting tries. I managed to do 3 rounds. Hmm, surprisingly I did hit the ball a few times. Haha! I definitely want to try it again!

It was a super Sunday night thanks to Dean!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christmas is almost here...

But I don't really feel it...


I need to find time to sit down and write a proper blog post. Ugh!

Today was a pretty good day.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Let's practice Japanese writing...

5じはんにおきました。 それから、 シャワーをあびて、かいしゃにいきました。9じにしごとのあさをおわりました。おおてまちから、ほりきりしょぶえんにかえりました。きょうのごご 1じかんぐらいドトール カフェで にほんごをべんきょうしました。

Friday slow day...

Today was a bit of a slow day at work.

It's somewhat okay though. I managed to do other things that I wanted to do.

This morning, I only had two lessons. I headed back home around 9AM. I did some house chores and I also spent an hour studying the た-form. The conjugation is similar to the て-form but a bit challenging.

I thought about going for a lunch time jog, but I really couldn't stand the weather. I need to find a way to get some exercise done inside my room. Hmm, if I'm able to do Combat in my room in Singapore, I should be able to do Combat in my room here since it's a bit more spacious. Hehe!

Around 2PM, I went back to Otemachi. I spent about an hour preparing for tomorrow's and Sunday's lessons. It's a slow day so I decided to go to a nearby cafe so I can continue studying Japanese. I would really, really like to get better.

It's getting tougher and tougher, but it's not like I have a choice, right? Lol!

When I went back to the office, my one lessons for the night turned into 3 lessons. The second lesson was thanks to a co-instructor who gave me his lessons. The third lesson was with another client, who booked just now. I don't remember the client so this should be interesting.

Hmm, I could really, really use some ハイ ボール but I don't think I could since I'll finish work at 10PM. We'll see, I can still have it at my house I guess...

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


It's been a slow day... at work and in general.

I only had two lessons this morning. After my lessons, I went to Shinjuku to do some bank transfer services. I am seriously missing the ease and convenience of DBS Internet banking. I've yet to figure how to do a direct bank transfer to my account in SG. This time, I had to trouble Jon to get the money from a Moneygram counter and deposit it to my account.

Anyway, after finishing my bank errands, I headed back to my office area. Since I only decided to open my evening lessons this morning, I don't think I'll get any lesson bookings.

Feeling a bit down, I decided to go first to my happy place in Ginza to see if there's any pick-me-up. There were almost a few. LOL! Since I had time to kill, I decided to walk from Ginza all the way to Otemachi. The weather was lovely and Otemachi is just a little over a kilometer away from Ginza.

It was a good walk.

Now, I'm just here in my cube chilling. Tomorrow, I'm only teaching in the morning and I've already prepped for those lessons so I'm good. In the afternoon, I only have to go to the earthquake evacuation drill. I decided to skip teaching in the evening so that I can meet up with friend Makoto.


So, my best friend from the Philippines did not push through with her trip.

I know she did everything she could to make the trip happen but, yeah...

Hmm, I'm really saddened by the situation because I've been looking forward to seeing her. I already made reservations at restaurants, I thought about where we could go, I made dinner arrangements with one of our Japanese friends. I don't really care about having to cancel the reservations.

But I've just been slightly low-spirited yesterday and the other day.

Before the trip was canceled, I fixed my work schedule so that I can take the afternoon of today, tomorrow and Friday off. I also took Thursday off so I could hang out a full day with her.

Now, I decided to open my evening lessons for today and Friday. I could defo use the work.

I chose to keep the Thursday off. Hmm, I haven't had a proper off day since I first started working. I should start having one in my weekly schedule or else, I'll burn myself out fast... even though I enjoy the job. Hehe!

So, I think I'll just do something nice on Thursday and still pretend that the trip pushed through.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Dumpling party...

It was a fun Saturday night.

One of my new friends, Jack, hosted a dumpling party at his place and he was kind enough to invite me.

I thought I'd invite Dean to be my plus one. It would be a good opportunity to catch up with Dean. Thankfully, he didn't have any appointments last night.

The night turned out to be absolutely fun! We made dumplings from scratch. And maybe the fact that there was good music playing in the background, people were having drinks made the atmosphere really fun. Or maybe, it was just really a party full of fun people!

It was a perfect ending to my tiring Saturday. Haha! Thanks, Jack, for the invite!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

It's December....

I can't believe it's already December!!! Time flies!

What a year it's been! 2016 is definitely one of the best years of my life. Haha!

Today, I went to the Philippine embassy because I need to renew my passport. Initially, I made an appointment to have it renewed in Singapore. But then, the whole move to Tokyo happened.

The biggest difference is that it's sooo much easier to get a passport renewal appointment here in Tokyo than in Singapore. I dunno. Maybe I'm just lucky. In Singapore, I didn't have time to renew my passport because the next available appointment date was two months (or was it a month?) later. Here, I made the appointment online two days ago and voila, there was an available date today.

The online appointment can be done --

The second biggest difference is the required documents. I only had to bring my old passport, a printout of the application form, a self-addressed letter pack, a copy of my IC, and that was it. (I've to find out though how to register with POEA/OWWA and also how to pay my SSS and PhilHealth).

My appointment was between 1:30 and 3:30. Singapore taught me to be kiasu so I was in Roppongi by 12. Haha! That gave me enough time to grab a quick bite before heading to the embassy.

The whole thing took about 90 minutes or so.

Looking forward to get my new passport.... in a month or two.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


My best friend from Manila was supposed to arrive next week. I've been looking forward to it for weeks.

This noontime, I got a message from her saying that we hit a snag. Ugh.

Hope things will be sorted out.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Terrace House on Netflix...

So I finally succumbed and signed up for a Netflix subscription. Haha!

I've been asking Tipz how to set up an account. Of course, I was too lazy to read about it. But I think Tipz is lazier to teach me how to set up my Netflix account. (Peace, Tipz!) Either way, it turns out it's super easy.

Just a few clicks and voila! I have Netflix. I'm still on the one-month trial. I don't know how much subscription costs in other countries but it's very affordable here in Japan.

People have reco'd shows to watch. So far, the only one I've started on is Terrace House. I thought I could find it on Youtube but I can't. Hehe!

It's entertaining. Plus, it's good practice for listening skills. I'm not watching the Tokyo season. There's also a new season that's shot in Hawaii. That's up next after I finish the Tokyo season. Some friends also reco'd The Crown. I'll find time for it.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Freeezinggg... brrr...

So, today, I had my first experience of extremely freezing weather.

Ever since I moved to Tokyo, it has become my habit to check the weather forecast for the day. I rely on the Weather app a lot and so far it has been accurate.

I did see the forecast about the temperatures dropping to 2 degrees (even negative) but I'm stupid and decided to see if I can brave the weather. Lol!

Turns out I couldn't.

When I stepped out of the house this morning, I already felt that it was a different kind of cold today. I only had my trusty CDG scarf with me. Lol! Thankfully, it's only a 3-minute walk from the apartment to the train station.

By the time I reached my office, I was already freezing. I checked the Weather app again and there were no signs of the temp getting warmer today or anytime soon. For some reason, it also felt cold inside the learning center.

After my morning lessons, I had to go to the library in Kudanshita. The book I borrowed was due. I thought the return date was tomorrow. Good thing I checked it this morning and to my horror, I saw that the return date should have been last Monday.

The library is a short walk from Kudanshita Station but because of the weather, it took me forever. I was cursing every step of the way. Haha!

I decided I really have to get a coat. There's no escaping it.

Sooo, I headed to Ginza. I didn't want to spend too much on a coat so I thought of going to a certain department store. If I'm not mistaken, it's part of the Uniqlo family. The price points of the items are really good. I headed to the 5F and tried on a number of coats. I sent photos to some girl friends in Manila to get their opinions.

Well, guess what, I walked out of store empty handed. Haha! I decided I'll go first to my favorite store at the other side of Ginza to see if I can find any awesome piece.

I DID! And it only cost a few thousand yen more than the coats I was looking at.

The difference was I'm in love with the coat that I got. Nah, it's not Comme des Garcons. Again, I didn't want to spend too much on a coat since I know I'll store it in the closet come March next year. Hehe!

There were actually two choices. The other one was an Agnes B Homme. It was a light all black trench. I tried it on but I wasn't happy with the fit. I looked at the other racks and I just wasn't willing to pay the amount. Hehe!

I was almost decided to go back to the other store until I walked over to another rack that sold outerwear/coldwear. There I found it!

It didn't take me long to decide to get it. I thought it was really a steal. Hehe! Thank you, my dear store! You're so bad you're so good!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Morning with Van Gogh, Gauguin, and other Tokyoites...

Finally, I got to visit the Van Gogh and Gauguin exhibit at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.

A friend and I agreed to meet before the museum's opening time hoping that most of Tokyo would still be asleep since today is a holiday.

It was a good idea! When we reached the museum, the ticket queue was short and the queue to get in to the gallery was also short. There were 62 art pieces on display. I spent about an hour and a half walking around the galleries. It was a bit crowded but it wasn't as crowded as the Monet exhibit I visited in the same museum last year.

I still remember the first time I saw a Van Gogh (and a Monet and the works of other Impressionists). The National Museum of Singapore had a collaboration with the Musee D'Orsay and a few Van Gogh pieces were brought in. Be still my heart. I never imagine I would ever see a Van Gogh in my life. Like I usually say, I'm a guy with simple dreams. Lol!

Van Gogh, Gauguin and the other artists during their time prolly didn't have any idea that a hundred years later or so, they would become some of the world's most celebrated artists. So, today was another experience to be grateful for.

By the time we exited from the gallery, there was already a long queue of people waiting to get in. Good thing Singapore taught me to be kiasu (sometimes). Haha!

There are still a few museums on my bucket list - The Louvre, Musee D'Orsay, British Museum, the Met, MoMa, The Cloisters (Met), Frick Museum. Oh wait, those aren't a few. Those are a lot! Gotta work work work to be able to fly fly fly! Haha!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

No work tomorrow...

Hooray, there's no work tomorrow!

While I was finishing my last lesson earlier, the thought came to mind and I have to say that I'm relieved I don't have to wake up at 530 tomorrow morning.

As you may have read in the news, this morning was quite interesting.

Usually, I take either the 550AM train or the 559AM train. Earlier, I noticed that the 559 train was delayed. It finally arrived at 6AM. I got on the train and I wondered why it took so long before the train doors closed.

At the same time, it felt that the train was being gently rocked. I thought it was nothing special.

The train driver made an announcement but I couldn't understand it. The only word I caught was jishin, which was the Japanese word for earthquake.

It was only when I reached the office that my suspicion was confirmed. It was indeed an earthquake.

The whole time, my concern was "I cannot be late for work!" Lol!

Oh, I was so touched by the thoughtfulness of my friends. When I checked my phone after my morning lessons, there were loads of messages from Manila, Singapore, and the US asking if I was okay. Thank you for these friends!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

It was all yellow...

Some more photos of the lovely trees lining Icho Namiki.

FALL in love.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fall in love with fall...

The highlight of the day, or maybe the week is going to Icho Namiki to see the autumn foliage.

Originally, my plan today was go to the Van Gogh exhibit. However, my friend was late and I felt we didn't have enough time to explore the exhibit. Also, I was discouraged by the huge crowd of people visiting the exhibit. Well, it's my fault. It's Van Gogh! Of course, it'll be crowded.

So, instead I suggested we go to Icho Namiki. A client this morning told me about it and that it's a nice spot to see some autumn colors. He was right.

It's my first time to experience Fall and if only for the beautfiul spectacle of seeing brilliant colors, I'm loving fall. Lol!

The Icho Namiki is very near from Aoyama-Itchome Subway Station.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The power of toasted bread...

In my current home, the wifi access is only limited to the common area - living room and kitchen. I'm not sure about the reason behind it but that's how things are. However, there are LAN ports in every room.

Since I moved in, I've been the only one (or so I think) who goes to the common area with his laptop to connect to the net. Hehe!

So I figured my other housemates prolly have a LAN cable or their own routers in their rooms. I could have gone to any of the electronics shop to get a LAN cable. However, I've been delaying it because I was fine working in the common area. It allowed me to say hi to the other housemates. I'm more concerned with looking for Comme des Garcons deals than a LAN cable. Haha! Priorities.

Anyway, I'm happy to write that I'm now finally typing this on my laptop in my room.

Yesterday morning, I woke up 30 minutes than my usual time. Since I had a lot of time, I figured I could have breakfast at home and save a few hundred yen.

When I got into the common area, my housemate Hiro* was there. He said he forgot his room key at the office so he ended up sleeping at the living room.

After the hi and hello, I opened the fridge and took out my stuff. I needed to buy some groceries again. I still had some hotdog, ham, cheese, butter, jam, but I only had three thick slices of bread left. There was also not much coffee left. Initially, I wanted to make a ham and cheese sandwich and a half strawberry jam sandwich for myself.

My parents raised me well though so I asked Hiro if he wanted some toast. First, I asked him if he wanted butter and jam on his toast. He said he just wanted butter. Stupid me, late did I realise I could also offer ham, cheese and hotdog. Haha! It was still way early I guess. My brain was not yet properly working. Anyway, I did end up offering him other stuff and in the end, I prepped two half ham/cheese toasts and a butter jam toast. I also offered him coffee. Thankfully, there was enough to fill up two mugs. Hehe!

Hiro and I started talking about work and stuff. I told him I needed to buy a LAN cable. Surprise, surprise. He said he has an extra one, which he could lend to me. Hooray!

He also had other stuff to say. Our neighbor is an okonomiyaki/monja place. Hiro told me that the son wants to practice his English because he's going to study in the US next year. Hiro said the family can't pay me in cash, but they were willing to give me good food. Hehe! In my head, I thought the son can afford to go to the US to study but they can't pay my measly fee. Hehe!

Of course, I'm just kidding. I'd be happy to do it for free because it's also good practice for me. I didn't say that, of course. I gave Hiro my free time sched and he said he'd talk to the family. Nice.

See how powerful toasted bread is! It can make a huge change in your life! LOL!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Relaxed Friday...

Today was a pretty relaxed day.

I'm not so sure why, but I only had 4 booked lessons out of the 11 slots I made myself available for.

It does have a good side and a not-so-good side.

Obviously, the good side was I was able to take it easy today. After my morning lessons, I went to Waseda for my Japanese classes. After that, I met up with a new friend Jack for lunch. He lives one station away from Waseda. He worked from home this morning so we were able to meet up for lunch. It's a rainy day today. That added to making this day even colder.

After lunch with Jack, I headed back to Otemachi to prepare for my lessons tomorrow and the following days. I finished my preparation quite early. With an hour or so to kill, I decided to go for a walk around the neighbourhood. Then, it was work time. I figured it would be a slow night. I decided to close my last two lessons for the night and headed home early.

The not-so-good side is that my income is based on my lesson bookings. I set a monthly target of lesson bookings that would allow me to have the level of comfortable life that I want for myself. So far, I was able to meet my target for the first two months. I constantly pray that I will meet that target.

On my first month, I was stressed out by it. However, I woke up one day, read my fave holy verse (Matthew 6:34) and after that, I told myself I don't want to be stressed anymore. I'm not the most religious person, but I do keep my faith. It's one thing that's been helping me get by in my new life. I love being here, I can't believe that I'm here. It does get lonely sometimes because I don't have the loads of friends that I have in Singapore. I'm not complaining though. I prayed for this blessing, and I'm truly grateful for this blessing. I'm just writing down a fact. Hehe!

Okay, that's it. Happy weekend!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Today was a really good day...

I had one of my regular clients this morning.

Since I was familiar with the client's profession, I always customize the lesson accordingly. That is after all the thing that gives us an edge over the "others."

When I brought out the materials I prepped, I saw genuine appreciation from the client.

I think this client is actually a respected person in his industry.

In any case, I was really touched when the client kept on saying, "Thank you for preparing these materials. Thank you for preparing the materials."

I acknowledged his thanks and I was really smiling on the inside.

Things like this make me happy. Although I also don't mind treating myself to some CDG now and then. Haha!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

What's happening???

What's happening, Philippines?!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Superb tonkatsu place near my house...

It's been a good day.

There were many lessons today but it wasn't very tiring. Maybe because they were evenly spaced out through the day. Or maybe because I had enough sleep last night. In any case, it was a good day. Thank you, Lordy.

I wanted to look for a pair of pants similar to the AX office pants I have right now. I love the material and I love the cut. Unfortunately, I have not been successful in finding a similar pair.

After work, I went to Kitasenju to look for the pants and because, I also wanted to visit my fave shop. Lol.

No pants. No new stuff at my fave shop. I was already planning to take the train back home when I saw a sign saying that a certain tonkatsu restau opened in the mall where I was.

Hmm, I debated whether I should go to the place and have dinner there. The first and only time I ate at the said restau was last year when I went to Kyoto. I'm not sure if the restau has several branches in Tokyo or if the branch in Kitasenju is their first branch in Tokyo.

It's a bit pricey. The basic set costs almost Y2000. Sure, the rice, the cabbage, and the miso soup are all refillable. I kinda feel it's still pricey. But I have to say that it is the best miso I've tasted ever! Hehe!

I debated for a bit if I should go for it or if I should just settle for something regular. A few more hundred yen and I could already purchase another pair of Comme des Garcons socks. Lol! In the end, I decided to treat myself to a nice dinner.

It was worth it. To minimize my guilt about finishing the rice, I decided I'll take the train route that entailed a 14-minute walk back to my house. The weather was nice tonight, so I really didn't mind the walk. Haha!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Comme comme Thursday...

Today was a public holiday. It's Cultural Day.

I'm really grateful because it enabled me to spend the entire day with Edsel before he flies out for Manila tomorrow. The day started at Tokyo Skytree and ended at Shinjuku. It was a long, tiring day but it was defo a fun one.

We agreed to meet at 11 at Skytree. He needed to go to the Ghibli shop to buy some Totoro stuff toys. I've seen Totoro a few times but I don't really know much about it. Cute stuff toy though.

From Skytree, we took the Hanzomon line to Omotesando. We spent the next 5 hours in Aoyama and Omotesando. Haha! I thought it was impossible but we managed to do it. Lol!

After getting lunch at an omurice place I visited before, we went to Aoyama to check out the Comme des Garcons store. It's no secret I'm a huge fan of Comme so visiting the Aoyama store is always a happy time for me. Sigh, I wish Rei Kawakubo, Junya Watanabe, and every designer under the Comme family will live forever. Haha! I really do think Kawakubo-san is amazing.

There were many highlights during the day but one of the main highlight was Edsel finding a man skirt he's been looking for. We went to one of the shops I visited before. And there we found this superb Comme des Garcons Homme Plus man skirt. Edsel was super happy! We went to another shop and we found another Comme des Garcons Homme Plus man skirt. He kept on telling me to get the piece, but I decided to skip it. It's still haunting me now though. Haha! What we have is just a photo of that man skirt.

I loooove it!

Tbh, I pictured myself wearing a Comme piece like this. I didn't think it would happen so soon. Sigh, I hope I find a smimilar piece again sometime soon.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Some updates while waiting...

Chilly day in Tokyo.

I'm at Jimbocho Station right now. Just finished my Wednesday Nihongo class. Now, I'm waiting for Katsuumi and his friend Hayato. I decided to ivite Edsel as well since he'll prolly be free anyway.

Not sure where we will have lunch but for sure it'll be good since I'' eating with locals. Hehe.

Thankfully, there's free wifi at the subway metro so I can do a bit of blogging from my phone. The downside is there will be many typos. Haha.

Hmm, not much to say. Things at work are good. I think i can plan a trip to Kamakura soon.

The other good things that recently happened are Halloween and a lot of Comme des Garcons.

Ooops, I can see Edsel walking. Laters.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Happy Halloween...

I've heard of how Halloween in Shibuya is a crazy annual event.

Last night, I got to experience it and it was indeed crazy, crazy fun! I'm not sure how Halloween turned out to be such a big thing in Tokyo but man, they do celebrate it big time!

Good thing Edsel was in town and really wanted to check it out. Otherwise, I'm sure I would've missed it. Just how prepped was Edsel for the event? He had four costumes. LOL! I invited my friend Dean to join us. Thankfully, he was free.

The three of us started the night as a onesie crew and ended the night as Donald Duck, a Minion, and Harry Potter. Lol! Thanks, Edsel!

My plan was to catch the last train since I had work this morning. I ended up catching the first train instead. Hahaha!

I got home at 540AM, slept for 2 hours, and THANK GOD!, woke up in time for class.

What a crazy, fun night!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Konnichiwa, Edsel...

For the first time, I closed four lessons in the evening.

The reason was I wanted to meet Edsel earlier. He arrived this afternoon. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to fix my schedule properly because I didn't know Edsel's itinerary.

Thankfully, it wasn't very busy at the center today and I got permission to close my four lessons since they were not booked.

The only downside was it was raining. And it was chilly.

Still, Edsel and I met up for dinner at Ginza. After that, we walked over to Yurakucho and I took him to this row of izakayas. It was still a fun night. We had to call it a night early because I have work tomorrow. Also, we couldn't do much because of the rain.

Tomorrow night will be epic though.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Rush rush Tuesday...

I had a bit of an emergency today.

Really, really thankful for the kindness of people.

Last night, I did a bank transfer for my rent pay. I thought everything went well until I got an email this morning that the transaction was not successful.

On any other day, I would've been relaxed because I usually have that free hours before my afternoon/evening work starts. But today, I had a training until 4PM. My next lesson was at 530PM. I had to rush from Nishi-Shinjuku to Tokyo Station hoping that the bank was still open.

Upon reaching the bank, I was close to panicking because it was already 420. Thankfully, two bank staff helped me set up the online payee account correctly and we were able to send the payment again.

I thanked them a million times looking like a stupid gaijin but I was just really grateful. From Tokyo Station, I walked as fast as I could to Otemachi to reach my learning center just in time for my lesson.

Thank you to the kindness of people, really. Thank you to Lordy for always looking after me.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Singapore Chicken Rice in Tokyo!!! :D

So, I saw this while my visiting friend and I were looking for a lunch place near the office. Haha!

If not for my friend, I wouldn't have discovered this mini-weekend market near the office. It's a short walk away from the office and there are several food stalls and cutesy ornaments and knick knacks being sold.

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this food truck. Haha! I defo wanted to try it. However, my friend obviously wanted to eat at a proper restaurant. Hence, we kept on walking and I led him to Rose Bakery. Hahaha!

Definitely, I will try the chicken rice one of these days. It's about SGD10.

Singapore, you really miss me, don't you?! Haha!

Extra thankful...

Extra extra grateful today. Thank you for all the greetings. I had very simple dreams growing up. Never did I imagine myself traveling overseas, living and working outside of the Philippines, and so on. I'm not sure what I did right, but I'm grateful. Today, my prayer/wish is for your prayers be answered and/or your wishes be granted. ありがとうございます。

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wednesday thoughts

Today was a really good day.

It was really tiring, but at the same time a fulfilling one.

In the morning, I had a lesson with Hiro. I've met him a few times. Funny guy, learning English for his work.

Today he brought slides for a prezzo he was going to give tomorrow. It's a short prezzo but he wanted to practice and have the slides checked.

The topic was technical, but I somehow managed to understand it. Lol. Hiro also practiced his presentation.

This evening, I was so surprised when I saw that Hiro booked another lesson. It was a pleasant surprise because I really wanted him to practice some more. Thankfully, I didn't close my late evening lesson and it didn't get booked by another client.

As Hiro made his way to my teaching area, we both burst out into laughter. Maybe because we just saw each other in the morning.

Anyway, he showed me his updated slides. He followed most of my recos. We also did another rehearsal and it was good.

I had a tiring day today, but at the same time, I was happy to have been of assistance to Hiro.

Teaching really is fun.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Beautiful words...

"Pray continually and never lose heart."

Beautiful words from today's Gospel.

He always knows how to respond to my prayers. Thank you, Lordy.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Random post...

For the first time yesterday, I felt lonely for a short period.

It's Saturday night, work was over and I was on my way home.

I was looking at the videos on my phone and I came across a few videos of the Friday nights SG friends and I went clubbing. Those were really fun times. In particular, I enjoyed the spur of the moment clubbing nights.

After Tipz left for Aus, our former party of three (Tipz, me and Jon) because a party of two (me and Jon). On more than one occasion, Jon and I would agree to meet up after work for a round of drinks at Neil Road. That round of drinks would turn out to be an all-nighter (sort of).

When I moved here to Tokyo, I didn't really have time to think about Friday night clubbing as I was preoccupied about other things.

Now that things are starting to have some semblance of normality, I have more time to feel other things. Lol!

I'm quite certain that last night was just one of those random moments of loneliness. I should keep myself busy to meet more people (hopefully) or just so I don't have to feel that "alone" feeling.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Happy Friday...

I have not been writing for a few days.

It's because I've been busy.

Finally, found a Japanese class I like. Every week, I now attend three Japanese classes. It's not enough though. I defo have to find opportunities to practice and study outside of the lessons.

Other than that, the other thing I had to deal with this week is the cold weather. Temp has dropped to 14 degrees. Now, for someone who's lived all his life in tropical countries, 14 deg is already freezing. I dunnp how I 'll survive winter. Lol.

Furthermore, it's prolly because of the cold weather, I woke up a few nights ago with a painful right knee and an inflammed right foot. Hello, rheumatism? Thankfully, the painful part was not as excruciating as my usual gout attack. I managed to walk, at a glacial pace, to get to wherever.

This morning, it was much better. Whether it's the medicine I took or the holy water from Lourdes pr the intercession of the saints, I dunno. I'm just grateful it's much better now.

To end this post, something nice to share.

My manager approached me earlier just before I left. Turns out he spoke to one of my usual clients to ask for feedback. The client is one of my faves. This client is so dedicated to learning English but I think is spending too much time overthinking things. I want to help really. I told my manager this and what I've been doing. My manager just said to keep doing what I'm doing. He also said the client likes me and thinks I'm doing a good job. Yay.

Hope to get more similar clients. God knows I need it for economic reasons.

But yeah, the feedback made me happy.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Holiday today...

It's a holiday! No work, yay!

I am working on some things though. Hehe!


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Sun is out again!

Good morning from Otemachi!

The sun is out again today so yay!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Nice Wednesday...

Today was a good Wednesday.

In the morning, I decided to go to Waseda to check out another Japanese class run by volunteers.

So far, this was the best class I've attended. There are two of us in the group. The other student - a British lady - was about the same level as I am. That was great because our pace was in sync. Aside from that, the teacher was awesome. She was patient. She adjusted her speed of speech to our level. She used a variety of teaching techniques to go through the lesson.

I will defo go back next Wednesday.

After the lesson, I took the train to Kudanshita and walked to nearby Jimbocho. This was the other highlight of the day.

One of the people I follow on Instagram is @garcons_shi. I'm not sure how I stumbled upon his IG account. What I do know is that I followed him as soon as I saw how much of a CDG fan he is.

A few days ago, I messaged him on IG to ask if he was up for lunch. I didn't expect a reply because first, we don't really know each other; second, why would he want to meet up with me. LOL! So, I was really surprised when he agreed to meet up.

He's a nice guy. Of course, he noticed that I was wearing CDG Shirt. I had to wear one because I was meeting him. And besides, why else did I buy all these shirts if I won't wear them.

Anyway, we walked over to a curry rice place nearby. It turns out it was his fave. This is one good thing about being friends with locals. They always know where to go. We had a nice lunch.

The only downside was that we had a limited convo because my Japanese is soo bad. I wanted to ask him so many things and tell him how much I adore CDG but I had to make do with the few Japanese words that I know. Of course, he was also apologetic about his own English language skills.

Still, it was a good meetup. It strengthened my desire to learn the language faster and it also made me want to meet more people, I hope I do.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Beautiful Sunday...

Today was a good day.

I had three good lessons in the morning. Before heading to the office, I attended Mass at St. Ignatius. The Mass readings today is just beautiful. It was about faith and the importance of keeping the faith.

After work, I decided to go jalan jalan at Ginza. There was a store I wanted to check out. Sadly, they don't have brand I was looking for. Oh well, it was also good because that meant saving money. Haha!

From Ginza, I took the train back home.

The sun was out the entire day (yay!) so I took advantage of it. I did my laundry, I went to the grocery, and I guess the best part was being able to go for a short jog by Arakawa River. The heavens blessed with me a gorgeous sky painted with hues of blue, red, and pink. Hehe!

It's been a while since I last went for a jog. I'm grateful that my knees were okay. Haha!

After the jog, I headed back home, took a shower and did some more chores - folding clothes and ugh, my most hated chore - pressing clothes. But what to do. Haha!

Hope your weekend was great.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Sigh, sigh...

Tonight, I did something that I rarely do.

As I wrote in a previous entry, I found language class run by volunteers. It's my third time attending the class. Usually, the class is two hours. By the end of the first hour, I made up some lame excuse that I was not feeling well, said "sumimasen," got up from my seat, and left without looking back.

I was growing frustrated with the way the lesson was being conducted. I didn't feel that there was no real learning happening. First off, I couldn't understand what the instructor was saying. The instructor spoke at a natural speed so it was pretty difficult for me to catch everything. I know it wasn't just me who felt that way because the other two people I previously attended the class with also felt the same thing.

Next, I was being made to read the textbook. Sure, there's no problem with that because it's great reading practice. However, after I finish reading a line, I was just being asked, "Wakarimasu?" I say yes and I'm asked to read the next time. The thing is I can read the book on my own time. The reason I chose to go to a class was so that I can learn things outside of the textbook.

Then, there was the rapport. I tried to be friendly and all, but I felt the instructor also felt awkward. And I also felt bad for the instructor because I got the feeling that the instructor would've preferred a person at a higher intermediate level.

So, I decided to get up and leave. At first, I thought of finishing the entire lesson but I realized that at my age, I shouldn't have to put up with certain things. My only regret was that I hope the other two people in the group feel that I left because of them, because it wasn't. Seriously. I just felt I was being a burden to the instructor. I also don't blame the instructor because it's all volunteer work. The fee I paid was peanuts so I have no right whatsoever to complain.

Hmm, I do know my points are valid because I am in language teaching. True, I may be a newbie but I think that after 143 lessons, I may know a thing or two about it.

So now, I have to look for another class to attend. Or maybe I should go ahead and sign up for a "real" class. If I do plan to live in Japan for a long time, I do have to make the investment.

Anyway, I had two thoughts as I made way to the train station. First, I'm going to get that sinful ice cream from 7-11 to feel better. Second, I hope I never ever make any of my students feel the way I did tonight. My prayer every single day before I start my lessons is to be guided to be the best possible ELT that I can be.

End of semi-rant.

Friday, September 30, 2016

1st month!

Happy 1st month, Tokyo!

You've been interesting, to say the least.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

100th lesson today...

Today was a wonderful day.

Initially, I just had 6 lessons. For some reason, something happened and I had an additional 2 lessons. Yay!

Also, I had back-to-back lessons with one of my fave students this morning. I know, I know. There should be no favorites, but I'm only human. What to do? Hehe! Kidding, kidding. I do try to give my best for each student.

In the afternoon, one of my students was a fresh grad. He recently joined the workforce. It was quite easy to see that he was fresh out of uni. There's just something very positive about him. Hehe!

My last lesson ended at 1730ish. After that, I took the train to Aoto.

The agenda for tonight was my own language lessons. I went back to Katsushika Symphony Hills for the Japanese lessons taught by volunteers.

The young girl I met last week was absent. Instead, there was another Filipina. I actually like her because she's very friendly and cheerful. At the same time, she is already able to converse in basic Japanese. I feel I can actually learn from her. Tonight's lesson was really interesting and fun. I defo will go back again next Saturday.

Right now, I'm waiting for my laundry to be done. Once it's done, I will just hang my laundry (and pray hard it doesn't rain tomorrow). Then, it's zzz time. As usual, I want to wake up early to attend the 7AM Mass at St. Ignatius and then I have lessons at the Tokyo Learning Studio.

Happy weekend everyone!

Oh, oh! I taught my 100th lesson today. I can't believe it. Time flies...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Random blah before zzz time...

Today was not so busy at work. For some reason, it looks like many of our clients are away on holiday.

I only had 4 lessons today. Partly, it was okay because I had time to review other materials that I needed to read. At the same time, it’s not okay because no client means no income. Hahaha!

This morning was quite interesting because I had a first lesson with a new client. He’s in a beginner level but he’s determined to learn. That’s fun. The second client this morning is a favourite. She’s always positive and has a hearty laughter.

After my morning lessons, I went back home to wait for the mailman.

A few days ago, I received another notice from the post office saying I have undelivered mail. I actually thought they were my other two boxes from Singapore. I called the hotline and I was told that it was actually registered mail from Saitama. I had no idea what it is.

While waiting for the mailman to arrive, I did my laundry. I also worked on another thing. When the mail finally arrived, I tore open the envelope and as expected it was in Japanese. Hahaha!

My housemate was prepping his lunch and I had the audacity to disturb him. LOL! I showed him the letter but he also wasn’t sure what it was for. I looked at the piece of paper again and I was relieved when I saw a line saying that there was an English website. Yay!

In the afternoon, I went back to the office. I made myself available for about 6 lessons but I only taught 2 lessons. Again, it was somewhat okay because it gave me time to prepare for my Friday and Saturday lessons. After my last lesson, I stayed back some more to finish preparing for my Friday lessons. Initially, I only had 7 lessons scheduled for Friday. I checked again earlier and saw another lesson added. Hooray! It’s the same guy I had this morning.

Tomorrow is a holiday. That’s the only reason why I’m still up beyond 1130. LOL!

I have some stuff I want to do tomorrow. I just wish the sun would already come out. Ugh!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Kiyosumiteien pretty...

As mentioned in the previous post, some photos of lovely Kiyosumiteien.

It's been raining almost every day this past week. The only day the sun came out was last Thursday.

Once the sun comes out again, I think I'll go visit Kiyosumiteien again. It should be lovelier the second time around.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday at Kiyosumiteien...

What an interesting Sunday afternoon.

The day started with Mass at St. Ignatius... again. It's the only church I know that has a 7AM Mass and that is close to Otemachi/Tokyo Stations. The Mass is in Japanese but there are missalettes in English (and even Spanish), so I'm still able to follow the readings. The only thing I'm missing is the homily.

After Mass, I headed to Tokyo Station. I decided to work for a few hours on Sundays, and the learning center I'm assigned to on Sundays is right next to Tokyo Station. It was an interesting day. Hehe! Lesson learned: I really, really need to prep for each lesson. I didn't have enough time to prep for my lessons today so they were so so lessons. I hope no one gives me a negative feedback. Yikes!

From Tokyo Station, I walked over to Otemachi Station where I had to take the Hanzomon Line. Before taking the train, I changed out of my office clothes and into something more comfy. Haha!

My agenda this afternoon was to go check out Kiyosumiteien.

I have a list of Japanese gardens in Tokyo that I want to visit, and Kiyosummitein is on that list. The afternoon was even more interesting because I met up with someone who has the potential to be a friend.

So from Kiyosumi Shirakawa Station, we walked to nearby Kiyosumiteien. From outside, it's hard to imagine that there's such a magnificent garden behind the walls. As soon as we entered the garden, sheesh, I was in heaven. It is just so gorgeous!

My new friend and I spent a few hours at the garden. It was actually not that big, but we took our time walking around. I was taking photos and at the same time, I was admiring the gardens. What was extremely amazing about it was that you can walk around the garden and you will be rewarded with a different scenery from wherever you're standing.

I definitely will go back to see the garden on a sunny day. For sure, it'll be even more awesome.

Afterwards, we walked for 15 minutes and headed to Monzen Nakacho. It is a street lined with izakayas. We walked around and decided to go to an izakaya called Kushiya Yokocho (my new friend had to translate it!). I was hoping to have rice or some other carbs for dinner because my only meal for the day was breakfast at 9AM. Haha! But surprise, surprise, the yakiton we ordered was actually more than enough to satisfy me. Either that or it was because of all the cabbage I dipped on miso. It was a good substitute for rice, I guess. Haha!

We decided to call it a night after and I got home about an hour ago. Thankfully, tomorrow is a holiday so I have another day of rest. Yay!

Photos of Kiyosumiteien in another post.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Crazy schedule...

The crazy schedule continues.

The good thing is I’m slowly starting to have some sort of decent daily schedule. It’s a little insane, but I’m getting used to it... I think.

Since I’m a noob, I decided I should my myself available for the peak hours of the learning studio. That would mean 7AM until maybe 9AM in the morning, followed by 4PM until 10PM.

Aiming to be at the centre by 630, I get up at 525 so that I can catch the 559 train. I would reach the centre around 630 if I catch the 610 connecting train from Machiya to Otemachi.

During the first week, I had to think of what I would do between 930AM and 3PM. Going back home was an option, but that also meant I would be doubling my budget for daily transportation. If this were Singapore, that would be okay. However, the train fares here in Tokyo are sooooo expensive. Haha! In Singapore, my MRT budget for 2 weeks I think is about S$50-60 (including weekends). Here in Tokyo, I can spend S$15 easily in a day for train fares.

So, I decided going back home after my morning lessons is not the best idea.

My savior is the library of Chiyoda ward. Located at the Chiyoda Ward Office, the library is just perfect. So far, I’ve been heading to the library almost every day. There’s a small selection of Japanese language/grammar books so I do get to spend some time studying. My only problem is I get sleepy sometimes. Haha!

There’s a park right across the ward office. One of these days, I’ll find time to explore that park.

So, yeah, I spend about three hours at the library and then I spend another hour for lunch/chillax before heading back to the centre. The other day, I thought I was only going to have 3 lessons in the evening. To my surprise, it became 6 lessons. I’m not complaining because that means more teaching experience and of course, additional income. It does get tiring though. I salute all teachers in every corner of the world.

If I don’t have a 915PM lesson, I can reach home by 10 and be zzz-ing by 1030. If I’m lucky and I have a 915 lesson, I get to leave the centre at 1015 and reach home by 1045. I sleep at 1130 so that I can get about 6 hours of sleep.

Saturdays are a bit more relaxing because my first lesson is usually at 9AM. That would give me enough time to still go for a quick jog at my neighbourhood park.

Sundays, on the other hand, would be the most relaxed day. I decided to teach as well on Sundays at least for the first few months just so I can see if I will hit my target salary. I’ll be teaching in another centre since my home centre is closed on Sundays.

The adjustment is taking a lot longer compared to the adjustment I did in Singapore. There are still so many things to figure out and take care of. First of these is finding the time to work out or at least have some form of exercise! Haha!

Tokyo, what an experience you’re turning out to be!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Two boxes from SG have arrived...

Two of my four boxes from Singapore have arrived. I wasn't expecting the boxes til the end of September to be honest. But yeah, they're here!


I haven’t opened the boxes yet because I get home rally late. When I get into my room, I just want to crash into bed. Maybe I will open the boxes this weekend.

Gawd, I’m really happy that the boxes reached my address. There was a minor panic episode, so I was glad when my friend Makoto gave me the number for the English hotline of Japan Post. It’s not free but I don’t even want to think about the few hundred yen I have to pay just to ensure my boxes reach me.

So over the weekend, I called the hotline and the friendly lady on the other end of the line helped schedule the delivery of the boxes as well as the other mail.

Last Monday, I was on my way home from the centre to wait for the mailman when my phone rang. It was the mailman. He was already at my home. It was only 1030AM, I think. I scheduled for the boxes to be delivered between 12 and 2. That’s Japanese efficiency for you. Haha!

With my broken Japanese, I managed to tell the friendly mailman that I was already at Machiya station and that I will reach home in about 20 minutes.

When I got home, there was a lorry parked by the house and the mailman was inside the lorry chilling. He asked me to sign the forms. He said a bunch of things, which I didn’t understand. I just said, “Hai.” Hehe!

After saying “Arigatou gozaimasu” with a big smile, I waved goodbye to Mr. Mailman. I then carried the boxes to my room and then had a nap for an hour. Haha!

SingPost and Japan Post = a match made in heaven!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday with RKGreg...

Today was a really good day.

I had my first visitor in Tokyo! RKGreg is flying to the US to attend a wedding. As expected, his flight had a layover in Tokyo.

Thankfully, it was a 10-hour layover. We had time to meet up and hang out the entire day.

Last night, I messaged him to check what time he will get in. He said that he’ll probably reach Tokyo Station at 10AM.

That was perfect, as it gave me enough time to attend the 7AM Mass at St. Ignatius Church in Yotsuya.

After Mass, I headed to Tokyo Station and eagerly waited for RKGreg. Since I had some time to kill, I brought the Japanese vocabulary book from the centre I attended in Singapore. While waiting for RKGreg, I was trying to remember/memorise whatever Japanese word I could. Hehe!

At 10AM, I saw the familiar face in the crowd exiting the JR central gate exit.

Our first stop was Shibuya for lunch and coffee. Of course, we had to do the whole Shibuya Crossing thing. From Shibuya, we headed to Odaiba to see the Gundam statue. Surprisingly, RKGreg said he, MkSurf8 and Tian3x didn’t get to visit the statue when they were here for a holiday two years ago. Our final stop was Tokyo Tower. Again, he wanted to have a photo op with the tower.

From Hamamatsucho, we headed to Shinjuku where we had an early dinner.

After that, I walked him over to the JR gate of Shinjuku station to see him. I thanked him for the treat today and gave him a big hug.

As RKGreg walked away, it was then that I felt a tinge of loneliness. I realised how much I terribly miss my friends in Singapore.

But I gotta be strong, I prayed for this and God granted my prayers. He must have a reason why he said yes to my prayers! Just gotta keep the faith.

In the mean time, I can’t wait for more friends to visit Tokyo!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Random Saturday night...

It's only my first week of working in Tokyo and I feel like it's been already a decade. Haha!

Obviously, the adjustment I have to do here is waaay different from the one that I had in Singapore. Everything here is new to me. Language alone has been a challenge. I feel bad that I don't speak the language. I do want to learn it as soon as I can.

Then, one major thing that I had in Singapore that I don't really have here is the social support system. I do have two friends here and I have met two people. But truth be told, I am really starting from scratch.

So far, I haven't felt lonely. Maybe because the novelty of it all is still there. I must say that Singapore did prepare well for a solo life. Haha!

I'm okay with doing things on my own - going to church, taking the train, getting grocery, and so on. I don't want to get too comfortable with the current setup though as I'm afraid my social skills might vanish. Haha!

This evening, I met up with someone. We've been chatting for a bit of time. We scheduled to meet up a few times but for some reason, it just didn't happen. I was working late. He was finishing work late.

Now, I know why it didn't happen soon enough.

The guy's attached. Haha! Maybe it was the heavens intervening, giving me a sign not to meet up with him.

I only found out after almost an hour of having a good conversation, laughing out loud, and teasing each other over coffee and iced lemon tea. Haha! Hmm, I was somewhat crushed because he seemed like a nice guy.

According to him, his partner allows him to meet with other guys. His partner does the same thing. Whether it's because of the long distance relationship or an open relationship (I didn't ask), I don't know. I didn't bother to ask.

Hmm, I guess I felt a little bad because the conversation was turning out to be cute... too cute, actually. But seriously, who am I kidding? The guy's a kid. Hehe!

I do plan to meet up with him again as I do want to start having more than two friends in this big city.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Crazy past few days...

Yes, the absence of posts is due to the crazy schedule these past few days.

On Tuesday, I went to my Learning Studio. Originally, the plan was for me to meet some of the staff and some of the other instructors. I ended up having my first three lessons that day... so yay!

For the two days that followed, this has been my schedule - first morning lesson at 7AM, ends at 915AM; afternoon lessons are between 5 and 10PM. So my day usually starts at 525AM and I hit the sack at 1130PM (the latest).

Yesterday, I panicked because I got this notification from the post office. Of course, it was all written in Japanese so I don't know what it meant.

I had to ask for the help of a few friends. It turns out the notice has something to do with the boxes I shipped from Singapore.

Sigh, I didn't expect to have this much hassle with receiving the boxes. Of course, I was wrong. Lol. The main reason for the difficulty is my inability to speak the language. I should really study the language asap.

I really hope my boxes will reach me.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Hello, new week...

The past three days have been extremely busy.

As I said in earlier posts, I had to undergo a three-day training at the company’s head office in Shinjuku. The training starts at 10AM and ends at 7PM.

Even though I only have to be at the office by 945AM, I still leave the house early (around 610ish) because I’m not just yet ready to experience the Tokyo rush hour. (Uhm, I must say that even in Singapore, I also leave the house really early for the same reason).

I would reach Shinjuku area two hours early but I’m fine with it. It gives me enough time for breakfast and to review my notes. At the same time, I’m also reviewing my Japanese vocabulary workbook to kill time. So, the two hours before work are actually productive. Hehe!

Today is our last day of training, and I must say that I enjoyed the whole activity. Maybe because the trainers were great? Maybe because I like what I’m doing? Maybe because I’m excited to actually start work?

The important thing for me is that I look forward to going to my learning studio tomorrow. I’m excited to start actual work.

I may miss the view from the head office (see pictures above) but my learning studio location is actually fantastic. It’s right in the heart of the business district.

That’s something to also be excited about!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Long Sunday...

Just a quick post as I’m tired.

It’s been a long day, and I’m just about ready to crash.

But before I do that...

Today started extremely early. I wanted to catch Mass before heading to the office. Since there are only a few Catholic churches in Tokyo, I had to choose one that’s not too far from my house and close to the head office.

Luckily, or maybe it was God working his ways, I found a Catholic church a few stations away from the head office.

The website said that 12NN was the English Mass. That meant that the 7AM Mass was going to be said in Japanese.

I actually didn’t mind. It’s good exposure to hearing the Japanese language and more importantly, the Mass follows a certain “formula.” As such, I do know what is happening.

As for the Mass readings, well, thankfully there were English missals placed on the pew so I still understood what the readings were.

The church was beautiful. I thought that since the Mass was an early 7AM, there would only be a handful of people. I was wrong and I was happy that I was wrong.

Close to 8AM, people started to enter the church and head for the pews. The church wasn’t packed but it wasn’t almost empty as well. I would say that there was good attendance - yay!

After the Mass, I had just enough time to get breakkie before starting work.

Next week, I can actually go to a later Mass since I don’t have work on Sundays. Yay!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Quick stroll at Omotesando (and Ueno Park)...

I managed to do something touristy today.

Since the day ended early, I met up with a visiting friend and we did a bit of walking around Ueno Park and Omotesando.

Specifically, the area in Ueno that I like is the one where all the museums are - the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum for Western Art, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and the National Science Museum. I've only been to two of these and I definitely will visit the other two one of these days.

Meanwhile, Omotesando (and Aoyama) are so far my favorite places in Tokyo. I love walking down the street and just enjoying the sights and sounds. But what I suggest is to actually get off the main street and check out the side streets of Omotesando. There are many quaint and lovely shops and cafes to be found in the area.

It was definitely a nice Friday night.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Chillax Wednesday...

Today was much more relaxed.

For starters, I woke up early but I didn't go out of the house until 10AM. I spent a few hours putting some order into the room and making it more personalised. I managed to unwrap some of the items I brought from Singapore and placed them near the window. I also sorted out the tons of paper that I printed.

Whereas before I didn't think about waste segregation, now I have to sort my rubbish. It shouldn't be daunting I guess. I've learned the local words for burnable/combustible, unburnable/noncombustible, recyclables, and of course, can, PET bottles.

I just need to write the schedule of waste collection for each type of garbage and pin the cheat sheet on the wall or something.

The other things I did in the morning were to head to the grocery to buy some stuff - bread, jam, coffee, laundry soap, fabric conditioner, Febreeze, and so on. Hehe!

When I got back home, I prepared the things that I needed for tomorrow. I also had a video call with Tipz as he was working at home. He showed the sakura tree near his place and I showed him the Tokyo Skytree. Haha!

In the afternoon, I had some time to kill and so I decided to be a bit tourist-y. I went to the Tokyo Skytree but I didn't bother to go up. I'll do that when one of my friends come visit. I just walked around and when I got tired, I took the train and headed to Kita Senju for a late lunch/early dinner.

I'm still reliant on Google Maps for train schedules but I'm becoming more familiar with which lines to take.

Heading back, I decided to alight at Horikiri Station so I could go for the walk. It's not that far actually. I think it's just a kilometer. I don't mind the walk as it is some form of workout. Haha!

Also, that route was the cheapest way to get back home. I think I only paid about ¥180 instead of ¥310 had I taken a different line. Haha!

Tomorrow, the semi-hols is over and it's time to work. Let's do this!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wednesday was not so busy...

After a tiring first two days, today was much more relaxed. I only had one more thing to complete for my pre-contract signing thing and I managed to complete it before lunch time. Yay!

I left the house early for two reasons. One, I didn't want to get caught in the rush hour. Two, I wanted to learn how to get to my building.

Having left the house before 630, I reached my destination - Tokyo Station - just after 7. The office is located near Otemachi Station but I wanted to know if I can walk over from Tokyo Station and save 100 yen or so. As I suspected, I can do that. Yay!

The neighbourhood is not new to me. I visited the area last year. The building is a stone's throw away from the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace. There is an Issey Miyake, a Comme des Garcons, and Rose Bakery within walking distance. This got Mon and I-van extremely excited. Hehe!

It is definitely a swanky neighbourhood.

By 9, I walked to the other side of Tokyo Station and looked for the errand I wanted to complete today. I managed to complete it in less than an hour. That's Japanese efficiency for you. Hehe!

Initially, I thought of visiting my favourite places - Aoyama and Omotesando. However, I thought better and instead headed back home. I changed into something more comfortable and headed out again. My destination in the afternoon was to look for stuff for the room.

At first, I went to the malls at Kita Senju station but eventually decided to just go to IKEA. I was able to save on the stuff I bought even though the closest IKEA to my house is soooo far away! Haha!

When I got back from IKEA, I thought I'd check out the jogging path I saw when I was walking over to the train station. It is indeed a jogging path.

I went for a 5K run. It's my first run since I arrived in Tokyo and for some reason, I was able to complete 5K without any difficulty. Maybe because the weather was nice? Maybe because I was running along the path next to Arakawa River? Maybe because there was a nice view - the Tokyo Skytree can be seen. In any case, I'm sure the evening run won't be the last one.

Tomorrow, I was also thinking of doing tourist-y stuff but decided I should prepare for work. Hehe! I should be responsible. Also, all these train rides have cost me so much. It's ridiculous. The amount I spend for 2 weeks of train rides in Singapore was used up in 2 days in Tokyo. Haha!

I need to work, work, work to recover all these relocation expenses.

Anyway, with the panoramic view I saw during the run, I could only be grateful to be here.