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!