Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Day

So Christmas day was the busiest of my life! You know, normally one spends Christmas day well essentially eating and hanging about the house, well that was not my Christmas day. So after waking up and opening the few presents Mhairi and I had, we headed off to the post office a few subways stops from our house as it had Mhairi’s package from her parents and mine from my Aunty Cheryl. We then went to Ueno so Mhairi could get a coat from this fabulous store where I had bought my coat a few days ago (and fabulous red shoes). We had been planning to go to an Onsen (Japanese hot spring) but since we were short on time we went to a massage spa in Ueno which was lovely, but even then we were short on time. Mhairi and I ran back home after our massages to get changed for dinner and then down to Shibuya we went.
Dinner was wonderful! Lots of laughs, and a good time all round I think. After dinner the whole group of us (Ani, Nina, Suresh, Mhairi and I) went to Shidax Karaoke which was soo much fun as karaoke always is! Then after two hours of song we left and headed our separate ways home.
Once home I talked to my parents, Ashley, my brother Chris, and then Jen, David, Theo and Piper. Each told me how much I am missed which is really wonderful to hear.
Christmas in Tokyo was very eventful and unforgettable!
Merry Christmas Everyone!!!
All my love.

Christmas Eve

So Christmas in Tokyo. Christmas eve day seemed to pass by very quickly. By the time I was organized and ready to leave the house I had to go straight to meet a student ( I teach private English classes) and had no time to do my last minute elfish things, Mhairi was kind enough to pick a few things up for me. After my lesson I met up with Ani and Mhairi in Shibuya. We exchanged gifts and had a wonderful Indian dinner. I had made stockings of Ani and Nina so I wanted to make sure they had them for Christmas morning, and I had a little Christmas eve present for Ani.
After dinner, Mhairi and I headed home. We watched an episode of House ( oh I love that show), and got a tour of my house in London via Ashley’s webcam. The house looks so beautiful, as it always does on Christmas. My father read “The Night before Christmas” to Mhairi and I. Mhairi opened up her Christmas eve present form me, and I opened mine (Super Girl PJs!!!) from my Auntie Sue. Busy but very nice Christmas eve.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Yes I do have a camera on my phone...I just never use it cause I forget that its there.
I'm an idiot, but then thats not news!! lol
Okay so just another note, if you choose to make a comment and you are not a member of blogger, then I dont know who you are unless you sign your name. So please sign your name. And if you choose not to....well thats just a little creepy.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Cameras at the ready!

This picture just proves that one should always have a camera when in Tokyo. I have seen stuff I can't even describe, this is thing was so funny cause there aint a person in there! I have also seen weird crazy performance art but I haven't had my camera. Luckily, today in Shimbashi, I did.

Pics from around Tokyo

Here are some pics that I have taken around Tokyo.
The one with the statue of Liberty, the Fuji nextwork building with its weird ball, and the farris wheel are taken near one of my schools on Tokyo Bay. The night pics are of Harajuku, and the fuzzy one was taken in Shinjuku at 5am.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Birthday Night

Mhairi, Michelle, Ani, and a sick but fabulous Nina came out for my birthday. I had planned on going to several cool looking cafes in Harajuku and Shibuya, but plans, like rules, are made to be broken. We went to a wonderful little tiny Thai restaurant in Harajuku that was tucked in the back of a little allyway filled with restaurants. The food was amazing!!! We ended up staying there for almost three hours. We did a lot of catching up as we had not seen each other for a while. Everyone enjoyed there food, the place was a great find!
After dinner, around 10:30pm, Mhairi, Nina, and Michelle all headed home to bed while Ani and I headed to a wonderful but pricy cafe in Shinjuku to chill, plan Jenn, Andrea and Isabell's visit through the late evening and early hours of the morning until the sun came up and the trains reopened.
It was 6am when I finally crawled into my bed.
When I awoke at 2pm I have to admit that I was rather homesick and strangly lonely. I went to check for an email from work and found that I had a notice from Facebook of messages on my wall. I had sooo many birthday messages from friends back home. Thank you soo much. Each of your messages means so much to me. Sometimes I feel how very very far away I am and to know people are thinking about you and remembering your birthday (even if facebook sends reminders) can mean more then most people can imagine. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have to give props to the Bull girls, Jen you got in there before Jill....impressive.
And Tem, our phone call lifted me. How I wish you could be here with me.
I had a wonderful birthday. And another big thank you to everyone who made it so special. And to those of you who didn't....I might overlook it, this is the season for generosity of mind and spirit afterall.
Much love

p.s. The pics are from dinner, Harajuku at night, and the cafe Ani and I chilled in until sunrise.

Birthday Day

Well I had a wonderful birthday day.
After waking up and opening my wonderful presents and cards from people in front of my mom and dad on the webcam, I headed off to Ueno park to see the Dali exhibit at the Royal Museum and then to the Tokyo Museum of Western Art which is also in Ueno park. Both exhibits were great. The Dali exhibit was way over crowded. The Museum of Western Art was actually great; they have wonderful Rodin collection with The Kiss and The Thinker - the original small sculptures. They also have some great Monet's, van Gogh's, a Rossetti, and many more famous works.
I had intended to walk through the park but it was raining so I headed home to clean up a little and rest (viewing art takes a lot of enery).

Monday, December 04, 2006

Day 2, my job is still amazing!!!

Well it is my second day of work today. I am currently at the office trying to fill time. I have had a great day so far. I called my father this morning to wish him a happy birthday (Tokyo time) and the phone was passed to my neice Theo who told me that she wanted me to come home. Apparently I have exceeded my time allowed away and I need to return. This of course made my heart ach and I promised her I would return, just not anytime soon. God that was hard.
However, the day did pick up after that. I went to my frist school and taught three lessons with another teacher, well he was teaching the lesson, I was just following him around. It was easy and great fun. We started at 10 and were done at 11:15! Then I was on my own time until 3pm when I had to be back at the office for the afternoon (3-5pm). I emailed Mhairi and she was meeting up with two of our friends from Ota who were down to see the Dali exhibit at the National Art Gallery at Ueno. I met them for lunch and walked around Ueno park for a bit, and did a bit of shopping until I had to return to work.
It looks like I have bought a bed off of craigs list. I bed and bookshelf I believe. And maybe a stove if he gives it for the right price.
I think I will be meeting up with my Ota friends after work. They all hate me because of my fabulously amazing job. hahaha! No apologies.
p.s. yourtvlinks.com is amazing!!! and I have missed House and Grays Anatomy so much! Mhairi and I have gotten into that show Heros. We watched oh...6 episodes last night. I LOVE TV and I am not afraid to say it!!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Just a note, keep scrolling

Just a note, I have just updated the blog with 4 new entries, so keep scrolling down to see them all. And I tried to keep the short. I will add pics later


Mhairi and I went to check out Ueno yesterday. All I can say is Ueno is crazy. It is also huge! There are these alleyways snaking around the station that are packed with shops that are all open, and they are selling all kinds of stuff. The only thing I have ever been to like it was the massive night market in Chang Mai in Thailand, but it is more condensed, kind of like a carnival with all the people and the venders. There are tones of clothing shops, but most for men, and then there will be the Body Shop, and a Canadian coffee shop, and restaurants, a 7/11, and well you don’t know what is going to be around the next corner. And it looks like it goes on forever. I was working on very little sleep so I couldn’t even comprehend what I was doing. Oh is there a coffee shop in Canada called the Benz? Mhairi and I came home around 7pm (we went to Ueno around 3pm) and I went right to bed and woke up at 8am. I was supposed to meet some teachers from Ota who were coming down to Tokyo to go clubbing but I was asleep. What can you do? lol
Mhairi and I are going to go back today. I will try to take pictures of the place for you all.

Now in Tokyo!

Well now Mhairi and I are living in Tokyo. Last Thursday was exhausting as you can imaging I am sure. Three hours sleep, moving, getting lost trying to find the apartment, waiting for luggage to be delivered, unpacking, moving furniture around the apartment, poor Mhairi had to go to an interview. We went down to our agent’s office to sign our lease and when we came back we just passed out.
Friday: Well Friday was my first day of work. My job is so chill. Oh may I love it! I was in the office all day and they had nothing for me to do so I planed out my train schedule and the routes to the schools, and played on the internet waiting for time to pass. Oh and they decided to extend the teacher’s Christmas holidays so I now have the 22 of December to the 9th of January off. And this is paid holiday. Oh so chill. I have said before they I am only in each school for 2 hrs but I have found out that that is a max of 2hrs so I might only be in a school for one lesson (30mins). Man I love this job. There is a little work to be done in regards to creating flash cards and we are working out the new curriculum which is essentially the same as the old, with a few vocab changes and standardizations for fluidity throughout the year. That takes very little time. I am in the office twice to three times a week. The schedule changes a lot so I have one week where I am in the office for three afternoons and one day where I don’t seem to be anywhere…but that can all change. This job is so great and Tokyo is so amazing, I can see myself staying in Tokyo for over a year…who knows man….
Friday Night: So Friday was Michelle’s birthday and seeing as she has also moved to Tokyo from Ota (all the cool kids are doing it), we all (Ani, Nina, Michelle, Mhairi and I) hung out in Shibuya and it was awesome. Man I love Shibuya, it is like being in a moving. Every time I go cant believe that I live in this amazing city. Shibuya is everything I imagined Tokyo to be. We went to an Indian restaurant for dinner. Its great, you order from a machine, give your ticket to the waitress and she brings your food. Fabulous! It was delicious and cheap for Tokyo. Then we went to a really cheap bar that we had stumbled on earlier while we were waiting for Nina. The $2 beers didn’t only draw us, but all other gaijin that were walking by. It was insane! 80-90% of the people were gaijin and it was like a big party. It was great to be around so many other foreigners, especially after the fabulous, but limited, foreign population in Ota. I spent most of the night talking to a Japanese women who is now working as an interpreter and who had just gotten back to Japan from a tour on the PeaceBoat so we spent a great deal of time talking about that and about conflict issues. It was great! She really encouraged me to apply to work on the PeaceBoat. Which is of course more reason to stay in Japan as I need at least 18months teaching experience. Mhairi and I headed home around 11pm, Michelle left a bit later, but she did catch her train. The trains in Tokyo stop running around midnight. Crazy early!
So that’s it for my first two days in Tokyo.

Moving and the Last Night in Ota

Well moving wasn’t exactly easy, it never is. But add a language barrier and it is just that much harder. Well the movers were supposed to come between 1 and 2 and they didn’t show up until 8ish….not fun for me who was kept in the apartment waiting for them, not able to leave just in case they showed. But they did come and took all the bags, well first they showed up and then left after they saw our stuff and I was very afraid they weren’t going to come back, but they did.
So my actual last night in Ota. My Japanese friend Chiaki took me out to a little café/dessert shop because she knows about my dream of owning my own café some day. She is so sweet! Well we had a nice dinner of pizza and pasta. The pizza was good, if a little bland, but the pasta was amazing. Seafood spaghetti in a tomato blush sauce and you could taste the herbs! Oh it had so much falvour!! We then had coffee and desserts which we couldn’t finish cause we were so full. It was so nice. We didn’t leave the restaurant until long after our food had been taken away as we kept talking and laughing. And gossiping of course about Nova teachers and students and all that juicy stuff. Poor Chiaki was almost dining of laughter at some points. Great times…. lol! Thank you Chiaki for such a wonder dinner!
After dinner Chiaki dropped me off at the apartment and a few of the Nova teachers and I headed out to the Brazilian bar. It was a much smaller group this time. Mhairi and I were only going to go for one beer as we had to get up early to move, and although one beer only turned into two for me, the party continued again at our place until 2:30am. What can I say, our friends just didn’t want to have to say good-bye. It was fun, or funny, maybe funny is more a way to describe Rob and Tom. Well the next morning Mhairi and I caught the train to Tokyo on only three hours sleep. Oh fun I can tell you...but another time…

Our "Last Night" in Ota

So my “last night” in Ota was probably the most fun I have had in Ota. I say “last night” as it was actually my second last night, but it was the good bye party for three of us who were leaving so that is just when we had it.
Anyway…. We went to this bar called Gin. It is in the Japanese style so we sit on the floor on little mats. It’s not that expensive and it is pretty chill - these being the most important things to consider. Well my friend Jacky and I showed up a little earlier then the other teachers and our Japanese friends who work at Nova and their friends showed up shortly after us. It was crazy, so many people showed!!! There were around forty of us in the end, or something like that. I got to meet so many Japanese people and through gestures and broken English we were able to communicate.
I don’t know what some of the Japanese boys were drinking but half of them decided that they were in love with me, and as the night wore on they were less and less shy about telling the extent of their love. It was so funny. Really, I though I was going to die of laughter.
After we left the bar some of the teachers (not the Japanese boys) came back to my apartment and we continued the party until 4am.
All and all it was a fabulous night.