Friday, November 30, 2007


I'll be picking up the key to my new apartment tomorrow, and hopefully I'll start moving in tomorrow as well. My friend's friend has a car, and hopefully will help me out a bit so I don't have to move everything by train! I should really be starting to pack, but I'm sooo exhausted right now. I need to hang my laundry too, ugh.
The company that bought out Nova is finally putting things in motion, and there was an information session the other day where we could sign up for employment for the new company and also, more importantly, sign up for a salary advance. So hopefully I'll actually have some money in my account sometime soon! That'll be a novelty. I really hope I get it soon though, because I'm going to need to buy some stuff for my new apartment, and also I want a warmer coat. I got a pair of (really cheap) earmuffs today, so my ears at least should be toasty now when I venture outside! There's this great store in Shibuya that has all sorts of really cheap stuff. It's not a hundred-yen shop, but everything is sooo cheap. It may not be the highest quality stuff, but when you need something quick on a budget it's fantastic. I meant to pick up some socks there too, but I totally forgot.
That's about it for news... and besides Project Runway just finished downloading so I'm going to go watch that instead of packing! More updates to follow if anything noteworthy happens before I move.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Hmm... where to start. So I've been working at Gaba for a couple weeks now, unfortunately it's been kind of slow (for everyone, and worse for me since I'm a new instructor). The way Gaba works is that you only get paid for as many lessons as you actually teach, so if you schedule yourself for all day but only actually get four lessons, you'll only get paid for those four. It's kind of frustrating because I want to schedule myself for a lot of classes in the hopes that someone will book in, but then if they don't it's essentially a wasted day that I could have been doing something else in.
Like finding an apartment. We finally got the eviction notice, and we have to be out of here by Dec 5. I've been looking around at apartments and guest houses, and I've pretty much decided on a place in Komae. Komae is on the same line as Ikuta, it's actually only like five stops away, but it's a fairly inexpensive place to live. The closer you get to central Tokyo, the more expensive and smaller the apartments get. This one in Komae that I found is 65000/mo, which is quite good for the area, and it's a decent size too - it's actually got both a living room and a kitchen/dining area, as opposed to all the tiny six-mat studios I've been seeing up closer to Tokyo for 70000 and up. Komae is about 20 minutes from Shibuya, which is nice, and like five minutes from Seijo, which is also quite nice. The move in fees are pretty high, but they're still lower than everything else I've looked at.
I'm still working on my Japanese, I went out the other night to the restaurant one of my friends works at with some other friends, and it was pretty fun. I'm heading out again tonight with my language exchange partner, he's been great for helping me speak more naturally.
It's FREEZING here in Tokyo, although I'm sure it's probably colder in Ohio, haha. At least you've got heat there though, most apartments in Japan don't have central heating and ours is no exception. The little space heater that came with the apartment is getting a lot of use, and I'm definitely going to take it when I move. If I ever manage to save up enough money, there's actually room in this apartment that I'm looking at for a kotatsu, which is a traditional Japanese low table with a heater and blanket built right in, to huddle around during the wintertime.
Anyway I'm about to head out, I might be without internet for a bit again after I move so I'll try to post more in the interim!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Just some stuff

I finished training with Gaba, so I'll be going in tomorrow to set up my schedule. I'll be working at Seijo, which is nice because it's really close, only about fifteen or twenty minutes away. I might try to move to Seijo once we're evicted, it's a pretty nice area and it's on an express stop, up a little closer to central Tokyo.
I went out last night with some Japanese friends; it was fun, although communication was a little difficult at times! Aki actually speaks quite good English, but the rest are at a bit lower level, so it was kind of a mix of broken English on their part and broken Japanese on my part, haha. It was amusing sometimes - one of the dishes we ordered came with salmon roe, and Nobu went "salmon babies!" I cracked up, although I guess it was technically accurate, lol.
I've actually got a private lesson lined up tomorrow with one of Aki's friends, which should help a bit in getting by until my first Gaba paycheck.
I'm really sad that I have no money right now, since two of my favorite Japanese bands are touring through November and December! I was all excited when I first found out, then I remembered that I have no money. Kawaisou (sad)! I actually probably wouldn't be in such bad shape if I didn't have to buy train tickets all the time. Half my money goes to train tickets, the other half to food. I've been going through the gates illegally lately, to save money. Since the train stations are so crowded, you can actually get away with just buying the lowest fare and then really quickly walking through the gates before they close on you.
I guess that's it for now... I should get to sleep soon since I want to get to Shibuya a little early tomorrow to make sure I can find the cafe I'm meeting Aki's friend at. It's impossible to find places here since nothing has an actual address and half the streets don't have names.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

We have internet!

We finally have internet! I've been online talking with people and surfing the web all day, haha.
So I'm going in to sign a contract with Gaba tomorrow, then I'm training for three days after that. After training, I'll start actually working there. I'm still looking for other jobs as well though, since Gaba doesn't pay for transportation or find housing for you or anything. Housing shouldn't be too much of a problem though, there are guest houses all over the place that are fairly cheap and that you can just rent by the month. I'm going to stay here through November though, I think, although circumstances may change at any moment.
I met up with a guy yesterday to do a language exchange - teach english in exchange for some japanese. It's very informal, just some chatting over coffee. He was pretty cool (and very stylish!), so we'll probably try to meet up again next weekend. It's a pretty good way to get some conversation practice in, for both parties. I need to try to get some more intensive practice in, it's too easy to get by with only English here.
I bought a cord that I thought would let me transfer pictures from my phone to my computer, but I guess it was the wrong type because it didn't work. Next time I'm in Machida I'll try to exchange it for a different one. So no pictures yet, sorry.
I'm sure I had other things to talk about, but I definitely can't remember any right now. I can post more regularly now that we have steady internet though!