I’m Pretty But Tough, Like a Diamond…Or Beef Jerky in a Ballgown…


Updated the blog to seem more LEGIT.


For realsies, though, I added a sidebar with some social media links, a tag cloud, an Instagram feed thingie…

I’m turning into a BLOGGER.

Ahem, anyway.  Some updates in JET-land.  I have two weeks until Pre-Departure Oriententation, and, well, leaving.  I am trying not to freak out and to be excited and remember all of the reasons I want to go Japan, but sometimes I can’t help it.  The freak out creeps in around the edges like a shadow.  It comes to me at night before I go to sleep and makes me sad.

I think this is normal.  A lot of people go through this.  It’s a huge life change.  I think I’d be going through the same thing if I had to move to another state in America, which would have been my backup plan if I hadn’t gotten into JET.

My advice to current and future JETs is, if you start feeling this way, try to remember all of the awesome things you love about Japan.  I made a list this morning of everything I’ll be able to do and see and experience.  It was actually pretty helpful.

I talked to my pred, and she understands about not being able to afford her car.  I don’t think she’s happy about it (I guess I wouldn’t be, either), but she does understand.  It’s also harder on both of us that I’m not getting her apartment.  So if she wants to sell anything to me, she’ll have to move it to the new apartment.  She’s still up in the air about that.

I’ve bought pretty much everything I need to take with me to Japan.  Still have omiyage and a pair of indoor shoes to get, but otherwise, I’m good.

My state background check went through, so I’m cleared to go!

I actually got another email from my supervisor last night telling me I have an apartment in northern Hokuto (which I knew, thanks to Geneva) and that he was sending me a schedule for when I arrive in Hokuto.  An actual SCHEDULE.

According to the schedule, the first day, I’ll go get registered at City Hall and get my hanko (personal seal you use for paperwork, etc.), open my bank account, and get a cellphone.  Then it’s off to meet the Superintendent for the Board of Education.  Finally, I get to go to my apartment…but that’s it…so I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do for sleeping.  Hoping Geneva, who is my neighbor, friend, and official JET sempai will help me with that.  The next day, I’m supposed to visit my schools and probably meet the principals.

Geneva said she’s supposed to take me and the other new girl to some places around Yamanashi, so that’s exciting! I really want to see the sunflower field in Hokuto, walk the streets of Kiyosato, go hiking through the Beautiful Forest, and just see as much as possible.

14 days…

*breathes* I can do this…

Note to self: buy new flumpool single at Tower Records in Tokyo


Four Weeks and Counting…*starts hyperventilating*


Okay, so.

Oh my gosh.

I’ve got four weeks left.  I can’t even put a number on it right now. Any time I think about it, I start freaking out inside.  It’s only going to get worse.

I know things will be fine.  They will be fine.  But there’s so much to do, and I’m going to miss my bed and my parents and America (even if it is a crappy nation sometimes).

So I finally got pretty much all of my information now.  It’s always right after I get super stressed out about it that I finally hear stuff.  So yay, I guess?  My potential predecessor is actually my predecessor.  It’s confirmed that I’m taking over for her and have three schools–two elementary and one junior high school.  I know the names of the schools and also that one elementary school is right next to the junior high school.  It’ll be at least a half hour commute every day.

The apartment I thought I was getting next to my friend Sara, aka my pred’s apartment, will not actually be mine.  This isn’t confirmed, but my pred heard that the other JET coming in with me will have her apartment.  So I’ll probably get the empty apartment next to my friend Geneva, which is more north in Kiyosato.

I’m actually kind of excited about this.  Basically, I’ll be getting a new apartment that probably will be furnished with a fridge, washing machine, and stove.  So those won’t have to be bought.  Everything else will have to be bought.

My pred wants to sell all of her stuff, but I can’t afford it.  Plus, I don’t want to buy everything.  I want to get my own stuff and make the apartment my own.  That way it can feel more like home.  Geneva also said I could borrow some things until I get my own.

You know, when I first applied for JET, I wanted Saitama so I would be so near my friends and would have to be more independent.  But now I’m really glad I’m near them.  It’ll make the transition a lot easier.  Plus, Geneva and I are probably going to split Internet. BONUS!

I’m also talking to the English-speaking mechanic in Yamanashi about buying a car.  He’s been very helpful, and he sent me some car options in my price range.  There’s one that’s around $1100 and doesn’t need insurance renewal until next October.  It’s a smaller car, but it’ll be something I can get around in.  We’ll see what the options are when I get there.

Not much else to report on this end.  Started buying stickers for my students this weekend.  I’ve got to work on omiyage and the rest of the stuff I need before I leave.

Plus, I still haven’t finished subbing Algernon.  I’m such a procrastinator…

Yamanashi, Here I Come!


So it’s been a few days since I found out, but I got my placement this past week!

Ladies and gentlemen, I will be a proud citizen of Hokuto-shi in Yamanashi prefecture.

Yamanashi was my second choice placement, so I’m pretty stoked to get somewhere I actually wanted to go.  Also, my friends Sara and Geneva both live there and are on JET, so we’ll get to be fellow Yamanashians.  Sara said I may even be living in the same teacher housing where she lives.  Um, AWESOME.

I’ve been doing research on Hokuto-shi, and there’s some seriously awesome things there.  Like a huge sunflower field, a gorgeous forest (which calls itself Beautiful Forest, btdubs), and lots of cool festivals.  Not to mention, it won’t be as unbearably hot as the rest of Japan during the summer due to being near mountains.  Apparently, people have summer houses in the Japanese alps.  Who knew?

I haven’t heard from my Contracting Organization or predecessor yet.  They may not have decided where I’ll be hired.  But I do know that only two people in Hokuto-shi are leaving.  So I will either be getting a decent one-person apartment near a good friend or my very own two-bedroom house.  Either way, STOKED.

So you incoming JETs, have you gotten your placements yet?  What are some cool things about that place?  Let me know in the comments!