ben griffiths
an insight into the mind of a genius

Posts Tagged ‘nova’

What, Where, Why?

Monday, September 11th, 2006

So what’s happened? Why am I still writing this blog from the UK? Well, for those of you who don’t know yet - I’m not in the UK!!! But “huh?” i hear you say, “but you only went for a year??”…

Well yes, this had been the plan, spend a year in Tokyo, then spend a little time travelling around before blitzing back to the UK to get on with the business with Haroon.

So what changed? Well… basically I felt I hadn’t really made the most of my year here, my Japanese is still very limited and I essentially spent most time in the flat chatting on the phone. This situation was compounded after my visits to Osaka, where I realised there was a totally excellent scene out there - I was just in the wrong place.

I had a problem though, a little piece of a paper known as a visa, it was soon to expire (August) and wasn’t able to be renewed. If I wanted to stay, i had to find a full time sponsor.

It was therefore with, perhaps slight resignation, that I applied to Nova for a full time position - which I was accepted for - thus clearing my problems by supplying me with a new one year visa - yatta! :) That wasn’t plain sailing in itself as to make the switch I actually had to the return to the UK for 3 weeks (at a plane cost of £800!!! :eek:) - but hey, that’s not what we’re talking about now :D

I got back here on the 30th of August, working one final part time day in Shimokitazawa before my full time contract started on the 1st September (a friday, which was also my day off - nice :)) - Another (initially) sore point was that Shimo didn’t need any new full time staff, so I’ve been relocated - to Mukogaokayuen no less (where Toshi lives, and the place I really liked - thanks man upstairs… lol)

Another downside of taking up a full time contract is you lose your weekends (boooo!) and infact my days off are Monday and Friday. “Oh no!” I hear you cry, but no fear - i actually requested these… “madness” you shout, but no! My reasoning was as follows:

The weekends are the busiest days, also starting at 10am :eek: so I would need a monday to recover. However the next best day to go out in Tokyo is Thursday, thus the friday off. Tuesday is a 1:20 to 9pm shift, with Wed + Thur both 5-9pm (like my original shift) - my wages increase from 195,000 (£975) to 250,000 (£1250) which I will need to save ready for reasons soon to be explained.

So what’s the school like, actually it’s great - i’m actually enjoying working!!! Much quieter than Shimo, with singles and no shows a regularity (hahaha) - the other teachers are also great, very on my level and easy to get on with. Been out for a few “station beers” after work, basically sit in front of the station and watch the girls go by (which is another great point about the location - right near the university) - infact, I’m really sad about leaving….

“Leaving?!?! But you only just started??!” - yes indeed so, however it was all part of my master plan. Switch to full time to get a new year visa, work for 2 months to save some money then move to Osaka!! Yes!! I will finally be able to experience those great clubs EVERY WEEKEND!!! For the first two months, I’m not even going to work, just study Japanese (with Haruka as my teacher) and really get into the society…. I’m pretty excited :D - so we’ve cancelled the lease here and all set to transfer on the 1st November…. 6 or so weeks to go :eek:

So thats the plan, and I’m sure you’re dying to know what else has been going on ….

Well, my first friday back, I went with Keiko to Ueno zoo to see the Capybara’s - however, due to the torrential rain, most of them stayed in their house, with just one staying out, though he wasn’t in such a friendly mood and wouldn’t turn around… SUCKED - so I will go back again on a nice day to retake … :)


There you go, a Capybara - the largest rodent in the world - basically a large guinea pig - I wish beavis could have met him :( …..

Another amusing story, have a look at this photo…


I’m not sure why, but in this photo I thought Keiko looked like a prairie dog - not sure exactly why, just the pose…. anyway, for this reason we went to see the prarie dogs so Keiko could meet her family…


Cute - however then we spotted the “information sign” - which caused quite a shock….


“Black-tailed Prairie Dog” - nothign special, until you look at the Japanese translation which reads “Oguro Prairie Dog” - “so what?” - Keiko’s surname ….. yup…. Oguro!!! Spooky, or just proof she originally from a rodent? :p

Saturday was my first day in the new job, which started well enough, but I started to get a bit croaky throughout the day - this got worse and worse until we hit Sunday morning when my voice pretty much went. I sooo should have stayed home, but due to Nova not paying for sickness, I had to go in. The day was a complete struggle but I made it through by drinking through all the classes (not allowed - dunno why) and croaked my way home, where we rented some dvds and set to watch them.

At the end of the first movie (MI) - I turned to Keiko to say something… but couldn’t?!?! My voice had completely gone, like TOTALLY … it’s funny, but i was trying to laugh, but i kept having horrible “flashes” that my voice was gone forever… lol… This unfortunately meant I had to stay home monday (we were supposed to go to Disneysea) to recover, with luckily all being fixed by Tuesday ready for work.

It’s now Sunday night and Seiko has just got back from Iran, very tired…. I’m going to try and sleep early tonite so I can get my haircut tomorrow and post Gowry’s birthday card, but little else planned for my day off (booo!) - think it’s time to get on with a bit of programming….

So there you go, up to date for the start of my second year. Hopefully thursday i’ll be off to Roppongi, so some good photos and stories should be ready for Friday (when I might go to the beach… mmmmm… jchix in bikinis :D)

Go Go Otaku!!! :D

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s back to work I go

Thursday, March 2nd, 2006

Well back I am here in the wonderful city that is Tokyo. Do you detect some sarcasm in my voice? No, I don’t think so - though being back in London has made me think how much a better place it is :p
First I should write the obligatory - OH HOW I MISS EVERYONE - which I really do mean. It was so nice to catch up with everyone again, be able to sit in a bar and make jokes without having to explain them in precise detail, sit at home on a SOFA!! (like OMG!!! ;)) and spend time with Mum + Dad.

I was thinking in the shower earlier, it doesn’t matter what people say - you can have a great a place as you could ever imagine, but without your good friends there, it will never be perfect. On the flip side, you can take an awful place, but as long as your good friends are there - you will always be happy.

I was reflecting on the last few years and uni. I didn’t really go in, so didn’t get the chance to meet the hundreds of people that is usual for a uni adventure, but i was very lucky in the fact that the few people i did meet are really great people… i guess i was lucky - and that was my point - how can a place where you have to study be any good? but add in a few great people and suddenly everything is ok :)
Ah the memories, going to uni (well almost, over the road) and just sitting in Ruks room (after climbing in through the window when she is changing of course) - guys, I would like to send out a bit “w000000t!” to (in alphabetical! :p) alex, greg, judge, nat & ruks plus of course the amazing Mr Fish (Lawrence) who joined in with the uni antics as best he could (when he could get there on time that is!) - without you lot, uni would have just been “something to pass the time”, but you lot made it a happy experience… to friendship forever, hurrah! :D
So, the mushy stuff done, what’s been happening to me.

Well, I’ve been back almost 2 weeks now so what great things have I done.

First biggest news I guess is that I have left Japanese school! :eek: Why you may ask?! Well, I was fed up of not ever having any money / not being able to go out with the work people due to school the next day - and really wanted to do something about it.

My new motto is: Stop existing and START LIVING!

So this is what I have done, in the last week, my daily funds have jumped from £7 a day to a more reasonable £15 - and I have been out about 3 or 4 times with the work crew. I know, it sounds trivial, but I hadn’t been able to do it before - so this was quite a big thing.

Don’t worry though, I don’t intend to give up on Jap, Seiko has agreed to teach me (well it was actually her idea) plus I have been hot on the websites looking for language exchange students. At the moment, finding someone who is a low level English student is quite difficult (most are high level) as I need someone low so that there is no danger of flicking into English….. My aim is to have found maybe 2 or 3 by the end of the Month, I’ve got a load of replies already - just need to get around to mailing them back!

What else, hmmm… last weekend was quite amusing actually. Due to the time off I took, I have been having to work each Sunday (so this one too) - which meant I have just Friday nights to go out. Last Friday then I was to meet Seiko in Roppongi after she had had a meal with some friends, to go drinking. I got all ready, and from about 11pm started the labourious journey to Roppongi. When within one station of it (after 3 trains worth of changing) - I get an email “I feel really sick, can we go home!” - hehe - so basically, I walked out the station, and into a cab which took us back home!!! hahaha…. Not really wanting to waste the whole night though, I decided to go and meet up with Shimpei in Shimokitazawa, so told the driver to wait until we got Seiko in the house, before jumping back in to meet up with Shimpei at a very nice izakaya (the joys of having some money!!!) - the izakaya itself was actually pretty cool, with a load of shelves all around the bar with various nicknacks on them, including a large collection of puzzle games (the type where metal shapes are joined together and you have to split them up) - we ate and drank, then proudly left at about 3am with all the puzzles unlocked and strewn over the bar…! hurrah!

Ah I know, I haven’t mentioned the room change. Well this has been completed now, so I now am in Seiko’s old room. I should take some more photos when I get the chance. So it’s all happy sailing now…. actually, not really - but i think i’m just going to have to live with it… hehe… i can imagine the grief i would get if i said something now!

Firstly, there is no day light in the room, so even now, its really sunny outside, yet I am sitting here with the light on!! Problem is then that I never wake up! I wake, see it’s still dark so go back to sleep… I can’t see the time on my clock (it’s not flouresent) - and don’t want to put the light on, just in case it is really early, and i then won’t be able to sleep again…. hehe… so thats problem one.

Problem two relates back to noise again (though it isn’t as bad as before) - because I am now on the inner side of the apartment, it means all the corridoors are just outside my room. And, I don’t know how they managed to soundproof this place so badly, but it means if someone puts a key in their lock and turns it, the whole noise travels down the corridoor and wakes me up?!!? :eek: Insane sounding I know, but true…. same thing with people talking and going to work etc…. but like I said, no way I can complain now after all the fuss I made before!

So on Thursday I went with some of the work guys to one of their leaving dos. It was at a bar just around the corner from work called “dot” - actually a pretty nice place, a proper shoes off affair (with little slippers in the toilet) but best of all, “nomihodai” (all you can drink) for 980yen (about £5) for 2 and a half hours!! As you can imagine, this was being seriously abused by the gaijin in there (ordering like 5 beers at a time) - at which I was actually quite embarresed. You can picture the scene, a traditional Japanese bar, filled with loud and annoying foreigners…. I HATE GAIJIN!! haha…

Anyway, I tried to sit away from the loudest of them in the hopes people would think I wasn’t with them, but I don’t think it worked (it was pretty obvious, we had taken over the whole of the upstairs!!!) - this finished at about 12′o’clock or so and it was time to wander home.

Friday night was (once again) my only weekend night out (due to the working on Sunday situation) so this was an important occasion. This time, I decided I *actually wanted* to go to Roppongi (shock horror!) so arranged to meet up with Seiko at about midnight at “Hub”. I got there before her (she was enroute in a Taxi) so got some drinks in. About 20 minutes later, Seiko arrived, and my earlier show of kindness looked like it was going to be unrequired as already she was completely battered :D She had also brought along a friend with her, a 51 year old chap called Nobu, who works for a web company and had very little English. (which was good….)


We stayed in Hub for about an hour or 2 (with me and Nobu propping Seiko up) - talking about various computer like topics and various other things until it came to the subject of music. Nobu is a great fan of older rock music and was talking about old bands he liked - I then started to tell him about dad and his love for music too. This conversation got quite involved, until Nobu suggested we go to his friends rock bar down the road which had loads of memorobelia and things he wanted to show me.

So we carried Seiko up the stairs and into a taxi ….

Arriving at the bar (called Heaven) - I was greeted with a fantastic site.. a really cool looking place, decorated with posters and news clippings all over the wall and guitars and amps strewn about the place. A really, really nice place - I think you would have loved it dad, it was just your scene :) Inside there were only about 6 people (all who were friends) so the atmosphere was also very good “funiki ga yokata desu-yo!” - so we went over to a little table, and the orders were taken….

I wanted a Matador (tequila, pineapple juice and a dash of lemon) - but there was not tequila or pineapple juice. Not to worry though, as the barmaid went off to the 7/11 to get it for me!!! Talk about service. Then, the hunger started, but alas the chef was ill… no worries, again, the barmaid went off to the 7/11 to return with a selection of food (as she wasn’t sure what i liked!!!) - so i had sandwiches, pasta and some crisps :)
Anyway, back to the rock - so over the wall was all this rock memorobilia, a load which i recognised from dad showing me (though i can’t now remember what it was) - so again i started to tell all of them about dad, and his adventures and the such like. They were all very impressed, and I have to say, listening to myself saying all the stuff dad did, I was pretty proud of him too :D It would seem that if you look past the pineapple head, there’s a pretty cool bloke there :D NICE ONE DAD!!! :D
I think we were talking for about 2 hours, by which time Seiko had fallen asleep, so it was time again to go back to the Taxi and get back home …. z00m z00m!

Saturday was the day I had set aside to get Dad’s cds, so at about 5pm (hehe) I got out the house and went off to Shinjuku - not before stopping off at the temple to wish for some good luck for the day :D I really like this whole Shinto religion thing, it’s nice to be able to go somewhere, ring a bell and say your bit to “someone”. No, I haven’t gone full on religious freak, but just saying hello to whoever or whatever made everything in the first place….. it’s a really nice place, especially in the evening as it looks really traditional with lanterns hanging about lighting the place up. I’ve been trying to go each day as it’s en-route to work, so on the way home I try and stop by.

So anyway, on to Shinjuku, where I first needed to go to the bank. Now for those of you who don’t know, Shinjuku station is absolutely massive and has so many exits. Unfortunately, I had forgotten which one led to Starbucks (which has the only ATM in Shinjuku I can use) - so it took me about 30 minutes to actually get some money out!!! Grrr…. Then it was a quick stop off at the electronics centre (go Sofmap!) to buy a new memory card for my iPAQ.

I’ve been fed up of listening to the same tracks day after day on my 128MB card, that I wanted to go for something somewhat bigger. After pondering for a good 20 minutes, I finally plumped for a 4GB compact flash card (I would have prefered SD but they didn’t have any) - which I got for about £80…. a good deal, yes, at the time, though I could have possibly grabbed it on ebay for a big cheaper…. ahh well, at least now I’ve got hours and hours of tunes for the 30 minute walk to work :D haha….

So that done, it was off to find the CD shop. I had a map, so it wasn’t too tricky, however after going in, the cd couldn’t be found. Therefore began a comedy sketch between me and the shop assistant on trying to obtain where a copy might be…. after logging on the net, and a translation site, he was able to inform me that the cd wasn’t made anymore, and they had no second hand copies in stock. I therefore asked if he could reserve one for me, at which he told me (after about 5 minutes of looking it up) that I needed to go to the “prog rock” branch over the road ….

…. so over the road I went ….

Simplest thing to do when I got in was just ask for the cd again, so I did, and was then handed a copy!?! Slightly confused I asked if they had anymore, at which point I was given another…. ?!!? EH?!? Thanking the girl, I then headed back to the original shop to show the guy. “Ah!” he goes, I am so sorry, I thought you wanted the “Import” … erm, no, but thanks anyway :)
Due to the ungodly hour I had to wake on Sunday (8:30!?!? does that time even really exist) - I aimed to hit the sack at around midnight. This got extended slightly as I rang Gowry first, but did manage to get to bed at around 1:30. All was good, I was nicely snuggled and fell asleep within 20 minutes or so. Then….

Bzzzzzzzzz, bzzzzzzzzzz, bzzzzzzzzzz - my phone started ringing, I tried to ignore it, but it rang and rang for absolutely ages…. before finally, it stopped…. so I started to drift off again, before, bzzzzzzzz, bbzzzzzzzzzz, yup, it started again.. this time i couldn’t ignore it, so got up and switched it off. However, the damage was done, I was now wide awake, and would stay so until about 5:30 which is the last time I remember on the clock before sleep.

This of course meant Sunday was one of the hardest days EVER, with me even starting to feel dizzy in some classes and just wanting to get onto the floor and just SLEEP!! hehe…. I got home at about 6pm or so and then got a text from Seiko saying she would cook tonite, so I bashed back saying cool and that we should watch a movie together, which was met with a “cool”.

The movie we chose to watch was “Howl’s Moving Castle”, an anime movie about a wizard called Howl who has a castle that it totally mechanical and can walk! HERE!. It was a really cool film and even better, in Japanese with English subtitles. This meant I was able to both listen to Japanese, but have the translation below if I wasn’t sure of the word (I must admit, most of the time was spent reading the subtitles, but hey!) - next we are going to watch Totoro, which features the same dialog format… this is part of my new school of Seiko ;)
Monday I had an earlier shift again, so was going to finish at 7:30 - therefore I arranged to meet Seiko and Shiho after work to take them to “dot” (the izakaya of the other day). When we got there, there were no tables, only bar stools, which neither of us wanted, so after a little negotiation, we were moved into the “lovers room”! - basically a private room with a sofa, heaters and loads of hearts everywhere :) We were also opposite where the staff stood, so everytime we wanted a drink, all we needed do was poke our heads outside the curtain and ask!!!


Well, 2 and a half hours later (and a blinding 12 drinks later! I was going to make the most of it this time) - we decided it was time to head somewhere else, so we gave Shimpei a call and told him to meet us at a nearby bar, after which we would go to Karaoke.

The bar we chose was “Heaven’s Door”, a pretty cool second floor joint, which sold about average priced drinks.

It was here, where suddenly everything started to go wrong …..

No one can be truely sure what caused it, though we suspect it may have been the now 14 drinks she had consumed, but when Seiko didn’t return from the toilet for 20 minutes, we were slightly bemused…. The wall was really thin though, so we could shout to her through it and she said she was ok….. not wanting to push the issue, we let her be, though by now a gentleman by the name of Henry wanted to use the facilities….

Remembering previous nights out usually ended in Seiko falling asleep, it seemed the best thing to do would be to just drag her out…. but alas, the door was locked, and then had a seperate slide lock on the inside (so we couldn’t open from the outside) - by now we weren’t sure what was going on, but Seiko kept banging on the door…… and shouting something….

Suddenly (and without warning) the door comes crashing open and Seiko goes flying across the room!!! Running back to pick her up, she seemed a bit confused and couldn’t understand why she couldn’t get out ….. we pointed the inside lock out to her ….. “AHHHH” she says, “I didn’t notice that!?!??” - a true “Helen” moment :D GO SEIKO!

It was pretty obvious now, Karaoke was no longer on the cards, so we decided to take the 30 minute walk home… no mean feat when you are taking a completely totalled girl with you, who is ademant she can walk on her own!! (no chance!!) We got about 10 minutes down the road, before it was obvious we weren’t going to get anywhere fast like this, so doing the only thing that seemed sensible at the time, I took it upon myself to start carrying her home! :)
Not that she was heavy, but I doubt I would have been to carry her very far, so when a taxi popped into view, the decision was (very quickly) taken to get in it :). I don’t know what the driver could have thought, he pulls over the brow of a hill and suddenly there is this gaijin carrying a (good as) passed out j chick with her mates all waving frantically…. SUGOI!! :)
A fun night had by all :) Which of course Seiko couldn’t remember in the morning…. haha….

So the plans for this weekend? Well it’s Seiko’s birthday on Thursday next, so this weekend is her party weekend. The plan is to first head to the newly opened ice bar in Roppongi (HERE) - basically, the whole place is made of ice! You have to wear a special cape and gloves in there, and can stay a maximum of 45 minutes!!! Should be pretty cool, I will be sure to get many photos!

There are a few extra things going on, but not really fit for here, but apart from that, the outlook is ok….

So apologies again for the late late updates, but now I am all settled again, regular posting should be resumed. One thing I will say though, I’m now at the point where I will stop posting just for the sake of it… if all I did one day was go to work, then home, don’t expect an update.

However, the amount of things I am trying to do now, this should (hopefully) not be a regularity :D
Onwards and upwards …. HURRAH!


Sunday, January 15th, 2006

Sitting home waiting for Seiko to return, so figured I might as well get on with writing a bit more - though at present - I am talking with Helen on MSN, so progress might be a little slow, in fact, I may not finish by tonite - so you may well find two different accounts here ….

Anyway, I’m starting to ramble, let’s onward and avarst ye young see dog… :D
Today as I wrote yesterday, I had to give 3 kids lessons, 2 of them kinder classes (which I was quite looking forward to) - though getting up early was horrible. I don’t know if anyone else gets this, but if i don’t have enough sleep i feel all grotty and like my hair is all itchy - which then causes my head to break out in mini one day spots…. arrgh….

So anyway, first lesson was kinders which i was looking quite forward to, but maybe also a little nervous as it would be a full class. It started off well enough, we were going through the colouring books and getting on with the flash cards - but I soon saw why teachers don’t like the kinders - they seem to get bored quite easily and start just climbing up the walls?!? haha… you then don’t know how firm you should be with them to get them to stop - like properly shout, or just go with the passive approach.

I dont like telling off kids, so i stuck to the “try and just coax them over” technique, which while worked, certainly isn’t the fastest method - though we did get through the whole class without too much of an issue and it certainly is easier than doing an adult lesson.

So do I recommend it… hmm, as long as they are well behaved it can be good fun, though if not, you might come into issues. The second class seemed to have a few more trouble makers in it, but still, it went ok… :D
Second class was a man to man kids lesson, but I hadn’t been given the correct material to take home, so was kinda a bit lost in this one - I managed to follow the plan as I went along, but didn’t manage to cover all the curriculum as it was in really small and i missed it - however he did very well and got it all done :)
Lunchtime didn’t come soon enough, and it was off to the AM:PM to get a microwave meal of spaghetti and sausage. When paying, I did my usual “arigatou”, but this time the woman asked me “…..nihongo….” (i didn’t get the rest), however it was pretty safe to assume she asked did i speak japanese…

I told her a “little, tiny” - at which point she then started asking me some (basic) questions - where was i from, how long had i been in Japan, where did I study etc…. ok, so again, it wasn’t much - but it was still a lot more than i could have done if i knew nothing. She also got the other assistant to join in, who is quite cute ;), which was nice … haha …

So back to school for the final half (at least the day is split exactly into 2, 4 lessons, lunch, 4 lessons) which was 2 voice classes and 2 groups of 4… usually i run away from such a schedule, but today, i seemed to have some extra power in me, and gave I think some very good lessons :D
Something needs to be done about Usuke though, yet again he sent Yumi into a flood of tears …. I don’t know what to do … but really, this cannot go in. I know she doesn’t want to say anything, but if she is going to leave the company anyway, she might as well go out guns blazing !

And heareth lies the cut - Seiko came home, so went out ….

Being quite tired, we figured we would just go and find some food and then hit an izakaya or something, so off we went. Seiko reckoned there was a good restaurant up the road, so we set off …. on getting to the top of the hill, we realised there wasn’t so decided to walk down the Setagaya-dori…. 15 minutes later we had reached Sangenjaya (where we had decided we definately didn’t want to be) - it was now 12 midnight and i was starving, so Seiko suggested we walk to the next station along (Ikejiriohashi)…..

20 minutes later (:eek:) we finally got there to be greeted by ….. NOTHING ….. haha … not wanting to walk around any further, we just went into a local ramen place, which to it’s credit was actually really nice, however, there is a perfectly nice ramen shop at the end of our street - go figure ….

Seiko seems to have caught quite a bad cold, and unfortunately it started to come out quite badly last night. I must admit it was quite funny, as her voice went really high pitched as she coughed each time she tried to talk, but I mustn’t be too mean :) - Upshot is, we caught a taxi home… but you know, we did nothing, but I won’t call it a waste of a weekend as it was really nice to spend quality time with her.

We have agreed that once I come back, we are going to make a real effort with each other, there should be a sofa by then, so we can watch movies together and stuff…. w00t!

So anyway, back home now and gonna toddle off to bed in a moment…. :) Night!

An English school you say…

Saturday, January 14th, 2006

Can’t write much as I have these 3 kids classes tomorrow to revise for, but couldn’t resist posting this up….

This is from the kinder class textbook - can anyone see anything odd?


Oh, and also just found out that due to “the regularity bonus” - which is only awarded if you are punctual 100% of the time, due to the mishap on the 4th I don’t get it …. so, Januarys pay is like this:

Normal pay £900
- Unpaid leave : -£90
- Closed for new years : -£90
- Late one class + 2 class penalty: -£30
- Regularity Bonus : -£125 :eek:
So total pay for Jan = £565 … rent = £350 so £215 to live (including to pay my £150 japanese school fees!!)…. I can’t believe it, £155 penalty for being 30 minutes late?!!?!?

Aparently it’s not always enforced, but I think at the moment they will be doing everything they can to reduce my pay…. swines….!

Ah well, better be orf to study for the kinders :D


Tuesday, January 10th, 2006

Mmmm.. i am now sitting at my computer eating huge chunks of the special cheddar cheese sent to me for christmas along with a few fingers of a kit kat - i must say, they go together quite well! Yummy …!

Well that was quite a story last time hey? Actually looking back, it’s quite funny - just a shame it stuffed up my weekend as now being back and working this 7 day week is just horrible.

I could go on and write loads more, but, I don’t want to - perhaps all that is just a memory best forgotten.

Sunday, as I had already mentioned, I had to work to cover shift swapping for my holiday. I had never worked a weekend before, but was told they were always really busy. To make matters worse, you can’t go in any earlier to prepare as the staff don’t get in until 9:30 :eek: (work begins at 10)

Even worse, the night before had been so cold (and we are talking proper freezing) - I had been unable to get much sleep at all and walking to work, I was just in a daze. To try and counter this (and because for once I was up early enough) i headed straight for the local McDonalds to pick up and Sausage and Egg McMuffin - so mum, you can be happy I have had breakfast for once!!!

The weekends are the busiest days at Nova (hence the reason I have never wanted to work them) - and it seemed today was no exception. My first class was a full 4 person, but luckily for me, a lower level - which I really enjoy teaching, so it wasn’t too tough :D
The rest of the lessons went ok, but by lunch I was really grateful for the break. Not really much of a break though as of couse I had to plan all the next lessons, so sat with a yaki soba balanced on my knee, trying to write up all the next reports!

My final class of the day was voice - which was nice as by then i was getting quite tired - and as usual, the topic turned to how much I think Japanese food sucks over western food :) However, this time it was a bit more productive as the students seemed to know quite a few BBQ buffet places, so by the end of the lesson I had quite a comprehensive map of places I should try.

Even better, one of them is only a few minutes from work - and offers drinks for 1000yen (£5) for drink as much as you can for 2 hours!! They offer the same with their menu too, but this is a little more expensive at 3000yen for a 2 hour eatathon. I think I should definately try it though, make the most of the time here :) Haha….

I was so glad when I finally reached the end of the day and was able to stagger home, though only an hour or so after arriving home, I had a call from Shimpei who needed some help with some translation. Usually I would have said I am too tired, but i felt obliged to help as he has been so good to me.

I was just about to leave when Yumi showed up though! Apparently Seiko was coming back and she had asked to see her so she could give her a present from her weekend away. I still wasn’t sure if I was ready to see Seiko yet, but couldn’t leave Yumi on her own in the place, so called Shimpei.

It turned out however that Seiko was at Shimpei’s already, so we could all go around there…. he also said he had talked to Seiko and she wanted to meet up….

So it was on….

The upshot of everything is, we are swapping rooms…. which you would think is a great situation - but, I just can’t stop feeling guilty about it :( I feel like perhaps she feels bullied into it (as in, “Ben will go back to the UK unless you move”) - they keep telling me not to feel bad, but it’s not helping….

I also feel bad about her having to pay so much more rent than me (£150) - but I really cannot offer any more - so, I figured maybe I could do extra things around the house to help out - such as do the floor cleaning, or the laundry (though according to Gowry, it’s not the done thing to wash a girls laundry unless she is your g/f? I don’t know, i’m not sure I see the problem) - so this will make me feel a bit better, as I will be putting more input in?

So yes, the room move will be next friday - I will miss the sunshine and daylight :( but i guess it will solve all the other problems. Infact, maybe this will encourage me to spend less time on the computer!! The other issue might be that next to my room now will be another bedroom, so saturday night late music might cause issues, but i suppose that can be dealt with when the issue arrises - in the meantime, i’ll just have to keep it low on weekdays.

I also told Seiko that i was sad i never see much of her, i came to live with her in Tokyo, but only see her a few times a week at most. We are now going to make the effort to see more of each other and have bought a calendar for the kitchen so we can see who is free when - thus being able to plan to meet up and stuff around those times. Admittedly me working until 9pm each evening doesn’t help, but I am right next to the station, so on Mon + Wed nights we can definately start to do more things (I have school on Wednesday at 9am you see, so the other nights are no use).

Talking of Japanese school, it starts tomorrow which will be good, though i reckon i will get a right bashing for now having learnt as much as i should have - though now I have finally got all my computer work out the way, i have a lot more time for it - there is a bit of a mutiny going on the forums, but hopefully we can sort all of this out without too many casualties.

Sorry if this is a bit rushed, but I’ve got work in 10 minutes, but didn’t want to leave anything any longer less I forget, so in summary:

1) I’m moving room
2) Seiko and I are going to spend more time together
3) I hate working weekends :p 4) Cheddar Cheese + KitKat is most delicious