On the first day that I arrived at Japan, I installed an app on my phone called “Days Since”- it is, obviously, a day counter and reminds me (whenever I look at my homescreen), the number of days I’ve been here.
And today, it’s time to celebrate the 110th day Anniversary. Don’t ask me why not celebrate the 100th instead… I did not even realize it. The point is- I only have about 3 months left… how do I live the rest of my life (in Japan) to the fullest? Now, if I’m the protagonist in some Korean drama, I should be writing my wishlist (already did)with teary eyes as the background plays the saddest song ever.
There are certain areas that I want to focus my action items on:
The primary (supposedly) reason that I am here for. So far I’m loving the work, the people, and the company. While my boss doesn’t push me, or give me any pressure at all… in fact, he only discusses with me about my work progress once a week. It’s getting more stressful as time is REALLY running out. I really hope I can complete my project by the end, yet I still feel challenged every day, because there’s just so much that I don’t know XD And there’s only this one person on my team that can help me, so sometimes it feels quite stressful and helpless. Especially when there will be a demo (the same dude forced me to register :’-( ) in one week. Anyway, to keep it short: I will try my best the fight the typical “after-lunch-fatigue-syndrome” and give my 150% working at the project; meanwhile, I want to learn more details about other people’s work and perhaps participate in their projects (given I finish mine).
The secondary (is it?) reason that I am here for. I have already made a list of where I want to visit. So far, not even 1/5 has been crossed off… while I constantly add more when I hear about/see something interesting. The past couple weekends, I have been slacking off and would rather bury myself under the blanket, than to go out for anything. Well, I was actually thinking about working… but of course, knowing me, it would just turn into another unproductive day of procrastination. So now I have decided, I don’t care how much $ I have in my bank account, just as long as it doesn’t go negative, I will travel every Saturday and Sunday. It actually doesn’t matter how far /close I go, so long as I don’t stay in my dorm room. And assuming I am on schedule and 100% productive, I shouldn’t have any excuse to stay inside. So right now, I will focus on making day trips to countrysides around Tokyo… and take the chance to hike before the weather gets hot and humid. So far I’d say I’ve only seen 20% of Tokyo, thus, I will make effort to visit the area this month and June (when weather is rainy)… and save the bigger trips to July and August.
Back from my weekly Japanese lesson today. I still don’t speak Japanese much with people, because colleagues and other Canadian students are the people that I interact with mostly. So the only time (besides shopping and eating out) I practice is probably during class. I could say I have low motivation to improve at this moment- since I’m tied up with work, and travel… Japanese seems to have fallen to the lowest priority group. But wouldn’t it be a waste if I don’t learn it when I’m actually here in Japan? Some rules- I spend dinner time and transit time studying/listening to podcasts. I will also cut out my Korean dramas now and switch back to Japanese =D To be honest, I think altho I can’t speak well… I can catch what people are saying (daily convo), just that it takes me so long to process a reply.
Even though I don’t have a scale at dorm, I know I am getting “more” out of shape. Mainly because I eat so much junk food, good food, bad food with lots of fat… and of course, lack of exercise. I thought I walked a lot already (esp when traveling), but it doesn’t seem to help. One colleague is trying out the Tomato diet now (eat 6 tomatos every day). Don’t worry, I’m not following… because tomatoes are super expensive in Japan (~136 yen each!). One motivation for me to lose weight (don’t think I’ll be successful, but oh well), is to buy pretty summer clothes in Japan. Of course, it’s like a tug-o-war between food and fashion… you can only pick one. I will still eat what I want when I’m out traveling. But my lunch at work – I will get a bowl of veggie from the salad bar, and pick one more dish that’s low in oil/fat (preferably fish or tofu). At night, I will eat rice, Natto, and more veggies. I will also cut my portion by a third. Lastly, I will jog for 2 hours a week (1 hour on Friday night and one hour on early Sunday morning).
OK, done with listing goals that I know I probably won’t stick with =) Now time for … food.
So um, my diet plan won’t start until next week XD Actually, I felt full after my 4th Yaki Tori stick…. so I saved half for dinner tmr. 900yen for 2 meals, not bad for self-customized yummy O-bento!
In fact, I’ve been quite proactive in planning more trips in the future. I have even booked night bus tickets and hotels for my Kyoto/Nara trip on July 14/15/16 and Osaka Trip on July 21/22.
I am about to plan one or more trips using the Seishun 18 Kippu (青春18きっぷ) railway ticket. I am starting to like traveling on trains… so it’d be a perfect way for me going somewhere far, on budget. I also want to try taking overnight train in Japan… Always booked out fast though, so let’s see how that works out.
For those too lazy to read the link…. Seishun 18 Kippu is basically a seasonal train pass sold for 11500 yen, which is valid for 5 days (doesn’t have to be consecutive) use of local (slowest) and rapid (2nd slowest) trains. You can reach pretty much from Kyushu (south) to Hokkaido(north), if you have the energy to. For example, to get from Tokyo to Hokkaido, the fastest by local trains is a little under 24 hours.
However, one of my destinations – Wakayama, can be reached from Yokohama, via Osaka/Kyoto in roughly 10 hours!! So I think I’m going for that for sure! I have actually checked the train schedule, depart from roughly 5am and arrive by 4pm the same day!