To give a little context for the upcoming stories of my Japanese adventure, it would probably help to explain a little bit about myself in 2003.
In April 2003 I was finishing my final year of a business degree at the University of Manitoba. This was my second attempt at University after a failed experiment in computer science and a few years off to find some direction. The goal after graduation was to find get a professional accounting designation and find a job in the field of corporate number crunching.
The year before I had made two changes that ended up having a big impact on my life. The first was joining Delta Upsilon Fraternity. I had never considered joining a fraternity before, and honestly didn’t even know there was such a thing in Winnipeg. After turning down several invitations to come and hang out with the brothers, I finally decided to give in and check things out. The experience was great and I ended up being invited to join. Most people join a fraternity in their first or second year of university and end up with a 4 year experience. I had just under 2 before graduation, so I decided to get as much out of my fraternity experience as possible. I ended up gaining some close friends, some great life experience and more importantly got a lot of practice chugging beer.
My other big change in 2002 was to take a Japanese language class as an elective. This led to another Japanese language class, a Japanese history class and getting some Japanese pen pals. If I hadn’t decided on the Japanese language class as an elective I would have likely gotten an accounting job right out of school and never traveled anywhere.
Another important fact about 2003 me was that I was in a 5 year relationship with a woman who will henceforth be known as “the Ex”. Our relationship had started strong and been going well for a while, but at this stage we were both starting to realize that we wanted different things in our life. The Ex had graduated, found a job and was looking to put down some roots. I was about to graduate and looking for a big adventure before I settled down. In April 2003 things were pretty rocky between us.
That’s about it – the Japan adventure really starts about April 2003. Stay tuned!