Archive for March, 2014

March 31, 2004 – Daytime cold medicine rules!

Life Daytime Cold & Flu

My cold is getting worse! Before work I took some Life Brand daytime cold medicine shipped from Canada. Life Brand is the generic house brand available at Shoppers Drug Mart. I am pretty sensitive to the “daytime” ingredient (pseudoephedrine). This turned me from a regular English teacher into Energy Man, the most energetic English teacher in the whole country. I was speaking about 100 km/h and wildly gesturing in every direction for the duration of my 5 lessons. An English lesson with Energy Man is not something that people will soon forget.

Unfortunately for me, the cold meds wore off on the way home, killing Energy Man and leaving a sick English teacher to survive the rest of the train ride. Daytime cold medicine rules! Crashing after daytime cold medicine wears off does not.

(2014 Update) Fun fact: Daytime cold medicine in Canada still contains pseudoephedrine. In the USA, this has been largely replaced with a different ingredient that you can’t make crystal meth with.

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March 30, 2004 – Catching a cold

Starting to get a cold. Colds suck.

(2014 Update) It is pretty common to get a cold or sore throat as an English teacher. The NOVA classrooms are little glass boxes where you are always in close quarters with the students. Students will rarely miss a lesson when they are sick.

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March 27, 2004 – Falling asleep at the controller

Tsutaya in Numazu

Tsutaya in Numazu

Saturdays at Kawasaki NOVA are brutal! It is by far the busiest day of the week, and I work 8 lessons instead of the 5 I usually work during the week as a “part time” employee. The schedule was completely filled with students.

After work I checked out Tsutaya, a huge nationwide chain that rents and sells movies, music and games. I picked up some used games for my Playstation 2: Metal Gear Solid 2 and Biohazard (Resident Evil 1). They were super cheap! Naturally, I ended up falling asleep at the controller.

(2014 Update) I didn’t have a picture of the Tsutaya in Kawasaki, so I have linked a picture of the Tsutaya in Numazu. Not that it makes a lot of difference…

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March 26, 2004 – LOTR – Extended version

I worked earlier in the week so I could take today off and spend some time with The Penpal at Hello House. We watched the Extended Version of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. It was her first time to see the movie, and my first time to see the extra footage. The original is great, but the extended version is WAY better.

Fortunately, the Penpal really enjoyed the movie. Not liking Lord of the Rings is a potential relationship destroyer.

(2014 Update) 10 years later I would say that Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and The Princess Bride are the ultimate relationship movie tests. If someone doesn’t like those movies, please feel free to break up with them at your earliest convenience.

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6 months in Japan – State of the Union

crazy-windowclosed

Hello to my regular readers and new followers. I am writing this post in March 2014, exactly 10 years after my 6 month anniversary in Japan. Posting and updating all of these blog entries has been a fun project so far, and a great trip down memory lane.

For anyone who hasn’t been following from the beginning, this is the story of the 3 years I spent teaching English in Japan from 2003-2006. I had a blog at the time, and am reblogging all of my old posts 10 years later, usually with a lot more detail.

To catch you up so far, in 2003 I was finishing University in Winnipeg, Canada and looking for an adventure before giving my life to the exciting world of corporate accounting. Thanks to an elective Japanese language course, I had an interest in teaching English in Japan and managed to get hired by a conversational English school called NOVA. I left a strained relationship behind in Canada and moved to Kawasaki, Japan to live in Hello House, a dormitory style residence with other English teachers.

In my first 6 months I had some memorable adventures, including:

As distance and disagreements about the future put more distance between my ex girlfriend (The Ex) and I, my friendship with my penpal (The Penpal) had just recently and somewhat unexpectedly turned into a boyfriend / girlfriend type relationship. At the time I was living in Kawasaki and she was living in Numazu, so we were only able to see each other 1-2 times per month.

As I entered the second half of my first year in Japan, I was preparing to switch to a full time schedule, as well as getting ready for potential visits from both family and friends. Trust me – the upcoming friend visits are fantastic.

Thanks for reading and I hope that you continue to enjoy reading about my adventures as much as I enjoy reliving them through this blog.

Andrew

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March 24, 2004 – 6 months in Japan

Forrow arrows indicated

Forrow arrows indicated

Holy crap, I have lived in Japan for 6 months! I celebrated this milestone by completely forgetting about it. Time is going by very quickly.

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March 23, 2004 – Trapped in the internet cafe

I can`t escape the internet cafe! HELP ME!!! I just came here to check my email and Homestar Runner, but now I have been here for 2 hours straight. Stupid entertaining internet.

The music is really terrible today. For the first hour and a half it was religious choir music. From there it changed to really a really repetitive DJ remix of rap songs mixed with the A-Team theme song. The music is annoying, but there is something entertaining about hearing the word “bitches” played over and over in English while surfing the net in Japan.

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