Je bekijkt de reis...
8 januari 2017
My apologies for not updating my travel blog that often, I didn't realize it has almost been a month already.
One week of winterbreak has finished and since thursday I've been going to school again every day to work on the class exhibition piece. It's 1.60x60cm and contains an awful lot of layers, materials and details, so it takes quite a bit of time.
To follow the timeline a bit, first of all: Christmas. It isn't a national holiday in Japan, which means there is no break from school on work on that day. Plus, over here it isn't tradition to spend Christmas with family. Instead, it is a day for couples to go on a romantic date or hold a party with some friends and spend a bit more on good food and drinks than usually.
In my case, I went to a friend's place with a bunch of other classmates, watched some movies, ate way to much, was quite enthousiastic about sake and went home at about 5 o' clock in the morning. (well, there just are those days when that happens...). Because the guy hiring the place we were celebrating at happened to be a really good cook, he made a bunch of delicious dishes. Also, I brought the bottle of sake that one of my classmates gave to me earlier for holding an exhibition (the one with the other exchange students) and there was plenty of other stuff as well.
Winterbreak was from thursday 12.29 until wednesday 01.04. On the first day, I particularly did... well... not really all that much. Sleeping, playing games, watching anime and stuff. Of course, the standard amount of Japanese study as well, but a lot relaxing for a change. Since everyone spends winterbreak at their family's house, on a location a bit far from school, I particularly was at home studying and filling in job applications. I'm aiming to get a part-time job as an English teacher to get experience and make it easier to find a job here in the future, so I decided to search a lot on the internet and send out at least a few applications a day. At first, with not much success, but once I started trying to look at websites that were entirely in Japanese, replies came quite quickly, maybe because the English ones are from companies with a bit more money and demand higher qualifications.
Anyway, I went to a job interview for the first time yesterday. A bit nervous of course, but I was happy to find out to be able to it entirely in Japanese. The place for the job interview was a cramming school, in a classroom with about four to eight students (age kindergarten to middle school), learning from text books and CD's. In the classroom, students are coming to the teacher for questions and reviewing finished work/homework. Very nice atmosphere and the perfect chance to start out gaining experience! On the 19th this month, I will have my first try-out, being in a room with a more experienced teacher. If it goes well, the first three months will be training and after that I will be on my own.
Another company told me they would contact me later, so maybe I going to work there as well, as the other job will be only thursday and saturday. Also, from april I can to a work as an helper for teaching English (more the idea of studying together than being a teacher) at the university I'm studying at. It pays slightly more than normal parttime jobs here, but it helps paying regular expenses and it'll probably be very helpful for adding content on my cv.
Other than that on that topic, there is a certain JET-program, for people all around the world to teach English in Japan for one-two years while getting paid. Since it's used all around the world and it's one of the few programs not requiring being a native English user, places are limited and selected on motivation. Which is one of reasons I want to gain experience now. Also, I'm thinking of taking an official English test later (TOEFL or TOEIC) to have evidence of a proper English level.
Ah, right. Winter break, so... New Year's day as well! On New Year's day I did suprisingly little, but on the third I went to a temple to pray for a good coming year, which is tradition here in Japan and means it gets really crowded that time. A lot of fun to go there: tons of people, also in traditional clothing, food stands, different sorts shrines and of course the beauty of the temples and the landscape itself.
I have to mention though that I met with exceptional bad luck that day. The Japanese class before winter break, the teacher let me read a text on Japanese New Year and the different sorts of temples there are, as each temple is build for a different god. For example, there is temple you can go to to pray for good luck on succeeding a test, a temple for good health, one for maturnity, etc. Researching the text and what gods there were at each place, I decided for Jishu Jinja. The teacher Japanese told me that was the shrine where people go to pray for good luck in a relationship or to find a partner. After getting completely lost for two hours, when I finally arrived, the security staff just started to close the temple for that day. Well, I felt a bit being laughed at and judged utterly unattractive by the god of love, so I went again the next day by bike (even though it takes about an hour to get there). After praying at about five different places within the temple with the traditional coin throwing part as well, buying a charm, and walking from one stone to another with my eyes closed without problems (which ment you would find someone soon if accomplished succesfully), my mind was eased enough to go home again. It was the third time visiting a temple here (yes, four if you count the failure of the day before (thank you reminding)... -.-) but each time the beauty and atmosphere of the place really makes my day.
Besides that, there isn't really that much to add I guess. In a few days one to the bigger projects needs to be finished and the week after the exhibition piece needs to be done, so it going to be a lot of fun and rush in this part, but I'm still really enjoying it here while getting more and more settled.
Cheers and have fun everyone!
Foto's bij verslag (15)
8 januari 2017 12:34 | Door: Veronie
Goed bezig Sjoerd ! maar eeeee, ben benieuwd naar die japanse schoondochter.......haha
Succes met je baantje, klinkt leuk.
9 januari 2017 10:55 | Door: Maria Ylä-Jussila
Sjoerd, je bent actief. Wij hebben geen japanse schoondochter over gehouden aan Lauri's verblijf in Japan, maar je weet maar nooit ;) Laat eens wat meer foto's zien, please ...