• 02 . 04 . 05
  • Now that the novelty has for the most part worn off, life here during weekdays is often similar to life elsewhere.

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It’s Not All Work, Work, Work, But…

A lot of people regularly ask me “what have you done that’s cool this week?” and more often than not, the answer is “nothing special”. This is the kind of answer I’ve grown to loathe as I hear it countless times every day from people too shy to tell me their news. Unfortunately, for me it’s quite often true.

I work a 5 day week, the same as I guess I would if I worked in an office job back home. I have pretty regular hours, starting early most days and getting home at around 6ish. The job is quite deceptively tiring, much more than I ever would’ve expected of just talking and listening. On my weekends I take Japanese lessons and have a lie-in. I study, watch DVDs, hang out with friends and do all the things you normally do in your free time. Which is just the problem. I could be doing all this stuff back home.

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy being here. I’ve made good friends from all around the world and have certainly had lots of experiences I couldn’t have had back home. Visiting Hiroshima was important to me. Boarding in the Japanese Alps was great. Takayama was beautiful and relaxing. The problem is that the opportunities for these experiences are pretty limited. I guess it’s just because I’m comparing life now to when I was at university. Then, even at my most hectic, I still had plenty of free days to do whatever I wanted. The problem then was that I didn’t have anything to do!

I decided to stay in Japan for another year because there were a lot of things I still wanted to do. Climb Mt. Fuji, for a start. Stay in a capsule hotel. Walk through Akihabara. Try taiko drumming. There are a load of things that you just kind of forget about until you make an effort to think about them. Most of them aren’t incredibly important per se, but I’m pretty sure that once I leave Japan, I won’t come back for a long time. I can see myself sitting back home regretting missing out on stuff and I really don’t want that to happen. I think I need to make a concerted effort to actually do more things this year.

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