So it’s been 4 weeks today since I left my home in Melbourne to chase my dreams in the orient and so far my weeks have been mostly zombie free (bar last weeks scary movie week marathon). Anyhow the warm sentiment I was left with after my first week here has remained strong thus far.
Although I love my home country and certainly miss my family and friends, since coming to Kobe I feel truly alive for the first time in my life! I Feel that back home I really wasn’t living up to my potential sheltered from many of life’s difficulties by an overly supportive family. The last month has been my first time living alone with only myself to really on and it’s had it’s ups and down but I’m truly happy and content with life at the moment.
To those of you that know the episode of the Simpsons where Bart gets left home alone and he’s like Day is Awesome, Night is Scary.
That pretty much sums up my life but replace the Scary with Lonely. Not that I’m implying that my social life is lacking, let’s say Kobe folk like to party so I find myself out at least 4-5 nights a week! It’s just the nights I find myself at home all alone that can often be difficult…..
In terms of what my apartment is looking like, let’s just say its in a very similar state to when I moved in, the novelty of sleeping on a futon has long worn off and I haven’t had a good night sleep since I arrived, also to incoming JETs the first thing I recommend you do is buy blackout curtains, day light savings is not a thing here so when the sun comes up at 4am so will you until you purchase them, I myself dropped like 1.2man in an awesome set >;;_<;;
However this spartan living seems to be coming to a close, so although I didn't have an apartment predecessor as such I did meet this freakin awesome dude named Bobu who is leaving in a month and is selling me pretty much the bulk of his earthly belongings from his time in Japan for a bargain, incidentally he is pretty much the nicest person I have ever met!
So as of next weekend when he brings all his stuff round to me I should find myself the owner of a convection oven, foldable bicycle, PS3, large LCD screen, appliances, kitchenware, guitar, beanbag and pretty much anything else he can't take with him when he leaves.
Let's just say I really felt like I lucked out when I met Mr Bobu 😄
So what is life here exactly like, well to begin with I believe I do at least 4-5x more exercise here a day than I did back home, basically if you want to get anywhere in Kobe you walk, cycle or get a train and I primarily rely on the former. Along with this comes the intense amount of partying, although the work week can seem long and daunting on Monday soon as Friday rolls round that's the signal to get drunk for the next 48 hours.
Last Friday evening I experienced my first enkai with my base JHS, unfortunately it was primarily nama niku 生肉 (raw meat), and there was only so many slices of raw liver, heart, intestines and stomach that I could stomach!!! Luckily I managed to down all that was put in front of me as I was free of inhibitions since my fellow teachers would never let my beer mug sit empty!
Despite how much i awoke hating life on saturday morning, I did spend the day hiking in the mountains a few km away from my apartment, only to them attend a nomihoudai 飲み放題 (all you can drink) and subsequent birthday party that evening which led me to experience my first all nighter on the streets of Kobe and fucking oath did I have the time of my life!!!
Now my school life is one area I'm not really going to focus on in this blog as firstly it's not all that exciting and second i like taking photos which I can't do at work.
Basically I replaced a dude who broke contract but he had only been at my schools for a month, his predecessor though was a lovely woman who still lived in Kobe but the difference between her and I is that she majored in teaching and had as she was very fluent in Japanese had been running classes not with an OTE but all on her own! This has left me with huge shoes to fill, not only because I'm replacing the superstar ALT but also because as my predecessor broke contract my school were without the token gaijin for 2 months! This resulted in all the ALT lessons being put off and they piled up resulting in my schedule for my first month being somewhat chaotic!
The other angle to this is that I get the feeling my OTEs (specifically at the shougakkos) have no idea what to do with me, this morning I rocked up for my first class after my jikoshokai lesson (self introduction) to find the OTE sitting in the back of the class chilling, he handed me the textbook and said 'please begin' then sat down again, like sure I'm slowly learning lesson plans but the expectations from me ate done what oppressive at all of my school since for the most part I really have no idea what im doing, and I'm sure in a couple months I'll be pro at it but it's just these first steps that are insanely difficult, still at the end of the day I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love my life in Kobe and I'm a month into the honeymoon phase and still loving every moment! One thing for sure I'm not gona be coming home any time soon ☆〜（ゝ。∂）
Although I'm sure I have barely scratched the surface of all that the JET program has to offer, so far it has opened the door to a truly interesting and challenging job, an amazingly supportive local community and the opportunity to live in one of the worlds most fascinating countries!