Thursday, 31 May 2007

Sailing the Seas of Cheese

As we speak I am writing my first post while I'm here in Tokyo, finally. I have managed to find an open wi-fi connection so yay for me. So here I am sitting on my bed and hoping that I'm not leaching off my sharemate.

It's a rainy day so not a good start to proceedings. I got my way to Shinjuku from Narita pretty easily but I had a bit off trouble finding the east exit of Shinjuku train station to meet up with Aki, the real estate rep. Of course I walked the wrong way. How hard can it be to find a Starbucks?

We caught the train and to tell you the truth it's a bit of a way to get to Keikyu Tomioka where I am living. There was still a peak hour crowd at 9pm! The train changes were not that easy. I hope I can do it myself.

The apartment itself is very basic, not much of a place but at least it's clean. One of my flatmates is Derek, a Chinese/Korean/New Yorker. He is an over-confident guy who is looking to move to Shibuya in Tokyo away from the "sticks", meaning here. The other is an australian, Jesse but I haven't met him yet.

The title refers to the fun trip the "chunk" of Pecorino cheese had to Japan that my father thought would be good to bring over here. I haven't eaten yet so that cheese is looking mighty fine. I have to go to do some food shopping tomorrow once my luggage arrives.

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

The Day Before..

...I leave. Well this moment is here. It's actually already thursday morning 1:20am. I have given my old PC to the folks and reinstalled Windows and their programs. I know I should be having a last good night's rest but looks like it ain't happening.

I had a lovely day today. Firstly packing and cleaning my pig sty of a room. (All my toys are safely stored away. Yes that includes Robosapien and my robot dog "I-cybie").

I went to meet Elly for lunch and I decided on a Noodle Box Beef Satay. It was quite nice. Elly helped show me how to use chopsticks and rolled her eyes when I was doing a pretty crappy job of it.

I kept crossing the sticks. At least I won't get fat. I might even starve. Anyway bye bye, Elly. My absence may make you grow fonder. Hmm.. probably not.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Time is getting short

I meant to have everything done by now but it feels incredibly overwhelming. I have butterflies in my stomach that I didn't remember eating (sorry, bad joke). I'm meaning to clean up my room but it's just not happening. I WOULD like to come back to a room that looks in order.

I put Windows XP on my Mac. It seems to work ok but a few strange things. The USB ports are not working properly. The internet works on ethernet, but I think it might be playing with my wireless as the signal doesn't seem to be strong.

I even drove to the city to try it in places I've used it before. The library one worked sort of ok, but the law court's signal was weak. I probably will take XP off if it is the reason for the problems I'm having. Bit of a shame that, if I have to.

I'm so tired now. I haven't had dinner yet and its already 746pm. I still have things to do. I just want to burst into tears.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

No Pirates

Elly couldn't make it on saturday night but she did want to go to the cinema to see the Pirates movie. We planned on seeing the 5:15pm session but again they were all sold out. She said she wasn't feeling well but she looked fine.

We instead had coffee along the river which was nice and we talked a bit. She was feeling cold so I gave her my leather jacket to wear. We are planning to meet in the city at lunchtime on wednesday. I think it will be the last time I see her at all.

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Wasting Time In The City

I went to the city today. I used the off-peak saver bus ticket I got last night for today. Last night my old workmates had drinks and pizza at Arrivederci's. There are quite a few newbies that even the people I knew didn't know them yet. Still, it was good to say my last goodbyes before I leave next thursday.

I'm really quite tired now. I didn't really get much done. I got the new album's from Kings Of Leon, NIN and Linkin Park at the library. I only heard the Kings of Leon so far and it ain't too bad. Quite rockin' actually. Apart from that I had some KFC chips and did a quick wander around the city.

Tonight I am going out with Elly to the Dub. We were originally going to go to some gay clubs (it was her idea) in the valley but when I said I'd meet her in the mall she baulked and said it was too dangerous so we are going to go to my favourite backpackers bar. Doesn't bother me at all!

update: Elly has a cold and will not be joining me at the bar after all. I guess I'll be out on my own once again.

Friday, 25 May 2007

Elly the Enigma

I took Elly* to the cinema today. We have been spending quite a bit of time together these last weeks before I go. She asked me to help with her assignment at university and while originally it seemed she wanted me to DO her assignment I ended up making the english as good as possible.

Most of my friends were saying I was wasting my time and what was I getting out of it. I have taken her to the Roma St Parklands to play some guitar and we also had a few dinners together. I really enjoy her company and for better or worse I could see her as a serious girlfriend. I just hope I don't destroy the friendship that I have done in past infatuations.

Now just for a little background, Elly is the korean girl I met at the backpackers bar about a year and a half ago. I have been attracted to her pretty much from then on but she always seemed a little distant and unemotional with me. I was always feeling that if I touched her she would feel uncomfortable. We only saw each other a few times then and I even took her to my work christmas party where everyone thought she was my girlfriend.

So fast forward to now. We went to see Spiderman 3 because all the sessions of Pirates - At World's End were sold out. We had to wait an hour so we strolled around Southbank. What surprised me was she walked arm and arm with me at her initiation. Later in the theatre she wrapped around my arm and rested her head on my shoulder. I know this all sounds tame but these "change of events" almost make me want me to reconsider going to Japan.

*Elly is NOT her real name. It is in fact the name she told me for about a year before she said what her real name was. I was duped!

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Picking up my Visa and Yen

It's a good enough day to be up by 10am. The bank called me up to pick up the 300,000 yen I ordered. That is approximately $3000 Australian dollars (Gotta love them zeros). The teller girl was a trainee and she asked how long I was going to be in Japan. She said have a good time, and you know what, it lifted my spirits. Yes, I will have a good time thank you very much!

I went to the library to download the boot camp software so I can run Windows for doing my tax return overseas. It's a shame the tax dept doesn't have a program for a Mac. The download took over an hour and a woman who had booked the PC was getting annoyed that I was taking up her time. After all that the download didn't work so it was a total waste of time.

I caught the bus to the city to pick up my visa and retry the Boot Camp download on my lappy at the law courts. I went to the Japanese Consulate to pick up my passport but the security guard said it wouldn't be open again until 2pm and I was there at 1pm. So here I am doing this post and getting my download. Boot Camp has only taken 15 minutes to get.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

The Japanese Work Visa

I am going to the Japanese Consulate to get my fricken visa at last. I got dropped off in the city and made my way to their office. On the way I dropped into the post office to ask if the passport/visa photos I had done myself were appropriate. I got a set of 6 pics on a standard photo for 30c at Harvey Norman. I can't justify ten dollars at a passport photo place to do the same thing.

This was my second attempt. These passport people are picky! The last time my head was apparently too big. (I do get a big head every once in a while). The lady said that the door behind me was not plain enough. You CAN make out the impressions of the door, but in a shrunken down size of a visa that is NOT going to be visible. Thankfully they accepted it at the consulate.

The security guard held onto my laptop and mobile phone, you know in case I'm a terrorist or something. It was over quite quickly and the bonus was it didn't cost anything. After all I've spent so far this is a GOOD thing.

Right now I'm at the QLD law courts. No, I didn't get arrested. I'm just using the free WIFI access to post these entries. I'm pretty beat but I feel like I've accomplished a bit today.

Here is the "after" visa photo from yesterday's shearing frenzy. Pretty spiffy eh? And I swear I got checked out from some cute latina babes in the city. Three cheers for me.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Instant Hair Removal

Shaving my face before I clipper my head!

I cut off all my hair today. After about a year and a half of my curly locks, I have decided to go maintenance-free and did a number two all round. I started at 9am with a nice new shave with the Gillette Fusion POWER. Not bad, a nice clean shave.

I started the cutting ritual at 930am and it took about 2 hours to finish it all up. A little bit of sadness but it had to be done.

I was meaning to go to the Japanese consulate as well, but I took too long trying to do some passport sized photos.

This is how I looked by the half way mark. I was going to leave it for that avant-garde 80's look but after about 10 seconds I got right into the next hour cutting.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Certificate Of Eligibility

I finally got the CoE (Certificate of Eligibility) which allows me to get the work visa to be able to work in Japan. It actually came into Brisbane yesterday but I wasn't home when the courier arrived so "Oops" I guess. They said they would be here anytime between 9 and 5pm so I stayed home all day and they arrived at 2pm.

Friday, 4 May 2007

Emperor's New Clothes

I used the gift voucher I got from work to buy some clothes for Japan. Yesterday, I got a shirt and yellow tie on sale and today I picked up two shirts and two black trousers. I don't think I need to buy anything else for now.

It's a bit strange being on holiday and not going anywhere. The way I'm feeling now it's probably a good thing. I shouldn't have gone to Medicare as I was still woozy from the day before.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

No Turning Back

I have finally bought my ticket today. I called the Flight Centre and Student Flights for some airfares. Both were well above what I expected. The Flight Centre quoted what looked to be a good deal but she made a mistake.

I booked directly on the Qantas website for $1476 return which was $100 less than what they quoted so I went with that. I officially leave Brisbane Thursday the 31st of May. I bought a return ticket to be home at christmas time. It was much cheaper as a return ticket.

Even though I booked with Qantas it looks like I will be taking Japan Airlines on a codeshare flight. I don't mind. I liked their food and it should be a good 9 hour trip. I guess this is it now. Japan, here I come!