Tag Archives: inaka life

Letter to me

Before coming to Japan, our Montreal JET chapter had us write a letter to ourselves which we would receive halfway through our first year in Japan. SPOILER: I wrote about yuzu!


Yes I wrote “FAKUS” and no, I wasn’t trying to Japanglish, it’s just how my coworker used to say “focus”… mooooooooooving on!

Coming up on the 7th month mark now and well, let’s see how I did on a few points:

– Improve my Japanese: … Yaaaaaa about that… I didn’t ACTUALLY study these past 7 months, I thought I would absorb it the same way you absorb everything they never tell you at work, by OSOMOSIS! That hasn’t really worked out. I do feel that I can understand more when people speak to me, but I feel that my own communication skills have stagnated. SO, this week I decided to kick my butt and get to studying regularly again.

Shame GIF

– Explore the heck out of Shikoku: Well, let me just say that I did NOT anticipate my car having so many issues. Battery, alternator, battery, battery… battery! Lame excuse I know, but it’s really put me off going anywhere with it. So no, I don’t feel like I’ve done well on this front. BUT I did do an EPIC hike on Mt. Ishizuchi, visit Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo and Nara soooooo… #patsownback. I now have a NEW alternator AND battery -because yes, the -4 degree weather was TOO COLD for it- SO I’m looking forward to visiting both Matsuyama and Aki with it before leaving. Unless I drive into the gaijin trap, again.

Mt. Ishizuchi

– Yuzu otaku: Even then I knew I had a destiny to fulfill. I’ve eaten anything and EVERYTHING yuzu I can get my hands on, heck even our Christmas meal was yuzu nabe! Hitting up the yuzu festival in Uwajimura almost didn’t happen and can you imagine the tragedy? Looking at you inaka ALTs sharing details at the LAST minute… teehee. However, I must issue a PSA that I’m a fraud. Yes, a BIG.FAT.FRAUD! Sigh, you see, I thought yuzu season lasted muuuuuuuuuuch longer than it did. SO, I kept putting off visiting the yuzu onsen until it was too late. Sobering reality. So, moving forward, I’m going to jump on opportunities and not repeat such an epic fail.

Soooooooooooo many yuzu products to choose from!

Now there’s a few things I hadn’t put in my letter because they were more of a personal nature than something to do with Japan. However, I feel like I’ve done pretty good by some of the goals I set myself so let me share them with you:

– Keep to an active lifestyle: I do feel like I’ve been decently active back home but, especially hitting 30, I didn’t feel like I was properly incorporating it as a life habit. I intend to travel until I DROP, for that I need a healthy body. In summer and fall I’m quite active and then -30 hits and FORGET IT. So, enough of that. I figured that if I kept to a routine, I could make it a life habit. The secret? Change it up! I’ve been swimming, dancing, running and (trying) to do yoga #sweatlife.

– Read more: I can’t believe I even have to set this goal for myself! I LOVE reading and I let cat memes and the internets take too much space in life. Since I’ve arrived I’ve polished off Good Omens, Wuthering Heights, Onegin (2nd time!) and Consuelo; Finishing off short poems by Cocteau and moving on to Lemon by Kajii. Not exactly book worm level, but definitely on the right track. And in case you were wondering (even if you’re not TOUGH LUCK cause Ima tell you anyways) I try to alternate between English and French, just to confuse my brain a lil more.

brain GIF by University of California

– Eat better: I am SO over having stomach issues! In a nutshell, I have non-ulcer dyspepsia, so imagine having an ulcer… without an ulcer. Ya, fun. Bloating, pain, nausea and insomnia are all part of the super package. Oh and social anxiety. That one’s no fun because I’m an outgoing foodie… enough! It’s not like I ate crap to being with and I did watch my diet back home buuuuuuuuut sometimes life gets in the way and you slip up. Again, enough. Despite stuffing my face with every delicious thing that’s thrown my way here, I’ve had relatively few problems and that’s because I got back into the habit of cooking regularly. It’s fun, it’s cheap and it’s delicious! So, yay me.

Still enjoying some pizza action! What? I said I was being careful, not crazy. Strawberry pizza from Solana Surf Camp.

So there you have it, a letter to myself.

7 months in and 5 to go. What’s next? Stay tuned!

Back to school #SweatLife

This week was my first full week of classes!Fun fact, in Japan classes are actually saunas, disguised as a learning environment. I knew it would be hot but… I didn’t think I would go through my WHOLE pack of cooling Gatsby Facial paper in 1 sitting ⁀⊙﹏☉⁀


Related image

Thankfully, the saunas are filled with kawaii children, eager to poke and pull their new gaijin animal so I quickly forget that every piece of clothing I’m wearing has become a full body bathing suit of sweat!

Jokes aside, it’s been a fun week getting to know the elementary school kids; they’re extremely cute and FULL of energy. I’ve won over the 3rd graders with my Estelle Bingo game and I’ve made the overly inquisitive 6th graders believe I was dating Daisuke Takahashi (2010 Olympics figure skating bronze medalist). Let’s see how long it takes them to find out the truth!

Dis my man! Takahashi-kun curtesy of http://www.zimbio.com

This month is undokai month, which means the kids are practicing every day for their sports festival day. They’ll be doing 100 meter races, tug of war, traditional dances, and on and on it goes. I’ve got 3 this month and I’ve been watching the children practice while at school. It’s very odd and fascinating at the same time, seeing all the kids be obliged to partake in this very repetitive and highly organized (dare I say formal) training. I’ve got 1 down, 2 to go! I was invited to join the jump rope and tug of war challenges #gambarimashita.

Being the foodie that I am, I was very excited to begin school lunches! Total gaijin, I know. They’re called kyushoku and OMG WHY DON’T WE HAVE THESE IN CANADA!? It’s provided by the school system, the purpose being to teach healthy eating habits and provide better understanding of food. Guys, it totally makes my day!


I’ve also developed a deep new hatred for Google Maps. Because noooooooo, NO, it can’t make me take the EASY way to my schools, noooooooooooo I have to take the HARD way there! Since I live in the inaka, this means taking NARROW roads (100% NOT big enough for my company’s land yacht of a car) AND it means getting into trouble. You see, on these TINY roads there’s a space on the side juuuuuuuuuuust big enough for your tire to slip into, and for your car to get stuck. And of course this happened to me! I’m fine, the car’s fine, my pride however… well we’re not on speaking terms right now.

All in all, an eventful but good first week!