FinalIy! I am graduating in language school in Japan!

After one and a half year, finally I am graduating! It has been a crazy ride but it was all worth it. There were ups and downs but as graduation comes closer, I just want to breathe a sigh of relief.

2 years ago when I went to Japan, I risked everything I had back then. A good paying career, an “easy” life and my friends and family. I accepted the fact that I will be alone on this journey. The first 6 months were the hardest for me. I was living on this share house with inconsiderate housemates who do their laundry at 1AM in the morning (my room is beside the laundry area). My then place was 15 minutes away from the station so I need to be walking by 5:40 so I can catch the train at 6-6:15ish and arrive in the bus terminal in Shinagawa by 8AM. I prefer to be early because Japan train schedules in the morning can get unpredictable.

My first work in Japan was with Yamato transport as a luggage sorter. I worked in warehouse because less Japanese is required. The problem with working in warehouse is, it’s an open warehouse. It was winter season and it was so cold. I was standing for 5 hours straight and can’t even have a pee break because everyone is busy. After a month I decided to end my job with them as I was getting sick. My foot started to hurt as well as my lower back. Because of that, I had to go to therapy because I couldn’t walk properly.

My second job was with Motivist Japan. Yes, my school agent decided to hire me as I can communicate in English and they wanted me to handle their English market. My school agent advised me to move from my share house to a decent apartment in Chiba since Motivist is located in Makuhari, Chiba. Chiba is one hour away from Shinjuku. The rent is cheaper compared to Tokyo so basically I will just pay the same rent plus my utilities but I will have my own place.

So by January 2019, I moved to this new prefecture. Registered my address to the city hall and it was one of the best decision I made. I usually work in the morning in the Motivist office but the hours were not enough to cover my expenses so I decided to work in a Tonkatsu-ya in Makuharihongo at night. Working in Tonkatsu-ya opened my eyes to a new perspective in life. I washed dishes, I cleaned toilet, I cleaned tables, served tea and made miso soup. I have never done any of this when I was in Philippines. I know it was a downgrade of what I was doing before but I enjoyed it. It is the reality of life. The staff in Tonkatsu-ya are Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese and Vietnamese. I was the first Filipino to work there. But then after two months, I needed to leave. The store wanted me to work in different branches which I cannot do because that would mean carrying my uniform and shoes everyday on top of the books for the school. My back was not yet ready for it so after 2 months, I left. Also, the Vietnamese girl there was pissing me off so it’s better I leave before I lose my patience.

With some luck on my side, I was asked to work at night in Motivist Japan. I was so thankful because that would mean I will be SITTING in a chair in an OFFICE. I don’t need to wash dishes or clean toilets. Fast forward to today, I am still a part time worker in Motivist Japan. We are about to move office to Kaihim Makuhari which is a little far from my place but hey I can take a bus now! I had helped students like me wanting to study in Japan from various countries. Every time I have a student wanting to study in Japan, it always take me back to my humble beginnings.

I had the best teachers in school, though I cannot say the same for my classmates, I learned to zone out the negative and focus on positive instead. I passed my N3 exam and now I am preparing for N2. I can speak in Japanese (though not yet fluent) but I will get there.

Lord, if you read blogs, please know I am very thankful with what you have given me. I know it will get harder from here but I know you and my uncle will be watching over me. I made bad decisions sometimes, but I try to face them and correct them. Please do watch over my health because 1 year and a half of work and study made me a bit weary.

Here are some of my snapshots from 2018 and 2019:

From 17 students, we are down to 10

 

Living in Japan

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Photo from Google

It was fun and scary. I’ve been to this country many times and yes I still get scary. Japan is not a scary country despite language barriers. But sometimes, it get’s overwhelming. I had my first job in Yamato and my first interview was scary as shit. It was my first ever Japanese interview and luckily I passed. Though I only worked there for a month, I nevertheless enjoyed and had fun with the people. Funny thing, I was an hour late on my first day. I took the wrong bus and I ended up in Haneda instead of Shin-Tokyo. Imagine, you need to call to tell your supervisor you are late on your first day. Terrifying. Considering I was rarely late in Philippines.

No one spoke english. English was basically useless. I had no choice but to speak broken Japanese to everyone. I was running out of budget and basically I had no choice but to work. It was my first time to work as a non-office employee. Skill based work is tough as F. Imagine working on a very cold warehouse lifting heavy luggages and boxes? I regularly exercise but man it’s still tough. I eventually left after a month coz I am scared that I will get sick and it will cost me more money than I will actually earn.

I never had a chance to say Good bye and Thank you to my senpais there, but if you see this in the future, please know I am really thankful and I will all miss working with you. I miss sorting luggages.

A.