Oh, now I get it

So for a while I’ve been doing this horrible thing, where I lay down and I wake up around 8 hours later. At first, it was somewhat amusing, but int he last month it’s been getting more frequent, and I don’t enjoy it.

My mood has also been fluctuating, bringing me so low, that I was wondering if I was beginning to worry I was depressed. My apartment insnt as clean as I would like it to be, and I feel more anxious and tired than usual. I was a bit confused as to why this was until, Ding Ding, I’m probably anemic. Despite being a Vegetarian, I never really suffered from Anemia back home in Britain, but since coming to Japan my diet has consisted of Combini bought bread and various rice foods, topped off with a store bought snack, and the occasional tofu and kimchi binges.  I think I worried my friends last night while we spoke about it over beer and good food at an Izakaya. I had never seen three people look more serious in my life. I felt bad for worrying them, but at the same time, a little warm inside, knowing that the people around me actually cared about things like my eating habits. Luckily for me, they are all amazing at cooking, and they promised to teach me. With this in mind, I promised to eat better and told myself I would go to the doctors if it got worse.

It did get worse. Just like many times before, I lay down when I got home and fell asleep, only to wake up at 8:15 am. I’m supposed to be in work at 8:15. Now, if I was in my base school, I could have made it there by about 8:45, making me only 15 minutes late (since my shift actually starts at 8:30 am). However, unluckily for me, today I’m placed at my inaka JHS, which takes about an hour on the bus to get to in the mornings. So, slapping on only foundation, I ran for the shop, grabbed another unhealthy bread and rice based meal and hailed a taxi. I arrived at around 9:15, making me only 45 minutes late ( which was good, considering the school is a fair old trek away) and 3,460円 down.

Everyone was overly kind when I arrived to school, making me feel horrid. My JTE’s were wonderful about it, with one of them printing off a list of foods that contained Iron, after I told her what the problem might be. My Kouchou Sensei told me it was alright and not to push myself to hard, while my Kyoto sensei told me not to worry and to put my health first. Hell, even the Taxi driver was kind, giving me a small can of Coffee, which I drank some of, even though I hate it. It was the nicest coffee I’ve ever tasted.

While this even was horrid and I feel so unprofessional and just plain terrible for letting myself do something so stupid, I feel it needed to happen. I think I needed this wake up call to help me realize that I don’t take care of myself enough and that I need to start taking things like health and work more seriously.

That being said, I really hope this never happens again.

P.s If anyone is interested in knowing some Japanese foods with loads of Iron, comment down below and maybe I will make a post with a few of the more common foods!

If you made it this far, thanks for reading!

The Dreaded Christmas cake

The majority of woman, especially those in Japan, will probably know what I mean when I mention Christmas cake.

All over the world, woman are perceived as ticking time bombs, rushing about to get married before their looks deteriorate, because obviously, when our looks are gone we have nothing else to offer [end sarcastic tone]. It is a pressure many woman, regardless of age and nationality feel, myself included. But how do I know when is too late? How old should I be when I marry? Society is quick to shake its head and scold me in various forms of awkward smiles and ‘helpful’ advice, but no one will actually give me a date by which I should marry. Japan, however, comes to the rescue.

The one thing I absolutely adore about the Japanese, is that they have a word, or a phrase for everything! For example,  積ん読 (Tsundoku), meaning, to buy books and leave them unread. This is a personal favorite of mine, and in looking up more words for this blog, I found many others which I shall put in another post later for you to enjoy and marvel at! 

In Japanese, nothing is left unexplained in some wondrous way, and unmarried woman over the age of 25 are no exception. Yup, you got it, In my title, I’m not actually referring to a cake, but to a single woman. The concept has much less weight than previous years, for the most part in this day and age, with many woman in Japan leaving marriage until later in their lives and receiving no stigma for it. However, it is not absent.

But, why a Christmas cake you ask? Well, no one buys Christmas cakes after the 25th right? Well, in the same way, this is used to describe how no one will want to ‘buy’ a woman who is over the age of 25. It’s honestly a depressing and more than a little degrading. But, oh well, It’s not like I can travel back in time and bitch slap whoever decided to create this phrase. (But how satisfying would it be if I could!)

However, this does not mean that the ingrained belief that a woman should marry young is not still heavily ingrained into the mentality of many Japanese people. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I personally believe that this is a mentality shared with many countries all over the world, but. I’m just talking about Japan today due to the fact that 1.This is my current home, and 2. I’m going to tell you a little story.

Yes, just yesterday me and a few friends were talking about the concept, and how pressuring it could be for us woman who are nearing the age of 25. I mean, the Christmas cake thing aside, so many other parts of society tell us that romance and marriage in the younger years is really the best option, especially for woman. In many movies and books, romance is often portrayed between young people, often those in their late teens and early twenties. I often feel that, as a single person in her early twenties, that I’m missing out on some amazing passionate romance, when in fact, all I’m probably missing out on is gaining weight thanks to the various pizza nights and many squabbles over god knows what. (Let me stew in my bitter pessimism for a moment here, it helps me sleep at night). So, if you take that, and the fact that men generally prefer younger woman over those their own age, we don’t really have many odds in our favor, especially when you bring in this Christmas cake business.

As I said before, despite the fact that this generation, for the most part, have able to escape the dreaded Christmas cake curse, I do still think it is in the back of everyone’s minds, especially where the older generation is concerned. My proof? Let me tell you a little bit about my morning.

So, I was pushing it for time this morning, and in my dazed state, decided that getting a taxi to the bus terminal was the best choice.  Considering that if I missed my bus I would be in a world of trouble. So, greeting good morning to the Taxi driver outside of 7/11, along with his taxi driver friend, an elderly man which I knew from other taxi times, I got in and gave my directions to the bus terminal. We chatted a little, and it was pleasant. “You’re very pretty” The old man said to me with a kind smile in the mirror. “Oh gosh, no not really, but thank you” I smiled, waving my hand in an attempt to be humble but not ungreatful for his kind words. “Are you married then?” he asked. I get this a lot for some reason. “Oh, no!” I laughed lightly. “I see, I see” he laughed back “A boyfriend then?” he asked curiously, my destination nearing. “Nope”, I smiled, getting my money ready. “Oh, so how old are you? 22? 23?” He glanced up in the mirror, nothing but kindness on his face. “I’m 23” I smiled back. “Ah, as I thought” he began “Well, you still have some time then!” He breathed out in what could only be described as some what of a relieved tone.

Still have time? Was I running out? I faltered for a moment, but my destination had saved me, allowing me to pay, thank him and wish him a good day. I wonder how he would have reacted if I had said 25? ‘Better get your game on girl!’, or how about 26! ‘That’s a shame, but if you push yourself, I’m sure you can find someone!’.

There was no harm in him, and I’m not offended, or even sad, just curious and a little bit perplexed. However, it does bring to light this perception everyone harbors about woman and the social expectations placed upon them. I always promised  myself that I would never make a decision as a result of social pressures, but やっぱり, sometimes its hard to ignore them.

With that being said, it seems like I should get off the PC and go find me a husband! I mean, I only have 673 days, 14 days and 37 hours left!

久しぶり皆さん!!

So, long time no see! How are you all?

I’m sorry it has taken me so long to blog about anything. I’ve only got internet in the last few weeks, and I guess I just haven’t had the energy! But I’m slowly getting used to my new life in Nagasaki and feel its time to get back on the blogging wagon!

So, Nagasaki City. It’s so wonderful! Like truly, there is so much here to see, I feel so lucky living here. There was also no exaggeration made I was told that it was a culturally rich prefecture! From Japanese, to Chinese, to Dutch, Nagasaki has so may interesting things to learn and experience! (That and there is an amazing cafe that sells a mean pumpkin soup).

My house is in a pretty sweet location, and my apartment- despite the gross carpet which I’ve managed to burn with my iron- is really lovely! Although, I do have a mini fridge….just a mini fridge, with half a shelf for my freezer….They must know I can’t cook! I truly do like it though, and despite being pretty central, my street is relatively quiet and whenever I am disturbed, its by wonderful sounds such as monks from the monastery nearby.

My schools are also pretty wonderful! The bus Journey to Junior high B, as I will now call it, forcing me to get up at a ridiculous time while being worth it, is pretty wonderful. Its a little far from my house, but I honestly enjoy the bus ride there, especially when I get a window seat. I alternate between a sea view and a mountainous view, and I always feel spoiled for choice in the mornings. Like watching a film, I get to drive along side the Ocean, half expecting Ponyo to pop out and start riding them waves! (This has not happened yet, but I will be patient).

Hearing the tales from everyone else’s adventures in Japan makes me both Jealous and excited! Some prefectures really got their shit together and seem to have done a lot for the ALT’s, especially in regards to making sure thy experience japan.

When I’m not so tired, I will put up a post about arriving in Japan, and the few crazy days that followed.

Well, I’m off to watch Buzzer Beat and curl up with tea and cake! Have a nice evening, expect to hear from me soooooon!

またね~