Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Paperwork and Phraseology

I mailed off my final paperwork to AEON today and dropped down a ridiculous amount of money to fly into another hemisphere (how much can jet fuel, freeze-dried food and those crappy in-flight magazines cost anyway?) So barring some giant problem with my Visa I'm pretty much locked-in... like on one of those rides at theme-parks, the ones that semi-frequently explode spreading mayhem and blood all over the general candy-floss munching populace...

Anyway, 35 days to go (not that I'm counting... much) and I've still got a bunch to organise; finishing up with my visa, cataloging my clothing requirements, buying a years supply of deodorant (I'm not kidding, the manual says that Japanese deodorant is totally weak), setting up my laptop and choosing what CDs to take... not to mention planning my going-away party (suggestions gratefully received).

I'm still vaguely trying to learn Japanese, and I have a grasp of some basic/useful phrases: "Iie! go-ryoshin dewa arimasen! Kaishain desu!" ("No! I'm not your mother! I'm a company employee!") It's the written stuff that I'm finding hardest, having to translate not one but THREE different alphabets into romaji (the English syllabic equivalent) and then translate *that* into English is... confusing. Here's hoping I don't die by accidentally ordering/wolfing down octopus balls. :P

Also in the name of 'research' I started reading this novel by Rob Payne called 'Sushi Days', which is about this Canadian guy who goes to work for a English-school called BIGSUN (a shockingly disguised NOVA variant). It's really good and despite the horror described has actually has made me feel somewhat more confident- after all if some fictional Canadian wannabe-DJ can do the job and survive I can too, right?... right?!

Ok... time for me to quit and go to bed, I've got a big day of buying shirts, drinking coffee, phoning consulates, watching movies and whining to friends tomorrow!

Friday, 16 February 2007

Maps, Maps, Maps....

"Where the *expletive of choice* is Sasebo?" Is one of the more common responses that I get when I mention the place name. Accordingly I submit the following visual aid to clarify the situation:

More specifically:

So now you know.

Sasebo is something of a 'resort town' for the Nagasaki prefecture, famous primarily for being home to large naval bases for both the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the United States Navy. It has a population of about 250,000 people and is about 90 minutes away from both Nagasaki and Fukuoko. That's the basics anyway, I'm just hoping that sailors are nice, I can find a decent cup of coffee and that I don't end up spending every weekend at Japans largest (and only) replica 17th century Dutch-village/themepark that happens to be in town.
Wanna know more? try the tourism boards website or just hit wikipedia.

New job, new country, new shoes, new blog.

Hi everybody! Welcome to Kanji For Beginners; the new and upgraded home for my autobiographical exploits. (Livejournal is soooo 2001 don'tcha think?).

The main reason I created this site is to provide my friends and family with salient information on my upcoming adventure/quest/job teaching English in Japan. I accepted a position with the AEON corporation today, and after I finish the mountain of paperwork that work-related travel involves I'm due to jet off to Sasebo on April 5th to begin my illustrious career as 'Shaun-sensei' (or possibly 'koala-sensei' if 'Shaun' proves to be too hard on the local memory/palate). Of course if you wandered in randomly from some corner of the net then welcome too! Read, laugh comment... 'cause what's the fun of being severely out of your depth if there's no-one to share it with?