Friday 29 January 2010

Mouldy hat. Gay hearts.

Enough said really, although I am now admiring the gay hearts within the big gay heart, lovely...

Thursday 28 January 2010

The mouldy hat...

OK, so my first attempt at a birthday cake for Ash turned out like a big mouldy hat with two gay hearts on the side... But it's the thought that counts right? And plus I'm sure it'll taste really good, can't really go wrong with chocolate sponge, white chocolate filling and vanilla butter icing... even if it is blue...

You know those people who have no maternal instincts until they actually have the baby and then they're mother of the year, I think I'm the opposite. Seriously, before I had a baby, I loved kids, babies, and definitely wanted to be a mother, but now I have the kid I find myself going the other way!! Take Ash's birthday for instance, decided to not do a big party or presents or anything for the following reasons:

1) Couldn't be fucked
2) He still doesn't quite get that his foot is attached to his leg let alone understand the concept of birthdays.
3) He won't remember anyway
4) If I did do a big party I'd want to spend way too much money
5) Yup, pretty much just couldn't be fucked

Isn't that horrible! Anyway, after deciding to just have a low-key party, MIL took over all the arrangements which then made me feel guilty and useless so last minute I made her cancel the cake she ordered and said I'd make one, there was the usual in-law camp chorus of "Moooouuuu, taihen, yametoki!" Followed by me getting even more stubborn in my resolve to make the fucking cake. And I really have no excuses, Ash's birthday falls in the valentine's day range and there is sooo much cake making crap in the stores.

So I gave it a crack, it looks disgusting but I'm going to swap disgusting for "homemade..." I tried to do two tiers but misjudged my measurements so it just looks like a straw hat, then the blue icing I wanted to make just went to shit too, the hearts actually turned out well though! (Apart from being insanely gay).

Will report in on how the party goes tomorrow along with some photos, I'm sure someone will piss me off in some way!

Wednesday 27 January 2010

Australia day

was yesterday.

My family has never been a 'how ya goin maaaatttteeee' kind of family (seeing as though my parents are Brits!) and Australia day was always just another day off work or school, we never got into the throw another shrimp (PRAWN!!) on the barbie or anything so I didn't really miss being home that much. I did get a teensy tiny bit homesick, not sure why, perhaps it's my yearly dose. I totally don't get homesick, is that weird?? Of course the family and friends missing is a given but I rarely get homesick, and I've seen people living in Japan get homesick, not pretty, for anyone. They start to despise everything Japan and get pissed off when someone says konnichiwa to them. I get pissed off with Japan quite a bit but i think it's more to do with my cynical, slightly dark, skewed view on life more than anything else...

Top 5 things I miss about the land down under...
1) Grass/space/nature/clean air- Naturey stuff.
2) People helping each other (more on this point and the Japanese cunts at my local supermarket later!!!)
3) Abundance of Thai and Mexican food.

I can't think of the last two!!! If anyone has any suggestions let me know!

So the reason I'm posting this today and not yesterday (apart from the fact I'm incredibly lazy) is that yesterday I embarked on a mission to the bank. Sounds simple right?
Not Japanese banks, I think most Japanese people hate banks too, well Ryota does but he's very prone to hating tedious things like banks. I usually avoid going to the bank and talking to an actual person, most of the time it's to the ATM for all my banking needs where the ENGLISH HELP button is promptly pushed. But yesterday it was a necessary evil, I had to open a bank account for Ash, I figured he has about 50 billion toys already so a bank account and a kick start to his University fund would be a better present than anything. Of course it's more than likely that mummy will dip into that account before he gets to University for necessities such as new shoes and the like...

Now I hear your cries of "Your husband is Japanese, use him for this kind of shit!!!" but I had to go by myself on principle, MIL and Ryota had already discussed it and decided that I wouldn't be able to do it by myself with a screaming child so of course I just had to prove them wrong, presumptuous bastards...
So off I toddled with Ash strapped to the front of the bike and made the 20 minute ride to our local bank. When I walked in I saw the greet n' meet lady who directs you to which bit of paper to pull dart her eyes away from me in a flash of gaijin spotting panic and then quickly return to her cheery bowing self. I asked her where I had to go to open a new account for my son and she literally breathed a sigh of relief and sent me upstairs. Now Ash is juuuusssttt about walking, which is great and all but he's not quite there yet, so he squirms and wriggles to be put on the ground but then stands for about ten seconds, maybe takes a few steps, then slips back in to crawling mode, whether it's dirty or not. I hate to say this, but I'm a dirt freak when it comes to Ash, I feel the need to wipe his mouth every bite of food and wash his hands the minute they get dirty, pointless I know, but I can't help it.

So Ash wants down, so I put him down only for him to crawl into the next boothey thing where people are talking with the staff, then I was all panicky and shit thinking, 'Fuck, I have to get him but I'm invading their privacy when I go in there!' After a few panicky heart palpitations I just grabbed his legs and pulled him back, few carpet burns, no worries.
I started to explain to the lady that I wanted a new account for my son and she had a bit of gaijin panic look in her eyes, but assured me she was eternally grateful for the fact I could speak Japanese. She automatically assumed I'd want his name in romaji, me being white and all...? And when I filled out my form with his name in kanji, she realised that her forms were all fucked up and had to change them, then I forgot our phone number and got our address backwards so fucked up my form a few times, between the two of us fucking up our forms I think we wasted at least a few trees.

After much faffing about, 20 minutes waiting, confusion over middles names, Ashton smacking another baby in the head then giggling at him, more middle name confusion, and a bit more waiting, I finally walked out of there with Ash's little pass book! Success! MIL and Ryota were shocked I did it on my own, and to be honest so was I, I seem to remember J-banks being much scarier, and that was when I used to hunt out the English speaking ones! And even though it was easier than I thought I still felt like I needed a chu-hi when I left the bank, imagine that, foreign woman on a bike with baby strapped on with booze in one hand- irresponsible mother of the year right there.

In other news, I'm having huge work headaches overshadowed by echoes of "KAWAISOOOOOOUUUUU!!!" resounding from the in-law camp. The choices are; work full time at high school, work part time at various schools, or open our own space for my private students and hopefully more to come... Very confusing but exciting time, all choices involve shipping Ash to kindy and I can't bloody wait. MIL says it's kawaisou to send him so early but the kid is so sick of me and lights up (and beats up) when he sees other kids. Well see anyway!

Wednesday 20 January 2010

How to piss off the rice police.

Now for those of you who live in Japan and don't just hang out with foreigners and get pissed at izakayas every night, (heeelllllloooo me 5 years ago) you'll be pretty much aware of 'the rules of rice' in Japan, for those of you who don't or are munching down on the fried chicken in an izakaya right now, here they are:

1) The first and most important rule- Japanese rice is the king of rice, it shall not be confused with any other inferior rice such as that in Korea, Thailand and certainly not China *spits in disgust*

2) Rice should be made sticky so that if you drop it, it still sticks together, and to whatever it falls on. If it falls apart it is too dry and resembles above mentioned dirty foreign rice.

3) Japanese rice must be kept pure and not smothered with any condiment. This rule is slightly flexible if the dish is _____ don, For example, steak don is steak dumped on top of the rice.

4) Rice must be eaten with something else, it makes a meal complete, do not attempt to just eat a shitload of rice on its own, accompany it with delicious morsels such as; baked fish (WoooHoooo, eyes and all!), pickled colourful shite, miso soup etc etc.

There are many other rules when it comes to rice, I believe these are the main ones though, please enlighten me if you can think of any others..

Now as clueless foreigners go, I think I'm a pretty good one on Japanesey culturey stuff. I can sit with my legs under me (I am right now in fact), I'm a pro with chopsticks and never stick them in my rice bowl (Oooo there's another rule right there!!), I take my shoes off at the right times (see previous post), and I've learnt to say "summimasen" and "gomennasai" in between sentences to get anything I want (no brackets needed here but I'm a big fan of them tonight so what the hell).
I'm a good foreigner!!! Of course I still yell at sales people occasionally and have been known to drink too much and vomit on a few izakaya toilet floors but that's allll in the past, just call me 'bento girl,' the bento making perfect housewife of the Japanese future!!! (I know there's some nerd out there stealing my idea for a new manga right now.) I wonder how many brackets I really can squeeze into this post...

Now I discovered the other night the reaction that Obaachan gave when Ryota announced that not only had he knocked up his girlfriend of 2 months, but, SHE WAS A FOREIGN!!! AS IN NOT JAPANESE!!!!!! I'm surprised Grandma didn't actually keel over from the shock. But I was told her reaction was something like this:

Ryota: Grandma my girlfriend's knocked up.
Grandma: You stupid fucking twat, what the fuck are we going to do now, who is the dirty little slapper then??
Ryota: Her name is Corinne, she lives in Osaka...
Grandma: Corinne?? CORINNE?? What's her fucking name?? Is that fucking Chinese or something???
Ryota: No, she's Australian.
Grandma: Holy fucking hell, she won't speak a word of Japanese, what the fuck are we going to do now *slaps Ryota's head*

OK, it probably wasn't quite that harsh, but it was pretty close, I'm sure.
So Obaachan expected the worst, and I'm pretty proud to say that I pleasantly surprised her, the whole neighbourhood compliments her on the way her foreign granddaughter is the queen of aisatsu every morning, always puts her rubbish out on time and how good her Japanese is (of course they are judging this from "konnichiwa" so not the best way to judge language skills, but still.) She was also impressed that I could make bento, and listened to her rattle on (although half the time I was just nodding thinking; "what the fuck is she on about...?").
But recently, I've been breaking some rules, some very important rules, yup, you guessed it, I've been breaking some rice rules...

So for those of you living with or close to your in-laws, if they are rice nazis like mine, here are two sure fire ways to piss them off and remind them of your foreign-ness. The first, and very delicious way, is cheese rice. I had this for dinner tonight, much to the in-laws disgust, basically, you take some sacred J-rice, put some soy sauce on top, some mayo and then looooaaadddds of cheese, pop it in the microwave until the cheese is all bubbly and melted, and, you're done! It tastes really fucking good, although breaks all kinds of rice rules. I made a big-arse bowl of it too and had nothing else, so the in-laws were even more shocked and appalled at my dinner. Obaachan even muttered that it was a big waste of rice because I wouldn't be able to taste anything but cheese. Fuck it was good. (The pissing Obaachan off and the rice.)

The second biiiigggg rice rule breaker, is rice pudding. This one pissed the in-laws off even more because I was giving it to Ash too. I should have added another rule that Japanese rice is never to be mixed with anything sweet or anything that resembles a pudding. I tried to explain to them that rice pudding is actually very popular in other countries but they wouldn't have it, just kept saying over and over again that rice does not, has never and will never belong in pudding form. I made SIL try it and she even gagged a little and spat it out, it's freakin rice milk sugar and cinnamon, it's not like I put sulphuric acid in it or anything, although that gives me an idea...
They also made little grimacing faces when I was giving it to Ash, fortunately for me, he loved it and wanted more.

So the perfect, foreign-but-like-Japanese housewife granddaughter dream is dead for Obaachan, but good for me, if I go too Japanese I may start kitchen drinking, making poison curry or something crazy like always putting my husband first. Pffft, nah that'll never happen.
So I say rebel against the rice rules people, try some cheesey rice or have a natsukashi rice pudding in rebellion!!!

Friday 15 January 2010

Why me??

Thank you for all the wonderful comments and contributions on the last "questions to Japan" post, perhaps we should all collaborate and write a book! After thinking about all the whys I have for Japan, I also got to thinking of how Japan has changed me, and how when I first came to Japan, I could have written a list of 100 questions to Japan, there are things I thought that were weird then that I've been converted to now. I think after I got married and got away from the ex-pat drinking scene I've changed even more to the J-way, I don't know if it's good or bad, better for my liver anyway...

10 ways I've done a total 180 to the J-way...

1) Cooking with the 'Japanese taste...'
When I first heard the absurd combination of soy sauce, sugar and sake I was all like, 'err, OK, would you like a side of crack with your soy sauce and sugar?!' It was such a weird concept for me, I now, however, pretty much cook everything with that combo and don't even need to measure anymore, got the perfect blend of soy sauce, sugar, ajinomoto, sake, hondashi and mirin down like a pro!

2) Taking temperatures like a madwoman...
This is even worse since Ash came along, I've mentioned this before but when I lived in Aussie we never had a thermometer in the house, where as now I'll have one shoved under anyone's armpit the minute they say they have a cold. Ridiculous, even as I type I'm vowing to throw all thermometers away.

3) Bowing...
When I was home last, I bowed at freaking McDonald's. It wasn't a huge, deep bow or anything, just a nod of the head, but enough for me to notice it and want to smack myself around a bit. It is a habit I'm going to find very hard to break if I ever go home permanently, although I find bowing very useful when there is nothing else to do, or when you want to get away from someone you're talking to.

4) Japanese...noises??
I'm not sure if that's the best way to describe them, (and no I'm not referring the crying noises J-girls make in the throws of passion) I mean the noises you make to express mild surprise: ふんん big surprise: へええええ! shock: えええ!? confused shock: えっ?えっ? and disgust: わああ!I seriously have no idea what I said to express those things before and can't imagine not using them.

5) Eating rice twice a day...
5 years ago I ate rice once a week if I was lucky and even that was the fried kind from the local Chinese take-away.. These days there is always rice in the cooker and we pretty much eat it at least once, usually twice a day. What the hell do babies eat at home?? Pasta?? Bread?? Ash eats rice with pretty much every meal!

6)Doing waaaaaayyyyy more housework...
If I was living on my own at home I would probably wash once or twice a week, vacuum about the same and wash floors and bath when I could visibly see scum forming. I now vacuum at least every second day (but usually every day) wash clothes every day, wash the bath and floors once every two days, and a whole heap of other crap that I would never have done before. This may, ok, definitely change however when I start working full time.

7) Repulsion at "inside dirt..."
Now my house in Australia always had a no-shoes inside policy so that wasn't a huge change for me, but it was a pretty loose policy and nobody would have a seizure if an outside shoe touched an inside surface. I now have this radar that can detect any speck of outside dirt that comes into contact with an inside surface, bizarre. I also get paranoid that I will be 'that stupid gaijin' who makes a shoe mistake, it doesn't happen too often, but whenever I step on carpet of any kind i nervously dart my eyes to all the Japanese feet just to make sure I'm not fucking with the the no shoe on carpet policy.

8) Bike radar...
Speaking of radar, I can now sense when someone is behind me on a bike on the footpath, because we're not in Kansas anymore Toto, you can't just freely take up a huge footpath, no no, there is room for one person and one bike. Any violation of the one person one bike policy will result in extreme irritating bell ringing from the cranky old lady on the bike. When my mum was here I had to pretty much keep my hand on her arm all the time and guide her out of the way of all the bikes as her radar was still on wide footpath Australia mode.

9) Accent...
I never had a real strong Aussie twang, much to the delight of most students but it was definitely stronger when I first came here. I would never have said Oooo-su-to-ra-ri-aarrr or sa-ra-DA in a daily conversation but I've seriously forgotten how to say some words without sounding like a posh twat with a speech impediment.

10) Taking and appreciating a bath everyday...
I rarely took baths when I was at home, I now take one everyday and I think I will even when I don't have to with Ash. When I was home with Ash on holiday I would jump in the bath with Ash and my parents said they never got in the bath with us, just filled the bath a bit and stood above and washed. I think my reply to that was incredibly Japanese, I gave them a horrified look and said, "But the baby gets cold!! And you'll get a sore back!!! And nobody can relax and 'boil'!!!" I think I actually used the term 'boil' too...

So there are only 10 of the ways that Japan is getting her clutches on me and converting me to the J-way, there are lots more that I'm sure I don't even notice. Anyone else been changed by the place they lived???

Saturday 9 January 2010


is a question that needs to be asked far more often in Japan.

When I was teaching at public schools, I was amazed at the lack of imagination and curiosity of Japanese kids.
Like, I'd tell them Mickey Mouse was the Prime minister of Australia and they'd go, "Ohhh really." And not in a sarcastic way, as in: She's the sensei, her word is God, admittedly she is a foreign sensei who I call "Corinne teacher" but she is sensei all the same.
My students were never rewarded for the right answer but always rewarded for trying, answer wrong or right. Because when it comes to English I think it's always better to try, make a mistake but get your point across rather than keep quiet and not get anything across. Co-mmuuuu-nniiii-caaaaaaa-tion people!
And see, I don't think the same goes for Japanese, sometimes I will try and get my point across while knowing my Japanese is rubbish but possibly understandable and I will be met with smiles and blank stares. Of course depends on the person, take my MIL ad FIL. MIL is awesome with the understanding, I'll sprinkle in English words when I don't know the Japanese and use 2 word unstructured sentences and she'll still try very hard to get it.
FIL, on the other hand, unless it's perfect Japanese, will stop listening and look at his wife or Ryota with a fucking goofy grin and a look that says, 'Son, your moron wife is trying and failing to speak to me, translate will you?!' He doesn't mean it that way, but it's such a frustrating feeling for me and really does make me just want to shut my trap.

Anyway, back to the original point... I think Japanese people and kids in particular, who are supposed to be curious by nature, really should start asking more questions, for example, "Sensei, why do you just copy our textbook and give it to us for homework?" And if sensei was honest he'd answer: "Well johnny-kun, I just can't be arsed as I have to stay in this bastard school until after dark to watch you little fuckers run around and hit baseballs." I think this is why kids clean their classroom here, kids in Australia would be all, "Uhhh, Miss, this is child fucking labour!!!" I think a mix is good, a little more inquisitive but not quite as lazy as the little Aussie bastards..

The reason I was thinking about the 'why' thing, is the other day, I got my hair done at the local salon and was looking at the sign that had the salon's name on it for a good 2 hours, which gave me a bit of time to think I guess. The salon name is P.H.D. which for me is the thing you get when you spend your entire life at University and get to be called a doctor. And then under the P.H.D. it said 'Phass hair design.' Hair-good, design-nice one, phass-???? Do you need a P.H.D. to know what Phass means?? Am I just incredibly dense and don't know what phass means??? So I asked my friendly stylist what Phass meant, and I think he'd never been told or asked about it, because he panicked for a bit and then answered, "It's this salon's name" No shit, brightspark, but what does Phass mean? I asked all of this in Japanese so it's not like I was giving him an English quiz, he confessed to not knowing and asked me what it meant in English, I said I didn't know and that was the end of it. Didn't he have the slightest bit of interest in the name of the place he was working?

Another thing that got me thinking about the lack of why usage in Japan is the fact that on more than one occasion, I have been thanked by a random Obachan on my son. The usual drill will go,
-Obachan makes face at Ash
-Ash giggles and responds in his slut-like way
-Obachan gushes at how cute he is
-I go all J-style and deny his cuteness while my western inner child screams "Ohhh yeah I know he's cute, you wanna see his fat little legs!?"
-Obachan says, Arigato gozaimasu!!!!

Now this is where I'd love to ask her, why thank you??
Thank you for having a cute child?? Thank you for breeding with one of my race?? Thank you for increasing our aging population?? Thank you for letting me make faces at your child?? Thank you for marrying a Japanese man and putting up with the fact that they have been treated like a baby by their mother and grandmother their whole life and may never actually grow up?? Thank you for staying in Japan and producing a half child that may end up on a gap commercial one day??

Who knows.

But while we're asking questions about Japan, I have a few of my own...

Top 10 questions I want to ask about Japan...

1) Why don't you have real ovens/sausages/dishwashers/bacon/grass/meat pies Japan?
2) Why are so many Japanese girls pigeon toed?
3) Why is your idea of comedy a man slapping another man over the head many times?
4) Why does everything on TV and everywhere else relate to food but you're all skinny bastards?
5) Why do you say shirts instead of shirt? (Same applies for fruits and nuts)
6) Why do women insist on carrying bags with their hands twisted up like they have a disability?
7) Why do men piss in the street, especially taxi drivers!?
8) Why does the fact that it's expensive make it the best?
9) Why are your garbage men so freaking uptight that they picked a tiny tuna can out of my burnable rubbish bag and put a sticker of garbage shame on it?
10) Why isn't it weird to you that your school kids are at school on their holidays unless the school is physically locked?

Friday 8 January 2010

Running hot and cold on Japan

You know, when I think of hot countries, I imagine Hawaii, India, Thailand, even Australia. And the trade-off of these stinking summer countries is that winter isn't too cold. Then there are the cold places like Russia, Canada, and the European countries where you get the bastard cold snowy winters but the summers aren't too bad.
So where did Japan get screwed over in this list!? It seems to get the worst of both extremes!

It was even raining snow yesterday, not quite snowing but not quite raining, I actually exclaimed to myself out loud in the car "God it's raining snow!!!" in an incredibly ridiculous high-pitched voice. Lucky Ash isn't old enough to take the piss out of me yet...

Maybe I should move to Hokkaido or Okinawa and get on one side of the fence. Not that it gets that cold where I live, I like to bitch that I live in the iinaka but really it's Hyogo-ken, home of Kobe and all things international city, but still, cold enough to give me an obviously red honker and numb fingers. It never seemed that bad when I lived in Osaka city but then the blanket of smog probably provided some protection from the cold.

I prefer the cold to hot, especially in Japan where unless you have a pool in the backyard (good luck with that!) or even a backyard for that matter, you pretty much live inside with skin-drying air conditioners all day and going outside means instant sweat and the urge to sigh and say "Atssuuuuuuiiiiiii!!!" There's something about rugging up and going out in the cold that I like and I still stand by the argument that winter is easier to rug up than summer is to strip down... If that makes any sense...

I've even been going out for a walk after dinner, MIL asked Ryota if i was depressed because I wanted to go walking at night in the cold... Err no lady, but now you mention it, may just throw myself under that train for fun! And I don't think suicide by freezing to death counts.
I just like some alone time with darkness and music, very relaxing, and will possibly help walk off the 10 million fucking kilos I've put on from eating a truckload of Mochi over the new year!

Anyway, back to Japan and her unforgiving seasons... I was thinking Japan's weather is much the way I feel about my life here... Sometimes I love it, it's perfect and I can't imagine how it could ever be bad, but for the majority of the time it just pisses me right off and I'll dream of being within walking distance of the beach... well, not really, it's not like I ever hate living in Japan like I hate the sweat-your-tits-off summer humidity but every time I think that I've had enough of living here, there'll be some amazing redeeming quality that reminds me why I wanted to live here in the first place.

5 reasons to stay living in Japan...

1) Both Ryota and I can work here easily.
2) You can eat fish that is still moving on the plate.
3) People aren't half as aggressive as in Australia.
4) The indirectness of, well, everything here suits my personality perfectly.
5) You can drink beer just about anywhere at any time without feeling like a homeless.

Why do so many people choose to stay in Japan???

Wednesday 6 January 2010

Welcome the year of the tiger, Grrrr!

My my, it has been a while between posts, I'd like to say I've been incredibly busy and had no time to write, or something to make me feel important like writer's block, but in reality, I've been a lazy, mochi-eating slob with an Iphone and therefore little need to use anything other than a hand-held mobile phone from the warmth of bed.

Christmas turned out better than I thought and as usual, Japan has redeemed herself with me for new Year where it's all over-eating and clean houses. Ryo-chan surprised me in the present department with the Iphone and although we had a massive argument about the 'price of Christmas' (there isn't one as far as I'm concerned!!) we had a nice relaxed holiday. Must say though, was pretty glad when he went back to work so I could sleep in without feeling so guilty!
New Years eve was quiet but good, Sassymoo, King N and Princess P came over and we had chu-hi and loads of good but bad food, good in that it was tasty, bad in that I'd probably put on a good 2kgs by New years day. We went to the local shrine at midnight and rang the bell and got our free booze. I prayed for just one night of uninterrupted sleep this year but that is looking unlikely the way little Ash is going...

And because I really have nothing that interesting to write about, I shall join the masses and do a noughties decade sum up, just cos it's fun and I'm in Japan, being a lemming is always in fashion..

2000- Still at high school, being a little rebel on weekends smoking bongs and skulling cheap whisky, part-time job at best and less (clothing store, do I dare compare to uniqlo?? Imagine uniqlo but with flourescent lighting and bargain bins...)

2001- Finished high school with better marks than expected despite killing brain cells with above mentioned bongs, decided to go to uni and study Japanese, me my first love ex-boyfriend and fell in love with his family.

2002- uni, boyfriend, part-time job.

2003- uni, boyfriend, part-time job.

2004- Boyfriend dumped me on my 21st birthday (harsh much!?) and being me it was like my world had ended, well that's the way I felt at the time... I was devastated but more at losing the safeness of what we had and the security and love of his family. I'm pleased to say I still think of his family as my own and love them just as much. Was also due to graduate uni and you know when people ask you that annoying question 'Soooo what are you going to do after Uni??!!' and you want to bitch slap them in the face and scream "I don't know bitch so stop asking me!!!!!" ? Well I would always smile sweetly and answer "I'm going to go to Japan!" Of course in my head I knew I wasn't going to go to Japan, it was just beyond my realms of thinking. But after the break-up I was in more of a 'fuck it all' frame of mind and decided to give it a crack.

2005- Got an interview with NOVA and got the job, was chuffed with myself but didn't realise then that NOVA hired anyone with white skin and ironed clothes.
Came to Japan and lived with one bitchy girl and another great girl who I'm still friends with. HATED men/relationships/marriage.

2006- Drinking. Working. Climbed a few ladders at NOVA and was on pretty good pay, but then I not only had white skin and ironed clothes but I smiled quite a bit AND had blue eyes, which was assured promotion material at NOVA.

2007- Looootttt of drinking, was told by a J-Doc with bad English that i would die from my blood test results, he meant if i kept drinking my liver would give out so I replaced some drinking with running. Did a 10km run. NOVA went broke, was jobless for a looonnnggg boring month but got another job at a public high school, was really enjoying working, running, clubbing on weekends.

2008- Working. Met Ryota in March, knocked up in May, married in July. Went back to Aussie to push out monster-chan.

2009- Had Ash, came back to Japan, did the housewife bit. Got over the housewife dream very quickly and made the decision to work in 2010...

And that's where we are! Ash will be 1 this month and I plan on working full-time, hopefully very soon. I'll either go back to my old high school or we'll rent a space where I can teach privates and hopefully make a go of it. Both options have pros and cons so we'll see.

Happy 2010 y'all! Hope it brings happiness, health and good fortune, oh and just one bastard night's sleep, please Japanese gods, I'm begging you!!!