Yep, still here in Japan. Now for 2 weeks. That’s a lot days minus a TON of days x a few days, which is roughly about, oh, 14 (if my math is correct). Wow. Still can’t believe it. Parappa I am not. But I am still alive (yay for living!) despite eating next-to-nothing every day. My frugal mode shows no bounds. Or calories. Mostly the calories. But it’s helping me stay focused. Otherwise my entire office space would be filled with cute shiba inu plushes and way too much crap from Tokyo Disneyland.
So this week (like last) had a LOT of ups and a LOT of downs. Drastically changing your life is so goddamn exciting, but it’s also equally stressful, goddamn! But good or bad, it’s ultimately rewarding. And that’s what’s most important. Certainly more than eating. Otherwise I would have upped my budget by now. Lulz!
Aight… Let’s get on to the highlights, lowlights, and goals for next week!
Buying my Tokyo Disneyland Resort Annual Passport: This made me way too happy. For proof of this, I filmed a video of me before and after getting it. I also made sure to make my passport photo stupidly giddy to remind myself why I’m doing this. Because I can’t lose track of that. As annoying/frustrating as some of logistical stuff has been, I made this move to live my dream. And I’m never gonna wake up. Unless I gotta wake up to pee. Which is like every 3 hours. Ugh. It’s the worst. Wait… Why am I talking about this? Ahem. MOVING ON!
Visiting Tokyo Disneyland knowing I’m an annual passport holder: Seriously, this was a highlight! For the first time EVER, I was able to visit a theme park and NOT feel rushed to see/do everything. It was such an awesome experience! I was just strolling around, looking at merch, and checking out all the rad Japanese cosplayers (they’re seriously AMAZING). I really wanted to ride Space Mountain, but the line was too long, so y’know what? I just shrugged my shoulders and walked away. Because I can do that now. That’s how it feels to be an annual passport holder. It’s magical, guys. MAGICAL, I TELL YOU! So instead of waiting an hour for Space Mountain, I just walked on to Pirates, because that ride NEVER has a line. Poor pirates. Just ain’t cute enough for the Japanese.
Attending the Tokyo Game Show for the first fime: My awesome friend Mark (thanks, man!) hooked me up with a business pass to the Tokyo Game Show, which meant I avoided the preposterous crowds on the public day (and possible nerd flu contamination). Oh, I also filmed a video of my experiencers there, too! Get used to these videos. I’m going to be doing a lot more of them in the coming weeks!
Successfully transferring money from my US bank account to my new Japanese bank account: Yes, this is a highlight. Because I was a little worried about, oh, y’know, NOT HAVING MONEY IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY. So now that I got that sorted that out, I feel a wee bit better knowing I won’t be begging for change outside the Shibuya station in a few weeks. But I do find it is amazing how everyone wants (and sometimes EXPECTS) you to give them money for stuff here in Japan. Ugh. What do you mean you expect me to PAY YOU for cooking MEfood? So selfish!
Meeting my Japanese friend Mayu: Mayu is the best. She’s also special. In a good way, mind you. Not the bad “special” special. That’s the special secretly isn’t special. But Mayu is geniue, 100% totally-not-false-advertising special My personal friends know why, but she told me not to reveal her secret publicly. Doh! Good thing she said that, because had she not, I would have blurted that she was once… Oops! See what I mean? But seriously, it’s special. Secrets. Shhh! 🤐 But our conversation was awesome because it was this bizarro mishmash of Japanese, English, sign language and a LOT of confused faces along with a hefty amount of I-have-no-idea-what-you’re-saying-but-I’m-gonna-smile-and-nod-anyways gestures. Despite this, we somehow made it work! And I’m soooo looking forward to seeing how our conversations evole as I learn the language. Also, she made me TOTALLY self-conscious about all the weight I lost when she told me via Line that my face (かお) looked ちいさい (small). I CAN’T WAIT TO START COOKING MY OWN FOOD AGAIN!!!
Got my own personal stamp (inkan/hanko): I’m TOTALLY resisting the urge to just STAMP THE SHIT out of everything. You want me to pay for that ¥130 pork bun? First of all, you’re totally selish for wanting my money. But since since you asked, here, lemme STAMP THAT RECEIPT FOR YOU! What’s that? You don’t need my stamp? Well, my STAMP doesn’t need YOU, Family Mart! …But seriously, you sure you don’t want me to stamp it?
Bought a ticket to go see New Japan Pro Wrestling using a Japanese-only kiosk thingy: Suuuuuuper stoked about this! Even though I’m going to have a TON of fun at the 2 Tokyo Disney parks, I now consider that work (tough life, I know!), so I’m reserving pro wrestling (particularly New Japan Pro Wrestling) as my one material vice. This will be the 3rd time I’ve seen them live in Tokyo (2nd time at Sumo Hall), so I can’t wait to do this more often.
Bank accounts: Can I just write “Ugh!” 50 times and be done with it? Wait… Why am I asking? This is MY BLOG. I can do whatever I want! With that said… Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ah, much better. But seriously: sorting all this bank account rigamarole has been a hassle and a half made full. FULL HASSLE. Luckily, like I said earlier, I successfully transferred my US money to Japan, so it ain’t all that bad. But I’m still tryingto connect my Japanese corporate account to the payments processor I’m using so I can actually get paid (kinda important!). And I learned today that I apparently can’t transfer money from my corporate account to my personal one from an ATM (or at least not at the moment), so I gotta do that IN PERSON. What is this? 1990? And while my corporate account has Internet banking, you LITERALLY have to RUN SOFTWARE from a CD (yes, a CD!) and it ONLY WORKS ON WINDOWS. WHAT YEAR IS THIS AGAIN?!?!
Language barrier: I had several encounters this week where I realized the language barrier was tough. Some weren’t so bad, but I had a few downright humbling experiences where I felt hopeless. These situations are really difficult, but it serves as a good reminder to me that I NEED to dedicate myself to learning the language. Because as humbling and frustrating as it is for me, I’m sure it’s just the same (if not more) for the people I’m trying to talk to. I TOTALLY emphasize with them and I’m really bummed I’m making it hard for them to do their jobs. But this will change! My language classes start next week, so I will improve. JUST YOU WAIT, にほんご! I WILL MASTER YOU! Or at least somewhat master you. Tame you, maybe? Basically, I’ll learn enough not to sound like an idiot. How ‘bout that?
Apartment searching: This should be my number 1 lowlight. Because, man, it’s been rough. In fact, I’m technically homeless right now. Lol! The past 2 nights I SLEPT ON MY OFFICE FLOOR because my Airbnb ended on Tuesday and I’m waaaaaay too cheap to find a new one. So how have I been showering you, ask? Easy: I’m NOT showering. Who needs it? Not me. Pfft!
OK, that’s a lie. I do need it. And I have been showering. Turns out, you can shower at Manga Cafes (open 24 hours!) for about ¥200 for 30 minutes (that’s a little under $2). Not too shabby! The first Manga Cafe I went to was kinda gross… The shower was CRAZY SMALL and the place itself was a little rundown. However, I went to a different location (same store) and the shower was MUCH better. But back to apartments…
So I have this double whammy against me that’s making finding an apartment difficult: 1) I’m a white yankee boy, and 2) I’m a small business owner who hasn’t made any money yet. This means that not only are landlords apprehensive to rent to me based on my nationality, but they’re ALSO skeptical because of my inability to show a dedicated source of income. Totes terrible times. So when I went to meet with an apartment agent, it was pretty clear my pickings were slim when I watched him scroll through DOZENS of apartments and not click on any of them because he knows which landlords accept foreigners. And when he did find some places for me, he sent me 5 options. 2 were awesome, 1 was OK (but had no pictures) and the other 2 were ass. After writing back to say I liked 2 of the options, he then wrote back and said 1 of them changed their mind about renting to a ‘Murrican. Lol! So now I have ONE OPTION that I’m PRAYING TO THE APARTMENT GODS for. Granted, this place is RIGHT SMACK in the middle of the area I wanna live, so it’d be too perfect. But I also know it’s not worth getting my hopes up. Sigh. Right now, I’m soooooo looking forward to getting my own place. I miss cooking. I miss working out. I miss NOT SLEEPING ON THE FLOOR. Lol!
Next Week’s Goals
RENTING AN APARTMENT: Pleeeeeeeeease! You hear that apartment gods? Throw me a bone! Or some keys. Actually, just gimme the keys!
Finalizing my website: Said this last week, but we’re REALLY close. I can’t wait to open up for business. Ahh!
OK, I think that’s it. I think I may also turn this into a VLOG (yes, I said it!) series as well. Lemme know if you care. That’s code for LET ME KNOW IF YOU ACTUALLY MADE IT THIS FAR. Lol! Love you guys. 🙂 See ya らいしゅう!