Color Me Rad 5K

552971_2449976965043_1368790045_nRecently, I joined team Pokemanz to “run” in the Color Me Rad 5K! Basically, as I said before, you start the race white, and end colorful! I mean, I did wear colorful socks to start, but they only got better as the race went on! For anyone thinking about doing this as a first 5K, I highly recommend it. It’s a very laid back event. No pressure what-so-ever. And who doesn’t like blindingly-bright chalk thrown at them while doing physical activities? No one. That’s who. Continue reading

Farewells

Omotesando PartyLast week began the farewells, as I said good-bye to my third-years at my other school for the last time. It took some coaxing to get them to understand that they won’t see me again, but once they got it, they were clearly really sad about it. And these guys would get a “good-bye” whether or not I was staying.

It’s been a lot harder than expected! I’m not one to cry, but I can feel my self getting emotional at the farewell parties for the students. They gave me those lovely flowers and a small board with notes from students saying how much fun they had with me. The kids were honestly the only reason I really loved teaching here. I like my schools and my company, but what made me smile, what made me love it, were the kids.    Continue reading

A Year in the Life

Ha Long BayTomorrow marks one year since I embarked on this journey. Well, it would be if it was a leap year and February 29th existed. But rather than dwelling on the mysteries of the Gregorian calendar, let me take a moment to highlight some of my favorite parts of this journey.  Continue reading

The Moriya Half Marathon

Group poseTwo weekends ago, I dropped by Moriya to cheer on the ALTs running in the Moriya Half Marathon. Being a runner myself, it was really fun to check out the running scene in Japan and, for the first time, be on the sidelines! Just watching them made me tired, but I managed to snap a few cute pictures of the crew giving it their all. Paul ran the fastest (of the group) at 1 hour 27 minutes… wow. Second place to Greg, third to Becky the Banana. Good work guys!

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Couch Surfing with Friends

Stupid me forgot to take a picture of our hosts. So here is a picture of cake!

Stupid me forgot to take a picture of our hosts. So here is a picture of cake!

When trying to book hostels for Christmas in Hokkaido, we ran into a glaring problem: everything in our price-range was booked. After much panicking and researching 24-hour McDonald’s, Carolyn and I decided to give couchsurfing.org a try.

For those who don’t know, you basically get to crash on the couch of someone you don’t know on the good faith that their recommendations are truthful. It’s actually a very well organized, thorough site. So far, everyone we’ve met through there has been nothing shy of amazing.  Continue reading

Giving Thanks in Japan

Last Thursday, after nearly a month of prep and organization, we finally had our big, ALT Thanksgiving. Naturally, anyone was welcome, and by the looks of it, our Japanese friends really enjoyed the cultural experience.

Especially the part when I had to carve a rotisserie chicken (they were sold out of turkey at CostCo). Apparently, this is something not many get to witness in Japan, so many ooo’s, aah’s, and pictures as I cut the chicken. For me, I was instantly transported back to my high school days working at Boston Market. It was a glamorous job.  Continue reading

How Japan Does Halloween

In anticipation of Halloween tomorrow, I thought the western hemisphere might like to know how this eastern country does Halloween! As you may have guessed, they DO celebrate it here. In fact, they celebrate it nearly to the same extent that we do in America, with pumpkin flavored foods, candy, and costumes. The biggest difference, of course, is they don’t do trick-or-treating at all. In fact, they don’t really wear costumes. I mean, a lot a kids will wear costumes at Disney, or with friends, and they are available in stores, but it’s a lot more rare.  Continue reading

Tokyo Disneyland vs. Florida’s Magic Kingdom

In this picture, it almost looks the same as Magic Kingdom!

Last Thursday, a few local friends and I decided to go out for drinks in Koga. Three glasses of wine and one Melon/vodka mix later I found myself agreeing to go to Tokyo Disneyland the following Saturday. Saying that I am a fan of Disney is quite the understatement. Give me some liquor, and apparently my love for Disney knows no bounds (to my wallet’s dismay).

Drinking parties aside, I have a long history with Disney World. You see, being from Orlando, Florida, I’ve been there more times than I can count. Nearly every weekend, in fact. By the time I was eight or nine, I actually complained about going to Disney. Today, I’m a huge fan and regular Disney goer. This was my first visit to Tokyo Disneyland. Continue reading

Ping Pang Pong

Last weekend was probably one of the best weekends I’ve had here in Japan, and I didn’t even have to go very far! Kris’ birthday was earlier in June, but his party was last Saturday. He invited many of his ALT friends and Japanese friends. It was a really great mix of cultures with plenty of food and open space to run around in. I have the injuries to prove it.  Continue reading

Barbecue!

Saturday, many of the local ALTs got together for a good, old fashioned BBQ. The Japanese love to barbecue, but they do it slightly different. So, since it was Memorial day weekend and all that, we decided to skirt the social-norm for once, and have a nice, western-style BBQ. On the menu: Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers, Hamburgers in hotdog buns (when we ran out of burger buns), shish-kebobs, and, of course, yakisoba. Yea, we got as close to Western as we could with it. Continue reading