Apple Country

Stories of rural life as an ALT in a northern Japanese fishing town.

Leave a comment

Avoiding JET preparations by blogging about JET preparations

With just 17 days to go (so soooon!) I’ve found myself having to face the unfortunate reality that I actually have to get ready to leave my country and somehow choose a suitcase’s worth of belongings to bring with me out of everything that I own.

Finding suitable omiyage is proving a more difficult and expensive task that I had thought. I have to buy small, individually wrapped, preferably edible, quintessential British souvenirs to bring for the people at my BOE, my supervisor, JTEs and probably the mayor as apparently I’ll be meeting him at some point!  So far I’ve bought 3 magnets of Polesden Lacey… I did see some nice tins of British Biscuits in M&S so I’ll probably go down there tomorrow and raid the British aisles…

Also why on earth is the 2nd suitcase issue so confusing?! It shouldn’t be, although the info they gave us at the PDO was really not that helpful and the option of shipping a suitcase with another service seems more hassle than it’s worth.  Either way I’m gonna need an extra suitcase with all the gifts I’m bringing and the fact that my huge feet = huge shoes which also take up half the space.

On a happier note, I’m having my going away party on Friday and the weather’s actually going to be nice! Yaaay.

Shoutout to my dad for learning Hiragana and my mum for trying.  As promised, pints are coming your way!

Leave a comment

Less than a month to go!

Even though the whole idea of living in Japan still seems completely surreal to me, things are starting to feel slightly more real now that I only have a few weeks left in the UK.
All the boring adult stuff I have to do like sort out banking, phone bill, international driving license etc is pretty much done so I think all I have to do now is start packing and enjoy hanging out with friends and family.
I’ve had such a warm welcome and plenty of information from current JETs in Aomori and from my BOE, I feel like I’ve already moved in!

Since I’ve had some time to waste on the internet, I’ve been virtually exploring the area and seeing which places I’d like to visit and anything that looks interesting to do. So far I’ve decided I’m going to try learning how to snowboard, seeing as there’s a resort 45 minutes from me in Ajigasawa. It seems like most of the action is about an hour away from me by car, so I’ll have to get used to the long(ish) drives! Although seeing as so many people have to commute an hour or more each day to work, it doesn’t seem that bad really. I think one of the things I’m most excited about is the hiking trails, so I will definitely be taking my fancy new boots for a walk around Lake Juniko as soon as I get the chance! I imagine there’ll be a whole lot of sorting things out and settling in and getting to know people when I arrive though, so my sub-adventures might have to wait a while.

When I arrive in Aomori, the Nebuta festival will be in full swing, which I can’t wait to have as one of my first memories of Japan, as I’ve heard it’s one of the best events in that part of the country. I don’t think I’ll get to see most of it because it finishes the day after I get there, but there’s always next year!

So until I leave, my plans for the month are:

  • Enjoy my last week in Norwich and perform Taiko in the city parade
  • Go to London JET Orientation
  • See Neil Young & The National play at Hyde Park
  • Have my going away party with friends at home
  • Graduation!
  • Last family BBQ
  • Take lots of photos

I don’t really know how I feel about everything at the moment… Definitely excited, a bit scared, not sure whether time is going quickly or slowly. Sometimes I think about all the things that are waiting for me in the next year that I have no idea about yet and I squeal a tiny bit.