Saturday, January 24, 2009

All Work and No Play...

Day in and day out I work. Sometimes it feels as if I am always working. I have worked for the past nine straight days. Sadly, I had not really noticed that I had been working so much until this morning. As I was putting my tie on, I happened to glance over at my leather jacket hanging from the wall and could not remember the last time I wore it. It was at that moment I realized I had been working my ass off non-stop. For a second, I thought about tossing my tie in the trash, skipping work, and getting drunk all day. Of course, I did not skip work. I finished getting ready and walked out of my apartment with my head held high.

I tend to fall into the ` work like a dog` habit far too easy. In the past, I have worked a whole month without a day off. I just kind of get into a groove. There are times when I cannot fell when I am tried. Usually, I just kind of pass out in the most comfortable spot available; giving short notice to those around me. I can make myself go beyond normal limits, when I focus on something. Most people would worry about experiencing burn-out from working too much. Staying in good health would also be a natural concern for the average person. Well, such worries were never instilled in me.

I grew up with little options than to work and hustle for every penny. I guess living in such a rough place taught me the value of hard work. This back breaking work ethic has proven to be an advantage for me in Japan. In the Japanese culture hard work is expected and treated as normal. It is very rare for me to hear Japanese people complain about working too much. They seem to actually enjoy working their ass off at times. I guess I now find myself effected by Japanese culture. In the past I worked hard simply because I had to in order to survive, where as now, I work hard because I actually enjoy working so much. As of now, I have a steady job I go to five days a week. In the evenings, when I do not get off work late, I usually try to teach at least one independent student; in the mornings sometimes as well when time permits. On my days off I travel around Tokyo either teaching independent students or doing trail lessons. Apart from all of these things, I am always studying on how to be a better teacher when I have the time. I have found that the train is a perfect place to get in some studying time.

So yeah, I am keeping myself busy. I like the Tokyo work ethic. If I wanted to I could everyday with no end, but that would be real stupid. I know that I cannot keep this up forever, so I have planned some down time in a few weeks. In the mean while, I have started to pace out my schedule so I will not be going full steam all the time. I have to have some time to relax during the day or else I will start falling asleep during lessons. Overall, I am having a good time as of late. All this hard work is going to pay off down the road. I just have to be careful about how much I drink!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

J-blog of the Week Ed. #2 Gaijin Tonic

OK. So, this week I am a little late getting the J-blog of the week posted-up. Well, I have to admit that I have been busy this week. Working life in Tokyo can be a real bitch sometimes. Yet, the internet waits for no one, so here we go with this week`s j-blog of the week.

With all the hard work I have been putting in as of late, I thought that a website about drinking would be fitting. Japan is known for its love of drinking; as least anyone living in Japan knows this. There are endless amounts of bars and such to get you good and plastered. Well, one English speaking J-blog has taken up the task of exploring the joys of drinking in Japan. Gaijin Tonic is your one stop site for all thing drinking in the land of the raising sun.

This site has been up for several years. It would way too difficult to try and break down all the different sections but there are some post which do showcase Gaijin Tonic nicely.

Japanese drinking games is an on going series on Gaijin Tonic. Every nation has drinking games. Hell, back in the states `Beer Pong` was always a favorite. In Japan they tend to get a little more creative. The Battle Royal Drinking game is a must for those who like to mix ultra violence with getting smashed. Battle Royal is a movie about Jr. High school kids killing each other for sport, while being sponored by the government, to see who is the best. Add a few friends and a crap load of drinks, now you have the battle royal drinking game.

Drinking games is not all that Gaijin Tonic has to offer. If is about drinking and Japan there is a good chance you will find it at Gaijin Tonic. Check out the post on such topics as bizarre bar names, Japanese beer ad girls, Fish Beer, Beer and Bikinis, learn of the joys of bonenkai, Halloween in Japan, as well as planty of other things to delight the drunk inside of you.

What I really like most about this site is the honest look at living daily life in Japan. A lot of people like to hold on to the romantic image of Japan portrayed in the movies. When you actually start to live and work in the land of the raising sun the realty of an overworked and high stress society becomes clear as day. I may not know about the lifestyle of people from all across Japan, but in Tokyo as least, after a hard days work most people just want to get trashed and have some fun. Gaijin Tonic makes the best of the situation by offering up plenty of good stories about getting drunk in Japan as well as a lot of other drinking madness.

So, before having the next drink with a co-worker, friend, or `special` lady/guy check out Gaijin Tonic for lots of ideas for making the night even more fun than usual.