BOUND FOR MU-MU LAND

Right: I passed the interview to teach English in Japan with a major eikaiwa corporation on February 17. Since then, I’d been waiting for word as to where I would be working, and when I would start. Until yesterday.

As expected, they had been waiting for a notarized copy of my degree, which arrived there on Tuesday. A day later, I received an email with those two pieces of information I’d been waiting for.

1. I will attend a training session, and eventually work at schools, in the Kanto region (関東地方). That’s Tokyo and surrounding areas.

2. The training session will begin on June 4, 2007, but I should arrive in Japan a few days beforehand.

My reaction? Well, I had kind of been expecting to be placed in the Kinki region (Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Nara etc.), and much of my thoughts about my future in Japan had assumed that would be my base, so a re-ordering of those thoughts is required. I’ll come right out and say that Tokyo freaks me out: the biggest city I’ve ever been in was Sydney, and Tokyo has 3 times as many people in a similarly sized area. I mean, everyone says it’s really exciting, but I wonder how quickly I’ll be able to adjust to the pace of life there. I know I’ll be all right – I have confidence in my adaptability – but when you’ve lived in New Zealand all your life, moving to somewhere as insane as Tokyo is bound to bring about some apprehension. (So is any move, really, but… this one in particular.)

Of course, I might not even be based in Tokyo. It could be Chiba, or Saitama, or Ibaraki, etc.; who knows, it’s a big company. Regardless, the adjustment will be massive, and that’s exactly what I want. It’s the reason I’m going. I need to challenged on a grand scale to wake myself up, get my creativity working again, and feel like I’m doing something with myself.

As for the date, that’s about when I was expecting. But a few days is no time at all in which to acclimatize, so I imagine the two-week training period will be as much about getting to grips with life in Japan as learning how to do my job. As for the training itself, I have no idea how I will fare, having never taught kids or adults before; again, I have confidence in myself to get through it okay, but I expect not to feel comfortable until after a good month or two of classes.

Jesus, man. I’m going to Japan.

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