AirBnB in Tokyo

Today, I awake in a different place than where I usually would wake up from. I have flown from my prefecture to the busiest part of Japan and took up lodging in Ikebukuro. I have actually stayed in this AirBnB, that I’m currently staying in, before. It was when I did my backpacking trip around Japan. Although it has been close to a year, I was still able to remember how to get to this place from the Yamanote line. I’m very glad that my memory has not failed me 🙂

This sharehouse has space for many people. There are currently four permanent dwellers, and one of them was someone who had been around since the first time I came here. I was glad to meet her again, and she actually remembered me! My friend from my home country, Icepath, arrived here one day earlier than me. We were separated right after the Tokyo Orientation, so I’m glad to be able to meet her again 🙂
We sang at a karaoke place from 12:00 all the way till 19:00. It was extremely enjoyable. I definitely want to do this again sometime.

The MYC (Mid-Year Conference) only starts on Monday, so 日曜日までに東京で enjoying myself させていだたきます。(in Tokyo until Sunday) 🙂


Random Person at Work

So we have someone who randomly comes in into our division and starts talking about problems regarding the world and other social issues to anyone who would listen to him. He usually comes to talk to 補佐, but if he is not around or busy, he will shift his target to M-san. However, today, there isn’t anyone in our office except for I-san, E-san and myself. We looked at each other; I-san will probably be his target. When he shuffled along to our division, I-san picked up the phone and pretended to call someone. She remained silent for a while as if the phone was still trying to connect, and then sprouted out the usual greetings – いつもお世話になっております、はい、元気です。はい、はい、あ、はい。But he still wouldn’t give up. I-san had no choice but to say はい、今取りに行きます (I’ll head over to collect it now). And then he gave up. I snickered silently at this whole situation in my seat together with E-san.

Famous Person from my Home Country comes to visit

A famous person from my home country arrived in my prefecture yesterday evening. Through the articles about her and the work she has done, one can tell that she has placed in an enormous amount of effort to get to where she is today. She wants to leave behind a legacy and I am pretty sure she will. The story of her hard work is extremely inspiring and I am highly pleased to be interpreting for her and for my prefecture. I hope that this visit will be beneficial to both parties and that

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Judging a Japanese Speech Contest

I was tasked to be the judge of a Japanese speech contest on international issues and views. So here I am, sitting here as one of the five judges, listening to high school students share their international experiences and opinions. Having participated in two Japanese speech contests back in my home country, it feels really good to be sitting in the judge’s seat now. They covered various topics, including female genital mutilation in certain countries, which I thought was rather brave of them. Some speeches were just meh – but there were a couple that really shone. Unfortunately, the student of the school that hosted this speech contest was so bad at it that I couldn’t even give him good marks even if I wanted to. When I saw an anonymous list of all the judges’ scores, I noticed there was a judge who gave this student higher marks than the rest – and it’s extremely hard to believe that that was what they really felt and thought. I guess, one has to be polite in Japan. We received lunch and drinks from the school, so I did feel bad giving that chap low marks as well, but luckily my marks wasn’t the lowest.

Interpretation for the Industry Promotion Plan Presentation

I did an interpretation today for a presentation on my prefecture’s industry promotion plan. We talked about the problems our prefecture has, which is both a decreasing and ageing population. Due to the population decreasing, the size of the economy gets smaller, and this further causes the young people to leave the prefecture. It’s a negative spiral. So, we are now trying to create a larger and more active economy by selling our goods outside of the prefecture – to other parts of Japan as well as overseas. From what I see so far, the plan has been → Read more

An ambassador and his professional interpreter

The ambassador of a particular country in Europe came to my prefecture together with his wife and their interpreter. 課長, H-san and I, accompanied them to our famous castle. At first, because their native language isn’t English, I wasn’t sure whether I should interpret Japanese into English for them, but when I asked the interpreter for advice, she said that the both of them understood English.

When the ambassador knew I could speak English, he started talking to me. “This may be a nosy question, but I realise your name isn’t Japanese” he commented. Indeed I am not, I thought as I told him where I was from. He was extremely friendly and didn’t put on airs, I’m glad to be able to guide such a person around.

The tour of our castle was done by a veteran guide in English, so I honestly didn’t have much work to do. During then, I had the chance to talk to the interpreter, and I found out that → Read more

First school visit to an Elementary school

I did a presentation on my home country and the traditional games we play, to 107 Elementary 1 school students today. It took me about two days to prepare the slides, with most of my time spent on finding the most appropriate pictures. Due to the age of the students, I wasn’t able to use many words in my presentation and I couldn’t even use Kanji! Everything had to be kept simple.

I talked about the environment, food, games and school system of my home country. It was nice to see → Read more