Letter from Tokyo: “Just Got Paid! It’s Friday Night!”

Just got paid, it’s Friday night, party hunting, feeling right.- Johnny Kemp (Just Got Paid) Hi Friends, When I told my brother DJ last night (Thursday night) that it felt like Christmas Eve, because the very next morning Payroll Santa (St. Nick’s fatter, rosier brother) would be depositing some cash in my bank account, his response was, “You should…

Letter from Tokyo: Holy High Heavens!

Through the mirror of my mind, time after time, I see reflections of (…) the way things used to be. – The Supremes (Reflections) Dear Friends, A few months ago, which now seems like a lifetime ago, I had three jobs.  I worked Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 5pm as an administrative assistant at a university, taught…

Identity Issues

Hi Friends, In the introduction to Oliver Twist, it is stated that Charles Dickens was “dedicated to any and every sort of game or jollification.” I underlined it twice, because I too have devoted my life to “jollification.” Sure, there were the years in Newark, NJ which will always be referenced, if mentioned at all, as  “The Dark Years,” when things…

Jamaica: Not Just Sun, Sand, Sea

Two days, I spoke to my mother on Skype, and after hearing about her trip to The Blue Mountains, I begged her to write it down and send it to me. My mother’s voice is soothing and warm like ovaltine, but her words are richer. Please see her trip in detail, in her own words. Jamaica: Not Just…

“Friday Evening, What a Feeling!”

Friday evening, what a feeling, feel like singing. – Mick Jackson (Weekend) Hi Friends, Fall has fallen in Tokyo. Though Tokyo’s not nearly as brisk or as rainy as NYC, the temperatures have most decidedly dropped. We’re now in the mid-sixties, and soon on our way to low-sixties. Despite the cooler weather, E, M, and…

A Letter to My Future Expats

Konnichiwa Friends, You don’t know how much it excites me that quite a few of you have sent me emails requesting more information regarding living and teaching in Tokyo. It would be so great to have my own little expat community here (maybe we could name ourselves something cool and Jam/erican); however, lest you think it’s all…

Letter from Tokyo: This Week in Tokyo

Dear Friends, How can it already be the end of my third week in Tokyo? Time goes so fast, and before I know it I’ll be 27! (Smile with me). Let’s take a look at this past week: Monday: Monday was a holiday, and a much needed day of rest after orientation. I spent the…

Letter from Tokyo: Shinjuku

Dear Friends, Yesterday was my first day of teaching at the school, and I absolutely loved it. My two students, in individual, back to back eighty minute sessions, were so sweet and eager to learn English that it made me come home on a high. Really. I might have even skipped a bit. It was great to see how pleased both men were…

I Hate IKEA or How to be Screwed

Hi Friends, A few years ago, I purchased a bed and dresser from IKEA, because they were cheap and I figured it was time to get off the futon. The bed, in a bit of foreshadowing, was a Japanese-style flat bed, and it cost less than $200; the dresser was $130. When the delivery men…

The End of Training… and, My First Izakaya

Dear Friends, The first week of orientation has been successfully completed. My fifteen classmates and I went to training (grammar, presentation, teaching skills, etc.) everyday from 9-5:30p.m. I think Dolly Parton would agree that working 9 to 5:30 is just way too much. There were practice tests and practice demos, training skits, talks from Human Resources about…