Jologs in Japan: Week 1

Arrrgh! Ang hirap talagang magsulat kung ang tagal mo nang di nagsusulat. Ang hirap magback-track. Pero feeling ko mas lalo akong tatamarin kung di ko pa sisimulan. Naisip ko na medyo kailangan ko na i-document ang buhay ko kasi medyo marami nang nangyayari. Hahaha. Bahala na kung jologs.

Day 1:

When the plane finally landed and I finally got outside the airport, I didn’t feel like I was in a different country at all. I had the same sentiment while observing the changing scenery en route to Seisekisakuragaoka. I may have just been in denial but it really felt like I was just in Baguio. It must have been the brooding weather.

We were fetched by one of the managers at our company and brought us to our temporary lodges for the night. After we were left to rest a bit, we pretty much just left our luggages and hit the izakaya. To those who don’t know, an izakaya is a Japanese drinking establishment which serves the Philippines’ counterpart of pulutan. I had my first Japanese beer and a lot of pastel-colored concoctions. My apologies to the San Miguel lot but man, Japanese beer tastes oh so fine. Needless to say, first night ko pa lang at inuman na! Ah, and yes, this week would be pretty much marked by a lot of drinking sprees hereafter.

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Day 2:

Met everyone at my company. Was accompanied to where I’m going to live in Japan for the next couple of years. Ang layo :(( 20 minute walk from the train station. Mala-labyrinth pa ang daan. En route, was thinking how the hell am I going to find my way back there ALONE. The place reminded me so much of Shaider. Pulis Pangkalawakan πŸ™‚ Made me decide that I am actually going to like it there :Dγ€€Was playing Fushigi in my head.

Had another drinking session. Hahaha, oo inuman ulit πŸ˜€ It was nice to see former UP batchmates and friends who are also my colleagues. Felt really at home since I already knew a lot of them. Sarap talaga ng Japanese beer!

Party ended at around 11pm. Yes, 11pm. Quite early compared to the drinking sessions I’m used to in the Philippines (hello, 5:30 am!). Realized that the Japanese’ lives are controlled by their train schedules. Little did I know that my life would also soon be controlled by these transports. Arrrgh.

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Day 3:

Went to Fuchu to apply for my Alien Residency Card. Thought I was going to be alone. Good thing my friend, Lau went with me. Hahaha. Got lost despite of having a map. Practiced my Nihongo to ask for directions.

Fuchu is such a nice city! This is also the city where the biggest bank robbery in the history of Japan took place! Ayosh! The culprit was never found πŸ˜€ Brilliant!

Practiced more Nihongo at the Fuchu City Hall. Was wondering why in the world the City hall peeps didn’t know how to speak English when their job meant having to talk to foreigners every single day. Anyway, everyone was so nice and helpful and the processing was so fast that I wasn’t at all pissed off. This was despite of the language barrier and me being so makulit, ha. Wouldn’t get this treatment in the Philippines, oh no, never. Kung sa Pilipinas yun nasungitan na ko sa kakulitan ko.

No drinking session that night. Pahinga sa atay. Decided to sleep over my friend’s apartment (which also happened to be my temporary lodge the past 2 nights) the whole week. Meant having to go back to my real apartment to get my stuff. My good friends, Gabby and Jem went with me. Good thing kasi nawala ako kahit kasama ko na sila. As in lumampas ako sa bahay. Buti na lang Gabby used to live in my apartment. hehehe.

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Day 4:

First day at SODEC. Was wearing a business suit and heels to boot. It was raining. Arrrgh. Hate the rain wherever it occurs. Was wondering how Japanese women stay soooo thin. I felt like a whale compared to them. My feet were killing me. Not used to wearing heels. First time to see the Tokyo! Beautiful architecture!

At the exhibit, realized that I so lack the Nihongo skills to converse much less do business transactions. Arrgh.γ€€The Chinese, Indians, Americans and Vietnamese were all JLPT level 2 passers. Arrrgh. Nosebleed. Good thing, one of my Filipino colleagues who speaks the language well went with us and saved me from utter humiliation. It was a very tiring day. I swore not to use high heels for the rest of my life.

Went to a small Japanese restaurant in Seisekisakuragaoka whose owner was the friend of our company’s president. Makoto-san, the owner was such a sweet and jolly guy! Makoto-san made me drink sake and had me rank all the sake I had. First time to drink sake. Got so drunk I had to be carried by my colleague whom I just met 2 nights before. Great. Swore never to get drunk again. Anyway, ang sarap ng sake. Hehehe.

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Day 5:

Day 2 at SODEC. This time without any assistance from eloquent colleagues. Had to commute ALONE during the crazy Japanese train rush hour. Hahaha. Some feat. Was able to get to the Tokyo Big Sight in one piece πŸ˜€ I did not get lost!

Had to man the booth alone. Nosebleed close to excessive hemorrhage.

Noticed that some people snicker when passing by the Filipino booth. Curse you idiots.

One approached me just to say, “Maganda desu.” I was like, uh… thanks? Was wondering if a kick to the groin area needs to be in place but he seems to be sincere. Freaky that such a professional looking guy frequents Filipino pubs. Not all pretty women from the Philippines are entertainers, you know? Gee, what do you know, we can do software development, too!

Dead tired. Was freakin’ frustrated with my Nihongo. Vowed to be damn good at it someday.

No drinking spree again tonight. Had too much alcohol the night before to last me for days after.

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Day 6:

Day 3 at SODEC and finally the last! Made friends with the Chinese dudes across and adjacent our booth. Dead tired. Frustrated that I couldn’t converse in Nihongo as fluently as the Chinese dudes. 6 pm, finally! Said my Otsukaresamadeshita’s to my new acquaintances πŸ˜€ Off to Ginza we go!

Went to the Empower Magic Bar at the 5th floor of the Meikyou Building in Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo to watch the coolest magic show ever! The bartenders are magicians who entertain you with cool magic tricks while you are seated at your table. A magic show is also performed at a small stage for everyone to see. George, the magician was awesome! The magic tricks would really blow your mind! Everything defies logic. It must be magic! πŸ˜› The magic tricks are truly mind boggling! Awesome, just awesome. I even got to keep the card they used for their trick πŸ™‚

The package includes nomihodai or drink all you can so you can drink all the booze or beverage you want but I tell you watching the magic show itself is already worth the price πŸ˜€ It was our president’s treat! Hurray! Gochisosamadeshita!!! Drank some more but didn’t get drunk. Hurray! I really swear never to get drunk again. Awesome night!

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Day 7:

My Filipino boss went back to the Philippines and the friends I am lodging with went to the Izu Peninsula so that leaves a cellphone-less me alone in a foreign country. Slept until around 2 pm. Called a friend and a colleague via a pay phone and off to Tachikawa we go for another drinking spree at a friend’s house. πŸ˜€ Yes, inom ulit. Watched Big Bang Theory. Saya!

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Day 8:

The day has come for me to finally embrace the reality that my life in Japan is about to start. Packed my bags and went back to my bare apartment. Met up with my good friend, Gabby who showed me around my neighborhood (Salamat, Gabby! >:D< – ang layo ng lahat – grocery, eki, combini, civilization :(( ). Did some groceries and ate homemade Guksu with Gabby. Fushigi is still playing inside my head. I think I am going to really like it here πŸ™‚ En garde, Japan! Here I come!

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