Goodbye Old Teaching Job!

I’m not out of the teaching business completely, but I was so glad to finally be able to say good riddance to my old company and crazy boss at the end of March!

© J // Washing Rice Blog

© J // Washing Rice Blog

In Japan it’s customary to give departing teachers flowers or another small gift.  Although I was aware of this custom, the sheer amount of gifts I received was surprising and somehow much more than what the past departing teachers had received!    It was bittersweet to say goodbye to all of my kiddos, but I felt loved reading their letters and how many of them said they enjoyed having class together over the past five years.  I ran out of things to use as vases halfway through the week, and this was only a third of it all!

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Fushigi Yūgi Stage Play at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel

© J // Washing Rice Blog

© J // Washing Rice Blog

Last Saturday a friend and I headed out to Tokyo to catch one of the last Fushigi Yūgi play showings at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel.

With Sailor Moon getting a musical revival (here and here), it was only a matter of time before another girls’ anime got one as well.  Fushigi Yūgi brings back so many great memories for me, because it’s how I connected with a group of girls that later became my best friends throughout high school.  We would pretend we were priestesses and pass around a priestess notebook that we filled with letters, drawings, and notes to one another during class.  It was silly and fun.  I still consider one of these girls to be my absolute BFF even to this day.

Here’s a short summary and review of the show, with pamphlet scans, too. 🙂

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Getting Your Glam On: Trying Out Some Aromatherapy

© J // Washing Rice Blog

© J // Washing Rice Blog

Last weekend a friend of mine invited me to join her and some other friends at a local cafe by her house for an aromatherapy seminar.  The cafe a spokesperson from DoTerra to lead the course,  which one of the ladies joined as a buyer/salesperson.  It was kind of like the aromatherapy version of a tupperware party.  😉

I pretty much went in on zero, though.  Last year Mr. J bought us a cheap mist humidifier and some scented oils that we use with it, and I’ve really enjoyed the few times I’ve had the chance to get an aromatherapy massage.  Still it was something new and fun to try, and I came out a little more knowledgeable about the aromatherapy market in Japan, and how to choose and combine different oils.

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Easy Peasy Valentine’s Chocolate

Valentine’s Day is coming up this Saturday and if you don’t already know, it’s a day where women give chocolate (with the expectation of it being handmade) to their significant other as a gift, or as a means of confessing how they feel to their crush.  Some women also give chocolate out of politeness to their co-workers or male friends, called giri choco.

If you’re not much of a chef but would like to give this unique custom a try, here’s an easy way to make some handmade chocolate without a lot of fuss.

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Working in Japan: Getting Started as a Freelance Translator on oDesk

Thanks for sticking with me through this Working in Japan series!  I was wrote it as I was going through the job hunting process myself, during which I received a few hiring offers.  One of those was a great paying, part-time teaching position that I ended up going with so I’ll have time to pursue more translation work and help build my freelance translation portfolio from April onwards.

One of the ways I’ve been getting into freelance work is with the freelancer website, oDesk.  If you’re interested in translation or freelancing in other fields, I definitely recommend giving it a click.  The site itself is pretty thorough with its explanation on how to use and make money with it, but I’ll be addressing a few things that apply to freelance translation or my personal experience with the site.

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Traveling: Missing My Flight

If you’ve been traveling for as long as I have, you’re bound to eventually experience that one flying disaster from hell.  (And if for some reason you never do, I envy you 😉 )  Mine came as I was coming home to Japan, on an American Airlines flight from Dallas (DFW) that got re-routed from Chicago (ORD) to Los Angeles (LAX).

Long story short, there were some maintenance delays with the aircraft that caused me to miss my connecting flight in Los Angeles (LAX) to Narita (NRT).  Well technically I didn’t miss it and arrived at the gate 10 minutes before take-off, but they refused to board two other guys booked for the same flight as myself, probably because they had given our seats away to stand-by.  Irritating, but hey it happens.  Little did I know a shitstorm of bad customer service and excuses was next to come.

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Seasons Greetings from Texas!

© J // Washing Rice Blog

My grandmother did all the decorations this year.
© J // Washing Rice Blog

Hey ya’ll, it’s already Christmas Eve!  I feel like December has flown by so fast!

I made sure to get all my New Years greeting cards in the mail before I left, and did most of my Christmas shopping and got it packed before leaving.  Still, there were a few people I was stumped on what to get, and decided to leave it until I was back in the U.S.  What a big mistake, lol!  >_<;;  Even with a week to go until Christmas, the mall was totally packed!

Hopefully everyone is past the holiday season rush and enjoying some quality time with friends and family, or with your significant other if you’re in Japan.  😉

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