Thursday, December 27

T minus 19 days...

I leave in 19 days...and I'm not ready!

I received an email today from my supervisor asking if I have received my CoE. He got it on December 17th and sent it to the coop office in Vancouver on December 18th - it should have arrived on December 20th or 21st. I did call my coop coordinator on the 21st, but haven't heard back from her yet. I think she was gone for holidays...the coop office is closed December 24th -January 1st, so I'm going to call on the 2nd! I emailed my supervisor back and asked if he could tell me the dates on the CoE, because then I can book my flight.

That was the third email I've gotten from my supervisor. Judging by his emails, his English is very good - which will be extremely helpful! He told me a bit about two projects I may be working on, but told me that ultimately, what I don't know about the projects, the theory behind them, or the programs I will be using doesn't matter. He said the important things are: a) To have a mind to learn new things, b) To have a strong will to complete something as a professional.

The projects both involve Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer....3 guesses as to what my most difficult course last year was.... (Thermo!!).

My sister got me a 'Japanese Phrases for Dummies' book for Christmas, and I've started reading through it and trying to connect what I'm learning to every day stuff so I can remember it. I feel like I'm learning it very slowly, but I think I know more than I think I do. Hopefully it will start to come easier when I'm there!

I've got a list of 'to dos' and 'to buys' and 'to sees' before I go, and I'm working through it. There isn't as much to do as I thought, but there is less time than I thought! It was difficult to leave the Elk Valley, and as nice as it is to be back in Kelowna for a bit, I miss everyone and everything there, already!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year... I'll post again when there's something new (hopefully my CoE and a booked flight!) :)

Tuesday, December 11

First post!

This blog will be a chronicle of my adventures in Japan... I will do my best to be descriptive and honest, and let you in on as much of my experience as possible!

I was offered a job in Osaka, Japan for seven months. I will be working for Osaka Gas, in the product design of steam-related products. It sounds like I will be working in a labratory, but I'm not sure yet! I will be living in a company dormitory - but I'm not sure where it is, yet. Osaka is one of Japan's major cities. It is populated by around 2.5 million people at night, but 3 million during the day! Talk about commuting.

Travel plans are slowly coming together... I got my passport and have applied for a work visa. I'm waiting for the work visa / CoE (Certificate of Eligibility) to arrive. It's supposed to be issued mid-December. The CoE confirms the dates that I am allowed to be in the country, so I have to wait until I receive it to book my flights.

Gaijin is the Japanese word for 'Foreigner'. I've seen Memoirs of a Geisha and loved it, but I want to watch it again before I go... it was the inspiration for the blog title. I'm teaching myself Japanese, but it's slow going! It's difficult since the characters are all completely different. I'm a little busy, too, so it's hard to make time for it!

I'm very excited to go, but to be honest, I'm also very nervous. It's not typical of me to be nervous, or at least not to admit it! The thought of being immersed in a completely different culture and language is daunting, to say the least. I am one, though, to take a running leap at challenges that are thrown my way, and that's what I intend to do!

If you're willing to come along for the ride, keep checking out the blog! I've never had a blog before, but I think that you can subscribe to it if you really want to keep up! :)