Yesterday. (Well, OK, it wasn't yesterday, It was a couple of weeks ago now, but I wrote this the day after and forget to finish it until now...)
Was the first day of orientation at the language college I have enrolled in. Yes, I enrolled to do an intensive Japanese language course. I want to improve. I am sick of self-studying. I need pressure, competition, classmates and a teacher to explains things.
This was my plan. Pay attention to the use of was, as things have taken a drastic turn. Enroll at an intensive Japanese college. Study for as long as one year (depending on financial stability - was I going to find a good enough part time job to see me through it and manage to find a good job at the end?). Of course I have saved, and have had help from the parentals. But, it was going to be a year of budgeting. Tokyo is a very expensive place. I actually think I would have struggled hard. Once you've gotten used to earning a decent amount not to have to count pennies, going back to the ways of a cheap student lifestyle is very difficult.
For the first day at orientation, I knew it was important to show up early. Be there 9am please.
No problem, I timed it perfectly. I knew the place was a short walk from the station, so gave myself more than enough time. However, when I got to Iidabashi station at 8.30, with my crappy hand drawn map, I ended up getting horribly lost. I ended up wondering around Iidabashi for over an hour. Eventually due to stress and exhaustion from jet-lag, I had a break down. I began to weep. weeping turned to full on crying. By the time I found the place and got into the building I was in a horrible emotional state. What a great first impression.
This was followed by a 2 hour long placement test, which of course didn't go so hot. Because, who the hell is good at sitting an exam straight after having a dramatic break down?
When I finished, and went home, I realised the next very important thing I had to do was to register at my local town hall. So, I went to the one in Shinjuku, a busy, horrible place. I had to take a number ticket, fill in a form, bring a bunch of important documents and endure the clinical environment of the waiting area. When my number was eventually called after a 45 minute wait, I got to the front, gave the guy everything I had. He immediately looked at my address and told me I had gone to the wrong place. I was supposed to go to the Shibuya town hall, not the one in Shinjuku. Great thanks. What time does the place in Shibuya close? 5. What time was it by that point? 3:45. I grabbed everything and ran.
No one has ever done the trip between the two town halls in as a quick a time. I'm going to mention that by this point, it was raining heavily. I ran through the rain, onto the Yamanote line, to Shibuya, down a few roads and got there just after 4. Awesome. I just about managed to register my address and residence status and even sign up for national medical insurance just before 5.
I got home, finally. Exhausted from a day of getting lost, running around, taking an exam and being drenched by the rain. I sat in front of my computer contemplating a nice hot shower. I opened my email, and found out I got the dream job I thought I had blown the interview for just two days before.
I screamed "oh my god" over and over to myself for a couple of minutes. Suddenly all the days drama and nonsense had evaporated. Nothing mattered anymore because everything was about to change. All my expectations, everything I prepared for, all my budgeting and plans. What a palaver.