I am determined to spend my future Christmas holidays in Tokyo with my family and friends from next year onwards. I have been feeling really sad staying alone here and being apart from them!

The only reason I came back to England in early December was that I had a few meetings: one with my supervisor, and the others with the office about my teaching contract and an interview for another teaching position.

The office asked me whether I was interested in an academic position for undergraduate modules and to come to the interview if I was. Engaging in a teaching job is the goal for my career, but my PhD research should be prioritised. Having an excessive amount of work in the daytime and evening would be too much for me, some people said. My family pushed me to go for the interview, whatever the result.

As it turned out, I wasn’t appointed the position, but it did make me think about my past experiences and knowledge of just a tiny part of the academic field where I am.

I now focus on my work I already have and on what I should do in order not to fail.

It sounds really ridiculous that I am writing this, because I was an accountant working for a software company until two years ago. If I had a new family and a child, my dream job would definitely be an etiquette teacher just for my child! Sometimes jobs can be everything and the whole life. Whenever I started my previous jobs, I loved them with all my heart and soul. So, it might be shame that my feelings changed and that I am now obsessed with a different, brand-new career.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to keep excellent records of my reading, writing, teaching and thoughts.


Christmas gifts


On the 23rd, I got some Christmas gifts.

I missed having the Christmas dinner followed by lebkuchen at my aunt’s house, which I used to have every Christmas day until last year, so I ordered two boxes of lebkuchen to be sent from Germany to my house in England. The delivery date was supposed to be the 28th, but the parcel came to my house this morning!

At noon, my landlord came to my place to install some blinds on the windows. My room hadn’t had any curtains/blinds since I moved here in September, which was a bit frustrating. After contacting him about it several times, he agreed to set it up for free.

At 13 pm, a guy from a furniture assembly service came, and he assembled all the pieces of my new furniture for me: desks, chairs and a bookcase, which I also hadn’t had since September. So, my room is finally all set up after three months have passed!

After my landlord finished installing the blinds, I served him some tea and lebkuchen. We had a good chat. I talked about my normal Christmas, my family in Japan and my studies, and he talked about his friends who study Japanese and about some religious topics. I found that he is very friendly.

These were great Christmas gifts. Now I can start my studies and work at home from today!


Christmas Dinners


What I realised again as soon as I came back to England was that all of my friends are no longer here, in this town and on campus. My flatmates and classmates, who I spent the whole of my MA period until September with, have gone back to their countries. This situation is almost equivalent to living in a different town to last year, but I am hoping that I will find new friends next year and do some socialising on holidays.

Luca is leaving for Germany to spend the Christmas holidays with his family. For the last three days, we had early Christmas dinners. On the 17th, we went to an Italian restaurant, which was the place of our first restaurant date. On the 18th, I cooked Macaroni Au Gratin. On the 19th, he cooked me a traditional Christmas dinner with a stuffed turkey. That was the very first English Christmas dinner for me ever!

KLM flight

I am writing this on my flight back to the UK. My two-month stay in Japan was more hectic than usual.

I took a teacher training module at my old university, made trips with my mum, had dinner with my aunt several times and met up with my cousins; I met three cousins on my mother’s side of the family for the first time in 16 years. Having drinks with my close friends was mandatory.

Luca came to Japan. His visit to Japan was very meaningful for our relationship. He found some cultural uniqueness such as warm toilets, vending machines for hot beverages in each station, the complexity of the public transport, and people’s customs. I was so happy to see that he came to love my home and the everyday lifestyle, and that he bought some dining pottery – dinner plates, sake cups and chopsticks – to take back to the UK. I too came to love Japan more than ever.

This flight is nearly in the Netherlands. I have had a pretty comfortable 11-hour flight and I’ve been able to get some rest and do some work. I got a one way ticket this time because I haven’t yet decided when my next trip back to Japan will be.