Thursday, July 21, 2011

Job searching

All my paperwork has been completed and sent off, so now it's just waiting time for a while.  I'm currently job hunting, with all the fun that goes along with that.  I'm looking for just part time retail stuff again (I can't really look for anything long term that might be difficult to quit since I'm leaving in two months!) but July is the slowest time for retail so not many places are actually hiring.  I've put in applications for a couple places, now just waiting to see if I get a call back for an interview.  I want to start working soon so that I can start earning money as soon as possible, haha.  My bonus from my tutoring job in France won't stretch too far after a plane ticket to Japan!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Back in Jax

After three delayed flights, I'm finally back in Jacksonville!  I haven't been on an on-time flight for the entirety of my stay in Europe.  At least I didn't have to sleep in the airport this time. 
I was meant to get into New York around 8pm on Tuesday, then meet up with my friend.  I didn't end up getting into Penn Station until 10:30pm.  I met up with my friend, and we had to go straight to Brooklyn to her friend's house (they were letting us stay overnight there).  We didn't get there until around 11:30 or so, after lugging my suitcases up and down staircases because there were no escalators or elevators in any of the stations we had to transfer at.  The next day was fun though, we had breakfast at this little diner in Brooklyn and then headed into Manhattan to see the Alexander McQueen exhibition at the Met.  It was super cool!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Abbey Road again

If only we'd found two more people!
This is probably the best Abbey Road picture!  Me and a Japanese girl that I met there.  We went back and forth so many times trying to get a good shot, haha


I got a specific job offer with Aeon!  The offer is for a school in Shimokitazawa, a neighborhood located in Setagaya-ku, four stops from Shibuya on the Inokashira line, four stops from Shinjuku on the Odakyu line.  If I got a bike, I could probably bike from Shimokita to Yoyogi park.  Shimokitazawa is an awesome neighborhood!  Back when I was first in Japan, when I was living in Ikuta, my roommates and I would sometimes go out in Shimokita, and when I was living in Shinjuku I would go there sometimes for shopping or concerts.  Shimokita is filled with cool little independent shops, vintage shops, cute cafes, cool bars with live music.  The scene there is young and creative, and I'm super excited that I got an offer for such a cool place!  Because I told my recruiter that I would be okay with suburbs surrounding any of the major cities, I was a little worried that I would get placed way out in Kanagawa or something.  The start date isn't until October, unfortunately, but I can deal.  Besides, this way I'll have some time to do some part time work in Jacksonville to save up a little bit of cash before I go.

The school is pretty small, with 250 adult students and only 35 kids.  There's one other native teacher, I didn't ask where he's from but it's a guy.  There's also one full time Japanese teacher.  That's one thing I like about Aeon actually, they employ Japanese teachers as well as native speakers, so the students are able to learn both in their native language and in full immersion English classes.  I think my recruiter said that the other native speaker has been there for 3 years, so I'm gonna take that as a sign that it's a good school to work at, haha. 
Shimokitazawa at night, stolen from a google image search

Street in Shimokita, also stolen from a google image search

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Job offer!

I got a job offer with Aeon!  It's just a 'general' offer though;  apparently what they do is offer you a position, make sure you're still interested, and then let you know when something opens up that fits both your criteria (mine was that I absolutely did not want to live in a rural area) and the branch manager's criteria (i.e. they try to have diversity at all their schools, so if a position opened up in, say, Yokohama, but there were already two Americans at the school, I might not be able to get it).  So, I guess cross your fingers that something opens up fairly quickly!  I would much rather go to Japan with Aeon than with new Nova, considering all the troubles that new Nova has faced since its bankruptcy back in '07.  I'm glad to have the offer, anyway;  I was actually about to start looking for positions in Hong Kong instead if I didn't hear from Aeon or Interac soon.  I could learn Chinese, right?  Well, this offer is fortunate for my Japanese!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Picnic on the canal

Only nine days left till I'm back in the States!  The weather's been pretty nice lately, so I've been taking advantage and picnicing all the time.  I went to the canal St Martin with a friend last night, and we hung out near a group of Italians who all had guitars and were singing, and some (presumably) Americans who were setting off fireworks.  I'm going to miss the cheap wine and all the awesome picnic spots when I leave!
All my friends are leaving this week to go on vacation!  I'm going to have to entertain myself this weekend.  Well, it's probably a good thing that no one will be around, since I still need to work on going through all my stuff and getting my suitcase weight down.  Also I need to visit the catacombs, since I still haven't been.  I think that the catacombs are the only tourist thing left here that I haven't done yet.  

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A few more London pictures

Some of the hanbok on display at the Korean cultural center near Trafalgar square

Close up of a gate at Buckingham Palace

Statue of... Wellington, I think?

Stained glass windows inside Westminster Abbey

View from where I was sitting in Westminster Abbey

Coutyard around back of abbey