Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Moving to Japan? This blog's for you!

I don't think I've mentioned it on the blog, but in a few short months I will be so blessed as to have several of my good friends come to Japan to begin work as AETs in Mito-- especially the Barneches and Blake (who, in a recent email, said "Two more months and then we'll be reunited to torment each other" :) Those of you who know us will appreciate that!). In an effort to organize and collect my thoughts on tips to share and things to bring and so forth. So if you're moving to Japan at some point, bookmark this page! I will update it as I think of more things and hopefully collect comments from my compadres with Japan experience of advice they have. Gambatte, guys! I love you and can't wait til you get here!

Things I would suggest bringing
  • deodorant/antiperspirant
  • toothpaste
  • shaving cream
  • a good sleep mask (the sun rises early!)
  • shoes that are easy to slip on and off
  • if you are not Japanese sized, plenty of clothes
  • pictures of your life in your home country (family, house, school, car, favorite food, famous places)
  • a flag of your country (unless you're from Texas, then the state flag suffices :) )
  • a map of your country and/or state
  • books you like
  • slippers if you have large feet
  • lysol, wrinkle release (you don't need these, but you can't find them here)
  • if you are a medicine taker like me, then stock up on medicine. Of course they have medicine here, but it is much weaker. I have cold, sinus, allergy, stomach, and airsickness medicines, as well as tylenol and ibuprofen.
  • antibacterial hand lotion (which is great to use after you've been shaking little hands all day at school)

Things to Learn
  • Yoroshiku onegaishimasu-- one of the most valuable phrases to use when meeting your superiors at work. It literally means something like, "please look on me kindly," but is used very often when wanting to make a good impression. Your bosses will expect you to memorize this on the spot once you get here and have formal introductions, so save yourself some stress and memorize it now.
  • Domo arigato gozaimasu-- thank you very much
  • Sumimasen-- excuse me
  • Ohayo gozaimasu-- good morning
  • Konnichiwa-- good afternoon
  • Konbanwa-- good evening
  • Daijoubu desu-- I'm/it's okay.
I know there's a good collection of people with Japan experience reading this blog, so let's help these folks out! What's your advice?


Peter Rice said...

Ann, they'll probably want to know this one before coming too (my Japanese teacher taught it to me):

Kanji wa Nihongo o cho muzukashiku shite imasu.

It means, approximately, "Kanji makes Japanese stinkin' difficult!"

I think it'll come in handy too... :)

I enjoy your blog! And I'm jealous about the love letter--not a single forged, misleading item has ever appeared on my desk!

Judith said...

Sorry I didn't respond sooner, but I think Ann did a pretty good job of listing the things you will need.
Don't forget to pack several undershirts and pairs of long underwear. Winter is all about layering. I'm sitting in my living room wearing three shirts, warm pants, my long winter coat with the kerosene heater directly on me. It will still be cool if not cold in March.
I'm looking forward to meeting the newcomers and I'm praying that God will work through you in might ways while you are in Japan.