japanese mash

Hello! I'm originally from Cardiff in Wales but am currently living in Hagi-shi, Japan. I'm an Assistant Language Teacher on the Jet programme and have set up this blog to act as a diary of my time here and also to let friends know what I'm up to (I hate group emails as much as the next person!). Enjoy..... or be bored.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas at Home

So I finally decided to stop gallavanting around the world neglecting my family and go home for christmas. I had a brilliant time, even though I no longer have a bedroom!! The food was good and it was great to see everyone. Next time christmas dinner at mine in Hagi. Ok mum?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Mr January!! Published Photographer!

Every year the Jet Programme invites JET participants to take part in a photo competition with the best entries featuring in a calendar. The calendar is then distributed to all participants and contracting organisations around Japan. It is also sent around the world in order to promote the Jet Programme. I sent a few photos in on a whim and I got chosen!! My photo appears in January of the desktop calendar.

The photo was taken in Yamanashi ken in April when my family and I visited Mount Fuji. Chuffed!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Rugby Final

Today my technical high school played in the Yamaguchi High Schools Final. We won 24-3!!! Again, sport in Japan was weird. People would be cheering and then as soon as someone scored a try it went silent. I kept thinking that the tries were disallowed but no, it was just Japan being weird. It was cold and wet - reminded me of Saturday morning rugby practice when I was a student.

Well done Hagi Kogyo!!

Friday, November 03, 2006

School Festival

This year my base school and my technical school are merging so our cultural festivals were combined. It was really good fun. Much bigger and better than last year. There were food stalls, a haunted house, tea ceremony, rock bands, break dancing, a brass band, fishing and more. My job was basically to go round and talk all day. It's not bad being an ALT. I only teach at the technical school once a month so it was good to get to know the students and for them to see me outside of the classroom (the english lessons there really suck!!)How small do I look? People are meant to be short in Japan!!!!

The anticipation of the Haunted House was just too much!! Paul and I decided to turn the tables and actually scare the "ghosts and zombies" instead. They were wimps. Not scary at all.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

No more Halloween PLEASE!!

I have done so many Halloween lessons recently that I'm sick of it!! But I did have fun. Every Thursday some of my students go to Paul's school for optional English lessons (are mine not good enough?) Paul kindly invited me to his Halloween extravaganza. We carved pumpkins, had a mystery box of eyeballs, guts and brains and then ate so many sweets that I felt sick. It was great!!
At elementary school we made masks, played Halloween games and went trick or treating at the Headteacher's office.

I actually went through my town looking like this. People's reactions were great. I made someone literally jump on the other side of the road to me. haha.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Yanai Halloween 2006

So last year I took the best male halloween costume as Jackie Kennedy. How was I going to top that this year? Well I just couldn't. I had decided not to go for the title this year and let someone else have the chance. So the day of the party I was still without a costume but with some last minute shopping in Tokuyama, some buttons, a straw hat, a tshirt, sticky back plastic and face paint I managed to throw together Luffy from the popular Japanese animation "One Piece".
I WON TWO YEARS RUNNING!!!! WTF? I feel slightly guilty as Saki should have won as Michael Jackson (It was creepingly good). I put my win down to the Japanese vote and Hannah's artwork on Luffy's tongue. The foreigners definitely didn't vote for me as I had to keep explaining who I was all night.
Dear Kat was sorely missed at Gotcha - that place will always remind me of you (and that mash up night we had with Steph and Yakuza)
Costumes worth a mention: Michael Jackson and Bubbles (Saki and Hannah), The Hulk (Eugene), Steve Irwin + Sting Ray (Jeff the Marine), Hard Gay (Stirling), Greek/Roman Goddess (Jess - I forget which one you were) and David Hasslehoff (Paul).

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Mabo, the barman at our local, decided to take us to the island of Tsunoshima on his day off. A movie was filmed here last year and they built the chapel especially for the movie. Now the chapel is public toilets. Dont watch the movie it sucks.

It was a really relaxing day. Jo and I decided to go for a swim but it was bloody freezing!!