Thursday, May 31, 2012

On that day two years ago...

Hi everyone!

On this day, it is exactly two years since I first went to Japan. Summer 2010 was one of the best ones in my life, and I still think back to those warm, sunny days with my friends. Good times, good times.

This also means that it is only a little more than two months until I'm going home again. Which makes me kind of sad. It's weird how time plays tricks on you. Ten months seemed like such a long time, but now eight months have already passed. I really hope I can find a job here until then, so I can return here and live here more permanently. Can't give up yet...

That's all for now. I leave you with this song. At least one thing I have to look forward to when I go back home is to be able to play some awesome new games. Have a good day!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

And Now We Wait...

Hi everyone!

If you read my last post, you know that I had a job interview at a small company in Osaka, which localizes video games from Japanese to English. It went quite well, I think. The person who interviewed me seemed to have gotten a fairly good impression of me, and after sending them my resume and a sample of my previous translation work (See the "Summer Project" posts in my blog archive.), I received a response from the director saying that they will contact me "within a few days." So far, so good.

Now I just have to wait a "few days." And my semi-paranoid, anxious self does not like to wait. I know it's a weekend right now and they probably won't contact me until Monday at the very earliest, but I still find myself looking at my mail box every now and then just to see if anything has arrived. I just don't have much patience when it comes to things like these, I guess.

Anyway, I'm going to wait for now. If I don't hear from them in another "few days," I suppose I should contact them again. I really do want this job, and I want to make sure that everything goes well. Oh man, my nerves...

Well, that's it for now. Until next time, have a good day!

P.S Drakengard is a pretty nice game. Just so you know.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Another Interview

Hi everyone!

So, the job interview I had a few weeks back amounted to nothing. On top of it all I even broke my arm on the way there. Nevertheless, I struggled on, and am now almost completely back to my former self. Arm's still a bit stiff, though.

Anyway, on Tuesday is another very big day for me. Why? Because I have an appointment with a company that translates and localizes video games, based in Osaka. In other words, a shot at landing my dream job here!
With some help from my mother, I made up a plan for the interview; what I'm going to talk about, how to best introduce myself and show them my best side, the usual. My mother does this sort of thing for a living, and she is great at pointing out people's strengths and how they can use them to overcome their weaknesses, and I really feel confident about this thing now.

Oh, and I got my scholarship money yesterday. Feels good to have some money again!

I'll get back and tell all about the interview next time. Until then, have a good day!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Back in Action!

Hi everyone! It seems my long and arduous recovery is finally nearing its completion. Today, I went to the hospital again for a regular check-up of my arm. And lo and behold: Upon viewing the x-ray image, it became clear that the bone is now almost completely healed! All that is left now is to gently start exercising the muscles and ligaments, bringing the arm back to its former strength and mobility. Hurray!

What's more, it is now only one week left until I get my scholarship money. Two months' worth of glorious yen right in the bank account. Much obliged, Japanese government! I just have to survive on rice and instant ramen this last week, and then it's celebrating time! I have already picked a place to go have dinner next Monday, an all-you-can-eat barbecue restaurant.

To top it all off, the weather today was beautiful, warm and sunny. And, I might have a job offer coming my way, if I play my cards right. Things are looking up!

Until next time, everybody. Have a good day!

Monday, May 7, 2012


Hi everyone!

Just wanted to give a quick update on my health. As you may recall, I broke my left arm two weeks ago, and have been walking around with a sling for most of that time. However, today things are looking up.

I was at the hospital, and after examining my x-ray slides, the doctor said that I can start using the sling less. I also discovered that I am able to type with both hands again. Now it will probably be another two weeks and I should be back to normal. Fingers crossed.

Other than that, I am in a bit of a bind economically. For reasons I fear I shall never fully comprehend, someone high up decided it was a good idea to not give us our scholarship last month, instead paying it out this month along with the regular amount. This, coupled with the money I have to pay the hospital, leaves me with about 1000 yen to live on for the following two weeks. And no, that is not an awful lot of money.

But I'm sure I'll be fine. I am pretty good at conserving money, and although I might have to skip a meal or two over the next two weeks, I know I'll be feasting once the scholarship money arrives. All-you-can-eat grilled meat buffet, anyone? Oh yes.

Until next time, everyone, have a good day!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Minor Update

Hi everyone!

Just wanted to give a brief update on my broken arm. It's healing quite well, the doctor said it will probably be two weeks until it's completely healed. Yay!

Until then, I just have to keep doing some rehabilitating exercise every day, to prevent the muscles from weakening, and the shoulder from stiffening too much. In all, could be much worse.

I hope everyone stays healthy. Don't repeat my mistake, take it easy out there! And if you're on a bike, do wear a helmet. I thank my lucky stars that I didn't get a severe concussion or maybe even a cracked skull when I fell. The human body can be quite fragile.

Until next time, everyone. Have a good day!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Minor Breakdown

Hi everyone! Did I ever tell you about the time I crashed my bike, broke my arm and then went to a job interview? No? Then gather round!

Last Friday, I was on my way home from school on my bicycle. It was raining, and I was in a hurry to get home and prepare for my interview later that day. On the way up the hill to the dorm, though, my bike decides it's had enough, and the chain comes loose with a clattering noise, which is swiftly drowned out by my cry of surprise. I tumbled forward and hit the ground pretty hard. I quickly dragged myself up from the dirt and walked home, stopping every few steps to let my fading vision clear up. I felt a bit like I imagine Kratos did in that one part of God of War 2 where he's all wounded and what have you.

So anyway, like a fallen warrior I dragged myself home, washed off my dirtied face, and then got on the bus and went to Nagoya for my interview. My arm hurt pretty bad, but I didn't think it was broken. The next day, when my girlfriend gave me a ride to the hospital, I learned that it was.

And that's what happened. I now have my arm in a sling, and can't really use it for much. It is quite a bother. I'm glad it was my left arm, though. I am right-handed, so I can still write and such. Typing is a bit of a pain, though. Hopefully, it won't take too long for it to heal.

Until then, I probably won't be posting much on the blog.

Have a good day, everyone, and stay safe!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Hunt Continues: Interview!

Hi everyone!

The other day, I received a mail from one of the companies I have sent my resume to. They want me to come in to Nagoya on Friday for an interview! Yay!

So, I am basically going to spend this week preparing for the interview, memorizing some key words for marketing my skills and good characteristics, come up with answers for potential questions... and try not to let my nerves get the better of me. I always get really nervous before a big event, be it an interview, an exam, a presentation, anything. But, when the time comes, I always get it done. As long as I do my best, I know it'll be fine.

That's it for now. Until next time, have a good day!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

New Term, New Toils

Hi everyone!

So, the long, long spring break is finally at an end, and so is the first week of class. I have gone to a lot of classes to see which ones I would like to take, and today I handed in my application form.

I hope I can get all the ones I want, though it seems some of them have limited places available. Cross my fingers, I guess.

Other than class, I'm also going to keep looking for work. Busy, busy...

Don't have much else to write about right now, so have a good day!

Monday, April 9, 2012

LD: Hovering, Falling Clouds

Hi everyone! I just woke up, it's a sunny day out, and I had a lucid dream last night. This day is looking like a fine one, and it's only 9 am!

So, about the dream. I am in a secret headquarters, in a low-lit room full of monitors and maps and such. There are two other people in the room, but I can't tell who they are. Anyway, they receive a distress call from one of our allies who needs to be rescued. I am sent out to find them. As I move across a large grassy field, I notice that I am in fact Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots. (And I don't even like Transformers all that much!)

Since walking is awfully slow, I leap into the air and start flying. This is when it hits me: Optimus Prime can't fly! At least not without combining with some other guy first, if I recall correctly. So this must be a dream, then! I continue to fly at a really high speed over a forest, but I lose altitude and fall to the ground. Usually, if something like this happens, I leap right back up and try to fly some more, but this time, I decided to take things easy. I just lie there on my stomach for a while, concentrating on floating above the ground. I slowly rise about two inches and move forward at a slow pace. When I get to a paved road, I have to concentrate even harder to keep my legs up, to prevent them from scraping along the asphalt. After making it across, I stand up and walk for a while.

At this point, I make sure to test reality again, just to confirm once more that I am still dreaming and conscious about it. So I pull on my right index finger, which stretches out like rubber, impossibly long. Yup, still dreaming.
Recalling something I read about the sky sometimes being very odd and beautiful in dreams, I look up. The sky looks quite normal, apart form some very big, dark clouds. Upon closer inspection, I realise that the clouds are in fact falling down. I quickly step out of the way as the big cloud crashes into the ground with a dull thumping noise. When I try poking it, I find that it has the same texture as foam rubber. More clouds come falling down, and I kick and swing at them, sending them flying out of the way. I tear off a large chunk of cloud and try swinging it around. It's fairly light, and feels like a big rubber mattress. I play around with it for a while, and then my alarm clock goes off.

I was a little annoyed that the dream was cut short by the alarm clock like that, but it was fun while it lasted.

Until next time everyone! Have a good day!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Arcade Archetype

Hi everyone! Enjoying Easter? I actually forgot all about it until my mom wished me a happy Easter a few days ago. Chalk that one up to Japan, I suppose.

Speaking of Japan, one place where you are likely to find giant, anthropomorphic animals chucking eggs and stuff around would be in one of the many game arcades they have here. (If that sentence doesn't win me the prize for most far-fetched segway ever I will eat my own hat.) Being from Sweden, the concept of a game arcade was quite foreign to me, having only been to one in my home town before it closed down about twelve years ago. Because of this, I was living under the impression that game arcades were a thing of the past, no longer able to sustain themselves in today's climate, with home consoles and computers packing more power than the arcade machines. After coming to Japan, however, I saw that I was wrong. I am so glad I was wrong.

It's a lot of fun to go down to the local game center and play a few rounds of BlazBlue or Persona 4U (which is really good, by the way), or pound on the drums to your favourite anime theme song. (And if your favourite anime theme song is from Evangelion, even better.)

But one of the most unusual arcade experiences has to be a game I tried the other day. Gundam: Senjou no Kizuna is a multiplayer first person shooting game based on the popular mech anime in which you control one of the titular mechs in battles against other players around the country. The game itself is decent, fairly standard both in terms of graphics and gameplay. What makes it so unique is the way it is played. You sit down inside the booth with is made to look like the cockpit of one of the giant robots, and control it by using two handles and two pedals. It takes a while getting used to, but it is awesome.

No, that is not a fancy public toilet. It's a fancy arcade machine.
Unfortunately, I haven't seen these around in Kyoto, so once I go back there I probably won't be able to play it any more... Oh well, yet another excuse to go in to Nagoya, then!

That's all for now. Until next time, have a good day!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Now it's Personal!

Hi everyone!

Yesterday, while out around town showing my mother the sights around here, we found ourselves in my usual game center. And there I saw that Persona 4: The Ultimate is out. Having nearly forgotten about it for a while, I was very excited to try it out.

Persona 4: The Ultimate is a fighting game developed by Arc System Works, makers of Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, based on the Persona series of RPG's by Atlus. To a fan of both fighting games and RPG's like myself, it's a match made in heaven. The game itself? It's pretty damn good. It features the main cast of Persona 4, and some characters from Persona 3, fighting it out inside the TV world of Persona 4, for... some reason. (You know how it goes, no one really cares about the story in a fighting game)

On the gameplay side, it's both very similar to BlazBlue, and quite different. I jumped in not knowing anything about the characters apart form their roles in the original game, so I picked the main character from Persona 4 just because. It's similar to BlazBlue in the presentation and system, and you'll see familiar terms such as Fatal Counters and Bursts. The difference is that more focus seems to be on timing and positioning of your attacks, especially when summoning your persona, which can be done in two ways, both as a direct attack, and as a delayed combo. With the press of a button, you can call your persona in and have them ready an attack, and then time your own attacks to create a devastating combo.

I made it up to stage 6 before I finally bit the dust against Mitsuru, making an appearance as a slightly older, more refined woman than before. (Seeing as this is set in the time period of Persona 4, the P3 characters are all older versions of their previous selves) And since my mother was there too, I didn't want to spend the whole day at the arcade to figure out the game. It seems pretty good, though, and I will definitely try it out some more, and see if I can find a favourite character. And yes, I am still sad that Junpei isn't in the game. A future DLC character, perhaps? Please?

That's all for now. Until next time, have a good day!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fair Thee Well

Hi everyone!

Yesterday, I took a trip to Osaka and went to a job fair. It was a pretty nice experience once I had actually gotten there. (I forgot to bring an umbrella, so of course it was raining. And I got lost on the way and arrived half an hour late.)

Anyway, I got to hear about a few companies, both Japanese and international ones, and got a few good ideas of which ones to apply to. Right now Mitsubishi is looking quite interesting. And on the way home I did not get lost, thankfully.

Today, I'm just going to stay at home, though. It's raining again, so I'm not going out unless I have to. Which I don't, so HA!

Until next time, everyone, have a good day!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Game Music: Gun

Hi everyone!

It's been a while since I made one of these posts, and I don't have much else to write about at the moment, so let's listen to some music. This wonderful piece is the main theme of the game Gun, a western open-world third person action game that was good, but felt like it could have been so much more. It has some great voice acting, an amazing soundtrack that really enhances the mood of the game, and a pretty interesting story and likeable characters that really grow on you. I recently replayed it for the nostalgia, and once again realised just how short the game actually is. Oh well, it's still pretty good. Maybe I should check out Red Dead Redemption one of these days...

Anyway, here it is. Enjoy!
Well, that's it for now. Until next time, have a good day! Yee-haw! Giddy up!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Weather Report

Hi everyone!

Nothing much to say today, except a big "screw you" to the weather here in Kyoto today. Yeah, it's raining. I just wish spring would shuffle over here on its scrawny little legs and warm things up around here. I've had it with winter for a while now, thanks.

Oh well, I guess I'm just a bit moody because of the weather, but It'll get better. Hopefully. In the meantime, I'll try to cheer up a bit. Have a good day!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Hunt Begins.

Hi everyone!

Today, I started hunting for real. No, I am not talking about Monster Hunter, although I do play that from time to time. I am talking about job hunting. If I want to stay in Japan even after my exchange program ends, I will need some form of income, that is to say, a job.

Of course, I do have my freelance translation thing going, but it seems like having a "real" employment really is the only way to go for a foreigner like me. (Not saying you can't make it on your own if you really want to, just that I personally might not be suited for that.) If I can get a job, any job really, and do some translation work on the side, I think I could live well enough here even without free scholarship money from the government. (I am going to miss that, though.)

So yeah, I'm just going to do my best with this, and hope I can find something. Until next time, have a good day!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ambulating in the Presence of Monsters (or, there he goes again with his damn "wit")

Hi everyone!

A few weeks ago, I indulged in some nostalgia as I re-watched the BBC series Walking With Dinosaurs, a show that I loved immensely as a child. I then proceeded to check out the follow-up series called Walking With Beasts, which covered the time period from after the dinosaurs went extinct, to the ice age. And I found it slightly underwhelming.

This has mostly to do with my age, I suspect. I mean, a ten year old kid is going to be quite a lot easier to impress than a 21 year old one, right? Couple that with the nostalgia factor of re-watching a childhood favourite show (more on that in another post), and you've got it all pretty clear cut. This doesn't mean Walking With Beasts is inferior to its predecessor. No, I thought it was quite good, and it was interesting to see humans finally make an appearance among the prehistoric wildlife. I guess the ten year old kid in me just prefers the dinosaurs, in the end.

And who can blame him? After all, dinosaurs remain, even today, some of the most impressive and fascinating creatures ever to walk the earth. They're big, they're cool, they're exotic. Compare that to, say, a mammoth, which is simply just big. And not that big when you put it next to a full grown Diplodocus.

In all, Walking With Beasts was a good series, but I still prefer the dinosaurs.

Until next time, everyone. Have a good day!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Another One!

Hi everyone!

Well, I was really excited to have had a lucid dream after a so long dry spell. And then I had another one just a few days later! This one was a bit darker, though. Let me tell you:

I find myself driving a go-cart through the streets of my hometown. I am looking for a way home, I think. I drive up a set of steps and find the way blocked by a tall, slender man. He looks like a junkie, or a gang member or something. I get out of the go-cart and try to go past him. He won't let me, and when I try to push him away, he pulls out a knife and attacks me. I grab his wrist to try and fend him off, but he manages to scratch my chest with the knife. He pushes me down the steps and I hit the ground. I hear him come after me, so I decide to run. Dashing off in the opposite direction, I see a store window on the other edge of a deep ditch. I jump and clear the ditch. When I look back, I see my pursuer approaching fast, jumping the ditch like it was nothing.

I run through the large store, which seems to be a super market, tearing down shelves and boxes along the way to slow down the man pursuing me. As I look back, I can see him still approaching, and at this time, it somehow occurs to me that I am dreaming. I grab a big, heavy box from a shelf and slam it into the guy's face. He stumbles, but does not fall. I hit him again, and he tumbles backward, all the way back to the window. I drop the box and use telekinesis to pick him up from the floor. A twisted desire for revenge surges through me, and I use my power to rip his body in half. And yet, he is still alive. I drag his body with me down the street, and enter a small store. There, I place his still living head on a shelf and tell him that he must spend an eternity in this small, really boring store.

Then I go check out some DVD's on a shelf.

Wasn't really in control for much of this one, but I do remember the feeling of picking the guy up without touching him. Felt pretty cool, though I don't think I'd want to rip any more people apart with it...

Until next time, have a good day!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Long Time No See

Hi everyone!

A few days ago, for the first time in many months, I had a lucid dream! I'd almost forgot just how awesome they are, and it felt very satisfying to have on after all this time. I haven't really felt motivated to practise LD'ing for a long time now, but I just might pick it up again, now that I have time. Anyway, let me just describe the dream in short.

I find myself in Kyoto, getting on the bus at my usual stop, just outside the dorm. It is a sunny day. When I get on the bus, I see one of my friends sitting in the back. I sit down next to her and we talk for a while. The bus is on the way to campus. Suddenly, I realise that I have to be at the train station, which is in the other direction, in half an hour to catch my ride to Nagoya. Given that I am riding the bus to the university, however, this is virtually impossible. At this realisation, I panic and shout "Oh no!" again and again...

And that's when it hits me. This situation is completely improbable. There is no way I would be so careless as to forget an appointment to go to Nagoya. I somehow feel this in my gut, and make the conclusion that it has to be a dream. Everything seems to snap into focus, and I turn to my friend and tell her that it's alright; I am not going to miss my bus, since this is just a dream. She seems understanding.

I get off the bus at the next stop, and to little surprise see that I am in fact in Nagoya, still on a sunny day, and with quite a rise in temperature. Not being one for sweating like a pig, I stretch my arms out behind me and have my coat pull itself off and float away. Comfortable in my hoodie and t-shirt, I then decide to lose the knit hat I'm wearing, too. I look up into the sky and see a group of white doves fluttering in the sky. As I take off my hat, I knead it in my hands and toss it into the air. It sprouts wings and becomes a black bird that flies away swiftly.

Now, I am excited to take to the skies too, but as I crouch down, preparing to leap into the air, I close my eyes for a bit too long and lose focus. I have a false awakening where I am back in my bed in the dorm, excited to write my dream down in my journal, and then I wake up for real.

For a completely random lucid dream that came after such a long dry spell, this was pretty cool. I think I'm going to practise lucid dreaming a bit more from now on, see if I have any more neat adventures.

If you want to read more about Lucid Dreaming, check out some of the older posts in my blog! There's a few tips and advice for the aspiring dreamer, as well as a few entries from my dream journal. Enjoy!

Until next time, everyone, have a good day!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hunting Monsters

Hi everyone!

Recently, I've begun playing a certain game for the PSP, one that is the foundation for pretty much half of its library. Well, that might be a bit of an overstatement. Still, you can't deny the fact that a lot of games copies the formula of this game series with varying degrees of shame. I am talking, of course, about Monster Hunter.

Monster Hunter began as an online game on the PS2, but was not very well received by critics. The series has since moved on to become the flagship series of the PSP, with quite a few titles available. And of course, the countless imitators. I had been curious about what all the fuss was about, and so started playing Monster Hunter Portable 3 a few days ago.

And I really like it! Having played some similar games before, such as God Eater, Crisis Core and such, the flow of the game, with its quests consisting of killing a certain monster or gathering a certain amount of items, was instantly familiar. But, I have to admit, the original outperforms them all. It just feels more engaging. There's just something about hunting down monsters, gathering materials and crafting new items that Monster Hunter does really well. I think it has to do with the environments and the monsters being very believable and having a strong sense of immersion. The world has its own very defined logic which really makes sense. You collect materials such as wood, plants and bones, and combine them into items and equipment to help take down even bigger and stronger monsters.

I haven't gotten that far into the game yet, but I am really enjoying it so far, and I think it will take a long time before I get bored. We'll see. If you have a PSP and haven't tried a Monster Hunter game yet, I recommend them. They're great fun. Just be careful, as they can be very addictive.

Until next time, happy hunting, and have a good day!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Strolling with Prehistoric Reptiles or "Changing the Title to be Witty"

Hi everyone!

Just finished re-watching the BBC series Walking With Dinosaurs, which first aired waaay back in 1999 (Wow, that's more than half of my life so far!), about the daily lives and struggles of these fascinating creatures.

I remember watching it for the first time back when I was about ten years old, and was completely blown away by it. Sure, I had seen Jurassic Park before, but this felt a lot more gratifying to me, being the dinosaur-obsessed paleontology-nerd that I was. Seeing these animals brought to life on the TV screen was like magic to my innocent soul.

Seeing it now, I must say it has aged fairly well. Yes, without the rose-tinted nostalgia goggles, you probably will scoff at some of the special effects. After all, computer graphics have come a long way since 1999, and what was state of the art, cutting edge CG back then looks quite archaic compared to to the effects of the average blockbuster film today. But still, for what it is, it works quite well, and delivers a mostly convincing depiction of dinosaurs and some of the creatures that lived alongside them. Not to mention the lovely narration by Kenneth Branagh. (Unless you are American, hah! Just kidding.)

Anyway, it was a nice nostalgia trip, and it set me off on a brief wikipedia session to learn more about some of the more obscure species featured in the series.

I guess it's on to Walking With Beasts next, then. Here's hoping for some awesome mammoth fights or something. Until next time, have a good day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Back To K-town

Well, my brief holiday in Nagoya is up, and it's time to return home to Kyoto. And then I have about a month and a half until classes start again. What to do, what to do...?

Okay, that one is fairly obvious: Sleep, eat, play video games. Done.

Just kidding! Of course, I am going to do that, but I'm also going to get a little more busy with my translation work, getting my name out there and try to get some jobs. And of course see the sights of Japan that I haven't yet.

Kind of a short entry today, but I can't really think of much more to say at the moment.
Until next time, everyone, have a good day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Adventures in Translation: Site up!

Hi everyone!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have started working freelance as a translator. I'm just getting started so far, and there are lots of things I have to get in place before I can really get cracking: I have to get used to new software, learn the proper ways of handling projects and clients, and tons of other stuff.

So, I have started a new blog which will serve as my translation service's home page. It's not much yet, but over the following days, I intend to spruce it up a bit and make it work as a platform for making PR and accepting various translation requests. Why don't you check it out?

Anyway, my spring break is in full swing; I'm enjoying some quiet time with my girlfriend in Nagoya, and then it's time to start working!

Until next time, have a good day!

Friday, February 3, 2012

It's Alive!!!

Hi everyone!

Alright, I am very sorry for not updating since, what? Halloween? Damn...

Well, I've been busy with class, tests, presentations and reports. Because of this, I just could not find the will to keep my blog updated, and let it fall into oblivion.
But, now that classes are over and spring break has begun, I thought I might give this another shot. So, let's start by catching up a bit, shall we?

After Halloween, things continued as usual. Classes were taken, presentations were created, and performed. Tests were taken, with mixed results, although mostly good. I still wish I had studied more for the Japanese Politics exam, because I was really blind-sided by that one.

Christmas rolled around, and I went to visit my girlfriend in Nagoya. We had turkey for Christmas dinner, and it was delicious. New Year's Eve came, and I was introduced to the wonderful world of low-brow Japanese humour in the form of Gaki Tsukai, a television programme in which five comedians are put through 24 hours of non-stop hilarious gags, the catch being that they must not laugh, or they get their rear-ends paddled with rubber batons. Needless to say, it was awesome.

After that, I went back to Kyoto and finished up my classes and tests, and now, spring break is here. Two months of lazing around... No, not really. You see, I have found my calling. I have realised through being here, spending time with my wonderful girlfriend and my lovely dorm mates and friends, that I want to stay in Japan after the exchange program is over. And in order to do that, I am taking my first, shaky steps onto the job market, as a freelance translator. My long-time readers (If any of you still bother to check for updates any more, and if you do, you are awesome and I appreciate it a lot) probably remember that I spent the better part of last summer translating and subtitling the J-Drama "Elite Yankee Saburou," something I really enjoyed doing. After some research, I discovered that with some effort, I can do pretty much the same thing and get paid for it as well. Score!

So, that's my goal from now on: Become a freelance translator and finance my life in Japan after the exchange program ends. I know that the road ahead is steep will take a lot of hard work. I know it is not going to be all that easy. but I also know that none of that matters, as long as I have a dream in my heart, and the will to carry on.

Wish me luck, everyone!

PS. Oh, and I'll try to keep the blog updated too. ;)