Odds & Ends (part 21).

  • The CT scanner that spotted my pneumonia (and cost me a lot for the privilege).

    While in the States, I managed to get sick for the last week home, and stayed sick in Japan. Took me three local clinic visits before my doctor referred me to a nearby university hospital, where they discovered I had pneumonia via an expensive CT scan. Between the local visits, the hospital visit, and a lost day of work due to fever, it’s been a pretty costly experience. Continue reading

Odds & Ends (part 20).

  • My flight is booked and my days off approved; I’ll be going back to my little corner of the US for three weeks in August. To get the extra days, I’m working one extra day per week in July. Still, it’ll be worth it. (Naturally, I’ll update flight details, but Japan updates will be temporarily suspended while I’m gone.)
  • For the last several weeks, I’ve been visiting local clinics to deal with a post-cold cough I can’t seem to shake. After two visits to my local clinic, I was told to try an ENT down the road. Two more visits there and I was told to go back and ask my doctor what else I should do. I got a clean X-Ray and two weeks’ supply of a nasal spray which seems to be working, so we’ll see.
  • To combat the summer heat this year, I bought a smallish fan to push the cold air up into the loft, as well as a new contour pillow with a low rebound and a layer of gel packs on the top that keep the surface from getting warm. Neither was expensive, and both were worth the price. I might not yet sleep well, but I’m sleeping better.

Odds & Ends (part 19).

  • After only three months of being in 大森 on Fridays, the company redrew their borders again, shoving that and the rest of the schools near my apartment into the Kanagawa region. Instead, I find myself in the quaint-but-distant 駒込 for the foreseeable future. The good news is that two of my 田町 students have found me there, which is a pleasant surprise.

    Continue reading

Odds & Ends (part 18).

  • As a favor to one of my bosses, I accepted a last-minute request to do a corporate contract with a major watchmaker here. I went to 麹町 four times for about two and a half hours on one of my days off every other week in February and March to teach customer-service English to watch-store employees. I started with six, but finished with three. Still, despite having to edit the poorly-translated dialogue on the fly, I feel like I did pretty well. If nothing else, it’ll look good on my résumé.
  • It turns out there’s a 成城石井 located in 大森, right by the station. This is good, because I can buy salsa, chips, and lime juice there without having to go far.
  • It also turns out I can buy things like rum and Irish cream cheaper at Bic Camera than any import store I’ve seen so far. The 有楽町 branch, for example, carries a nice-sized selection.
  • While I don’t normally suffer from hay fever, we’ve reached the time of year where the cedar tree pollen is especially heavy, and I’m not immune. I’m not to the point of wearing a surgical mask quite yet, though.
  • Odds and Ends (part 17).

    • As of January, I’m once again working at the 大森 school on Fridays. It isn’t the full day I had before — I start at 4:40 instead — but I still consider reclaiming one of my old schools a partial victory. My old students seem genuinely glad to see me, and it’s nice to be back so close to home on a half day.
    • I made another run at the international stores last week — just the two big ones — and loaded up so I don’t have to go back for a while. They really are nice places, if a little inconveniently-located.
    • I learned via a coworker that there’s a military-only hotel in 広尾 that features a Navy exchange where one can buy items not otherwise available in Japan (e.g. Pepto Bismol). Unfortunately, it requires a military ID to enter (or a friend with one who’ll let you accompany them). I know no one in the military here, nor do my ex-military friends. It’s… frustrating.
    • A couple weeks ago, I learned an old high school friend of mine has been coming to Tokyo recently on business. Last Sunday, I finally got to hang out with her. We started in a touristy craft-beer place in Roppongi, but moved to 鳥貴族 on my recommendation. We managed to eat and drink over 5000円 worth — which is pretty impressive at 280円 per item — and all on her company’s dime. Really, though, it was great to see her.

    Odds & Ends (part 16).

    • After well over a year of earning points on my Family Mart T-point card, I finally got to start using them. I sent the activation form in not long after arriving here, but it apparently didn’t arrive/get processed/matter, so I wasn’t able to use the points. Until this month, that is, when my local FM got a machine that can be used for various electronic transactions, including card registration. Turns out I’d accumulated over two thousand points (at a conversion rate of one point to 1円).
    • Continue reading