Well its been to long since I have given you all a formal Kai-chan/Aya-chan/Tony-Chan update, so here goes nothing. I do apologize that I haven’t posted in a long time. Things have been busy, and I have been trying to find a job, update the resume, clean out old closets, and prepare Aya’s Green Card petition.
Last week was a very busy, yet very productive time in the Monticello family house. I’ll try to break it down in easy to follow steps, just make sure you have a glass of water by, we don’t want you getting thirsty reading long winded sentences out loud to Sparky.
Sunday: Aya’s family moves from upstairs to a new city (Tajimi). This was not so much physically tough, as emotional difficult. Recently Aya has been able to spend more time with her sister and she was coming over everyday for about a month to help out with the Kai-zilla. Of course it was tough to say goodbye but the silver-lining is that it makes for a good first step towards moving to the U.S.. Now I just need to find out how to ship home this rice cooker and samurai sword?
Monday: I depart for Yokohama (just South of Tokyo) for a Returning JETs Conference, which is hosted by the CLAIR foundation. CLAIR assists all JETs in their stay in Japan and life after JET as well. This conference was a wonderful help for me personally, giving me new ideas for career paths. After seeing some of the people talk, and considering my own unique skill sets, Stephen (best friend here) and I concluded that something in the areas of advertising, HR, or media agent would be ideal for me. I am personally leaning towards advertising or agent, but I think the former is a lot easier to start of doing with little field experience. Not to post my resume here or anything, but my Majors in Psychology and Philosophy, along with my ability to read people and create new ideas, should entice a few companies to look at little ‘ol Tony. I love blogging, as all of you know, and I think the presentation of this site, is in one way a great ad for my family. Anyway I am gonna start looking into jobs and will let you guys know if anything turns up. I would love if you did the same for me!
Tuesday: Conference continues and I gather my thoughts about how I want to approach this new career field. I meet the Senior Marketing Coordinator for American Express International Japan after her insightful talk, and even managed to steal a business card. She also happens to be a JET, so it was extremely encouraging to hear how her career developed after JET.
Wednesday: Conference ends and I meet Aya in Tokyo where we rush to the American Embassy for our 2 o’clock appointment for her Green Card petition. This was just the initial step of the green card process, but I think we had all of the (3000) necessary documents to get the ball rolling. We did luck out though, I have to admit. When we got there, there was this huge line of people waiting for travel visas to the US, so we thought since its the “American” Embassy they would let me hop right ahead. They did, but I think they thought I worked there or something. At any rate we were first in line and the guy we meet at the window was an ex-JET who gave a presentation at the JET conference! I said he what’s up, nice talk yesterday and he was like, “Okay, well now that I know you are JET that takes care of about half of the questions I needed to ask you.” The process was quick, but I think I learned how important it is to always make contacts. You never know when they will be back to help you, but it always seems like you couldn’t have planned it better when they do.
Thursday (today): Came back to school and went to the 8th graders graduation ceremony. It was a nice little service, and there were lots of teary eyes in the room. I even teared up in the beginning when everyone started to sing the National Song. We were all facing the flag at the center of the stage, when it hit me that Japan has taught, given, and instilled a lot of wonderful qualities in me and she never asked for anything in return. I feel very privileged to be taught and assisted by the wonderful people I have meet here, and one thing I will always adore is the generosity of strangers. Any one who has lived here for more than a month has a random story about how some stranger took 20+ minutes out of their day, just to make sure you found what you were looking for.
Now that I think about it, Monday night in Yokohama Stephen and I were unable to find the local pub (due to the fact that it shut down, but not even the cabbies seem to know that). We asked these two guys where a “foreigner bar” was and they proceeded to walk us 30 minutes across town right to the entrance, even though it was getting late and they had to catch a train. It is experiences like this, transcending language and cultural barriers, that I have come to love about Japan.