Gravity Release Me

And don't ever hold me down

Archive for February, 2012

Now my feet won’t touch the ground

So the other day I had a job interview. A big and scary job interview with a web/game localization company. I know what you’re thinking:

“That’s big… scary even”

You’re right. It is.

Those of you who follow me on Facebook would already know the outcome of said interview. But for my fellow readers who don’t follow me on Facebook, and also for my own ego that has earned the right to boast just a little:

I got the job.

I got it. I… yes… job… not unemployed…. web/games…. I start Monday. I got a job. I’m a programmer again. I start Monday. Yay.

In fact, 4 months ago, I made a decision to come to Japan. When I made that decision there were 2 companies I had my eye on that I thought I would one day like to work for when/if I ever went back to Japan – funnily enough, this company is 1 of those 2 companies.

Not only that, I thought to myself that I would want to live in Japan because A) I love it here and B) I put a lot of effort into learning the language, I’d like to get better. Well… funnily enough, my initial task involves me working very closely with the Creative Director at this company. Now, not everyone at this company is Japanese – it’s about 50% Japanese, 50% foreigners. But this Creative Director chap: Japanese. Through and through. No English. So I’m going to be working with this guy 40 hours a week. My Japanese is gonna go through the roof, so is the Creative Director’s stress levels.

I made some of the most painful sacrifices of my life in an effort to get here. I have this stupid belief that I can achieve anything I set my mind to. The unhealthy part is that life seems to be enabling this crazy behaviour. I made some decisions that I look back on now and I think to myself “Jace, seriously bro, that was just blatantly idiotic! What the fuck were you thinking?” But I made all those decisions with a goal in mind, to one day live a dream that formed itself in my mind back in 2006.

Well… here it is. (more…)

カイロ (Kairo)

It’s been pretty cold here in Japan lately. Well… I call it cold – there are much colder places on Earth. But let’s keep in mind I come from a part of Australia where winter lows are average around 10°C (50°F) – as opposed to the 0°C (32°F) I’m experiencing here in Japan on a daily basis. Things are fine when I’m out and about during the day because I have a nice down jacket, thermals, gloves etc. But night time, in my zero-insulation wooden home, in bed – now that’s a completely different story.

However recently, out of the blue, a friend of mine introduced me to “Kairo” – and life was good.

What is Kairo? Essentially it’s just a heat pack that lasts for 14 hours! The ones I have come in packs of 10 and only run about 300 yen ($5)! The heat pack has some weird, but safe, chemicals inside as well as 1 adhesive side. All you need to do is shake and twist it up gently, and stick it on your shirt around your chest or stomach before you go to bed. If you want, you can throw a second one on your back too. After a few minutes it warms up and keeps your core warm all night and even the next morning. I’m stockpiling enough Kairo to get me through the winter. (more…)

I can hear it comin’

As of today, tomorrow can be said to be the most important day of the rest of my life. It could very well be one of those pivotal moments that decide the course of the rest of my life. Fast forward 24 hours from now and I might consider it to be something completely different.

Tomorrow I have an interview with a game localization company in Osaka. I don’t know what’s going to happen. Hell, I don’t even know what position i’ve applied for. But they’re pretty big, we’ve emailed each other, they’ve seen my resume, and are still keen to have me in. That only means one thing: I have a shot.

When it comes to interviews I’m usually pretty cool, pretty calm, and kick a whole lot of ass. I go in there armed with enough knowledge, experience and personality to get the job. But, on the flip side I also always think to myself: “Jace, you might not get this.” Which is immediately followed up with “…meh. I don’t care.”

When I go for an interview I go in there knowing that I’ll be quite alright walking away without a shot at the job – this often leaves me with confidence, it leaves me unafraid of the outcome, and leaves me in the right mindset to go in there and wipe the floor with the interview.

However… Game developer jobs are completely different. (more…)

Garbage Collection in Japan

So for the past few weeks here at my house I’ve been trying to sort out the garbage thing. It is much more difficult than anticipated.

During my time living in the Seminar Houses near Kansai Gaidai one of the first things I learned was that trash had to be separated into burnable trash, plastics, PET bottles, cans – despite the synthetic nature of the Seminar House lifestyle, this actually simulates the “real world” of Japan. Sorting trash, no problem. My trash is now sorted in appropriate plastic bags (that legally must be see-through!).

So where do I put my trash? Often times there is an obvious trash compartment nearby where you take your trash for collection. It could be a large bin, or some sort of brick receptacle-looking thing with a net covering it, sometimes it’s a net attached to a handrail on the sidewalk. But in my part of Japan we keep things ghetto (correct Japanese terminology) and we use this blue tarp + bricks:

Blue Tarp + Bricks.

Err… Ok… I can manage that.

However here comes the confusing part for me. My landlord informed me that different kinds of trash were picked up on different days but he didn’t know what the schedule was like in my neighbourhood. So I figured I’d keep an eye out for this tarp every morning, and so one morning I woke up at about 8am, looked out of my window and saw it was out, covering trash my neighbours had put out. So, I went down there, lifted the tarp and inspected what they were throwing out. I saw paper and other items that I figured would mean it was the burnable trash day. So I ran inside, grabbed my burnable trash and threw it under the tarp – an hour or so later it had all been picked up.

Sweet! +35xp (more…)

Apartments in Japan: Part 3

The long awaited part 3 is finally here! If you have not read Apartments in Japan part 1 and/or part 2 I would recommend you do so!

I have found a place to live. Firstly, I will show you a quick walkthrough:

So, the first thing you’ll notice is: it’s not an apartment! Nope! It’s a house! An oldschool Japanese house!

I was very lucky to have found this place as it belongs to a friend of a friend of a friend. But, I found it and for the time being it is all mine! I’ll have a friend moving in soon.

The house is only ¥30,000 ($400AUD) a month, plus utilities. When my friend moves in it will become ¥25,000 each. (more…)

Getting my feet back


Ok… Ok…

So like, culture shock. A quick Google defines it as: “The feeling of disorientation experienced by someone who is suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life, or set of attitudes.”

Now, I’ve lived in Japan before. Granted the last time I was here it was a different “way of life” and I had a different “set of attitudes” at the time that needed some tweaking to live here. Well this time around is no different, I’ve been hit pretty hard, despite how much I thought I knew about this crazy place.

So, no real posts this past week. The Apartments in Japan: Part 3 is yet to be posted. Then there are 2 posts I’ve promised to write for people that I’ve yet to do. I must have been busy right? Wrong. Dead wrong. (more…)

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