Saturday, 21 June 2008

Literary Understatement

I have finally finished my degree. I believe this calls for a w00t! and possibly a YES! I sat my final exam this morning for my Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. Now I just have to sit back and wait for the results of these final assessments. And possibly give a few people in the right places a nudge here and there to ensure that the university provides the visa authority with a letter of graduation before I (attempt to) leave the country.

Click to enlargeSpeaking of photos (I learned how to segue like that from the GameSpy team), I spent a good deal of today cleaning up my room and sorting out stuff. There are still some boxes to go through in the garage, but I've managed to pool together two boxes of things (mostly clothes) to give to the "op-shop" (second-hand store) and will be storing a few bits and pieces for future retrieval (mostly important documents and past assignments). I already filled up an entire council rubbish bag of things that I'm throwing away and another box with paper to be recycled (like a good, tidy Kiwi).

Click to enlargeThe weight limit prevents me from taking my small handful of books. Perhaps someone will be inspired to start reading a series. Or fifteen...

I will be going up north on Thursday to spend some time with my parents and two youngest siblings. I will also visit my brother before flying back down here for my last two weeks before leaving. Now that my study is out of the way, I feel so relieved!

Gooood ><


Monday, 16 June 2008

A Child is Born

My younger sister had her daughter at 16.20 today, after a long day at the Wellington hospital. My niece weighed in at 7.5 pounds (I am not sure of the kilogram conversion and have no idea why people tell me things like a baby's weight in pounds) and both she and her mother are doing well.

Sometimes it is nice to take time out and post a bit about my personal life. I won't be here for my niece's first birthday - or for my youngest brother's 13th birthday, for that matter - as my contract is until 27 July 2009. I hope that things will go well and I will be delighted to extend my time as an ALT with JET; but as I've said before: I'd like to take this one year at a time. A lot can happen in twelve months!

To the future!



I got documentation from the Board of Education in Towa. My apartment is a ten minute walk from the office. They also sent a cool map of Kochi prefecture. The good news is that I now know how much they will be paying me to be an ALT.

Per month, I will be getting - after tax - ¥300,000 (¥30,0000, as they say in Japan).

Live rates at 2008.06.15 22:55:49 UTC

300,000.00 JPY


3,692.64 NZD

Japan Yen New Zealand Dollars
1 JPY = 0.0123088 NZD 1 NZD = 81.2428 JPY

That's over $3.5k a month :o

Take off rent, power, phone, Internet and food costs and I will still be able to save up to pay off my entire student loan in no time at all (well, it could take me a while if I buy a laptop and a car, haha!).

As it gets closer to the time that I'll be leaving home soil yet again, I am trying to think of anything else I can ask the people over there in preparation for leaving. I don't know how I can be any more prepared than taking enough clothes to live, and a few little gifts for important people I'll meet. Once my exams are over (my last one is this coming Saturday - the 21st), I will be free to clean up my stuff here and go away to stay with my parents for a little while before coming back to stay with my auntie for a little while, and then heading off for good ;)

Aside from my exams, my biggest issue is deciding whether to top up my World of Warcraft subscription :p

Oh, and my niece is being delivered in a couple of hours. My sister is in the hospital right now and since my entire family is down for my older sister's 30th birthday (which was on Saturday), we are all heading into town soon to be at the hospital when the newest family member is born.


Wednesday, 4 June 2008

McLaren 101

I got my International Driving Permit today, as well as posting off my Visa application to the Japan Embassy.

It's easy enough to get your IDP, and I think it would be wise for anyone planning on staying in Japan for an extended period of time to get. Even if you don't think you will get the opportunity to drive a private motor vehicle, in the case that you may have to at some stage it is worth paying the $20 (plus $10 for new passport-sized photos, if you've run out, like I had) to get it.
You now have your IDP, ready to tackle the roads of... well, any country; but in our case: Japan.

Incidentally, I used my last ID photo for my Visa application, which is why I needed to get new ones ><