Once Upon a Tanbo

Archive for February 2008

Wow.. it doesn’t seem real but Ryohei and made it official today!!
We handed in our papers at the ward office and are now man and wife.. it really hasn’t hit me at all.

Anyways it was a pretty short and easy experience, I’ll write about it when I have more time tommorrow.

We took some purikura to celebrate! Here are our fave shots!


Well, I would have to say that this month has been one of the fastest
ones I have ever experienced! I guess the fact that I’ve been super
busy with work and other social engagements has helped.

It still doesn’t seem real but Ryohei and I will be turning in our
paper work in less than 60 hours and we will officially be married. It’
s hard to believe that the guy I randomly met and totally clicked with
about a year and a half ago is going to be my husband. I still vaguely
remember the first time I saw him coming down the steps of Tanigami
station and then I clearly remember the rest of the night at the
okonomiyaki restaurant, karaoke, and then later at my friend Rachel’s
apartment. Its funny… we were pretty much destined to be with each
other from the start. I remember sitting on Rachel’s couch while we
watched the movie and then how we both slept in the living room and only
said good night, but he told me after we started going out that he
wanted to kiss me on the forehead before going to bed. I remember the
whirlwind week between meeting him and then becoming a couple. The 3
hours phonecalls we had every night and then our date at the aquarium in
Osaka where he asked me to be his girlfriend on the top of a Ferris

I remember feeling so crushed when we found out he would be working in
Tokyo and how I wondered if we would be able to make it through. The 9
months we spend apart were so difficult and there were times when I
wondered what would happen to us, but slowly we began to formulate the
plan of what we wanted to do with our lives, and although his included
difficult things such as him quitting his job, he stuck by his word and
we eventually ended up back together.

We had talked about getting married since probably around this time last
year, although we had only been together since the fall, but it was
around July when we were playing with small fireworks in the park near
my old apartment that I really truly felt he would be the person I spend
the rest of my days with. Whenever I think about a life without him in
it I feel so empty and want to cry.

And so even though we aren’t having a ceremony yet and we aren’t
financially stable or incredibly prepared for the future, being able to
marry Ryohei makes me so incredibly happy. I am not legally changing my
name until my contract with this job is over in summer 2009, but please
feel free to call me Mrs. Kobayashi : ) (haha… I feel so twitterpated!)

All is well!!
My supermarket was selling pineapples for 99 yen this evening so I bought one and split it with Ryohei! It was so yummy! I love pineapples, and since fruit is so expensive here we hardly get to eat it!

This week is really busy for me!
I had a tour group for some exchange students yesterday so I was out of the office all day! It wasn’t too bad except that one of the professors came up to me when I was speaking to one of my coworkers and told me that I shouldn’t be speaking Japanese because it would make the other exchange students who couldn’t speak Japanese feel bad.. (wtf?)

My supervisor overheard this and was pretty angry and told me to ignore him, and that he was the type of person who believed that foreigners shouldn’t or couldn’t speak fluent Japanese, and that he was a little odd. It didn’t bother me too much, but we have to see that group again next Wednesday… the guy just kept staring at me and listening in on my conversations.. it was so ackward.

Ryohei and I went to the aquarium on a date Saturday! It as pretty fun, they had a great dolphin show, made me a little nostalgic for Sea World back home.. oh well in exactly a month I’ll be back on American soil!! My first time in over a year and a half!! I’m so excited, I just wish Ryohei would have been able to come and meet my family.


In front of the main tank

Posted on: February 15, 2008

Well after the “excitement” of my mail episode last week, this one
has seemed pretty tame in comparison.

Ryohei and I have been having a couple spats recently 😦 Stupid things
really that I think I can probably just attest to daily stress, but
still frustrating and never timed well. This morning he got upset over
something I said while we were riding the train in to the city for
work and school and I end up crying before coming up to work.

Its not hard to make me cry actually.. I tend to get really vulnerable and sad if I feel like someone is attacking me. As opposed to fight or flight.. I’m more of “freeze” as in just stand there with nothing to do but wipe my tears of frustration while at the same time wishing with all my might the other person wasn’t upset. I guess that I was wrong in what I said, but it was just in jest.. things are fine now. They usually are when we’ve put a little space in between us. We met up for lunch and without really saying a thing about the earlier incident, we got over it. Sometimes you just have to let it go.. I used to always bring problems up until I felt like they were fixed but sometimes I think its not so much about what was said as just give expression to feelings.

Like I said in my last post, we are both in a temporary place delicately walking on a tightrope, trying to balance with eachother and the various frustrations that life has thrown at us. I think the first month was very happy, we were finally together after a long 9 months of seperation and him moving in was probably was the only way that we could have ended up being together… but now its much more difficult than I expected.

To be brutally honest.. its not really me, its him. He has no money since he spend most of his savings on his school to study for a test which we are praying he will pass but who knows maybe he wont… and then what.. I think its the one thing that neither of us want to think about it.

The thing is I just feel like I’m waiting and there is nothing I can do. I played my cards and got him to leave his hellish job and come to Kobe, the rest is pretty much in his hands. Sometimes being in foreign country where the business codes aother things that no matter how much I can speak the language, I just can’t understand. I sometimes wonder if I ruined his life by making him leave his job in Tokyo to come out here, therefore putting a red X on his resume that he didn’t even finish 1
year. I know that the decision was ultimately his, and I should be glad that he picked me over his old job, but part of me feels that until he has passed his test and been secured a job in Niigata, part of him is a little resentful that I took away his security only to leave him financially stripped and dependent on me for his next meal.

I guess that would make most men cranky. If only this would be over soon… but I know that it will be July or August before we have a better idea of where this will be heading.

I’m sorry Ryohei 😦

Posted on: February 13, 2008

A summerized post of the weekend + Thoughts in general

This was a crazy weekend for me..
I hosted my first ever real “house party”and probably my last for a long long time. I am just not cut out to be a hostess! But it was very fun and I think that everyone who came had a good time. I think that maybe 10 people was a little much, so next time I think I would have a more “intimate” 6 people or less type gathering. But, the main purpose was to
have my coworker, Mr. O interact more with my friend Ana, and they seemed to hit it off again, so I’m happy about that.

Seems like everyone here has been sick lately, for the last 2 weeks I’ve had the same stuffy nose and drowsiness, and today Ryohei is staying home from school in bed with a cold. I know that Japanese winter
lingers on through March, but I hope that the tempurature picks up in
the next couple weeks. I don’t have a lot of winter clothes so I’m just
wearing the same outfits to work each week.. its a little bit embarrasing. One of my goals when I go back home next month is to pick up lots and lots of clothes.

To be honest, part of me feels a little discouraged at the fact of
having to keep up my job for the next 18 months. I’ve been in Japan 18 months already, so I’ve kind of reached the halfway point of living in the Kansai area. I am 99% sure we will be in Niigata within 2 years, and that I’ll be more of a housewife/parttime job as opposed to a
single/full time worker. And its hard to keep myself in
check until this phase in my life in completed.

Another reason is just feeling like I am just stuck in “temporary.” I
enjoy my job, but its not permanent.. I enjoy Kobe and my friends here, but I know that eventually I will be moving away from them. I don’t really like my apartment and am excited to be getting away from it, but
as long as I am at my job it is the most affordable option.

I know I should just live in the now, but I often feel like I haven’t
really had a choice in my life. I’ve always done safe, predicitable
things.. I guess coming to Japan could be considered unusual, but since I came over as a JET it has been a very stable process with lots of hand holding. I think that when I finally end my contract and go without a
job or fall back plan into the unknown is when I will feel more in
control of my life. I know its wrong to compare yourself, but I’m a
little jealous of my two closest friends here Mandy and Ana, but for
different reasons but because they both seem in control of their life..
One for coming out here to get married have a baby and now being a
housewife in japan raising her son; one for coming out here finding a job and living independantly without any assistance..

I just really want to feel unbound, and maybe by leaving Kobe and starting “from scratch” in Niigata will finally allow me to feel fin control of the direction my life is going.

So, my mail had been forwarded to the person who used to live in my apartment. Fortunately he still lives in Kobe and we have a mutual friend so I was able to get in touch with him.

He has the letter from Ryohei’s mom and my JLPT results.

Anyways I asked him to tell me and he said that I passed JLPT 1kyuu!!
I don’t have the exact numbers but when I get the actual sheet from my friend next week I’ll post them here!

I put in a lot of time studying for the test so I’m just happy my efforts were rewarded.

So now I can look for another goal.. no idea what it will be at this time.
I always feel like I need to have something to work towards..

Ok so.. the story from below.. it continues in a wonder fashion.

So today would be the 5th day that my test results and registered mail from Tokyo have not been delivered.
Definitely weird. So I decided not to wait any longer and called the senders of the mail from Tokyo asking if I could get the number of the letter they were sending me. The man was very polite and told me to wait 10 mins or so before calling back and telling me that the letter had been sent to my local post office and then sent back because apparently I don’t live at my address anymore.

He tells me I should get in contact with the post office immediately.

I then realize something.. Ryohei moved in with me a about a month ago, and he registered himself at the local office. When you register, you get a jyuuminhyo or your proof of living there I guess.. but anyways since many of those married to Japanese will know, gaijin are not put on these. Thus, when Ryohei had his created even though this is my house and I am registered here via my foreign resident card, I was deleted and he was put as the owner of the house. Thus the mail for him is constantly delivered, and the mail for me is being returned or sent to a forwarded address.. I am not sure which. I contacted the person who lived here before me asking him if my mail has been sent to him but no reply yet.

So, that would explain why Ryohei’s moms letter (addressed to me), my test results, and obviously the registered letter from Tokyo have not come. They don’t think I live here any more because I’m not Japanese and thus not on the jyuuminhyo.

So yah, I am pretty frustrated.
Ryohei has called the post office and told them to put that I am living here.

I guess they will be resending the package from Tokyo after the long weekend.
And as for my test results.. if the guy who used to live here doesn’t have them they’ve been sent back to Tokyo.
I spent 20 minutes on the phone with the testing agency, which of course knows whether I passed or failed but they won’t tell me over the phone because its “personal” information. And then they say, well if you want to send us 1000 yen for a certificate we can mail it to you, if not you’ll have to wait until the 19th when we can resend results. I’m so frustrated. I guess I’m just not going to know unless I decide to fork out 1000 yen just to find out that I failed… I’m so angry..

As for Ryohei’s moms letter.. no idea where that went.. perhaps back to Niigata perhaps to the guy who was here before me.

Anyways this is the first time I’ve really felt like an outsider here, and it hurts.
I hope the stupid post office puts me back on their list so that I can get my mail.

I don’t know what to say I’m so frustrated and annoyed.