Once Upon a Tanbo

Archive for the ‘future’ Category

I have been debating over the timing of this post for a few days now.
This being the first time and all, I really have no idea what to expect and in all honesty there really isn’t anything else I feel like writing about of late. Life has pretty much been totally boring with a side of disappointment whenever I think about how crappily my ventures into translation are going. But lets NOT thing of that…

Anyways some of you may know for various reasons, but I found out last week that I am pregnant. (cue gasps of horror and perhaps excitement) A little bit shocked that on the first go it happened, I was expecting months, maybe even years of trying – but I guess that we are lucky?

Anyways jellybean is still fairly new but I don’t have any reason to think it will be going anywhere, but still i thought maybe I should wait longer… but then again I know if something does happen this would be the one place that I want to talk about it.

Surprisingly in the last week or so that I’ve known I’ve gotten pretty much all my c*** together. I have a clinic here in Kobe, one in Niigata, and pretty much figured out the logistics of what will be happening after our move. (Means a bit longer stay at the in-laws than I was expecting, but I’m not too worried about it)

I feel comfortable posting here, but I’d really like this to stay off facebook since I have family and friends (and exs) on there that I’m not quite ready to face the barage of questions and comments. So please respect my wishes and keep any comments to this blog or to private type messages.

I’m afraid that this blog may be taken over by pregnancy and baby related posts now and that perhaps some people won’t want to read that kind of stuff…

Oh by the way, I’m due on July 21 (Umi no Hi) and I have no gut instincts either way on what little jellybean will be. Ryohei is over the moon and always tells me belly “I’m off to work” and “Good night” Very cute! Also – no horrible symptoms or morning sickness of yet but its still pretty early!

Honestly, reality hasn’t set in yet… so I guess its a good thing I still have about 8 months left to get used to it all.


I am really trying to decide what to do about my contract. I’ve written about it here before, but I think I’m just going to write out the pros and cons and ask you lovely readers what you think. To be honest I keep flip-flopping back and forth because there are a lot of factors at work.

Leaving my work 4 months early

– Ryohei and I do not have to separate, we can go straight to living in Nagaoka together
– I will finally be able to leave my job, which is pretty much a waste of time and be able to work part-time (English teaching – I’ve gotten two offers already) since I really need a break
– I will be out of my current apartment (broken apart/bad AC etc)
I will be not working full time so doing things like exercise and cooking healthy meals will be more possible
– I can finally get/start using an oven (this is a big deal lol)
– Obviously, I won’t be getting my salary any more. I don’t want to talk money too much but I am pretty good at savings so it – would be forgoing quite a bit of money which could be helpful in the future (~4,000 dollars or so)
– I will have to clean and get rid of all the stuff in my apartment which has had people constantly living in it for the past 15 years (If I stay I can just pass it on to my successor next summer)
– I will only have a little over 1.5 years of translation experience to put on my resume.

Staying through summer

– Ability to save quite a bit of money before moving up to Niigata
– Ryohei can live and commute from his parents house for the first 3-4 months or so we can save up to live in a slightly nicer apartment/ buy slightly nicer fridge/washer than we could afford that just moving up straight away.
– Will have 2 years of translation experience and 1kyuu, so perhaps getting (technical) freelance translation work will be easier*
– I will probably lose weight because I tend to eat less when I live alone (This always happens)
– Living alone after over a year of living together will be very difficult.
– If we get pregnant in the next couple months, I will have to spend part of my pregnancy alone. **
– No AC when it starts getting hot.
– Work drains my soul and no Ryohei to kiss me and make me laugh after a bad day


* If I DO end up getting some sort of big literary translation project or two, this obviously will be less of a problem. In fact I’d probably be much more for quitting since I would have a supplementary income coming in. For the most part a lot of the literary stuff once you get your foot in the door with one publication its easier to get work, although the pay isn’t as good as technical. (Technical translation is more difficult, but it pays well and there is always a market for it. MOST agencies I’ve seen want you to have at least 2-3 years experience. Sometimes in the area you want to specialize in… Probably the closest to what I do would be law/environmental translation but I would need to start reading specialized books/dictionaries to gain more vocabulary and understanding. And to be honest – I’m not sure if I am ready to delve fully into that world since I want a break from all that at the moment)

** In the case that I am incredibly fertile and fall pregnant in the next month, I would be due before my contract ends. In which case I would probably work here (as much as possible) until my maternity leave before going up to Niigata. There are a couple issues with this, but I will think about them more IF that situation arises.

There are a few random things but pretty much it works out to being apart from Ryohei or making more money (both in the present and possibly in the future). It’s a really difficult choice. I get so lonely, and I don’t have a lot of friends in Kobe so I know that most of my time will be spent by myself… but the money I can save just for working 4 extra months would be really helpful in various ways once I did move up.

There is just too much going on and I don’t know where to turn…Ryohei is fine with both choices so its really up to me. I just wish I knew which would be better. I feel weird putting all this out there, but sometimes I get so caught up in stuff and need a little perspective. Is being apart for 4 months worth the extra money? What would you do?

I’m working on my post from my visit to Shizuoka – it IS coming – but just taking a little longer to put everything together than I thought, so it will be up before the end of the week I promise!

In the meantime, I woke up this morning and somehow another year added itself to my age?! What was that all about… hahaha. I’m kidding. I’m not at the point where birthdays depress me, but its more of, if I can look back on that year and feel proud of myself/like I accomplished something. Unfortunately, this year was very lacking in terms of personal development. I’m pretty much where I am last year with a couple changes.

Work is the same – but I have made “efforts” to start translation, I had told myself I really wanted to have a project by my birthday but it looks like that goal has failed 😦 I do have a couple of prospects on the horizen since I am still waiting to hear back on the novel and I’ve heard there may be another one I am being recommended for, but theres nothing concrete.

I guess that “this year” will be my big year of change. By my 26th birthday I will have finished my current job, have made a big move to niigata, gotten at least a decent project or two in translation, and *crossing fingers* hopefully have a new addition to our family, or at least one on the way.

After our intial “scare” last month, we’ve decided to start trying for a baby – I’m not sure how fast that’ll come, but its in the works now. I’m not sure how much I’ll write about it in the blog, but maybe once in a while there will be a reference to something .( And yes I am on vitamins/folic acid since early last month.)

So that is that I guess! Off to work ;_;

Which obviously I remembered from the song in RENT!
Today marks a year since I started my blog! Wow!! I can’t believe its been a year and nearly 100 posts!

I’m pretty proud of myself as I am a notoriously lazy blogger and I would have to say I’ve been able to keep up most in part thanks to all the wonderful ladies you can see listed to the right of this blog. Reading your blogs and writing in my own blog this last year has been a really wonderful experience and a necessary one I think for keeping my sanity through somewhat crazy times that living as an expat brings.

A lot has happened in a year… Ryohei and I moved in together, got married, and have now made steps to our next stage in life. He’s found a stable job and we are thinking about starting a family in the next year. I’m looking forward to seeing how much happens in the next year.

Tomorrow I will be headed to see Nay in Shizuoka!! I will of course be bringing my camera and plan to take many pictures!

I’m also hoping I’ll hear back on the novel translation… its been 2 weeks now… so I’m starting to think its bad news.. but the project has been released to the public so if I get it, I’ll be able to talk about the name and publisher on my blog!

I don’t know about anyone else, but the economic situation in America is sort of worrisome to me. At the same time, it makes me slightly relieved that Ryohei did get his job as a komuin since its such a stable occupation. Looking back, I guess if we had tried to immigrate him to America it might have really been a struggle to find work/keep things afloat. To be honest I’m still not 100% thrilled over the location, and part of me really, really wishes we would be living closer to Tokyo… but I guess that’s how it is.

Ryohei has his health check tomorrow and then he will send in the final paperwork to be registered as a member of the city office. He’ll start work the first of April, although I suppose he will probably move up a week or two ahead of time to settle in with things.

I’m not sure what I will be doing yet. I know that my leaving halfway through the year will not be a very nice thing to do. But the thought of being apart from Ryohei for another 4 months is not really something I want to do. Not to mention that its not like I’m enthralled with my work. It’s a tricky situation… there are still so many factors as well.

For one, if I do end up getting the novel assignment, it will be a lot of work. So much so that I may want to end up leaving my job early especially if more projects start coming in. I have a feeling that getting one published credit to my name is a good bit of insurance for my other prospective clients to start entrusting me with work. Not to mention that my original agency likes to give out multiple projects at once if you get good reviews… so I hopefully will be busy enough and having a bit of income coming in to offset the financial loss that leaving my current job will be. (Although we will be living in the semi-inaka where it the cost of living is lower, Ryoheis starting salary will be about 30% lower than what I make now. Of course he does get a yearly bonus and some other perks which I guess would bump it up a little bit… but we also need to buy a car and start paying for fuel/inspections etc, which will be a bit of an expense in itself)

If I don’t have any long term freelance work coming in within the next 2-3 months… I may just have to stay to get the two years of experience on my resume. It seems that in the literal translation world, its all about who you know and spaces are very limited… in the world of technical translation, experience and qualifications seem to be key for getting work. I’m trying not to think about things to hard and just keep it a day (or well a month or two at a time…) but I’m too much of a thinker aheader. (lol)

At least we have Ryohei (the breadwinner)’s stuff all figured out. And he has been so happy lately, which makes me happy. I think for over a year now he’s been so worried and upset about the future, living with someone who is happy is so much easier.

So I was bored online today and I discovered the whole “old wives tale” where you can determine the gender and number of your future children by using string and a wedding ring or needle.

Apparently you dangle the string over your left palm or wrist and if it goes in circle that means a girl and straight lines is a boy. Apparently there is a pause in between each child as well.

Well I’ve done it about 15 times now and it has always been the same result!
Circles, lines, circles and then it just comes to a dead stop. Ryohei and I have always wanted to have 3 kids so maybe theres some truth to it. Kind of weirded out that it is always the same pattern tho!

Checked some websites and some people seem to swear by it!! Has anyone else ever done this? Or if you try it what kind of results did you get? Apparently all pregnancies including ones that didn’t come to term are included!

Here’s a video of someone else doing it in case you are interested!
video link

Plan B

Posted on: September 6, 2008

So I’m back and posting at this ungodly hour since Ryo is back up at his parents this weekend for the city hall interview which apparently went bad…

So it seems that our komuin journey has come to an end. We were planning to have him go for it for one more year, but realistically that’s not really an option at this point. And… after a lot of deliberations, we have come to the agreement that we would like to move back to my home country (America) in the next 4-5 years. Of course that’s a long time from now but at this point that is the plan.

So the next matter of business is making this come about because although I have “devil job” (which I have a huge rant about, but will wait until next time) until the end of next summer as our main form of support which gives Ryohei a year to put himself on the edge to his new career. He’s decided that he would like to go into the world of accounting as that is what his mother does, and he thinks it may be in his genes. As you remember before his parents were not supportive of his komuin venture, but apparently they approve of this one *sigh*

Anyways, as always I’ve done my research. In Japan how you get into this field is, you guessed it more tests. There are 3 levels of “bookkeeping” exams. Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced. (There are testing periods 3 times a year) The elementary one takes about 2 months of study so Ryohei is planning to give it a try in November and then the intermediate one takes anywhere from 3-9 months so he is aiming to pass it at either the 2009 February (doubtful) or June (more likely) testing period.

He should be able to get a so-so entry level position in a mid-size company with the elementary but getting the intermediate will get him at least an extra 3-4 man in his salary just starting. I personally am tired of working full time and we both want to have children reasonably soon, so that extra “allowance” would be nice. So, Ryohei will be looking for his new job in Tokyo. Yes – we will be moving to the Kanto area around this time next year! I’m really excited. Kanto is where most of my friends from university are as well as some good friends from blogging/foreign wives etc. I only have 3-4 good friends here in Kansai so I’m looking forward to having a more viable social life.

Ryohei was dragging his feet in the mud about Tokyo but we realized it’s more practical than any other metro area since its the closest to his house. (About 3 hours by car or 1+ by shinkansen) and then he realized all his Niigata friends live in Kanto now anyways. *sigh* men… Anyways like I said we do plan to move to America but it will probably be around when our first child is getting ready to go to elementary school. Ryohei gets to start learning business english hahahahha. (Not from me since I am horrible teacher)

Anyways – to be honest this plan is more do-able than the komuin one, although that was really idealistic and I do know that was what Ryohei wanted to do, but sometimes things that we want just don’t happen and theres a reason for it. If he had gotten that we never would have had the chance to live in my country for a few years (we plan to return to Japan eventually)

To be honest a lot of things might change, but for now Ryohei getting his qualifications and us preparing for a move to Tokyo next year is in the immediate future. Its funny, I never ever thought that I would want to live it home, or that I would get that chance, but now that I know Ryohei is open to it (on the condition we live near an area with a Japanese import foods store) I feel a lot of pressure off my back.

So hopefully there will be a more relaxed Sarah from now on. And even though I still have about another year of my job, I feel somewhat… excited?

Also I would like to congratulate my dear blog and hopefully soon to be real life friend, Nay on her wedding today. I wish you two a life time of happiness and love.