Sunday, October 14, 2018

JAPAN—The Land of Convenience

With convenience stores spread across every corner, reliable public transport system to travel anywhere anytime, the customer service and hospitality deeply rooted in their culture, or just not having to deal with toilet anxiety, this country is already living in the future we could only dream for our children and grandchildren.

Yes, I am talking about JAPANthe land of convenience.

With less than a couple of months to return home, I started pondering on why Japan is the most convenient and liveable country in the world. So where do I begin? No matter where you live, nearly anything you want is within your reach at any time. Zero-waste society that is so well organized and its people so well-disciplined, Japan has taken convenience to a whole new level and here’s how…

1. Convenience Store

Convenience stores in Japan: Most commonly, 7-Eleven, Lawson, and Family Mart sell just about everything you want and are open 24hours.
7-Eleven Convenience Store
Just ran out of cash or need to print something urgently at odd hours? No worries! Convenience stores will be at your service 24 hours. Starting from ready-made lunch box to any drinks (hot or cold), paying your utility bills to reserving tickets for any events/concerts,
printing your photos to photo-copying documents can be done at convenience stores.

2. Public Transport System

No matter where you’re traveling, near or far, Japanese transport system provides you the most

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

How to get Hired as an English Teacher in Japan

Are you considering living in Japan for a year or two to experience Japanese life? Then…  becoming an English Teacher is one way to get to Japan with zero Japanese language skill.

I’ve been asked a lot of times about how I managed to secure an English teaching job in Japan. So here’s for those who have asked and to others who want to ask!

But before that you might also want to ask me how I landed up in Japan in the first place. Well, after few months into our marriage, my husband got this wonderful opportunity, one of a kind in Bhutan, to study Masters in Space Engineering in Japan.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Hiroshima: City Once Dead, Now Alive

I developed a genuine dislike for History subject when I was in 8th grade. It made me fall asleep. Then it made me feel horrible about myself for not having any interest about those great warriors who sacrificed too much for building our nation. I had nothing against my subject teacher because the subject itself was boring. But now I understand that look on his face, “ahh such a pity child. Might be dealing with a tough home situation or possibly poor nutrition.” It might have been painful for him to deal with someone who sleeps the entire class and scores terrible grades. You could probably fathom out the feeling if you’re a teacher.
I might be exaggerating a little but this was what happened. History was taught by school Principal, who was always buried in a blanket of responsibility. He would be gone most of the time with official works and couldn’t keep up with the scheduled syllabus. Then it would lead to countless weekend classes just before the exam. He would merge 3 classes together out on basketball court on a chilly Sunday mornings and would read out the History textbook. There was no charm in freezing your butt off from the concrete floor underneath while listening to some boring lecture. Since then I lost track of my passion for history and I couldn’t recover from it. My relationship with History almost came to nonexistence by the time I finished Junior High. It became a subject that I memorized just for exam and not enjoy at all.
A-Bomb Dome then and now

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Want to eat Healthy? Take a lesson from a Japanese Kid.

I have been a beneficiary of World Food Program (WFP) the whole of my school life. WFP supports Bhutan in providing free meals to school going children even to this day. I fondly remember senior students walk out of the class to unload the truck full of bags marked with WFP logo. The tin fish that was considered a special meal was served only once a week. You would be pleasantly surprised if I say we would spot little bugs and weevils in the cooked dal. I ain’t kidding here! But then it wouldn’t bother us much because there were kids who might not get to eat otherwise. The school meal gave parents a reason to send their children to school then. We would gladly pick it, throw and continue eating. The school would receive the rations in bulk. Due to the poor storage facilities, the items would get infested easily. I also coincidentally happened to work with School Health and Nutrition Division under Ministry of Education after my graduation for little over a year. Working in organizations/corporations didn’t happen. The division looks after the school feeding program in Bhutan with the support of WFP. The quality of meals today is a far cry from the meals during my time. Today WFP supported schools receive more than 10 different food items. The rations would go to schools on the quarterly basis today thereby avoiding food infestation.

 School lunch in Japan is little different from what I have experienced. Lunch programs are designed in such a way that students not only fill up their tummy and sleep in the class but to help them understand what constitutes a nutritionally balanced meal whilst learning the fundamentals of proper eating and table manners. It’s the healthiest meal you would ever eat (not always the yummiest though). The menus for a month are planned in advance by a school nutritionist and chefs. They ensure healthy and delicious lunch. Some items are prepared at the school kitchen whereas some are outsourced to a company that serves several elementary schools in that same area.