I was 25-years-old and still living at home in Etobicoke in the west-end of Toronto. Considering my living arrangements - plus I was a nerd, ugly and my mother dressed me funny, I hadn't had much luck with the ladies. Ever.
I had finished a Political Science B.A. at York University and had decided to go to Humber College to get a real education in a two-year Journalism program. At Humber, I met and became enthralled with a young woman - and while she liked me and considered me a friend, I wasn't getting anything - except a very strong right forearm.
This woman confided to me that she was interested in going to Japan and teaching English via the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Programme - I'm unsure what the difference is between a programme and a program - plus she was going to apply for a summer internship position with the Toronto Star daily newspaper - one of the top North American newspapers.
Figuring it would be a blast (my opinion) if we were both able to get into the Star or go to Japan (and finally have sex with something other than a Playboy Playmate or Penthouse Pet), I applied to both program/mes.
Destined to be a virgin a while longer, I got into both programs and she got into neither. Figures.
The Star's summer internship program began in April - before I graduated - while the JET Programme would begin at the end of July.
Humber graciously passed me even though I wasn't around for the final month of school - even now I miss my daily broken English/Polish conversations with the Hot Dog lady in the cafeteria... so does my tape worm - but to go to Japan? As the months became weeks and became days I became convinced that I did not want to go to Japan. I was working for the best newspaper in Canada and if I left, that opportunity might never arise again.
In truth, I was just scared spitless.
At 11PM - a mere 12 hours before my flight left Toronto for Tokyo, I was trying to convince my father that I should stay.
Dear old dad with visions of being able to save hundreds of dollars a month in Kleenex purchases would have none of my cowardice - and told me to go, experience the culture and use it to further my life. Besides he had already rented out my room.
He also said to watch out for the rice wine aka sake... but that's another blog.
My apologies for not being very wacky in this first blog - but that's because we aren't in Japan yet. I can guarantee that once you arrive in the Land Of The Rising Sun with me that you'll bust a gut laughing and hopefully learn a thing or two.
Somewhere sharing a bed,
Title is the awesome song by The Animals. I did change the spelling of the word "sun", however.
Listen - I'VE WON.