Summer Bliss

Recently I move from my hill-side view room in the rural ski resort area to an old house in the quiet neighborhood of Tokyo (formally not a part of 23 Tokyo special wards). I live on​ the second floor, in a room with two big windows facing the backyard and the street. The floor is tatami and my closets are big old closets, something that Doraemon would love to be if he visited my room.

I have three housemates; M-san the head editor and also the head of the ​house, N-san the designer, and Chiko-chan the cat. M-san and Chiko live on the first floor, while N-san and I live on the second floor. The house reminds me of many things from Japanese anime or drama that I’ve watched before: Nobita’s room with Doraemon’s closets, Hotaru no Hikari’s house with the porch and back garden, and Chii’s Sweet Home as we live with Chiko-chan.

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Chiko, the super shy cat

My favorite​ part of the house is, of course,​ my room, a simple tatami room with a bed and low table. I can see the full moon from my room and I usually open my window when I sleep to get the cool air instead of using the ​air conditioner.

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Another favorite​ part is the small porch​​ facing the small garden and the persimmon tree. Sometimes if I have time and when everyone already leaves the house, I have my breakfast in the porch.

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But normally, I will have my meals at​ our dining table.

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Another thing that I love from the house and the neighbourhood is it’s very quiet eventhough it’s close to stations, department stores, cafes, and parks. I can walk and jog around the area without feeling anxious. It’s also only 30 minutes away by walk from one of my favourite museums: the Ghibli Museum. The downside is I have to commute for an hour to the office with the transit options between Shinjuku or Iidabashi. While I am fine with Iidabashi, the service is more frequent from Shinjuku, so it’s more convenient to go to change from Shinjuku. But, I hate Shinjuku 😥 Another downside is because it’s an old house, my windows rattle when the wind is too strong. So sometimes I can’t sleep well because of that. However, despite the downsides, I love this house and the people (and cat) whom I live with. Summer feels more bearable and it feels like back home when the weather is always sunny and the sky is always blue.

 

 

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Manage(rs)

I have been anxious these days. Mostly because I’m going to start my internship soon. I passed the strict interview process with the company. So, I am excited to finally work with them this summer and hoping to get a full-time offer if everything is going well. The things that bother me are my capability and the working environment. Talking about my capacity, the industry is something new for me. I did some projects related to things that the company deals, but I wasn’t an expert on that. About the working environment, well, it’s an office job in Tokyo. I used to work for a Japanese company, but it’s in Jakarta. So, more or less the culture is partly Indonesian. But, this company? They have many foreign employees (two guys who interviewed me are Brazilian and Canadian), but even the Brazilian guy told me that more or less it’s still a Japanese company after all (he didn’t go to the details on that).
My second interview from that company was with a Japanese guy who speaks English flawlessly and he was kinda strict. I made some blunders and he was totally not having it. He gave me a hard time. He admitted that and said sorry, a gesture that I appreciated. It was in February. But I keep thinking about it. I think about it and what it will be like to work there more often as the D-day will come soon. I try to remember things from my previous jobs; on how I kept thinking that I wouldn’t be capable of holding a permanent job, on how I felt so inadequate, and etc. There were terrible things, but there were good things that happened on my previous job which was the only full-time job that I’ve ever had in my adult life.
I remember one of the days from my last job. I was still a trainee and had an OJT. I was placed in a particular department and my boss at the time asked me to make a Risk Profile Report for that quarter. I was terrible with numbers and barely proficients with Excel. I told my boss, “I graduated from IR and my last OJT involved no number at all. I had no idea how to do this report.” Instead of scolding me, he laughed and said, “Yeah, I also didn’t know how to do that at the beginning. I still have no idea about many things until now, btw. ” He then taught me how to do the report. I made some mistakes, but he corrected it without being harsh. The days were delightful as he’s an easy going but also a highly capable guy. I wanted to work with him permanently, but unfortunately, HR had another opinion about that.
Fast forward to six months later, I was deployed to a department that I had never been trained at, and I was a bit unhappy with how things went. Again, it involved lots of numbers and data crunching. I had no idea how to do things, but my boss at the time was also super helpful and supportive. She told me that she’s new there, so she also had no idea about the details. She told me that we could learn and figure out things together. I had determined to leave that job after 3 years, but I stayed longer than I expected only because of how wonderful she was as a boss and as a person. She knew that I wanted to take a break and go to school, so she helped me negotiate to HR to get a sabbatical leave (which I didn’t get). She also wrote recommendation letters for me for several schools and scholarships that I applied. I was happy that I finally could go to school, but also sad because I knew that there’s a possibility that I wouldn’t have a boss as great as her.
I wasn’t that passionate about my previous job. But I had great people around me that made the job fun and somewhat satisfying. I had a freedom to do things on my own. She didn’t always agree with me, and sometimes she gave me negative feedbacks as well. But the way she delivered it was constructive instead of destructive. I grew a lot both professionally and personally, and she highlighted that she’s happy with my development including my decision to leave the job.
 
“Many people don’t really think to go back to school after having a settled career. But, it’s good that you’re eager to acquire new knowledge and get a new experience. You’re still young, enjoy it. I’m so happy for you.
I keep thinking that there’s a possibility that there won’t be bosses as great as her. There’s a possibility that I will get bosses from hell just like what other people have. But I convince myself that out there, there must be some people who will be great bosses. One of them could be my boss. One of them could also be me, who knows.

Silence

I woke up early today and opened my blind, it was misty and raining outside. I could hear the rain’s sound and the cry of the wind. I glanced at my cellphone to check the time, I still had plenty of time before my opening shift in the library where I have started working at since March. I mentally made a to-do-list for today: open the library at 08.45 and have the shift until 12.00, finish some tasks, class at 14.40 until 18.00, and do some house chores.

I went to take library key from the security guy and had a chat with him for a while after he knew that I could speak Japanese. It was a warm chat, he seemed to be delighted. I excused myself and headed to the library. The library was eerily quiet and dark. I had a closing shift several times, but it was my first to do the opening shift. Seeing the quiet and dark library reminds me of Yumeji’s Theme from “In the Mood for Love”. There’s nothing related to ​the ​library, but I feel the music would fit perfectly in the library. But of course music in the ​library, so I continued my task in silence before I open the library entrance. Students began to come, quiet Japanese guys who spend most of their time in the library even during holidays. Nothing much happened until I finished my shift. All quiet and orderly, a silence that I enjoy.

 

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A picture that I took last night

 

Spring Again​

Spring equinox was last month, but the temperature was still cold until last week. This week is different though, the temperature has reached 20-degree Celsius and today is unusually warm as it reaches to 25-degree Celsius with real feel like 30.

I still used heater last week because it was cold. But these past few days, I even open my window a bit to cool down the temperature. Unlike Jakarta, the wind barely blows on a sunny day, so it’s hot and humid. But, I am not gonna complain about it. I am glad that spring is officially here. I am tired of wearing layers of clothes during winter. While winter is beautiful around here, spring is beautiful as well, especially with the sakura which blooms quite late in this area.

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​About the songs, an acquaintance​ of mine shared this album on her Instagram. Compelled by​ the title and album cover, I checked it on YouTube. I love his voice and the songs are just right for a perfect sunny spring Saturday afternoon ❤