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jwkelley
July 20th, 2011, 08:31
So what are you doing for last minute prep?

*japanese study
*trying to find food for gifts
*going shoe shopping (inside, outside, athletic bleh way to many)
*posting a message on itil to see what everyone else is doing hoping it reminds me of something i might of forgot.

CUPS
July 20th, 2011, 08:40
Buy English grammar book

:roll:

jwkelley
July 20th, 2011, 08:50
Buy English grammar book

:roll:

Actually I do have one i use for teaching purposes. It's one of my weaker skills if you couldn't tell.

uthinkimlost?
July 20th, 2011, 08:51
Actually I do have one i use for teaching purposes. It's one of my weaker skills if you couldn't tell.

I would of known.

CUPS
July 20th, 2011, 08:58
So what are you doing for last minute prep?

*japanese study
*trying to find food for gifts
*going shoe shopping (inside, outside, athletic bleh way to many)
*posting a message on itil to see what everyone else is doing hoping it reminds me of something i might of forgot.

Researching mobile phones!

jwkelley
July 20th, 2011, 09:06
Kindles are nice. The 3g one is very useful when sitting in airports and for the weeks you don't have internet in your house.

I have to look into mobile phones. thanks

MJN
July 20th, 2011, 09:08
I've been considering buying a kindle before going. I realised that wanting to read both Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings again is going to take up about half my baggage allowance without one.

mameshiba
July 20th, 2011, 09:16
Everything is my last minute prep.

Beth James
July 20th, 2011, 09:23
Just bought two bottles of Jack.

jwkelley
July 20th, 2011, 09:32
Just bought two bottles of Jack.

You should've gone with Jim.

(there fixed)

Beth James
July 20th, 2011, 09:45
I was in a hurry and Jack was cheaper.

Tarquin
July 20th, 2011, 09:51
My advice? Enjoy home a bit as well.

lilyanphino
July 20th, 2011, 12:53
Or at least stalk him properly, one of the two.

This.

To prepare, I've ordered yen, started some preliminary packing, made a list of stuff I still need to buy, and bought some gifts from my university's Cheese Store.

dirtbag
July 20th, 2011, 12:59
my teachers/principals were very surprised and confused when i brought them gifts from america. you might ask your pred if you should bring stuff when you come. save some space in yo baggage.

Tarquin
July 20th, 2011, 13:06
If you want to bring stuff as a "present from home" then it's cool, of course it isn't omiyage in the sense of the word.

(off topic: hows about you clear out some of the bullshit posts about irrelevant topics oh moderator? Azzy kept this ship running far better.)

jwkelley
July 20th, 2011, 13:18
If you want to bring stuff as a "present from home" then it's cool, of course it isn't omiyage in the sense of the word.

(off topic: hows about you clear out some of the bullshit posts about irrelevant topics oh moderator? Azzy kept this ship running far better.)

I wonder if this tradition has kind of create itself on accident. If 90 out of 100 Jets are always bringing gifts might create an expectation.

Tarquin
July 20th, 2011, 13:23
I doubt it, I bought a tin of biscuits from home just because I thought it might be a nice icebreaker etc, but it wasn't "omiyage" and I didn't introduce it as that either.

lilyanphino
July 20th, 2011, 13:24
Gifts = stuff I may or may not give depending on how nice my supervisor, etc. are, otherwise it's stuff for me.

I have no pred either so I can't ask them.

ten_of_spades
July 20th, 2011, 14:13
this. omiyage is for teachers who go on vacation and come back to give to their colleagues who stayed behind. it makes no sense for you to bring omiyage when you are first getting there. this is one of the dumbest myths that JET continues to expound

if you want to bring cool things related to your town and what have you, little things to share, that's nice, but don't go nuts about it

Agreed.

Tarquin
July 20th, 2011, 14:17
NO OFF TOPIC DISCUSSIONS!!! ;)

Other last minute prep:

-It's always a good idea to inform credit card companies and banks that you'll be living overseas for a year. I've never done it personally and my accounts have always worked, but it would suck to be locked out in an emergency.

UK people - Student Loans stuff doesn't need to be dealt with until April, so save yourself the hassle of calling them to be told this (the paperwork you need to submit is available online)

Oh! Check with your predecessor to see what literature they have at your workplace (copies of the GIH, game books, AJET teaching resources etc). AJET will be selling their stuff at Tokyo Orientation and while they ARE very good, you might end up buying them and finding that they are already at your workplace! You can always get them later if you can't find out from your predecessor / don't have one, but you'll have to pay a few hundred yen in shipping costs (means you also don't have to carry the damn things from Tokyo too which is quite handy!)

Page
July 20th, 2011, 15:00
NAZI. If you have space bring it, if not I don't think it's a terrible travesty. If you're on the fence bring food so you can eat it later yourself if you don't give it away.

Make a list and double check you have all the stuff you could want/need. Make sure any important paperwork or info you'd need (such as bank info for GoLloyds, loan statements, prescription information, etc.) is gathered together so you'll be able to find it once you get settled. Make sure you have your bags sorted by TO carryon and stuff to ship--you don't want to be at grossly humid TO with no underwear.

It's not prep so much but eat all your favorite foods before you go!

Sciby
July 20th, 2011, 15:34
When I gave gifts on my first day, my new coworkers looked at me funny. Don't feel that gifts are expected - they're not. Bring stuff for the kids if you're really keen... I brought a couple of dollars worth of 10c and 20c coins, they liked them.

Muffles
July 20th, 2011, 17:27
I'm glad the omiyage stuff got cleared up, I was about to buy a bunch of stuff today.

What am I spending my time doing? Seeing my friends as much as possible.

Eudox
July 21st, 2011, 08:57
Snowboarding! As much as I can fit in before I leave. The Tokyo heat is going to be a shock to the system, that's for sure.

lilyanphino
July 21st, 2011, 09:14
On the subject of omiyage, my consulate made a powerpoint and talked about how you should give gifts when you get there. It's just another issue of ESID.

Strange_quark
July 21st, 2011, 09:17
I'm getting a gift for my predecessor because she's been really awesome, but as for omiyage... I might find a few edible things as more, "Hey, this is from where I live!"-ness.


Last minute stuff includes:
Buying yen (at a terrible rate, blergh)
PACKING ALL MY LIFE UP
Sorting out tax and student loan forms
Sorting out phone contract

patjs
July 21st, 2011, 11:09
i think maybe using the word omiyage might be the problem. it's not really omiyage... but if you want to bring some food to share then I'm sure people will be happy. new teachers here have never brought gifts, although they give gifts when they leave.

i didn't bring anything though and didn't feel weird about it. I think new JETs spend way too much time worrying about this. Remember that while people will definitely be friendly and interested in you, the average genki-dipshit JET usually overestimates their importance. In the end you are the next in a long line of ALTs to them.

Cytrix
July 21st, 2011, 20:50
I have to...
- double check my suitcases (I'm sure they're over weight)
- Get doing some hard out Japanese study
- Order my yen
- Eat too much home-grown meat

kawaiijutsu
July 23rd, 2011, 13:02
sitting in the hotel room getting ready to fly out tomorrow morning. double checked the weight on my bags, reading through the GIH section about departure one more time, making sure I've got stuff to watch/listen to on the ipod touch/kindle/laptop....i think i'm good. though it still hasn't sunk in that im flying to japan in less than 12 hours >< im not sure it ever will at this point.

lilyanphino
July 23rd, 2011, 13:41
Good luck!

I've made a bit more progress with packing, but I still haven't called my credit cards to let them know I'm going overseas. I've written a note to myself to make sure to do it by Monday though. At least I've got my yen and have made progress with packing.

Hikari
July 23rd, 2011, 13:53
It's probably not going to feel real even when you first get here. It felt like a holiday to me.

Milanna
July 24th, 2011, 15:59
So what are you doing for last minute prep?


*going shoe shopping (inside, outside, athletic bleh way to many)

This :(. Anyone know if one pair of indoor shoes will suffice for three schools? Also, I heard Japanese gyms are pretty picky about shoes... white soles fo real?

I'd like to get something small for my pred too since she's amazing beyond amazing but I'm not sure what. We live in the same state so home state stuff is kind of... lame.

patjs
July 24th, 2011, 16:50
Yeah you can just bring your indoor shoes along with you, no problem.

usernamefail
July 24th, 2011, 18:17
I'm so screwed. I'm staring at my empty suitcase and lurking on ITIL. I don't even know what I want to bring...besides way too many shoes.

Tarquin
July 24th, 2011, 19:06
This :(. Anyone know if one pair of indoor shoes will suffice for three schools? Also, I heard Japanese gyms are pretty picky about shoes... white soles fo real?


Yeh. I had 6 schools and I just took my shoes with me (Then I got lazy and just used the slippers).

Tyr
July 24th, 2011, 21:44
School work.

Muffles
July 24th, 2011, 21:46
I'm so screwed. I'm staring at my empty suitcase and lurking on ITIL. I don't even know what I want to bring...besides way too many shoes.
I barely have any shoes, I fail as a girl.

lilyanphino
July 24th, 2011, 23:33
I'm not even bringing that many pairs of shoes, but I am bringing lots of clothes, which is not good. I need to try to cut back a bit more.

Strange_quark
July 25th, 2011, 01:32
I've replaced almost my entire wardrobe because things were at the end of their hanger life anyway.

But shoes, I'm taking maybe 7 or 8 pairs? Two of those are leather boots though. Might try and shove my hiking boots in as well. My wellingtons are going with me as well, because I am paranoid about wet weather.

Edit: picked up my yen today. It looks like almost nothing because of the bill denominations. I suppose this is a good thing in terms of packing it.

uthinkimlost?
July 25th, 2011, 04:17
Edit: picked up my yen today. It looks like almost nothing because of the bill denominations. I suppose this is a good thing in terms of packing it.

You're packing it somewhere in your luggage?

Milanna
July 25th, 2011, 04:27
I barely have any shoes, I fail as a girl.
I have a pair for the gym and a pair for work. Last week I was gifted a pair of sandals :D! Now I have the same amount of shoes as I have bras :/. /Failgirl

I'm having trouble even conceiving of how to pack two bags. I usually split one with my sister every time we travel somewhere (and mooch off her shoes heh heh!!). Having two full bags all to myself is practically mind boggling.

ten_of_spades
July 25th, 2011, 04:56
Fewer shoes = better. There's not a single pair of shoes I left behind that I regret, even considering the fact that my feet are giant by Japanese standards--26cm girl--and I can't buy anything new here.

Definitely. When I visited my successor in April I was amazed at how many shoes she had brought with her. The fewer, the better.

A pair of outdoor shoes/boots, gym shoes (not necessarily white-bottoms, just non-marking) and an indoor slip-on pair should be sufficient. I ended up bringing a pair of sandals to use as my indoor shoes as that was pretty common at my school.

usernamefail
July 25th, 2011, 05:48
I'm not even bringing that many pairs of shoes, but I am bringing lots of clothes, which is not good. I need to try to cut back a bit more.

I am not bringing very much in terms of clothes. I figure I'll hit up uniqlo or something if I really need something. I need to thin out the amount of shoes I have, though. It's too bad my snow boots are so bulky and big (and I'll be needing them). My issues is that my feet are ginormous and I like having shoes that fit. For clothes, I can still fit into the larger sizes in most stores (the length of pants is the main issue :/ I'm a bit too tall).

usernamefail
July 25th, 2011, 05:54
Fewer shoes = better. There's not a single pair of shoes I left behind that I regret, even considering the fact that my feet are giant by Japanese standards--26cm girl--and I can't buy anything new here.

I suppose what I should do is take only a couple pairs... I'll be going back home for some holiday sometime so I can always bring more back with me then if I feel like I really need them. I have the same problem, I'm like 25.5cm. Most places don't have past 24cm. Frustrating.

lilyanphino
July 25th, 2011, 06:30
I really wish I could bring my rain boots, but I realized early on in packing that there was no way I could fit them into my luggage. Oh well, at least I'm the same size an average Japanese woman in clothes and shoe sizes.

Strange_quark
July 25th, 2011, 06:44
You're packing it somewhere in your luggage?

I mean in terms of a money belt or whatever I decide to do with it. It's easier to look after less.

greengoo
July 25th, 2011, 07:02
I'm going to sew my 150,000y into a money tuxedo.

Also why not ship your winter stuff to yourself later at a cheap rate?

lilyanphino
July 25th, 2011, 07:25
Man, I just finished packing both suitcases and I'm only 3 lbs underweight on each. I might go back and see what I can remove tomorrow.

Lesson for all: More is less, don't be a clothes hog and try to bring your whole wardrobe with you.

Strange_quark
July 25th, 2011, 07:37
I'm going to sew my 150,000y into a money tuxedo.

Also why not ship your winter stuff to yourself later at a cheap rate?

It's more expensive to ship than to bring a second suitcase.


I have to bring all my stuff with me because I've got nowhere to store the rest of it. I've thrown out about half of my clothes and shoes.

IT WAS HORRIBLE.

jwkelley
July 26th, 2011, 04:24
It's more expensive to ship than to bring a second suitcase.


I have to bring all my stuff with me because I've got nowhere to store the rest of it. I've thrown out about half of my clothes and shoes.

IT WAS HORRIBLE.

Unless you ship by sea. Might take a few months though.

Strange_quark
July 26th, 2011, 04:30
Commandant Lupin will not be pleased with your deviation from thread topic.



Not be pleased. :|

Business cat is safe - it's clearly my fault anyway.

I looked at a load of different shipping companies and even by sea was ridiculously expensive. If I had a lot of disposable income before going, I would have done it. But seeing as I'll be paid before I get the bill (or so they say) for the shipping from Narita airport, I'll go with that.


Although I'm now having an argument with my scales. Either I've lost half a stone by accident or they lie. Makes weighing heavy suitcases a bit of a gamble. Last minute prep continues with shouting at the printer because it won't print my tax and student loan forms.

FRUSTRATION!

uthinkimlost?
July 26th, 2011, 04:44
Business cat is safe - it's clearly my fault anyway.

I looked at a load of different shipping companies and even by sea was ridiculously expensive. If I had a lot of disposable income before going, I would have done it. But seeing as I'll be paid before I get the bill (or so they say) for the shipping from Narita airport, I'll go with that.


Although I'm now having an argument with my scales. Either I've lost half a stone by accident or they lie. Makes weighing heavy suitcases a bit of a gamble. Last minute prep continues with shouting at the printer because it won't print my tax and student loan forms.

FRUSTRATION!

Weigh yourself then weigh yourself holding them.

lilyanphino
July 26th, 2011, 04:48
I just removed a large amount of clothes from both of my suitcases and it only decreased the weight by 2-3 lbs per suitcase. I really hope that the scale I'm using weighs things a few pounds heavier than they really are.

I really wish that the USPS still had shipping by sea. Everything else I've looked up is way too expensive for my budget.

Strange_quark
July 26th, 2011, 04:50
Can you maybe leave some stuff behind and get someone to post them out to you?

lilyanphino
July 26th, 2011, 05:03
"I really wish that the USPS still had shipping by sea. Everything else I've looked up is way too expensive for my budget." ;)

Strange_quark
July 26th, 2011, 06:26
"I really wish that the USPS still had shipping by sea. Everything else I've looked up is way too expensive for my budget." ;)

Ah, sorry didn't connect USPS and the postal service!

Cytrix
July 26th, 2011, 08:03
Because I leave everything to the last minute, just ordered my Yen. Smart. Stupid online service wouldn't work so had to ring the Travelex at the airport direct. Now I'm worried they'll forget about it and I won't have any of the money. Lolz.

And in other news a random package from Japan arrived at my old flat up north and there's no way to get it sent down here before I leave, and I can't pick it up when I'm back up north. Lolz. I'm guessing it's my contract in hard copy...

Strange_quark
July 26th, 2011, 09:27
And in other news a random package from Japan arrived at my old flat up north and there's no way to get it sent down here before I leave, and I can't pick it up when I'm back up north. Lolz. I'm guessing it's my contract in hard copy...

Get someone from your flat to drop it off at your friend's house in Auckland - if you're still staying there/picking up a suitcase before your flight?

Tarquin
July 26th, 2011, 10:25
I think they said that they made a 16 hour drive to get to Auckland...

Strange_quark
July 26th, 2011, 10:30
I think they said that they made a 16 hour drive to get to Auckland...

Cytrix has to go back to Auckland, IIRC...

japaniki
July 26th, 2011, 10:34
And in other news a random package from Japan arrived at my old flat up north and there's no way to get it sent down here before I leave, and I can't pick it up when I'm back up north. Lolz. I'm guessing it's my contract in hard copy...

If you're nice to me, I might be able to pick it up for you :) I get to Auckland tomorrow and will be able to borrow my Aunty's car on either Thurs or Fri. Let me know.

MCAS
July 26th, 2011, 12:16
Unless you ship by sea. Might take a few months though.

Have you shipped by sea?

jwkelley
July 26th, 2011, 13:12
Have you shipped by sea?

From Korea, probably different from the states.

usernamefail
July 26th, 2011, 13:13
They stopped shipping by sea in the States. It is air mail only now.

Milanna
July 26th, 2011, 14:15
Because I leave everything to the last minute, just ordered my Yen. Smart. Stupid online service wouldn't work so had to ring the Travelex at the airport direct. Now I'm worried they'll forget about it and I won't have any of the money. Lolz.

Just call them. Every day. Multiple times. Fo serious. I didn't realize the whole currency exchange thing actually takes time (what a concept - damn you paypal and easy international interweb shopping!) so I just barely got my yens as well after multiple phone calls to various branches of my bank. By the time I walked in they seemed to know who I was without me saying a word... yay small town living!

Good news on the packing prep front. My shoe collection has now more than doubled :). Indoor shoes, outdoor shoes, gym shoes, going-to-the-zoo-and-looking-cute shoes. You name it, I got em! Woohoo! Still, my suitcases have been lying out for days and nothing is in them...

usernamefail
July 26th, 2011, 14:24
I've narrowed down my things to the point that I know I'm going to be really underweight in my second bag~ My TO bag has everything I need, I wonder if they'd let me send both of my checked bags ahead to my placement...

I'm not bringing omiyage though... If I really feel like I need it then I'm just going to order stuff online or get it when I go home for winter.

Milanna
July 26th, 2011, 14:44
I've narrowed down my things to the point that I know I'm going to be really underweight in my second bag~ My TO bag has everything I need, I wonder if they'd let me send both of my checked bags ahead to my placement...

I'm not bringing omiyage though... If I really feel like I need it then I'm just going to order stuff online or get it when I go home for winter.

Pretty sure from what I've read you can forward as many bags as you're willing to pay the forwarding fee for. How would the people who pay for extra checked luggage get their bags to their new home otherwise ;)? I also thought of doing the same thing. Don't really want to drag a massive bag around with me if I don't absolutely have to. I decided against it though since I'm going straight to a homestay instead of my apartment and don't know when I'll be able to pick up my bags ie fresh underthings :)...

Eudox
July 26th, 2011, 20:02
Because I leave everything to the last minute, just ordered my Yen. Smart. Stupid online service wouldn't work so had to ring the Travelex at the airport direct. Now I'm worried they'll forget about it and I won't have any of the money. Lolz.

Ah you should be sweet - I just ordered mine tonight also. Last time I ordered currency it was only 2 business days. Cutting it a bit fine but oh well.

Cytrix
July 26th, 2011, 20:11
Bastards charge commission, which I didn't realise. Popping in to a bank tomorrow to get some yen as well

Tyr
July 26th, 2011, 21:42
I got my yen today. The guy on the 1000 yen note looks rather gay.

Eudox
July 26th, 2011, 22:30
I was pretty stoked with my 66.7 yen to the dollar exchange rate too!!

ten_of_spades
July 27th, 2011, 01:19
Mailing one bag and taking the second checked bag (plus a carry-on) to the hotel isn't a bad idea. You'll have a lot more room to pack things, plus access to more clothes or whatever else you might need. If you're one of the chumps who has to walk to Shinjuku Station, just drop your bag off at the front desk before you leave and they'll mail it to your placement.


I got my yen today. The guy on the 1000 yen note looks rather gay.

Reminds me of a student's quick little biography of him: "Noguchi Hideyo is famous for studying yellow fever, but then he caught yellow fever and died". I've been there, man!

Eudox
July 28th, 2011, 18:55
Just packed my bag. 30kg.... I guess taking a second bag is always an option, but I'll attempt to remove 7kg worth first.

usernamefail
July 28th, 2011, 22:50
Leaving for Portland this afternoon... have to stay an extra night in a hotel there. Still trying to get everything packed.

Tyr
July 29th, 2011, 05:31
I'm trying to sort my computer stuff out now. Checking if the RAM from my dead laptop will work in the one I've aquired, transfering and encrypting various files, lots of crap.
And my parents are time thieving a lot.

SleazySauce
August 3rd, 2011, 13:39
I had that same problem with shoes. They take up a lot of space. I had a friend ship over two pairs. Also heads up if you like to wear sperrys or boat shoes (I do they are real comfortable). They cost about 200 USD in Japan compared to about $70 in the US.