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Willkommen, Bienvenue, Yokoso! June 19, 2007

Posted by Mitch in General.

Congratulations on stumbling across my new blog. My name is Mitchell Wilson (as you may have guessed from the domain name) and I will be your guide for today. Let me first start by explaining the reasoning behind this blog. Contrary to popular belief it is not to fill any void that may or may not be present in my life at the moment, rather an opportunity to keep people updated on my progress in Nihon. As of August 4th I will be residing in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture. That’s Japan, by the way. Also, with this nugget of information to hand, you will therefore all finally understand my bastardisation of Kander and Ebb’s lyrics (they wrote Cabaret, which is where the title of this blog entry comes from and if you haven’t been able to work it out by now, that word on the end…you see, the weird one that begins with a y – yeah, that one. It means ‘welcome’ in Japanese because I’m, like, welcoming you to my blog). Anyway – now that the essentials of the blog are explained, let’s move on.

I am almost a graduate of Warwick University, where I studied German for 4 years. During that time I’ve changed an inordinate amount and have become the guy who is so desperately trying to be funny that you see before you now. I lived in Cologne for a year and worked at a high school there teaching English. Deciding that I was man enough to give it another go, I signed up, once back in England, to a teaching scheme and have taught German in an English high school here. Glutton for punishment that I must seem to be, I threw caution to the wind and decided to extend myself the ultimate challenge (not like skydiving or swimming with sharks – although that would’ve been cool). I’m going to be stationed in Japan for a minimum of a year teaching English there. “Do you speak a word of Japanese?” I hear you cry. Well, yes and no. Whereas I may never have had tuition per se, I do have my trusty ‘Teach Yourself Japanese’ book and CD set which is slowly opening my eyes to the ways of Nihongo (that’s the Japanese word for the language – god, this blog is educational, don’t you think?). But I’m ready and willing to learn a new language and so I say “Bring it on!”

Yes, this is going to be scary and I’m nervous as I type this just because moving to Germany was hard enough and that’s only an hour away by plane (not to mention it’s an Easyjet destination and therefore cheap to get to (and away from)). Japan being 15 hours away is somewhat harder to escape from, not to mention there’s a totally different culture to deal with/grow to love/ridicule (delete as applicable). Germany was surprisingly different from England and yet somehow I feel that it will pale in comparison to my life in the Land of the Rising Sun.

I hope that this has been a worthy introduction and that you follow along as I take a step towards the East, relaying it all back to you in bitesize chunks.

Till next time!