31: Taking Stock

I am writing this at 10pm on the eve of my 31st birthday so happy birthday to me!

I’ll be at work in the morning and taking the afternoon off to go to the Korean embassy in Azabu Juban to pick up our transit visas. Jeremy and I are going to Cebu during the golden week and the most affordable tickets we got have a long layover in Seoul. I tried booking a room at the hotel in the airport but it was fully booked, so I got us one just outside the airport, but turns out we need transit visas to set one foot inside South Korean territory. It’s hard traveling on an African passport but oh well, *shrug*

 

Making: To do lists; I just moved to Tokyo a month ago and I started a new job as JeremyΒ  started a new school. The list of things I have to do is never ending.

Cooking: by baking! When I moved, I finally got an oven (well, a combination microwave, toaster and oven). I baked (chicken) for the first time in my life. So glad for Google, for the videos and step by step directions.

Drinking: Wine. And it’s the good kind which I have to open with a wine opener, thanks to my friend, Udi’s mum. We had some last week with cake when she came to Tokyo, kind of a pre-birthday celebration.

Reading: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. Someone gifted me this book on my birthday 3 years ago. Well, I requested the gift πŸ™‚ I finally got round to reading it after watching the Netflix show. I hope I can finally find the time to make my apartment spark even more joy.

Wanting: A nice couch. And a large screen for watching movies or Netflix; although I amΒ  not sure when I will find the time for Netflix again.

Anybody wanna buy me this nice sofa for my birthday? Anybody at all?

Looking: Natural. I have some sort of routine for maintain my natural hair. It’s not perfect, but the great thing is nobody cares that my hair isn’t straight. And I can wear whatever style I want to work. My to-go hairstyle is the twists in front, like in the IG post below:

 

Playing: Rock music from my campus days. Too many feels. Nostalgia. It’s been almost 10 years since then.

Deciding:Β How I am going to spend the rest of the year. I may have to revise some of the goals that I set at the beginning of the year, because working life is most certainly different from student life. I also have to make a lot of decisions dealing with my future, Jeremy’s future, my pension plan, life insurance plans, investment plans.. so much to think about. I am not ready to be an adult!! Too late I guess. Even if I could somehow convince myself that 31 is young, I have a whole 6 year old πŸ™‚

Wishing: That my friends lived nearby. I just moved here and I wish I had one or two friends who could come over for some pizza and wine. Just hanging out, you know. Friday or Saturday nights. Maybe after I get the couch. It could attract friends. I’ll keep the windows open to show it off.

Enjoying: My new apartment. I also love the sunny weather in Tokyo, although I had to get dark curtains because the sun rising at 5am was bothering my sweet morning sleep. At 7 or 8am, the sun is on my verandah and I can enjoy a cup of coffee while basking in the morning sunshine.

Waiting: for the golden weekend to start. I have my 4 day trip to Cebu to look forward to (we can sail, we can sail.. from Peru to Cebu feel the power of Babylon.. sail away sail away),Β Β I am also waiting for June, July, August, October, December. All because of the travel plans I have.

Liking: The working environment thus far. Unfortunately, I cannot divulge further info, you know that guys πŸ™‚ My job is top secret.

Top secret job is exciting, no?

Wondering:Β How is Tinder gonna play out in Tokyo? πŸ˜‰

Loving: Doing DIY projects. Thus far, I have fixed curtain railings for my bedroom, as it is a Japanese style room with only white-sheeted screen doors as “curtains” that let in all the light in the world. Lovely in the day, too bright in the morning. I also bought a bed and mattress, but will be waiting for 3 weeks for its delivery. The futon is nice but it’s killing my back.

My room looks *almost* like this actually. It’s beautiful. But without the flowers. I should get flowers. I love yellow flowers.

Considering: Which activities to enroll J in. Thus far, our weekdays are busy so would have to be on weekends, but thus far we have been exploring the parks.

Buying: Too much stuff from Amazon. I was too excited about the furnishing of the apartment, I need to calm down a bit and pay off my credit card debts this month.

Watching: I literally have no time to finish watching some shows I left halfway, like the TBBT Season 12, Crazy Ex-girlfriend Season 4, Midnight Dinner: Tokyo Stories, Mom Season 6, Criminal Minds Season 14, Beyonce’s Homecoming (I hear Bey’s work ethic is inspiring millions), Brooklyn 99 Season 5 (Jake and Santiago got married in the last season!!), and worst of all GAME OF THRONES! I am avoiding social media for the spoilers. So yeah, not watching anything right now, but one day when I get the time I will catch up with the above shows and more. Most recently, I was catching up with Friends, now in Season 5.

Hoping:Β to do well at work πŸ™‚ It is so hard being new at the workplace. You always feel like you’ve got something to prove. Or it’s just me?

Marveling: at just how many people are in Tokyo. I mean, you think Nairobi’s Githurai area has a lot of people (Wasee wa Githurai 45 mko wapi!) but then you come to Tokyo and take the train during rush hour. You don’t even need to hold onto the strap-hangers as you are squeezed into the spot. Made me think it’s not so bad that Japan’s population is declining, but unfortunately only in the rural areas. Everyone is moving to Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya etc. So the population in the cities is actually increasing. Luckily, I take the train in the opposite direction of the rush hour, so there is even space to sit. And I live in a very nice and quiet neighbourhood with lots of greenery; no high rise apartments.

#Always amazes me how you can just stand at the doorway to be pushed in!

Needing: a routine that gets me more sleep. I also need more time to write, somehow.

Questioning: nothing at the moment. I am kind of at a peace with the universe right now. Oh, wait a minute. Just how horrible can human beings be? Why would they do that in Sri Lanka? But history has shown us that humans are capable of astonishing depths of evil. Think slavery, holocaust, massive genocides, colonialism, atomic bombings, modern slave labour…

Smelling:Β beautiful spring flowers everywhere.

Wearing: Suits. In preparation for working for a global company of Japanese origin, I invested in suits only to find out no one at work wears suits. Everyone is in “business casual” or “smart casual”, widely interpreted. So now I am wearing sneakers, so comfortable after 2 weeks of women’s work shoes, the most hurtful and uncomfortable shoes I have ever worn.

Following: progress to the Olympics 2020 closely. They are gonna be held in my city!!

Noticing: that my personality has changed. I am kind of shy/reserved now when meeting new people, and will hardly strike up a conversation first. Either I am growing older or Japan has had a larger influence on my personality that I realized.

Knowing: that it will get better. Right now everything feels new and hectic, so I know things will calm down soon.

Thinking: that maybe I want baby #2 by 35? πŸ™‚

Admiring: the leaders at work. Inspiring a team, that’s what I would love to do.

Sorting: my apartment.

Getting: homesick listening to Sauti Sol. Jeremy’s current favorite song is Sauti Sol’s Kuliko Jana. He really wants to learn Swahili and will do my best to teach him. In addition to English.

Bookmarking: To be honest, I am bookmarking work related sites. Turns out while I was focusing on my PhD, the world of computing changed so much. I have to renew my technical skills. By the way, I was right to go with Python. But the future could change so fast. You always have to be on your toes. TheΒ  current and future are in cloud computing though.

Coveting:Β houses. How do people own houses in this economy? According to my calculations, I may afford to own a home when I am 60 or over.

Disliking: rude, unprofessional people. It may be because it is so hard to encounter such in Japan. In our neighbourhood, whenever you encounter a cyclist and you move out of the way or they have to ring their bell to get your attention, the don’t forget to say “thank you for moving out of the way. I am sorry to have disturbed you”. If you can’t get out of the way for some reason, they will get off the bike and cycle past you then continue on their journey. So it is kind of a shock when you encounter a rude person, like the lady at the Korean Embassy. The last time we visited Korea, we went to the embassy in Niigata the people there were professional and polite. Nobody is asking for you to be their best friend, all we ask is for some dignity in our interactions!

Opening:Β my mind up for new opportunities.

Giggling: every single time I watch the video of the train pushers.

Feeling: pensive. After all, I am 31 tomorrow. But what does that mean? 30 was kind of a big deal, 31 is meh.

Feeling:Β Grateful for my parents, my brothers, my aunts and uncles, my friends in Kenya. My Japanese parents, my friends in Japan.

Snacking: I hardly snack.

Helping:Β I am not sure I am helping anyone at the moment, I would love to help out more.

This entry was posted in Blog, Life in Japan, Travel, Work. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 31: Taking Stock

  1. I love this post. Am almost getting to the Big 30 and am kind of freaking out! This post makes me calm down a bit πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Like

  2. Mkenya Daims says:

    Happy Birthday Savvy Kenya!
    Don’t I love the (PhD) after your name! πŸ˜πŸ‘Œ
    It was an interesting read – as always.

    Like

  3. Carol N says:

    Loved this! I’m hitting 30 in a few months and it’s funny how much I thought I wanted at 30 I no longer do

    Like

  4. Aggrey says:

    Amazed and also love your writing,πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€hope will be one of those you will help in future πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ

    Like

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