Tuesday, May 15, 2018

MIND-FART#20: No Love, Just Med School Regrets

I thought I've already forgotten. Guess I'm not over it yet. 

The last time I talked about it with my Mama was when I got here in Tokyo five years ago. Geez, that was five years already? Time flies swiftly.

Back in university, I was under a pre-medicine program (though any four year course can be a pre-med one but you know, I'm talking about the closely-related ones), Biology. I majored in Zoology, which is the closest thing I can major in (see UPLB Biology) if I'm planning to enter med school after. I didn't take language electives and took more units (BOT142-Economic Botany and ZOO191-Special Topics: Animals in Biomedical Research) in preparation for med school. I even took the grueling National Medical Admission Test/ NMAT, a nationwide examination that one needs to take if he/she wants to enter any medical school in the Philippines. I had a pretty okay score, which would allow me to enter some schools... if only I pushed through with it. I didn't. 

I left for Tokyo. Not because I wanted to but because I needed to. There was this citizenship change (which I'm thankful for, now). There was also this thinking that I had to stop being a burden to my Mama (hahahaha) and work. Back then, I thought I could just look for a med school here, study, and do part-time work. That would've worked out if I only had millions of money in my bank account and if I had great Japanese language skills. I had neither. I still have neither even now lol.

So I pretty much let it go and settled for a job that would feed my family, instead. For someone who is bad at Japanese, working as an English teacher is an easier choice (for me, compared to some other ones). So I traversed that path. I am still in that path. To be fair, I think teaching has grown into me. I enjoy it. It's a tiring yet very fulfilling profession. But it's okay. I'm doing okay with it. I studied some teaching stuff and got myself a teaching diploma. I even wanted to put up my own school at one point.

Not until I came across with a sponsored ad on Facebook about an international medical school orientation in Tokyo, which I later saw on Instagram. And here I am now, thinking, is it a sign?

Should I go? It's just an orientation anyway. Should I try it? Will it just be a waste of time? For days since seeing that ad, these are the things occupying my mind. Not to mention the disadvantages I'd have if I ever I feel crazy enough to push through with med school at 26 years old. I know age is just a number but you see, my mind is not as sharp as before (as if it was even sharp to begin with hahahaha). And lots of other mountain-like doubts.

So what's the point of this post?

I don't know either. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Karuizawa Days

Been wanting to visit Karuizawa for the longest time. For some reason, my preschool/kinder students always bring home omiyage/souvenirs from that place... one of my conversation students owns a rest house in the area... that's enough for me to want to check what the little area in Nagano is all about. Off I went two weekends ago. The beau tagged along, of course. 

No itinerary...
Just three days and two nights of nature, onsen, food, and good company~

Hope you enjoyed this photolog of what transpired during our very chill Karuizawa trip! We literally just ate, slept, and breathed nature in! Sometimes, it doesn't hurt to take a break from our usual busy lives and just breathe.

Monday, February 12, 2018

5 Must-visit Cafes in Tokyo

Back when I was still living in the Philippines, I was like a cafe tenant lol haha! I'd really maximize my hours in a cafe especially if I went there to study. Boston Cafe, Coffee Blends, Cafe Antonio... ahhh those were like my second home when I was still in university. If ever I'm in the metro, Starbucks, Bo's Coffee, and UCC Park Cafe are household names. 

Since coming to Japan, I felt like my preferences have changed. I'd go for less crowded ones, hole-in-the-wall kinda stuff. I rarely go to Starbucks (only during Spring cos they have sakura-themed drinks and cakes). Right now, I am in a seemingly never-ending process of immersing myself with the city's myriad collection of cafes, well as long as I can... as long as my wallet can haha! Hay, you'll never run out of cafes to try in Tokyo! They're everywhere! And good ones at that!

Here are five cafes I've visited early this year. You might want to check them out, if ever you're in Tokyo as a tourist or as a fellow resident wanting to get some much-needed dose of caffeine. Enjoy!

1. Cafe Stay Happy, Shimokitazawa

Chill defined, omg! So much love!

A kotatsu table! Perfect company for the cold winter weather! 

Cute nooks are everywhere!

This place has a wide selection of beers! For this visit I tried the #1 beer stout from Minoh, Osaka, which really made my stay in this cafe a happy one! My friend Jaydine tried something from Belgium. One of the staff who took our orders was kind enough to recommend beers and even gave brief details about each... in English! Perf for visiting tourists! 

Access: 2 Chome-29-14 Daizawa, Setagaya, Tokyo 155-0032
Nearest station: Shimokitazawa Station, South Exit
Website: http://cafestayhappy.com/

2. Mahika Mano Hammock Cafe, Kichijoji

The beau surprised me with a visit to this cafe. He didn't say we're going to this place until we reached it haha! It is pretty popular, I think. We went on a Sunday afternoon and had to wait in line outside the cafe for about 25min to be seated. 

Well, I waited happily cos there was a hammock outside~

Foods and drinks were on the pricey side but were delish! Not complaining! 

Plus, you get to sit in hammocks inside yay!

Such a lazy but lovely way to spend an afternoon in the city!

Access: 2 Chome-8-1 Kichijoji Minamicho, Musashino, Tokyo 180-0003
Website: http://mahikamano.com/ 

3. Coffee L'ambre, Shinjuku

This cafe is the beau and I's latest discovery. We went in for the free wifi cos we're planning on staying long for studying and journaling. When we got there, it was a little crowded and yup, no wifi. But we stayed in for the ambiance and the details! Vintage! If you know me
well, you'd know this is my jammmm! 

Felt like I was transported back to the 1950s!

Their cake sets are ¥950 and so yummy at that!

Look at that pink beauty right there~

Access: 〒160-0022 Tokyo, Shinjuku, 3 Chome−31−3, 新宿マルイLM別館
Nearest station/s: Shinjuku Station, Shinjuku Sanchome Station

4. Blue Bottle, Shinjuku

This cafe has lots of branches but I always pass by this whenever I go to Shinjuku for my Friday conversation lessons. So when I had the time to spare, I readily went! The place doesn't have much seats and it is inside a mall but whatever, their coffee is really good!

Drip drip drip

That blue bottle~

Access: 〒160-0022 Tokyo, Shinjuku, 4丁目1−6
Nearest station: Shinjuku Station, South East Exit

5. 815 Coffee Stand, Setagaya

Going to this cafe has some backstory. I was looking for the name of the park near the school where I'm working at, and I accidentally saw it there. I researched a little more and found out they have really good ice cream but when my former workmate and I went, it was already closed. It closes early on weekdays at 6PM. So even if it's near my workplace, there's no way I can visit it unless I go on a day off (but it's too far from where I live so no, thanks). Last Saturday, I have to "work" cos it's the school's VDay party and guess what? It finished at 5PM so I was able to go with the beau yayyyyy!

It is in a residential area but you cannot miss this beautiful facade for sure!

Nice interiors! And it's a very quiet place great for relaxing and just you know, taking a break from people haha~

The ice cream that I wanted to try was not on the menu when we went (cos rn it's winter here, that's why maybe haha) so we opted for some good 'ol latte and cafe mocha which were really good, too! And they have french fries with different flavors and the butter-shoyu (soy sauce) one was da bomb!!!

Access: 〒154-0016 Tokyo, Setagaya, 弦巻4丁目11−17
Nearest station: Sakurashinmachi Station, West Exit

 These are just a few ones I've been to. Hopefully, I can write about the others (a loooot actually haha), too! 
Any cafes you'd recommend for a fellow caffeinist? 
Comment down below! Thank you!♡