“Ok, first off lets start with a tune. Nina Simone, live at Montreux 1976, I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free.
So it’s January and that of course means it’s time for the end of Semester One Exams. Oh, and happy new year. So far I’ve had three exams (Japanese Writing, Japanese Politics and International Relations, and Japanese Literature), with one remaining on Thursday (Japanese Listening). I won’t beat around the bush, they’ve been pretty hard, with the most difficult still to come.
The most interesting one so far has been the literature exam in which we had to translate two Japanese texts into English. The first was a delightful story called ‘Kitchen’ by Banana Yoshimoto (translated version by Megan Backus available on Amazon UK & Amazon US).
The second translation was less friendly. It was a story that has yet to actually be translated (officially) into English by Osaka-born Yasutaka Tsutsui called Yumenokizaka Bunkiten (Dreamtree Hill Junction). To say it was difficult to understand what was going on would be a huge understatement, let’s just say it was like trying understanding why people people who love the muppets choose to wear their skin in the form of Ugg Boots.
In awesome news I’ve been invited to an interview for a job in Japan. The interview’s in London just after the exam period and I’m really looking forward to it (best go and get myself a suit eh).”
… is the kind of blog I’d wanted to write, unfortunately …
Yesterday morning at the crack of dawn, I encountered the scariest moment of my life (so far).
At roughly 6 o’clock in the morning, while I was sleeping (having finally drifted off to sleep at about 2 in the morning), someone smashed through my bedroom window trying to get access to the property. The noise was horrific. In a ‘just-been-woken-up-by-broken-glass-flying-into-the-room’-like way I shouted and yelled “who’s there!?”, stumbling out of bed trying to whack the light on as quickly as I could. I was certain I saw a hand in the gaping whole, that was probably reaching for the handle, pull away.
At this point I was shaking all over, probably in part because it was a sodding cold morning and now cold air was getting into my bedroom.
Throughout the day various police officers and community support officers came around, all of which were great and supportive, but more than anything else honest. I don’t like false hope or false reassurance about things, so I actually felt more relieved when they said that they probably wouldn’t be able to catch who it was. There were no direct suspects, CCTV had seen nothing (except for me stumbling about to check the damage from outside, discovering they’d also broken into the landlady’s shed), and due to the weather and the fact they had used bricks (which are unfingerprintable) fingerprints couldn’t be obtained.
We came to the conclusion that they didn’t think my bedroom was a bedroom, either a kitchen or lounge, and went with the intention of taking kitchen/loungy stuff. So when they burst through my window and I started up, they ran off.
I didn’t go to work, it took all day to get everything sorted out and I was still not quite all there when I went to bed that night. Up until recently my letting agent have been an absolute shambles, but started to turn their game around when I sent a letter to the landlady recommending that she change agency. I guess they way in which they handle this situation will be one of the major deciding factors to it (and whether or not I actively go out and unrecommend them or just respond to peoples questions about them).
Thankfully, I’m now feeling much better and nothing was taken (except a day’s work and the time I was going to have in bed … actually planned on having a lie in, bugger). I do want to say thanks to everyone who helped out, either by helping pick up glass, board up the window, talk with me over a cup of tea while watching Ghostbusters and eating Jammie Dodgers, or even people who just said “are you ok”. Thanks everyone.