Time-lapse and new priorities

Dear Readers (if you’re still following!),

I apologise for a month of not writing! I have no one to blame but myself, and maybe the makers of an epic TV series called Breaking Bad. Yes that’s right, I haven’t been sick, busy or in a creative drought but have been unable to prize myself away from watching one of the best TV series running, Breaking Bad. I’m sure watchers of this program will sympathise with me, but for those who haven’t watched it, I’ll try to excuse myself for the time-lapse in my writing by telling you just how good it is.

Jesse Pinkman and Walter White

It is story-telling at it’s very best. It is about a high-school chemistry teacher who finds out he has cancer, and starts making a drug called methamphetamine to leave his family some kind of inheritance. Without giving too much away, the four seasons play out as a fast-paced, emotionally intense drama that is impossible to switch off. Each forty-five minute episode leaves you hanging on your seat, wishing to know what the outcome of the characters’ last move will be. It shows a drug-underworld of New Mexico and the connections unlikely members of society have with Mexican cartels. Through the series you see the main character Walter White make more and more selfish decisions to keep his business alive, whilst his brother-in-law Hank Schrader, part of the Drug Enforcement Administration, is always just one step away from finding the ‘Blue Sky’ meth producers. All the time, Jesse Pinkman, one of Mr White’s ex-students turned partner, has to follow through with his partners’ next crazy idea to keep their business afloat and their lives intact.

‘More addicted than meth itself’, some critics have said, and I’d agree with them. It is the emotions of the characters, especially Jesse, that left me on tenterhooks, until I was able to play the next episode. I am not usually a TV fanatic, and at times wished for the end to come, but it was way too good to fast forward. I would highly recommend it, but beware, it may mean you can’t sleep from the intensity, you may bore your friends with tales from it, that is if you may time to see your friends instead of clicking ‘Play’. You’ve been warned!

Yet all the time I spent watching it, made me think about the best way to spend free time. Teachers on the JET program are contracted to work 35 hours a week. This leaves the evenings, usually a half-day in the week and the weekends free, and no after-work stress at all! Some JETs use their free time to take up Japanese hobbies, such as playing the koto, or doing a martial art. Others spend their evenings studying Japanese, and soon are the envy of the other JETs who are still struggling to read a menu. Many just enjoy their free time however they like, drinking with friends, writing blogs, playing sport, climbing mountains, going to the gym or getting addicted to TV series…

It’s a job that gives you enough time to develop any interests you may have. If you have the motivation to do so, you could write a book, start a thesis or learn how to play an instrument. Since being here I’ve wanted to do all three, but have got distracted on the way. I’m a ‘to-do list’ kinda person and so I really have to set my heart to it to get something done. That’s why,I‘ve signed up for the N5 Japanese Language Proficiency Test that will test my vocabulary, grammar, reading and listening skills. So in the next two months, my number-one priority will be learning Japanese. I thought, if I can spend two hours a day watching a TV programme I can find time to study for that amount of time a day! Unless I get totally addicted to memorising Japanese characters or conjugating Japanese verbs, I’m sure I’ll find time to blog too! 

As always, thanks for reading!