Ben Dean-Titterrell

Category: Japan

Man turns 22 in Tokyo

A view of the man’s home office on his birthday

A man has celebrated his 22nd birthday in Tokyo, whilst teleworking from home.

The man has been living in Tokyo for over eight months now, and had reportedly been curious for some time about what his first birthday abroad would entail. It is believed that the last thing the man expected to be doing was wishing to be at his actual place of work, and no longer hunched over a borrowed iPad in his tiny room in a sharehouse.

The newly turned 22-year-old had been greatly anticipating returning to work, coincidentally on his birthday, following the Japanese government’s decision to lift the nationwide state of emergency in relation to the coronavirus pandemic earlier in the week.

When asked for his thoughts on being asked to continue teleworking for another week, the man declined to make any comment, pointing to his desire for, quote, “continued employment.” Unconfirmed reports suggest that the man’s initial reaction to being one of the few at his company to continue teleworking, whilst most of his colleagues return to their schools, was [REDACTED].

The man has had some genuinely enjoyable experiences working from home, according to sources familiar with the situation. It has been challenging and difficult but he believes he’s added to his skillset and become a lot closer with many of his colleagues.

21 was a singifcant and transformative year in the man’s life. Notable events included, but reportedly were not limited to, graduating from university and moving to Tokyo to start his first proper job as an English teacher (something he hasn’t shut up about for the entire year).

The man is said to have a lot planned for his 22nd year, including continuing to live in Japan (and never shutting up about it), getting even more into his pretentious film photography hobby, and being almost totally unable to write about himself without making it into a somewhat worn out joke.

April was a lot

I bought a houseplant last month.

I don’t like writing about myself. I never have. But for a while I’ve been trying to write more, especially about the things I do in Tokyo. For the past seven months now I’ve written attempts at being funny to bridge this gap. Most of my time in Japan has been incredible. It’s often been life-changing. As a result I’ve always felt I’ve had good things to write about. Things I can make light of and enjoy putting into words. April was different.

With the world the way it is right now, it’s probably safe to say no one had the April they were expecting. Japan had the virus before a lot of other countries, but I watched the UK go into lockdown a fortnight before Japan declared it’s state of emergency. I don’t think I’ve spoken to anyone who’s satisfied with how the Japanese government have handled this situation.

The emergency state is meant to end on May 4th, but it’s probably going to be extended by about a month. For me that will mean more teleworking. I’ve been working from my tiny room in my awful sharehouse on an iPad borrowed from my school for about three weeks now. It’s been…challenging. I shouldn’t complain though, I know people who’ve been away from work longer than me and can’t do anything but stay home. Other people have just straight up lost their jobs, so I count myself genuinely lucky to still be earning my full salary.

There was a time where I had to weigh up whether I should stay in Japan or just pack it all in and head back home. I’m almost certain I made the right decision to stay, but that inkling of doubt is hard to shake off.

I realised recently that I’m now over half way through my time in Japan. It’s been seven months, and with my work contract lasting 12 I’m over the peak and on the downward slope. I don’t feel remotely ready to leave, and I don’t think I will in five months time. I haven’t done half of what I wanted to do when I got here, and my bucket list has only grown.

I can’t blame it all on the current situation, I definitely got a little complacent about going out and doing the things I want to do here. But I haven’t really gone anywhere other than work or a convenience store since about mid-March. So, to cut a long winded point short, I’m planning to stay here past September – probably for another year.

There have been some genuinely good things about the last month. I bought a houseplant, for example. It’s turned my drab, boring room with nothing interesting in it, into a drab, boring room with a houseplant in it. I’ve also started the process of finding an apartment to move into, so I can leave sharehouse life behind. These are pretty small highlights, but now more than ever I feel the need to make the most of them.

Last month was a lot. A lot to adapt to and a lot to think about. There were some highs and some lows, but I could have things a lot worse than I currently do. May’s going to be a big month. I hope it ends up better than April.

Man continues to live in Japan

A man, who a couple of months ago began living in Japan, has continued to live there. The man in question has lived in Tokyo for around three months, and has been thinking a lot about just how long that and just how much he’s done in that time.

He is said to have learnt very little Japanese in his time there and feels somewhat ashamed at the lack of effort he has put into it. Reports say he has enough key words and phrases to just about get by but there have been many humiliating occasions where, when asked something in Japanese by a native speaker, he has stuttered out one or two of the words he knows in a vague hope that they will suffice.

One notable example occurred in a supermarket when the shop assistant asked the individual if he wanted to pay by cash (genkin) or card (kurejittokādo). Witnesses say the man thought he was being asked if he needed a plastic bag and, as he didn’t need one, confidently used a phrase that translates literally to “I do not need it” (irimasen). He is still said to be embarressed by the memory of telling a very polite Japanese woman that he did not need to pay for his lunch.

The man is preparing to celebrate Christmas in Japan, his first ever Christmas away from home. He will also be working everyday up until the 28th- as a result sourves say the man is not feeling especially festive. It is believed he will be eating KFC on Christmas, following through on a commitment he made to do so after he learnt about the unconventional Japanese tradition.

The individual in question is also said to be looking forward to the new year where, with his best friend, he will be visiting Sapporo in Japan’s most northerly island. It is said he will attempt to go skiing. Many believe he will in fact end up sliding down a mountain on his arse looking like an idiot.

Generally, the man is believed to be doing well. It’s thought his job is challenging and tiring, but he is still enjoying his time in Tokyo. He wishes his friends and loved ones back home a very happy Christmas.

Man keeps getting the wrong train to work

A man, who commutes on Tokyo’s famously excellent rail system, repeatedly gets the wrong train to work like a complete idiot.

Sources say that the man, who alternates between travelling to two workplaces on opposite sides of the city every few days, has on more than occasion started going to one location before suddenly realising he is going in the wrong direction.

Witnesses to the man’s routine mistake say it all starts when he gets on the wrong platform at his first station, despite the clearly obvious signs marking out which platform is which.

The man’s mistake is made even more embarrassing by the fact the signs at the station even have English on them.

The man is said to only notice his error when the train he is on terminates at its final station and every other passenger disembarks.

Those familiar with the situation say the man could avoid the inconvenience of having to ride the train all the way back if he just looked up from his phone for once.

It is believed that the man has thus far managed to avoid being late for work, however a source, who insisted on anonymity, said, “Running into work a minute before you’re due in isn’t a good look here. It’s not that hard to get the right bloody train. Fucking idiot.”

Man lives in Tokyo for a month

A man, 21, has lived in Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, for an entire month. Sources close to the man say he is enjoying life in a new city and is settling in well.

The individual in question is believed to be working as an English teacher for a year, having recently graduated from University. It is believed that the man moved to Tokyo with his best friend and he is reportedly glad to have had someone to share the last month with exploring the city.

Living in a sharehouse with ten strangers has, according to those familiar with the situation, been a mixed experience so far. However, given the location and relative cost of the man’s accommodation, most analysts say he has little to complain about.

The man’s new job, reportedly his first experience of long term full time employment, is said to be going well. Still in the training phase of his new job, the man is believed to be enjoying working with children despite his lack of previous experience in a teaching role.

A source, speaking exclusively to this publication, said “He’s getting used to navigating the city. He can use the public transport system fairly well now, and there’s only a fifty percent chance he’s going to get lost when he goes somewhere now – that’s a big improvement from a few weeks ago.”

The man reportedly had one quite significant incident while trying to pay his rent for the first time at a Japanese ATM. Some witnesses say the man, who struggled for some 45 minutes, swore at the machine. Different witnesses described the man shouting. Others say he was nearly brought to tears out of frustration. Some have stated that the man did all three of these things, but such statements cannot be verified at this time.

The recent typhoon Hagibis, one of the strongest typhoons to hit Japan for several decades, passed over the man without incident.

Giving a rare comment to this publication, the man said, “I’m having a great time out here. I’ve learnt and discovered so much already. It’s everything I hoped for and more. The past month has been life-changing, and I can’t wait to see what happens over the next one.”