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Dr John Hawkins

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Getting Organised

Posted on 2007/06/12 00:10:05 (June 2007).

[Monday 11th June]
I was unaccountably quite miserable in the daytime. I'm really not sure why - there was nothing particularly wrong with work or anything, I just felt down in the dumps. I suppose part of the reason might be that during the past few days it has occurred to me that I no longer have much of a life outside my job. This doesn't mean that I'm too busy to have a social life, but more that there simply isn't a social life there in the first place. I've been in this job five months now, and whilst I quite like the work, and really love all the perks, I suspect that if I were going to make any new friends at this place I would have done so already. That's not to say I don't get on with the people I work with - they're all very nice - but they're the sort of people who all have their own separate lives outside of work, and so are more in the "people I work with" rather than the "friends from work" category. It's ironic really - part of the reason I had wanted to leave Japan was a sense of isolation, and yet five months into my job in Tokyo I had already developed far more of a social life than I have now in London.

Still, if this state of affairs does get me down now and again, it's a very different thing to the fits of misery I would occasionally experience when I was living abroad. Now it is more of a resigned "yea, life's a bit dull" rather than a "what the hell am I doing here?". So I guess overall it's an improvement! Perhaps the difference is the variability - in Tokyo the good bits were great, whereas the bad bits could be pretty awful. Here it is more of a flat line.

Anyway, my mood improved a bit in the evening, partly just because I had a lot to occupy myself with. Chie's family will be in England in less than two weeks time, and quite unsurprisingly for us we have hardly planned anything so far. So today I phoned round various members of my family to organise a couple of get togethers for the week when Chie's family would be here. I even went so far as to book a table at a restaurant for one of the get togethers. So I ended the evening with an unusual sense of satisfaction at having got at least a couple of things shuffled off my todo list.

Comment 1

Hiya John, I found your website through the Celtlands link. I'm working in Guadalajara, Mexico, so I know what you mean about the "What the hell I am doing here?' question, even tho' I really like the place and the people too. I think it's tough to go back to live in the UK after you've lived abroad. As you say, the highs and lows are much more intense when you live in a different country and even a cosmopolitan city like London (my home town) can seem a bit dull because you're used to being a "stranger in a strange land". The pics of Primrose Hill brought back many memories -- I was brought up near there. Anyway, all the best with the social life! Cheers, Ben

Posted by Ben at 2007/06/12 05:33:09.

Comment 2

Thanks for dropping by Ben! Mexico eh? Well to me that sounds way more far flung than Japan, but I suppose it's all relative.

Yes, Primrose Hill is a great part of the city. The first time I lived in London, a few years ago, I was lucky enough to have a flat in Belsize Park, so used to visit Primrose Hill a lot.

Anyway, thanks again for dropping by - it's always nice to meet new people, and good luck with life in Mexico!

Posted by John at 2007/06/12 10:39:25.

Comment 3

An article I thought you'd appreciate

Posted by Malinda at 2007/06/12 21:15:53.

Comment 4

Ben: First of all welcome to "la Maison". I spent most of my recent life travelling abroad, living in different countries, and now that I have settled back in my old lovely Florence I can say that I miss a lot of aspects of life abroad that of course I cannot find here in Italy. I think it's normal, to have such high ups and downs, while at home things are bound to be a bit more "normal". But sometimes it's the normality that we are looking for, as it gives us a sense of protection, of well known back yard, that living in a foreign country is hard to achieve.

What are you doing in Mexico anyways? Never been there (yet) but sounds like an interesting place!

Posted by Lox at 2007/06/14 08:43:12.

Comment 5

Ben: so I have this notion that all Mexican dishes are just the same few basic re-arranged in a slightly way. Fajitas, quesadillas, chimichangas, enchilladas, burritos, tacos and nachos all seem to be basically the same thing to me!

Is this still the case for "real" Mexican food (i.e. in Mexico)...?

Posted by John at 2007/06/14 20:35:32.

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