Wednesday, August 15, 2007

M is for... Motivation

Phew - I'm beginning to run out of steam with this Encyclopedia of Me thing. Are there really 26 interesting things I can say about myself? I'm beginning to seriously doubt it!

But I am not good at stopping things I've started. Particularly when I've publicly stated I'm going to do something. When hubs and I first got married we lived in Japan. Close to his work in Yokohama. Unfortunately, my job was in Tokyo.

Now when I took the job I checked the map. It didn't seem too far. Little did I know I was signing up for a 2 hour each way commute via one of the most crowded means of transportation in the known universe. You know you see films of men wearing white gloves and shoving people onto trains. Well they're not just a tall tourist tale.




When Andy told his colleagues what I had planned, they were dubious. Westerners and Japanese alike. And unbeknown to me they had a little sweepstake for how long I would stick at my job. Estimates varied from 3 days to 6 weeks. Even hubby, who was well aware of my stubborn streak couldn't see it lasting longer than that. After all, I was only teaching English and I could do that on my own doorstep. But I lasted out the whole year of my contract.

That commute was hell on earth. Even now, there are CDs I can't listen to, because I played them on a continuous loop through my earphones in an effort to pretend I was somewhere else, away from the sweaty salarymen and chikan (perverts) who use the crowded trains as a cover for feeling up anything in a skirt.



Now, when I look back on it, I wonder what on earth motivated me to do it. But I'm kind of proud that I stuck it out. I expect I'll feel the same way about the Encyclopedia in time, but for now, I'm having a few days breather - we've got a glamping trip to go on...

17 comments:

Megan said...

I feel exactly the same way about the meme. But I have a cunning plan...

Enjoy your glamp.

claie said...

Blimey, that is some commute. I moaned when my 20 minutes stretched 10 minutes longer - and I was in an airconditioned car! I'm still excited about the encyclopedia but I have only completed A - keep going, they are really good fun to read.

claire said...

sorry - hit enter too early

Allison said...

2 hours!! Each way!! Now I'm quite dedicated, if I say out loud that I'm going to do something, it will certainly get done. But commute, that is one thing that would bring me unstuck.

Gill at Lucy Locket said...

Yes I'm determined to finish the meme too. But some letters are a bit of a struggle. They are fun to read though so keep going! I think we're not getting as many comments as usual but that's probably due to the sheer number of posts this month! That commute sounds awful,one year must have seemed a long time.

Lisa said...

That looks bloody awful, I would definitely loose my marbles. I have nothing but respect for you.

Have a lovely glamp.

XX

kat said...

you deserve a gold, no, no, platinum star! Two hours? wow.

I'm only on "i" and I am already bored with writing about me and I'm sure people are bored reading!

But I am going to keep going, if for no other reason than to finish my illustrations :)

TinkerBlue said...

I worked in Tokyo for a year, and lived about an hour from work. Not your commute, but it was still bad. Noboy used to believe me when I explained that the push/pull guys really exist. I had to change trains at Shinjuku - the busiest station.

julie said...

Sticking with that commute is definitely one thing to be proud of - it would have most people throwing in the towel within a week - you must be made of tough stuff Ali! Hope you have a wonderful glamping tip - I looked at the website and it looks fabulous take lots of pics and enjoy the peace, the fresh air and the starry, starry night.

Joanna Butchart said...

I have just watched that with my mouth open. I feel stupid for complaining about the waterloo and city line now. I CANNOT believe you did that for a whole year. I would have lasted to the platform had a look and gone home. I dont know if i should say well done or ARE YOU MAD???? But from one stubborn chick to another i shall say well done. Enjoy Glamping i am currently trying to talk hubby into it.

June said...

Well, you met your commitment which is something to be lauded--certainly an experience that will always be remembered.

Ragged Roses said...

It must have been love - you are motivated! Enjoy your trip
Kim x

weirdbunny said...

How amazing that you lived in Japan, so cool ! Also thanks for explaining
what the a to z that you and every one else is doing. I've wondered what all this a to z was about !

linda said...

That's a funny video there! And it brings back memories of taking a class trip on a train and we all sat on the floor of the train. The bus was a different thing altogether - much more like your clip. Bodies all squished up against eachother. Many people, I noticed, just closed there eyes when travelling. It was like they were shutting out the crowds around them.

tiel said...

i think this whole idea is great and you should be proud of doing it. Determination. there is no way I could have done this. I hope you aren't replying to everyone's emails...you'd be on your computer all day.

Angel Jem said...

M is for Midwest Modern... Amy Butler's book as on Brocante Home Chronicles. I saw it and thought of you..... (and it's available to preorder, apparently. Wonder if my fingers can accidentally press the button that puts it onto his card?

Poshyarns said...

Your tale of Japanese commuting is fascinating and scary, to think I used to moan about the Victoria Line, nothing in comparison I think.

The Glamping link is brilliant, can't wait to hear how you get on.