Monday, July 23, 2007

Five things you did not know about me

A long, long time ago Gdog tagged me with one of those blogging memes. I hadn't forgotten, I've been saving up my response until I had an announcement to make. It's not quite as dramatic as Cat announcing she was pregnant, but read on down to number 1.

5. I'm a Sucrologist. It's not as painful as it sounds, it means I collect sugar sachets. Yes, those little paper packets that most people don't even notice. When I first went to the U.S. with my family, aged eleven, I noticed that each restaurant, diner and hotel we visited had their logo on the sugar packets. In some places they had themes like ships or presidents etc, so as we travelled around I started to collect them and I've been collecting ever since. I've amassed over 5,000 I'd guess. Sadly I have never got around to collating, labelling and presenting them so they remain in numerous sticky envelopes and shoe boxes in the attic. I have corresponded with several collectors over the years since my name was listed on another collectors website and I've exchanged sachets with some of them. These days I'm trying to kick the habit and no longer do exchanges, but if I see a sachet I don't have in my collection I still can't help myself.

4. I practice Iyengar Yoga. The Bat has been a keen practitioner since before I met her. She eventually persuaded me to try it, and after going to many classes and yoga holidays, I now find it has become a part of my life. I've not tried to find any classes locally in Seoul, because no one can match my guru John Shirbon back in Tooting.

3. I have a secret ambition to be an abstract impressionist artist. I can't paint or draw, but that does not seem to matter these days. Every time I see some of the stuff that goes by the name of art I think to myself "I could do that". I even have a "stage name" prepared. I plan one day to write a book about how an unknown artist, who hasn't actually been to art school, made a great living selling works that look as if they've been done by a child with one arm : based on a true story!

2. I'm a member of the London Underground Railway Society. When I moved to London I became fascinated by the history and operational details of the "Tube" network that I used to get to work every day. I bought books, visited the London Transport Museum and became a member of the LURS. This group of mostly elderly men gather for monthly meetings on topics such as the Jubilee Line upgrade, the Piccadilly line extension to terminal 5 and many other delights. I can't attend the meetings these days, but I still receive the monthly magazine Underground News.

1. I've got a new job in Japan. I've been job hunting for over five months and my resume went to all the investment banks in Tokyo. After many telephone and video conferencing interviews I got a job offer last month. It's for a permanent job, which is going to be a bit of change after being a contractor for the past 15 years.
For those of you reading my blog since my retirement email sorry I'm not coming back for a third time, though I did have several interviews there.

My "Gap Year" is almost over and I'll be going back to work soon, I am just waiting for the work visa. What this means for this blog I've not decided yet. I plan to continue blogging, but I may not have quite so much time.

In the spirit of the meme, I'll nominate Matt at Gusts of Popular feeling, Daeguowl at Kimchi For Breakfast, and Stafford at The Chosun Bimbo. If you'd like to tell us five things about yourself, consider yourselves tagged. No obligation, no hurry!


Excel Tuga said...

Do keep on blogging! It's hard to come by with blogs that remain interesting as yours does.
Regards from Portugal

Sandeep Shande said...

congratulations ... so from now on you will be Tokyo man :)

Aaron said...

Sugar packets? Never would've guessed it. I had you pegged as the vintage Brillo pad type.


Mike said...

I'm not sure what to say about the sugar packets except 'wow' :-) Congratulations on the new job!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jon,

It's been awhile since I last visited your blog. Tokyo eh? I'm in Wakayama City, near Osaka. It's going to be a big change going from Korea to Japan. As far as I know they're quite different cultures...Does this mean you'd become the 'Toke Yo Man'?

I like the '5 things about yourself' meme, although I have yet to take part. Yoga is great. I'm into Kung Fu and Tai Chi...I know how you feel about your teacher. In Australia I had two different Chinese teachers (one in Canberra, one in Melbourne) and fortunately they were both excellent.

The strange thing about moving to Wakayama City was finding a fellow English teacher who studies it here. I've sinced joined the club...It's definitely not the exact style I like, but they work hard, I like training in a group, and it's also a good way to meet some locals. I'm sure there's be some Yoga in Tokyo...What Tokyo wouldn't have-now that's a deeply philosphical question for the ages. I'm the kind of person who finds it a little hard to consistently make time for practice on my own. I also push myself harder when with others, probably stemming from some egoistic, self-esteem competitive spirit issues.

Sugar packets huh? In my life I have had somewhat of a collection addiction. I think it's a form of latent obsessive-compulsive 'dis-order'. :-) Since I was a child, I collected crayons (I made a pyramid out of them, and individual colours became 'obsolete' after being used, for some reason they HAD to be sharp!), baseball cards, stamps, stickers, Converse socks (That was a weird one to be sure, but I wasn't the only one!), skateboards, comic books, rock'n'roll t-shirts, concert posters, band songlists, albums, books, Chinese boxes...

Sugar packets sounds pretty tame to me. :-) The London Underground Railway Society...that IS a bit weird. There are a lot of trains in Japan: Subways, Local, express, another one I can't recall-?, limited express, bullet train...You may just be on your way to heaven!

San Nakji said...

Now the LURS sounds like something I could get into. Maybe we should start a SSS (Seoul Subway Society)? Exciting about Tokyo. It's a great city!

Anonymous said...

Ooh, I googled "seoul iyengar yoga" and found your blog. I'm a certified Iyengar teacher in the US. I'm visiting Seoul at the end of August. I love taking classes in other cities and was wondering if there is ANY Iyengar yoga in Seoul. So far, looks like not. OTOH maybe this is a possible opportunity to bring Iyengar yoga to Korea. My Korean is lousy--will have to relearn. Thoughts, suggestions, leads on yoga contacts in Seoul?