A lot of people have been asking what my day to day looks like. It is pretty random, but I can compartmentalize my time in the following activities:
Sleep: 7-9 hours
I wake up sometime between 6:45 am and 9 am depending on my work schedule, when the roof-alanches begin and if there is a loud guides meeting debrief happening in the living room. Likewise, I go to bed between 9:30 pm and 1:00 am. This is a typical view in the morning as I get up after the guides leave:Work: 1.5-14 hours
If I am working at Niseko Auto in the office, I typically work from 8:30am to 6:00pm, but sometimes I split shifts with the other dude. When I am there, I process bookings, answer questions on the phone, deliver and pick up cars, shuttle customers, shovel snow, clear off the cars, clear off the cars again, clean and prepare the cars, wash the cars, and problem solve if a car breaks down.
Time to get the car ready for the customer!How does this even happen??It has been pretty quiet lately, but Christmas and New Years was quite busy, and it will get busy again now for the Sapporo Snow Festival and Chinese New Year. Typically I work alone other than when we have to deliver or pick up a car, which my manager will usually do with me. I have to do a lot of faxing at work:If I am working an airport transfer shift, I will either drive a car to the airport and take the bus back or vice versa. Those are nice shifts because I can practise Japanese or nap on the bus. It takes about 2.5 hours to drive one way.
If I am working at Black Diamond Lodge, I will either work the main waitress shift (3:00pm to midnight) or the sub waitress shift (6:00pm to whenever it is not busy). When I’m there I open and close the till, take orders, make hot and cold drinks, chat with the customers, take payments, and wash dishes. Sometimes the sub waitress shift sucks because it can be only 1.5 hours long.
Unfortunately, you don’t really get tipped in Japan so working as a waitress is not as nice as it could be somewhere else. On the other hand, the restaurant team are my favourite people here and every shift we get FED which may be the #1 and #2 reasons why I work there.
Lately, I have been working 4 Niseko Auto shifts per week, 1 main waitress shift and a few sub waitress shifts.
Ski: 1-8 hours
Depending on my work schedule, the weather, car availability and who else has the day off, I will ski at the nearby Niseko Village resort , go on a day trip to Rusutsu or go backcountry skiing. Niseko Village is walkable, Rusutsu is about a 30 minute drive away and the backcountry skiing areas are around 20 minutes away. I love being able to ski and also do other things in the day. Here is a video of me skiing like a graceful swan:
Cook and Eat at Home: 0.5-2 hours
The house I live in has a shared kitchen so I try to make as many meals as I can. I have been eating a lot simpler here as I don’t really want to spend too much time cooking and sometimes the kitchen is really messy or busy. As I am writing this, I am sipping on an instant miso soup. Lately, I have been eating and making a lot of cereal, rice, stir frys, gyoza, cabbage salad, onigiris, grocery store sashimi, Japanese-style hamburgers and perogies. I am trying to perfect my oyakodon and I will also make onigiris this week. This is a picture of an onigiri someone else made:Here is a Japanese-style hamburger meal:Restaurants/Bars: 1-3 hours
I eat out.. a lot. The food here is GREAT and there is a lot to try. Izakayas and soup curry have been my favourite. And okonomiyaki. And sushi. And more…
Onsen: 1-2 hours
There are tons of onsens nearby which are fun to go to and nice after a day skiing. One of the closest onsens to us is the city onsen that is like an onsen recreation complex, and is also the cheapest (Price: 10/10, Ambiance: 2/10). A few weeks ago, I went to the only mixed onsen in the area that also had a hauuuge outside area (Price: 7/10, Ambiance: 10/10). I can walk to one of the onsens, but it is at the Hilton hotel so I have not been yet.
Life Admin: 0-2 hours
Laundry, groceries, cleaning, sit-down errands etc. The grocery store is a 25 minute drive away, so when you go to the grocery store, YA STOCK UP.
Practise Japanese: 0.25-2 hours
I have been taking a couple of Japanese lessons and been working through a workbook. It is challenging, but rewarding when I can answer questions or know how long the bus is stopping for. My restaurant coworkers are SO PATIENT with me and have really helped me learn. They are the best.
Moisturize: 0.15-2 hours
It is so dry here!!!!
Chill: 0.5-10 hours
There are always people hanging out in the house in the morning and evening. Lately, we have been watching a lot of Terrace House. It’s fun to get to know the guests as well at the lodge as the lodge attracts people who want to get in the backcountry affordably.