Almost six weeks ago, I started studying for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (shortly known as JLPT). Last August, my husband sent an application form for me to take the JLPT-N3 level exam. However, in September, I got a part time job at a vegetarian restaurant 45 minutes away from home. I got too busy and couldn't study for the exam.


Oh, you got me. I was lying. Yeah, I took just a once-a-week shift at the restaurant and definitely had plenty of time for studying. But didn't. Didn't at all. Hey, you can't blame me-- there's Internet at home and I'm still missing my family and friends overseas that I spend most of my free time on Facebook instead of facing my Japanese textbooks. (I hope you got the pun part there.)


So, putting off studying every single day, I ended up cramming. I hate it when I fail exams because I have failed very few of them in my life, and I take pride in that. I had only 5 weeks before the exam (on December 1) and I have 2 whole textbooks with ________pages to study. I knew I should start wishing for luck.


But instead of worrying about the exam and regretting the time I spent scanning my Facebook news feed,  I just focused on studying. I focused well. I focused too well that several times I even forgot about lunch.


I know I need to keep feeding my body especially while I feed my brain with all these new information. But I had no more time to lose. Good thing I had homemade basil pesto spread in the fridge.


Toast with pesto spread (with cashew, cheese and basil). Canned 100% pineapple juice. Mini tomatoes... Lunch was set. I'm not a nutritionist but I wanted to believe that it's a complete meal. I already lost precious time; I couldn't afford anymore negative thought about the exam or studying. This became my lunch or brunch several times in the past weeks.


Now, you might ask about the exam. It was DIFFICULT! It was like I was in a whirlpool of words, and I read every question as if I just started gradeschool last year. But it was soothing to see a lot of foreigners there. I didn't feel different, I didn't feel alone. No one stared at me like I just escaped out of the zoo or museum. It was a wonderful day. At least until I see the results in February next year. *jitters*



UPDATE: I passed the exam with pretty nice grades! How did that happen, I don't know. I still remember not understanding most questions in the exam at all. Hahaha thanks, pesToasts. I owe it to you. I knew it was a complete meal. Hahaha!


  • basil pesto sauce

  • bread

  • grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

  • cherry tomatoes (for garnishing)

  • pineapple juice (for a perfect breakfast combo)


  1. Spread desired amount of basil pesto on bread.

  2. Pop in the toaster for 2-3 minutes (or in microwave oven toaster mode, until it finishes toasting) or until bottom of bread is lightly crunchy.

  3. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese if desired.

  4. Enjoy with cherry tomatoes or wedged salad tomato and pineapple juice!

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