Random Observations As Of Late #2

  • I know it is a Friday afternoon when my co-workers get chatty and start talking to me about how hard Japanese must be to learn. This then turns into a 15-minute conversation about different dialects in Aomori and them complimenting me on my Japanese. Ha ha.
  • When my co-workers say that they are leaving for their meeting at 8:40am, they actually mean 8:35am. Which means that they will start to get ready at 8:30am.
  • Japan could benefit from a legion of professional proofreaders. Preferably native English speaking ones. There is bad English wherever you go. The latest, an email from the JET Program Language Course administrators. The subject reads, verbatim: “To whom may take JET PROGRAMME JAPAESE LANGUAGE COURSE”
  • I helped teach a lesson about the kids’ future dream jobs. I learned that many students want to grow up and help people, which is awesome. Some students wanted to be nurses or pharmacists, so that they could help sick people and make them healthy. Other people wanted to be cooks so that they could make a lot of delicious food for people. Another girl wanted to be a singer so that she could make people happy with her songs. I love hearing children’s desires to help people. It is so endearing. Oh, and then there was one girl who wanted to be a cook because she wanted to become better at cooking than her mother.
  • I live in Aomori prefecture, Japan. My little city is called Hirosaki. After 8-ish months, this fact still amazes me. I don’t really realize it until I look around and I see all the mountains covered with snow. I never grew up around mountains, so this is still new for me. I am still getting over the fact that I actually live here and have a life/friends/job/apartment.

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  • Valentine’s Day at work was really interesting. All of the ladies in the office pooled together to get a box of chocolates for each male co-worker. In Japan it is customary for the women to give men chocolates on February 14th, not the other way around. (Men give women chocolates on White Day, March 14th.) I was required to give ¥910/$11 to help pay for all of the chocolates. But, I figure it all evens out because it is White Day today and I just got handed a box of traditional Japanese sweets from my male co-workers. Score.
  • I went to my first jazz show/performance last weekend. Shinjiro, the pianist in Kyle’s band, was jamming with his other band at a local tiny jazz room/club and Tori suggested we all go. The music was really good and we got our own little corner table to sit at. I only wish I hadn’t been so tired.
  • I learned how to play “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” on the guitar, thanks to Kyohei. Feeling like a rock star!
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  • I have become a master at making curry. Because I cannot acquire any Tex-Mex here, Indian food has become my comfort food. I make curry every week and that really satisfies me. Funnily, I talked to my dad this morning and he said that the same thing happened to him in Singapore. He could not find decent Mexican/Tex-Mex food in Singapore, so Indian curry became his comfort food too. Like father, like daughter!
  • Nostalgia works in mysterious ways. Kyohei and I were hanging out and I asked him to play a few songs on the guitar. After a couple songs, he started to play “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Greenday. Without any warning, I started to get tears in my eyes. My little brother always used to play that song on his acoustic guitar and it reminded me of him so much. I suddenly began to miss him and his endless minstrel-ing around the house. So, then I learned that nostalgia can get you quick, like a ninja.
  • Confession: I drank the kool-aid. I have forever joined the ranks. I have become dependent upon my iPhone. I am certain that I can never go back to a non-smartphone. I will probably never stray from the iPhone again, if finances allow. Living in Japan now, with a smartphone, is so much more different than what it was in 2007/2008. I am much more connected with my friends and family on a daily basis.
  • The bathroom stalls in my office building are too small. Curse you, bathroom stall door latch! You have injured my head for the last time! Ouch, that hurt.
  • Speaking of small things, I was reflecting the other day that people here are just small in general. The bus that I take to get to my schools in the mountains almost always has elderly riders (I’m talking maybe 70+ years old). These men and women are tiny. Some of the women don’t even come up to my chest/sternum. When I see them from far away, I tend to think they are children instead of older people. I so wish I had someone to take a picture of giant-me standing next to these women!
  • Spring is coming and I have an itch to buy new clothes. Specifically, workout clothes though. Looking at the Lululemon web site is bad for me. More and more I find myself thinking about the day when I go back to an American shopping mall and buy clothing. Clothing that has the letters L and T with the size numbers (L for Long, T for Tall).
  • Lately I have listened to a bit of country music. It made me realize that country music makes me feel like home. Texas will always be home in my heart.
  • I found organic ketchup. In Japan. In the normal supermarket. And it is cheap. Low salt and low sugar. I am SO HAPPY!

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