Random Observations As Of Late #3

  • Sad news first. My co-worker’s sister died suddenly on a Friday. This was also the last day of the fiscal year. So, naturally he requested some time off to grieve with his family. He was absent Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; came back to work on Thursday. During our morning meeting on the first day he was back, he made a speech in front of everyone: he thanked everyone for the monetary gifts and flowers.  And then he thanked everyone for the three days off and promised to work hard because he missed those first three days of the fiscal year. He then bought a huge box of sweets for the whole office. I get the feeling that this is pretty different from what happens in America when an office member has a death in the family.
  • It snowed on April 7th, Saturday… A pretty big storm, actually. Here’s hoping that this one was the last.
  • Japanese people bow constantly. And I mean constantly. At home, at work, at school, at the store, on the streets, in their cars, on bicycles… It is so amusing to watch my co-workers bow while they are on the phone. Just the other minute my co-worker was bowing so low that his forehead nearly touched his desk. Why do they bow on the phone? The other person can’t see them…
  • Ever since I downloaded the free Photoshop CS6 beta for my work PC, I’ve found a new way to pass the time. I made some flyers and a business card for my mom. I made some icons and a banner for Tori, who is the new AJET (Association for Japan Exchange and Teaching) President. Here is what I made:

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For the AJET logo, I basically just modified the existing logo, put apples on it, and some text. For the character banner, I looked up a bunch of the mascots for the cities of Aomori (cities have mascots here) and put everyone I could find together on one cute banner! And then the third one was just a cool picture of the floats they have in Aomori City in the summer festival called Nebuta.

  • Easter wasn’t what it used to be in Texas and I missed my Abrams and Curtis families dearly. But in true Tori fashion, a bunch of us got together and dyed eggs on Saturday evening!

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  • My friend who owns Waraku, the traditional Japanese restaurant, asked me for a favor a few weeks ago. Her husband is a cram school teacher and has a student who will be studying abroad in the US this summer. She had a list of schools she could choose from, but had no idea which one to choose. Her husband wrote me a sweet letter in English asking me for my guidance and if I knew anything about these schools. I took a bunch of time to research these schools, put together a document of information, and translate this information back to Japanese. I printed it out and gave it to my friend to give to her husband so he could advise his student. I received a thank you letter from her husband last week and was very touched. How did they know that advising foreign students who want to study in America is my dream job?
  • On April 30th I got gifts from all the staff members who were leaving the office to go on to other offices. My most favorite gifts were baked mochi, some fresh wagashi, and a Burberry washcloth.

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  • A few weekends ago Kimberly and I tried out this new karaoke place down the street. It is so convenient, less than 10 minutes walk from our houses. And cheap too! We originally reserved two hours, but that ended up being three hours. SO MUCH FUN.

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  • Any Dragonball Z fans out there? Get a kick out of this refrigerator.

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  • My Aunt Jan (my dad’s sister) is coming to JAPAN! To see Kyoto (again) and visit ME! I am so excited! We are going to be in Kyoto from April 28th to May 3rd. And then in Hirosaki/Aomori until she leaves. I bought my shinkansen tickets the other day and they were expensive (traveling inside Japan is so ridiculously expensive), but it will be worth it. I get to ride the HAYABUSA shinkansen again!
  • Here, have a picture of Hirosaki castle during my walk the other day:

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Spring is coming… Slowly but surely… I’ve forgotten what it is like to be warm.

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5 Comments to “Random Observations As Of Late #3”

  1. Excellent post. LOVE IT. PS… which Karaoke place is this? Let’s karaokeing and purikuraing soon!!

  2. Very newsy post, Stacy! Fun to read with lots of information about the culture, which I love learning about. Yes, you are right about the death in the family at a U.S. office, that would never happen here! So respectful are the Japanese. Gotta love’em. Love the logo thing you did for JET…so cute! And the Easter eggs were hilarious! Glad you had that to do with your friends. Love you much!!!

  3. I can’t believe it snowed on Saturday! Stay warm up there in the icy north!

    I wish I could meet up with you when you head down South to Kyoto, but I’ll be in Korea. Have fun with your Aunt!

  4. Stacy your bogs get more interesting all the time-the pictures-
    the colors-loved the picture of the castle get a picture of the two
    of you there for me love nana

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