Among the teachers at my schools, I had a bit of a ‘reputation’ for being some kind of professional drinker. And, to be honest, if that was a real job and my body suffered no ill effects from it, I would be the CEO of Alcohol. So I’m not saying that my reputation wasn’t deserved, just that I was not nearly as bad as my co-workers seemed to think.
I guess I should start by explaining that Japan is very much a drinking culture. So many things center around or exist because of alcohol there. I can safely say I drank more in my first year in Japan than I ever did in my entire life in America. Which isn’t saying a lot, to be fair. I didn’t touch alcohol until I went to college, and not until sophomore year. Junior year I moved off campus with some friends, and learned that being an “adult” meant I should probably pay those pesky bills, rent and possibly even buy food. If we had leftover money for alcohol, we would certainly buy it, but only the cheap stuff, and a lot of it(I didn’t learn that alcohol could actually taste GOOD until much later).
I also really wasn’t much of a partier back then. However, looking back at all the parties I was dragged to, I really don’t blame myself. The fact that parties don’t always have to involve stoned hippies, drugs, someone being taken to the hospital or the police showing up was also something I didn’t learn until much later. Continue reading →
(Note: Most of my dating stories take place a few years ago, when I was new and confused by everything. As opposed to now, where I’m old and confused by everything.)
(Note part 2: Upon rereading the original post, I realize it might come across like I’m bashing one type of guy, or saying that it’s only OK for men to look or behave in a certain way. I promise that’s not my intention, I’m just talking about what I personally find attractive. I’m sure there’s lots of people that disagree with me about that, and that’s perfectly fine. Be who you are and like what you like. Even if it’s Twilight.)
Despite what you might think (because, let’s face it, I’m a sexy lady), I haven’t had a lot of success with men in the past. I didn’t date a whole lot in college, and I considered any interaction with guys that didn’t end with them spitting in my eye to be a good one.
For the record, no one has ever spit in my eye and therefore all my interactions with men have been pleasant. It’s this kind of positive thinking that has gotten me so far in life.
The holiday season has come and gone, both in America and in Japan. Talking about the differences between western and Japanese holidays is always interesting, since Japan does recognize a lot of western holidays, but usually they’ve changed them so much that they might as well be a completely different holiday. Christmas, for example, has gotten a bit of an overhaul there. They’ve got the whole Santa/presents/Christmas lights/insane sales thing down(AKA, all the superficiality of Christmas). A very small percent of people in Japan are Christian, so almost all the Christian imagery has been nixed. On a personal note, I’m not very religious at all, but I always loved Christmas for that special “family-togetherness” feeling. However, in Japan, Christmas is regarded as more of a commercial holiday, kind of like Valentine’s Day. Whereas I usually spend Christmas with my family in front of the fireplace, full from Christmas dinner and watching my nephews play with their new toys while chestnuts roast on an open fire while Jack Frost nips at my nose, or whatever, my Japanese friends tell me they spend their Christmases drunk, or with their girlfriends/boyfriends, or drunk with their drunken girlfriends/boyfriends. Continue reading →
My last few months in Japan were pretty stressful, most of the stress coming from packing up my life. Somehow, despite having a tiny Japanese apartment, I had accumulated a lot of stuff. The process was so daunting in the beginning, when my coworkers asked me how I planned to go about it, I answered by saying I was going to just put all my things outside behind a bush somewhere, throw a blanket over it and run. They laughed, I laughed, and I internally promised myself I wouldn’t do that unless I got, like, super desperate.
I also joked that I would just set everything on fire, but I wouldn’t do that unless I got really, really desperate.
With a whole two weeks left before I moved out, I decided now was a pretty good time to start packing. In hindsight, I probably should have started sooner, but how was I supposed to know that at the time? Continue reading →