Adventures in Quick Updates

Hi, guys!

How are you?

Really?
Oh geez, you should probably get that looked at.

I’m doing pretty good, thanks for asking.
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I am Sedentary

Since coming back to America in August, I’ve gained 15 pounds.

And I am just not down with that.
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Holidays and Japan

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.
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Life Choices

A few months ago I made the decision to move back to America after living seven years abroad in Japan. I never planned on living in Japan forever, and with each year it became more and more difficult to move back. I know it sounds strange, but the longer I spent away from America, the more I felt like I didn’t belong there. Like I was changing into some weird, non-American shape, and by the time I tried to go back, it would be too late and I would no longer fit in.
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What made it more frustrating was that no matter how I reshaped, I knew I would never fit into Japan, either. And I couldn’t see myself as an assistant language teacher forever. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of jobs for foreigners in Japan besides teaching, unless I moved to Tokyo, and as much as I enjoy visiting Tokyo, I would never want to live there. Thus, it was time to move on and away.
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