This one’s for Gina. Thanks for reading!
There are a few difficulties with having a blog and living here:
- I get new and amazing experiences so regularly that if I don’t blog for a week I feel overwhelmed by how much I want to share (which causes me to put off writing for another week and the snowball begins to grow…)
- If I approach an experience with the mindset of wanting to write about it later, I take photos and think about how I would describe it. I spend the moment, as my photojournalist friend Kelly once told me, documenting life instead of living it.
So, lately I’ve just been trying to experience these moments, getting immersed in them and letting myself forget how I would describe it later. It’s been nice.
Now it’s time for a huge messy brain dump. I think I’ll just lay out whatever’s on my mind. Enjoy. 🙂
I got a package!
My friends Vanessa and Moses sent me a box!
They also sent me a cool collection of sci-fi stories based in or about Japan, and toothpaste because I heard it can be hard to find toothpaste with fluoride in it. I think there’s a different fluorine ion in it here instead but readers familiar with chemistry are already noting that I have no idea what I’m talking about so let’s just move on.
I got a guitar and I’m discovering the Tokyo music scene.
Shimokitazawa (“Shimokita” as all the cool kids call it) is an awesome little area near where I live, littered with vintage clothing shops and houses playing live music. I’m going as often as I can.
I got a Yamaha FG-251 acoustic guitar for ¥6000 (about $56 USD), restrung it and adjusted the truss rod. Now I’m trying to overcome my fear of bugging my neighbor by playing it. I mean, I can hear his microwave beep through the walls, so there’s no question whether he’ll hear my strumming. Probably should’ve bought an electric.
I’m also writing music in Garageband while riding the trains. None of it’s any good of course—I think music is the first (only?) thing I’ve ever been able to just give up trying to be great at and started doing just because I love it.
I’m introducing software development process improvements at work.
I’m going to write a separate post on this and link to it here later. Unless you’re into software engineering you’ll probably wanna sit this one out, but it’s making me happy.
I’m learning a lot about not judging and seeing myself in others.
Things can seem pretty different at times. Discovering that a laugh is not always a laugh and can mean many things from “I find this humorous,” to “I have no idea what you just said,” to “I’m feeling pretty uncomfortable right now,” can make you question all of your judgments of others. And that’s been a good thing to question.
Learning you can’t trust your assumptions about another person’s intentions forces you to fall back on faith: what do I think is in the heart of the average person? If you think people are basically good, you’re going to respond to culture shock and culture clash positively, assuming the best when in a situation you don’t fully understand. Think people are basically cruel and every puzzling situation will leave you wondering if you are the butt of an ill-intentioned joke. I’m glad I’m able to believe people I meet are more likely to be kind to the stranger than rude or hateful.
I discovered the mille crepe. Oh my god.
OK I guess that’s enough for now.
7 thoughts on “I Get a Package From America (and Other Little Updates)”
You can get Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in Japan. The Seiyu Dep’t Store sells them. They’re too sweet, if you ask me, though!
Do you live in Shimo-Kitazawa? It was recently voted the coolest neighborhood in the whole world!
I wrote about it:
Enjoy them Peanut Buttery cups there, Factorial – cause you ain’t every getting any again! (awkward lols).
But seriously though, I’m glad they (a.) got there intact and (b.) brought a maniacal smile to your face. In response to my cruel opener, yes, there are small bags of Reese’s cups in Japan; I swear it! But no American size, so between us and your mom, we can keep you supplied. Enjoy, yolo amigo.
With SIX BAGS of them I’m not sure I ever will need any again. 😀 Thank you for the awesome care package Moses!
Just shared your blog with my friends on fb, who are mostly comprised of nerds, geeks, gamers, and the like. They will love reading your posts.
That cake looks stupid good….
If you ever want to talk (MOAR!!!) about food and food culture where you are, I can cross post on my Food Porn Media Facebook page and wordpress blog. I’m curious lately about international breakfasts that aren’t cereals and may not always be sugary sweet. Better yet if they are protein packed.
Oh man, international breakfasts that aren’t cereals, there’s plenty of that here. Breakfast is called “asagohan” here meaning “morning rice.” At work they serve breakfast and it’s basically curry, rice, and natto. I love Japan and all but for the guy who’s basically eaten a bowl of corn, milk, and sugar every morning for his entire life… no thank you.
Yes I am horribly jealous of the mille crepe! Good grief!
Glad you got some Reese’s cups. Helps me to know that they will withstand the elements and get to you. I’ve got some in the freezer for you and have looked into dry ice but no need now!
I have like six bags now! Save them for Christmas and we’ll all eat them together. haha