The Journey

20120629-144021.jpgIn reference to my post about summer from last week, I’ve done even more soul searching. More growing, more changing. It’s amazing how quickly things change, how much I learn every day.

Up until very recently, I was quite paranoid. You see, I have this problem where I try to please everyone. So, naturally, I was worrying a lot about what people were saying about me and it was causing a lot of heartache. In a culture where it is more polite to avoid telling someone directly what you think of them, this was causing a lot of concern. I felt like everyone was talking about me all the time.

And then, like lightening, my paradigm shifted.

Continue reading

Sky Towns and Ice Cream Cake

Yes, ice cream cake.

Friday was Kris’ birthday, so I kidnapped Becky in the middle of the night to help him celebrate this weekend. We brought an ice cream cake. It was a Baskin Robbins mocha ice cream cake. Need I say more. I mean, I’m pretty sure he liked it, but I loved it! It’s the little things in life, right? Ice cream cake love aside, it was a fun-filled weekend. Continue reading

The First Day of Summer

Today is the official first day of summer, according to science and who knows what else. It feels like it, too. The sun stays up longer, the bugs screech louder, and sweat beads on my brow  faster than I care to talk about. Tuesday night, we had quite a lovely typhoon blow through. The laughable part? My company sent me a document about how to prepare for a typhoon. This is actually amazing of them to do for everyone else. That said, I am from Florida, so typhoons are nothing new. I quite enjoyed the storm.

As the rain falls and the temperatures rises, I can’t escape the feeling that life continues on, through days, through weeks, through seasons. Continue reading

Interactive Forum

The whole of Ibaraki has begun practicing for what is known as the Interactive Forum competition. It’s basically 3 minutes of English conversation between 2 or 3 Japanese students. Every day at lunch, and for one hour after school, we practice. I’ve been promised compensatory time-off, but I’ll let you know when that actually happens. So far, no luck. Continue reading

Conquering Tsukuba-san

Another weekend has come and gone, with more adventures to report.

It was very, very rainy on Saturday. Right now, the weather is known as 梅雨 (tsuyu): the rainy season. Our original plan was to climb Mt. Tsukuba that day, but the weather had other plans. So, instead, I hoped in my car and drove to Moriya to meet up with Becky. I would call Moriya the rich suburbs of Tokyo. It’s a city with tons of new and beautiful homes, with quick access to nearly anything you could want. Their Aeon is a full-fledged mall. Complete with a Subway sandwich shop. Lovely!

What do you do on a rainy day? You go shopping, of course. Continue reading

Shopping Spree in Tokyo

We finally got paid. What was the first thing we did? Karaoke, then shopping in Harajuku and Shibuya. Obviously.

I bought some much needed work clothes… and some play clothes too. Our friend Kris (remember him?) showed us the back alleys of Harajuku. It’s off the beaten path, with plenty of affordable, often more fashionable shops. Some of them carry second-hand items, but you would never know it. The Japanese are known for a) shopping a lot and b) taking really good care of their clothes. Most of the second-hand stores had items I would still consider new. Continue reading