A Year in the Life

Ha Long BayTomorrow marks one year since I embarked on this journey. Well, it would be if it was a leap year and February 29th existed. But rather than dwelling on the mysteries of the Gregorian calendar, let me take a moment to highlight some of my favorite parts of this journey.  Continue reading

A Little Mexico in Tokyo

Mexican in Japan

Props to Taiki for always remembering to take pictures!

After a long day of on-going training on Saturday, a group of us decided to stay to play in Tokyo for a little bit. We shopped in Ginza and quickly visited the Apple store, then headed to Tokyo station to try out a Mexican restaurant and celebrate Taiki’s 21st!

I’ve eaten Mexican food in Japan before and it’s all been less than impressive. I realize now that it’s a very American thing. Well, for obvious reasons, it’s Mexican too. You know what I mean.

So, my hopes were high, but my fears were that it would be same old “Japan mexican.”  Continue reading

Let’s Party

303723_507767365911786_1732709935_nKris has been planning a Christmas party for about two months now. With every passing party he throws, not surprisingly, more and more show up. This time we had a shocking 40 people at the izakaya (restaurant) which was sandwiched by 25 people pre-gaming and post-gaming at Kris’ place. The party started at 5:30pm and hadn’t finished at 4am when I finally called it a night.

The first leg of the party involved watching YouTube and enjoying a pot luck of traditional (and some non-traditional) dishes. I brought my usual (mashed potatoes) and a pot of my family’s traditional avgolemono soup. It was quite a delicious spread of food. I couldn’t resist snacking on the cheesecake and shortbread cookies. I’m assuming that’s why my pants were a bit tighter today.  Continue reading

A Christmas Challenge, Party, and Cold

写真 H.24-12-13 20 18 23My apologies. Last week was absolutely insane, all through the weekend. It was fun, but insane. How insane? Well, I called out sick from work yesterday. In 7 years of employment, I’ve never once called out sick from an entire shift. Well, not that I can remember. Point is, I’ll come to work even if it could mean I perish mid-day. I slept half the day, and spent the rest of the day drinking all kinds of herbal teas in an attempt to clear up what I suspect is bronchitis.

I want to fill you in on all these great activities, so we’ll take it one day at a time. Of course, this Saturday, it’s off to Hokkaido for eight days of snowboarding and skiing! So much to do, so little time. Now where to start…

How Japan Does Halloween

In anticipation of Halloween tomorrow, I thought the western hemisphere might like to know how this eastern country does Halloween! As you may have guessed, they DO celebrate it here. In fact, they celebrate it nearly to the same extent that we do in America, with pumpkin flavored foods, candy, and costumes. The biggest difference, of course, is they don’t do trick-or-treating at all. In fact, they don’t really wear costumes. I mean, a lot a kids will wear costumes at Disney, or with friends, and they are available in stores, but it’s a lot more rare.  Continue reading

Ping Pang Pong

Last weekend was probably one of the best weekends I’ve had here in Japan, and I didn’t even have to go very far! Kris’ birthday was earlier in June, but his party was last Saturday. He invited many of his ALT friends and Japanese friends. It was a really great mix of cultures with plenty of food and open space to run around in. I have the injuries to prove it.  Continue reading