Some of Those Impressions Are False

Do you know anyone whose face would light up when they start talking? I know this person whose default expression carries a scowl. Her eyes are cold, her lips say “I’m not impressed”, and her general attitude an “I’m so tired today, give me some space”. Not scary, but cold and indifferent, which can easily be interpreted as unfriendly. The extraordinary thing is that, all … Continue reading Some of Those Impressions Are False

Living Japan #7: How to be a Tokyoite (A Non-exhaustive List)

1. Walk fast, really fast. 2. Sprint a block to outrun a blinking green crossing light. 3. Run towards the closing train door (there’s a word for this : kakekomi-josha). 4. Squeeze into the fully packed subway. 5. Fit all of your stuffs in your 20 m2 “cat’s forehead” apartment. Have a try at minimalism and fail. 6. Curse the snow for delaying the trains, … Continue reading Living Japan #7: How to be a Tokyoite (A Non-exhaustive List)

Living Japan #6: Mission Apartment, Part Two

My note on finding a home in Japan (Living Japan #3: Mission Apartment) remains as the most-read post on this blog, so there must be many of you who had the same questions and struggles as I did. Hope that note helped you. I’ll continue with the next steps: filling up the house and actually making it a home. 1. Buying new electronics As I … Continue reading Living Japan #6: Mission Apartment, Part Two

Living Japan #5: Tokyo “City Girl”

Last July I celebrated a year of living in Japan. Work contract has been extended, so I’ll hopefully be celebrating a second year anniversary next year. As I enter my second year, I made a decision to move to Tokyo. I moved from the suburbs of Yokohama, where most residents were grandmothers and high-school students and residents’ festivals were held frequently. There’s nothing wrong with … Continue reading Living Japan #5: Tokyo “City Girl”

Living Japan #4: Hygiene and yes, the toilets

You’ve seen videos of Japanese school kids cleaning up their classes together or the Japanese supporters tidying up their sections at a World Cup 2014. So “Japanese”, aren’t they? The habit of keeping personal hygiene starts since childhood. Many Japanese adults still brush their teeth after meal. Although the dental medics society have been continuously debating on the merits of brushing teeth before meal or after meal, I’ve … Continue reading Living Japan #4: Hygiene and yes, the toilets

Living Japan #3: Mission Apartment, Part One

If you’re considering moving to Japan, be ready to get on board the major first mission. I didn’t have to do too much for moving to Italy and Malawi, for having found good places to live in before arriving. But moving to Japan was different because my company let us live in the dormitory while finding by ourselves a place that fits our taste. So … Continue reading Living Japan #3: Mission Apartment, Part One

Living in Japan: Eating with Chopsticks #2 – Non-Alien Registration

Today after lunch, a department staff kindly took me to the Hayama Town Hall to register myself as a resident. The building was familiar; I remembered seeing its image when googling about the town. There, I was comforted by the system and people’s efficiency. Registering as a new long-term resident is convenient. Let me explain from the start. Weeks before my arrival, I was asked … Continue reading Living in Japan: Eating with Chopsticks #2 – Non-Alien Registration

Living in Japan: Eating with Chopsticks

A few months ago I got an offer to work at an international research-based NGO based in Hayama, Japan. Yesterday night, I landed safely at Tokyo Narita airport, took a 2,5 hours regular train ride to Zushi (the nearest town from Hayama), and officially started my new adventure in the sushi homeland. A dinner was prepared for me in my temporary room. Starving, I automatically … Continue reading Living in Japan: Eating with Chopsticks