Friday, December 28, 2012

Xmas, Year end, snooZe, and the Alphabets are Over!

Christmas is over, and today, my work this year is also over.  I'm going to have a winter vacation!!  I couldn't wait for this days off.  Ah, November and December were quite busy.  I really needed a vacation.  

This will be the final update of this year, so I decided to quit this alphabetical order system. It just makes writing harder since I cannot come up with good topics in many cases.  I'm going to keep writing from time to time, hopefully more often, but I will choose whatever topic I would like to write about.  

To start my holiday, I'm going to visit Hakone tomorrow.  Me and R started to like onsen (hot spring) a lot this year.  It will be very nice to soak myself into a hot bath, especially in this temperature (6 degrees maximum during the day).  The weather is not really promising, but I hope we can see Mt. Fuji.  We have been trying to capture a nice picture of this big mountain since summer, but no luck yet.  (I once saw Fuji-san from the train, so it shouldn't be very difficult.) 

Have a happy New Year!  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

W for "Wonderful Vacation"

Long long time no see! (or write?)  I abandoned this blog for so long, partly because I couldn't come up with a good topic to write about that starts from "w".  Well, but I have used this excuse too many times.  I admit, I was lazy.  

On the fourth week of September, I took a late summer vacation.  The destination was of course(?), Vancouver, Canada.  I haven't been there for two years.  Due to my short vacation, I only managed to stay there for 5 days!  Since the flight tickets were really overpriced, I doubted my decision to visit Vancouver at this time of the year, and at this timing.  But this trip turned out to be absolutely worth going.  I met my old coworkers, friends, and landlady, and they haven't changed much.  The best thing was that they remembered me as if very little time had passed since I met them last.  It was very heartwarming and inspiring experience to talk and catch up with them.  I remembered the reason why I have been clinging to the idea of going back to this place some day.  I love this place, and its culture really makes me free.  

I hear about severe employment situation in Canada, might be worse than Japan, so I decided it was not a clever thing to leave my job in Japan and become a student again without any future prospect.  I feel like a wimp for giving up my dream, but this trip gave me hope.  I realized that I can come back to this place again, even though I'm not a resident.  And this town and this city and my friends will welcome me again.  The important thing is not to forget that there are various ways to choose in my life, and as long as I appreciate and become open to the change and inspiration, I will be able to live my life fully.  

In the end, I am honestly thankful for all the people in Vancouver who made my stay very special, and my loving R who made me excited about coming back home. :)

Beautiful Vancouver Downtown

False Creek 

The sunset from North Vancouver

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

V for "Various"

Working with people from different culture is very exciting and interesting, but at the same time, it's very stressful sometimes.  When I was a foreigner in Canada, I adapted pretty well to its culture, so I don't think I annoyed someone because of my custom or way of thinking. There are various habit and values in the world and they don't always agree with the ones in another country.   
However, I'm thankful that I'm in the environment that I can see difference between Japan and other countries.  What I learned abroad is to accept the way the culture is even though you don't like it.  If you make a choice to stay there, you have to put up with small things that you feel inconvenient or illogical.  Only people who did this successfully can adapt themselves to the foreign country they live in. 
I tend to be too harsh on foreigners who criticize Japan a lot and still claim they love this country, but I should realize that they are from different surroundings and have totally different thought circuits.  If I want to get along with those people, I should just let them be and admit they are not the same as I am.  A rainbow consists of seven different colours, lying side by side, and it looks beautiful.  Maybe society works just like that.

Friday, March 23, 2012

U for "Unbelievable!!"

Sneezing, blowing the nose hundreds times a day, and closing the eyes in irritation...  That was me today at the office.  It seems like the hay fever is attacking me!  I didn't use to be allergic to pollens.  Sometimes this kind of allergic reaction happens when I'm about to catch a cold or almost getting rid of one.  I thought I'd recovered from the cold, but then, these annoying symptoms started.  I cannot live even a few minutes without tissues.  I'm hoping that this is just an evanescent thing, and I'll be OK as I completely get rid of the cold.  Just in case, I took some Chinese medicine (this is the only allergy medicine that I could find which doesn't have a substance that makes me sleepy).  If it doesn't work, I'll take some of my mom's allergy pills.  Agh, this is SOOO unbelievably stressful!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

T for "Twilight"

Have you seen the movie, "Twilight," and its series?  I haven't.  And I have never been interested in any of the movies themselves nor the actors and actresses in them.  But I was wondering if the stories are that interesting since this series has been very popular in Canada, and probably in Japan as well.  The actual books might be interesting to read, and they must be easier for me to read than Davinci Code or some other novels aimed at adults.  But they are too expensive to collect for my brief interest.  Then today, I found them in the local library!  It was a surprise.  Why hadn't I thought about this?  Luckily, this library has decent variety of English books.  I should come here often though the location is not very convenient to drop by.  The only problem is, I won't be able to finish reading within two weeks, which is their loaning period :(

Saturday, January 21, 2012

S for "Seventeen Hours"

The message surprised me
With an old buried memory
It was long gone kindness
That I had left to you with loneliness
Angelic smiles only your eyes saw
Not the sadness that I gnaw

You still look around the building lobby 
Half wishing to find me waiting
Sit in the bus that crosses the bridge
Thinking about a girl once beside leaning

She will never be found anyway
Because I'm seventeen hours away

Awoken from dreams
Your soothing blanket has gone
Bittersweet remembrances
Stored away in mind

Monday, January 9, 2012

R for "Reunion in Hawaii"

Again, long time no see, readers...
Believe it or not, I kept thinking about "R" titles, but could not come up with any suitable ones.  But now, since it's a beginning of a new year and I came up with a great one, I started writing. 

Seems like travelling at the year end is becoming my annual custom.  It's not great to miss my family gathering on the New Year's Day, but it is splendid to get together with my second family in another country :)  This year, we decided to meet in Hawaii instead of cold Vancouver (or Tokyo).  This was my first trip to a tropical country (aside from Okinawa), and it was such a great vacation.

My friend had warned me that Hawaii could be very cold in the buildings.  So I brought my jackets, socks, and sweater.  This was the cleverest thing I did in the trip.  Partly because my exhaustion from the trip, I felt very, very cold in the airport.  And nice ocean breeze, which we had plenty in our condo, felt too cool in the evening.  I thought Hawaii must be very hot, but even in the tropical island, winter is a little cooler than summer.  

We stayed in Kauai Island, and it is filled with beautiful nature and beaches.   Thanks to my skilled travel companions, I got to see most of the things travellers should see and experienced everything what I had wanted to do.  I enjoyed viewing so many colourful flowers and big trees on the island, shopping souvenirs, spotting sea turtles, and snorkeling!  I got a water-resistant instant camera, but it was difficult to take pictures of fish in the water.  The result is not very satisfactory, but there are some pictures that tell what I saw under water.  I hadn't swum in the sea for many years, so I was afraid to go into the deep water.  I kept swimming in the sallow side of the ocean, but still, I saw many fish in different kinds.  That was such an experience.   

After spending a night in Honolulu, I came back.  My parents were nice enough to leave some New Year's food for me!  So I caught up with Japanese spirit to start a new year.
(And I had my first visit to a shrine yesterday. This is called Hatsumoude and supposed to be done on the January 1st.   I prayed hard for good luck of this year, so this will be more awesome year than the last one.)   

Travelling is wonderful.  If you are with nice people, that's even better.  I wish I can have a trip somewhere this year as well.  Maybe in summer this time?  :)  I have to work hard to save up!

Kilauea Lighthouse

sunset from Poipu Shores

Waimea Canyon