Sunday, June 27, 2010

You know you're not in Australia when ...

...your teacher (or sensei) calls out Brown Eye for bingo and there's no reaction.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Winter / Summer

I arrived in Japan on the morning of January 12th, 2010. It was freaking cold. I could feel the chill seep in through my snow jacket as I waited for the Shinkansen to arrive at the Shinagawa station.

It was tough for the system. I had left Adelaide somewhere in the mid-40s and arrived in a place where the weather had bottomed out the options.

This was the view from the park in January. It was in the middle of winter only five months ago.
Now here I am in the middle of summer. At home the temperatures are the same but the heat is totally different. I've always lived in places that were all about dry heat. Here, it is all about being wet...and the wet season hasn't even begun yet. It should be an adventure. The humidity is already completely taking control (if going haywire is control) of my hair. Even back in a ponytail, I have a certain height of fuzz and curl that isn't so hot.

Today I found a curl so intent on curling and frizzing simultaneously that it was almost dreading itself. I have to admit, it frightened me.

But then I see what my beloved park view looks like and I feel better.

Japan is beyond beautiful. And hot's hot wherever you may go.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Easy to Please

These two things brightened my day.

Snyder's Cheddar Cheese Pretzel Pieces - OMG deliciousness. Also, my thong tan. I can tan, people! Who would have thought? Japan is magical. I love looking down and seeing my previous white (and slightly axolotl-ish skin) peering back at me from skin showing slightly more pigment.

What can I say? I am easy to please.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hores to Horses Of Courses

It is amazing what a single letter omission can do to a piece of writing. My mother sent this to me today via email as I am a teacher and apparently this made her think of me.

I had a bit of a chuckle.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sushi Punch

I had a very interesting weekend in that we had a staff function for the second time since I've been here in Japan. We celebrated one colleague's engagement, another's arrival and a mishmash of other things.

The food was great. We were asked to bring a plate of food to share. My inability to cook resulted in a lovely cheese plate. A cheese plate that my Japanese co-workers seemed to avoid so the Australians/Brits chowed down hard. There was some great sushi....omg, the tuna was sooooo fresh that I just about died.

We drank too and here's where the interesting part starts.

My boss got completely toasted. She asked me on several occasions whether or not I was staying in 2011. (Found out from a trusted source that she thinks I am great but she rarely speaks to me so there was no way I knew this.) I just changed the topic as I really don't know at this point. (It's so tempting but it depends on getting a permanent job back home).

I posed for a picture with her later in the night. She asked me again about staying while we stood there for the photo to be taken. I pretended not to hear. Then out of nowhere her arm came from nowhere and backhanded me on the face. Now 1) she was VERY drunk and 2) she didn't mean to do it. I was so shocked you could have told me that Elmo was a dinosaur and I would have nodded.

I've only been hit once in my life before this. My sister accidentally jabbed me on the jaw as I was avoiding her fist connecting to my shoulder (I'm spatially challenged).

Let me tell you, it hurts. It fricking hurt a lot.

That being said I had a fabulous time eating good food and hanging out with friends from work. It's always great to let your hair down and take in some fun.

Picture: Left is me.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dreams versus Goals

I think it is interesting that people use dreams and goals interchangeable. I never have. I don’t think I have anyway.

Dreams are curious beasts.

I haven’t ever really had them. I am one of those people that wakes up never remembering them with an odd exception every few years. But from the time I was three I had a reoccurring nightmare that would strike 1-2 times a year until I was into my late teens.

The nightmare?

I would run and run and run around the Young Talent Time set never getting anywhere until a wave of sand swept through. I would still be running of course. Then the wave would pause as it came over me, its shadow swallowing me up in darkness. The crest would solidify and then whole thing would drop. I would wake up just as it was about to hit me.

I don’t know what is scarier – the sand wave or that it featured a teen variety evening show set that went off the air when I was eight.

Tonight I decided to decipher what this dream meant. There is no way I can look up something as specific as YTT but sand, running and darkness are up for grabs.

According to sand represents “...a shift in perspective or a change in your attitude.” I must have been a slide puzzle of perspective back in the day. In terms of the running – “if you are running away from ... any danger, then it suggests that you are not facing and confronting your fears.” I was three the first time I had this dream, I was scared of the Humphrey B Bear poster on the back of my bedroom door, the dark, and a whole host of other things.

I think this dream/nightmare represents a lack of creativity if anything. Come on, repeating a dream for 15 smacks of a lacking personality.

Goals are a completely different kettle of fish.

My goal have always been pretty simple –
• Be happy.

I’ve been around dissatisfied adults my entire childhood and it’s a soul sucker.

It’s made me the person I am today. A chick who would need to be secure in everything and cynical in everything else. It also was making me fail at my singular goal. I should have learned from them instead of copying them.

Japan changed that a little. Twenty eight years of doing what I thought I should be doing and never really enjoying much. Blogging changed that too. I started for altruistic reasons and it ended up being a lot more selfish and rewarding than I anticipated. I don’t regret it.

My goals have started changing with my role in blogging. They’ve become more specific –

• Be happy
• Start writing already!
• Travel
• Reduce my Diet Coke consumption
• Be nicer
• Listen better

I’ve done the first three. Number four has only occurred because I am drinking Coke Zero in Japan – a technical win. The last two are firm fails. Number one required much bigger life changes that I am already pondering namely a career change. One that I have been offered lots of advice on but I still have no clue. The crux of it is...I need to work where my passion is – books. The question is how and when. But moving across the world and taking a risk is a precursor to a bigger risk I am contemplating.

If I wanted to be really honest I would say that love was there too. Firmly on the list.

But it hasn’t happened yet.

I keep waiting.


The first question I am asked when I see people you have a boyfriend (now altering to husband) and it allows people to make assumptions when I say no. I’ve had a neighbour think I was gay for an entire year based on one girlfriend coming around one night to drink wine and watch 40 Year Old Virgin...I can’t win.

If I am snarky I say that ‘I haven’t met anyone I can tolerate long.” Which is true but also implies I don’t try hard enough, also true. But I have an exceedingly low bullshit tolerance and most guys I met are full of it. Seriously, where are the nerds?

If I am being honest, all the guys I have things in common with are 12 or spend their weekends at home like I do on the internet. I like nerd boys. But like me, they are closeted socialisers.

Being 29 doesn’t bother me. I don’t fell old because it is not old. It’s sad in that I am not accomplishing what I would like (yet) and I haven’t found love (yet) but hitting 30 doesn’t mean I have to retire into the back paddock.

2010 is the first year I have pursued my goal (I don’t say dream as that would mean I would be dead until a huge pile of sand in a 1980s TV set). I am starting fresh. I am writing after years of talking about writing. I am travelling after years of talking about travelling. I have become a do-er instead of a say-er.

My dream can go die.

Goals are meant to be flexible.

29 is not old.

It is time to embrace being me :)