It’s not you, it’s your website.

A new tumblr site has been getting pretty popular on my Facebook feed called It’s not me Japan, it’s you.  Basically, it’s quick list of memes & commentary about the little quirks you run into living and working in Japan.  For the most part, it’s kinda funny.  Take this post…
http://itsnotmejapanitsyou.tumblr.com/post/74315008834/when-shin-kun-met-mr-david-cameron-esq-i

David Cameron meets Shinzo Abe

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Japan Woes story 1

Errrmaahgad, just spent the last hour trying to figure out what this unfamiliar postcard with a sticker on it was. My coworkers told me it was for my travel expenses like rental van and gas from Kitakata to Miharu. Keep in mind that this conversation was in Japanese, which is why most of my sentences are short.
(What do I do with this? I’ve already moved… (>_<)# )
Me: Do I bring in receipts?
“No, they don’t need them.”
Me: Okay, but in my interview, you said you were only paying for me to come to Miharu, not my stuff.
“Yes, that’s right.”
Me: Okay, then do I write my expenses on the back?
“No, they don’t need that either.”
Me: Then what’s this sticker for?
“You pull it off.”
Me: And put it on what? a receipt?
“No”
Me: Uhhh, so is this sticker just a present?
“Uhh, yea…”
**So I go back to my desk and try translating all the kanji on it that I can. Still doesn’t lead me to anything. I start to notice that this postcard looks a lot like a game piece. So I start to hold it up at various angles, shine my bike light through it and try to see if I can read anything through the sticker. Can’t see diddly.**
Finally, my coworker next to me keeps making a peeling motion over my postcard game piece.
(I’m not going to peel this now! What am I going to stick this on now?)
Me: How much money am I going to get?
“Up to 2000¥.”
Me: Okay, when?
“It’s under the sticker.”
Me: Eh, ok… Is this a game?
(???) What? No… [laughter at my expense]
Me: Erg, okay, then how do I get the money?
“By bank transfer”
Me: Then what do I use this sticker for?
“Nothing”
Me: (AAAAAAAAAAAAGGGH! That’s it. I’m peeling this sticker off. I don’t even care anymore about it!!)

postcard-paystub

I am a dummy…

(Oh, wait a minute… This is a receipt telling me how much my paycheck deposit is going to be. Gawd-dangit, I am an idiot.) I’m sorry, everyone.

Just sharing this story to give you a peek of what it’s like to move to another side of the world. My entire week at my new job has been like this.

Mathematical Anarchy

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“Now, prepare to marvel at the mysteries of the universe as I make this remainder disappear.”


I have mixed feelings about these silly impractical math problems being posted on Facebook. On one hand, you are NEVER going to run into this in real world use (Unless your going to be a mathemagician). On another hand, it makes me sad that people don’t know the basic algebra order of operations, which still IS a needed skill. “On the third hand”, I’m sick of people arguing over the correct order of operations because of a literal vs. practical application of PEMDAS. It’s a hypothetical math problem, people!

New goal…

So this is a bit of a rant, so I’ll apologize in advance.
When I first came to Japan, I really wanted to trust everyone. My first trip to Japan instilled such an awe-inspiring trust in Japan with how helpful everyone was, I had no other expectation.
But after getting here and getting “ripped off” at some snack bars and some surprise charges here and there, I’ve sadly restricted how much trust I’ve been giving people. One person that kind of bothered me lately was my old senpai.

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Takakanuma Greenland is no more…

So my friend messaged me about two weeks ago saying, “How do you feel about abandoned amusement parks?”. I was hooked immediately and inquired about it more. My friend showed me a page on Atlas Obscura for Takakanonuma Greenland, an old Japanese amusement park.
http://atlasobscura.com/place/takakonuma
Per Atlas Obscura’s reference, the park was shut down in 1999 and left behind to rust. Many intrepid urban explorers has dared to venture into this place and see this eerily creepy place in person to take some wonderful pictures. Immediately, plans went into action with my friend to plan a road trip here since we both easily lived close enough to make a small road trip out of it. We knew somewhat about where it was located, but not exactly. In fact, even AO mentions that the park has become so obscure that people don’t know where it is located. So I began the great Internet search to find out where this park is located.

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‘Footloose’ illegal in Tokyo

When I first came to Japan, I definitely had a shroud over my head thinking that society here was overall better.  More understanding, more civil and more polite.  Well, after some tough experiences, that shroud’s been ripped away.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love Japan and I enjoy my job, but it just wasn’t the mecca I was imagining.
Below is one example of things (this no-dancing law) that just down-right doesn’t make sense and I think is being abused because of Japan’s extremely conservative views.  My friends, unfortunately, had to experience this last week when they went out to a dance club in Roppongi and had to stand perfectly still while in a dance club.  Really?  That’s just silly.
Part of me wonders how Japan is going to change in the next 20 years or so when the people that are my age become the new people guiding the economy and government.  Will we meld-minds with the current politicians or will the youth of Japan open up their viewpoints a little more and get rid of abusive laws like this?  Interesting to think about, I say…

Late-night dancing should not be a crime in Japan | The Japan Times Online.

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Tomatoes! – Day 1

I’ve been watching my ES students all week plant vegetables in front of the school. It’s really making me want some fresh tomatoes. Tomatoes are stupid expensive in Japan; roughly a plum sized tomato will run you about 150¥! I tried making salsa once and it cost me over $20! Blah… Anyways, here’s to some … Continue reading