Sunshine Sakae

 

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Last weekend I was in Nagoya for a doctor’s appointment, so I spent a little time in the city. Sakae, to be specific. Since I don’t get the chance so much anymore, I figured I would be touristy.

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I rode the Sunshine Sakae Ferris Wheel. It wasn’t super impressive, but it was fun enough. I also videochatted with a friend during the ride.

For five hundred yen, its not a bad way to spend ten minutes.

The Not-Sorry Sorry

 

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For many years I worked various retails job and I thing I noticed was the avoidance of the word sorry. I don’t mean that it was never said, but it always seemed so carefully phrased to brush off any blame on the company’s part. At a few jobs, we were actively discouraged or outright told never to apologize to a customer, as it was seen as the company acknowledging a mistake. The only phrase that I clearly remember being solidly okay to say was something along the lines of, “I’m sorry you feel that way, but…”

That isn’t to say I never apologized to people, but I did get chewed out more than once for doing so. However, here in Japan, it is the total opposite. We are expected to say sorry a lot, actually.

What made me think of this is something a coworker said. She said that I spoke in a round about way, but hardly ever said the word “sorry”. She said I tended to say, “ok” instead. For example, if I was reprimanded for having done something incorrectly or not quickly enough, my answer would be “Ok, I’m on it,” or “Ok, I’ll do that next time,” when most people would expect me to say sorry.

I don’t think she meant it in a negative way, to be honest. I think she’s worried about my relationships with my coworkers, since these new coworkers I have may be the ones who decide what becomes of me in another three months.

So it got me thinking. I used to say sorry a ton to my friends and family, but it seems like in the business world, it has fallen out of my vocabulary. That said, I’m working on it.

Has anyone else noticed this trend in US corporate culture, especially in the retail segment? Maybe I just lucked out and worked for some black companies or something?

Nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award

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Yesterday, while eating a lunch of convenience store yakitori and rice balls, I received a surprising notification on my phone. I had been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award thanks to Michael over at JapanTrekker, a photography blog that I have been watching for a while now. A lot of his recent posts have been some stunning shots of Japan, but there is photography from all around the world in his archives.


ABOUT THE VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD

The Rules: 

1) Display the award on your blog.

2) Thank the blogger that nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

3) Share seven facts about yourself.

4) Nominate 15 bloggers for the award and provide links to their blog.


SEVEN THINGS ABOUT ME

 

1)  I am a teacher, currently focusing on students from the ages of three through fourteen, though I specialize in teaching adults.

2) I can speak conversational Japanese, but can read a little Spanish, French, and tiny bit of Chinese as well.

3) I studied Graphic Design for three years during high school and two years in college.

4) The majority of my photos are taken with my cellphone to and from work.

5) I have suffered from severe food allergies since the age of twelve, although my condition has improved a lot from living in Japan, and taking large doses of medication everyday.

6) My childhood dream was to be an archaeologist specializing in underwater and forested ruins.

7) I cannot swim. At all.


MY NOMINEES

Cooking with Wallflower – delicious receipts along with stunning photos

Twocatsviews – our world and universe, according to cats

Sakura Junction – amazing Japanese food and sweets

Joshidaniel – moving (hearts, not images) photography

Abandoned Japan – urban exploration pictures

Yoooya – a seasoned traveler and photographer

Wrong Hands – an interesting take on life, as drawn by a graphic artist

Abandoned Kansai – urban exploration at its finest

Uncle Mel’s – various photographs and musings

Abandoned NYC – urban exploration of the big apple

What the Ducks – a bit of everything along with some adorable ducks

Aquacompass7 – one man’s look on where we came from and where we are going (JAPANESE with an occasional English Post)

Bite-sized Dhamma – a little bit of Buddha for our crazy lives

Helloalissa – quality articles about teaching in Japan and live as a teacher

Leaf and Twig – Plants, flowers, and a whole lot of nature

If you have some time, please make sure to check these awesome blogs out.

New Home

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Last weekend, I moved from Nagoya to a city called Anjo, for work. I spent Sunday scrubbing my old apartment and packing up the rest of my stuff. Monday, the moving truck came, manned by the sweetest little grandpa I’ve ever met, and I registered myself (and my bike) at the local government office. Since thing I have been settling in to my new place and getting used to my new classes.

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My room is a bit smaller than my last one, with no balcony, and a lower loft. However, I do have a proper closet and plenty of storage spaces. The best part is the 10 minute walk to work. It’s super convenient in the morning.

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The kitchen is tiny, though. I love to cook, so although my last place had a small kitchen, I set things up so that I had at least a little space to do things like chop ingredients, mix things, and so on. Here, I put my dinner tray over the sink and that’s all I have to work with. I need to thing of how I can better utilize my space.

 

 

An unexpected interview

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Recently I was enjoying an evening in Nagoya’s Central Park area, when a reporter from the local TV station asked for an interview. He was doing a piece on foreign views of Nagoya, which may be due to the Nagoya’s increased pressure to draw in tourists. Interviewees had to live and work in Nagoya and speak both languages at least a little. The interview was done in English, but it’s believed that a better understanding of the local culture can bd enjoyed by people who are bilingual.

Most of the questions were about things I was surprised by here, what I like to do in my free time, and about differences in culture. Because I’m from New York, I’m seen as somewhat cool, even though I’m really not.

All in all, it took about thirty minutes.

The program is set to debut on Nagoya channel 6 on June 7th.