Sleepy Little Town

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Anjo is proving to be a sleepy little town after all. I spent the majority of the last weekend bumming around in my shorts and a tanktop, but halfway through Monday, I was feeling the call if the big city. There really isn’t anything interesting around my place aside from a few shops, an onsen, and a crappy cinema.

An Experiment

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After talking with a friend, I set up a makeshift recording studio for the creation of youtube videos. The premise is talking about and reviewing interesting foods, drinks, and snacks I find here in Japan. The videos are mostly a way to share some of my experiences with folks back in New York and it looks like it will take me some time to get used to the new format.

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That isn’t to say I’m giving up blogging. Hell no! But think of it as a suppliment to my usual content. If you are interested, you can find my channel here. It has a few travel and nature videos as well.

Parting Ways

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A lot of people from my initial training group are going back to their respective countries this weekend, including the first friend I made here in Japan. A year has come and gone, so now their contracts are up and it’s time to go home. However, I and a very small few are staying here to continue our lives in Japan, though many of them are moving to either Tokyo or Osaka. That means saying goodbye for now and that makes me a little sad.

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?

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.