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.

Winds of Change

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Big changes are coming in June. I will be moving again as well as starting a new work contract. This time, however, it will be at a branch school. As a kids’ teacher.

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It all happened so quickly. One moment I was trying to figure out where I was going to live this summer and how I was going to make the money in my bank account stretch, but now I’m trying to shove all my crap into boxes and clean up the place for the next person.

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I’m excited for my next big adventure.

Rolling Hills

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It’s hard to believe that Golden Week is over. It went by too fast. My next vacation isn’t until August. I also can’t believe that it’s something I can find complaint about.

Back in the US, I never really had any holidays. If I was lucky, I might have Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and Easter off. Since coming to Japan, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to not only have two days off a week, but to also have paid vacations.

When I speak to people from outside the US, they can’t believe that vacations aren’t the norm for us, especially if we don’t come from a white collar – middle class family. I’ve lived here for just under a year and I already find myself wondering if I could ever go back to living as I did back home. Something tells me I wouldn’t. it’s startling, but I wonder if I’ve left my home country for good.

Train being Serviced

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This week is Golden Week, so many people have some time off. That said, my friend Y and I went to Meijimura, a meiji era museum and park. At the entrance to the park, there was this train, which is still in operation. You need reservations to ride, but it will take around the museum, which is rather large. For ¥500, you can take a vintage bus between sections too.

Candy Stripes

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These flowers have been popping up all over the place recently. I’m not entirely sure what sort it is (maybe a carnation or some sort?), but they’re pretty. I could use some pretty right now.

This week has been a bit difficult. I’m in the middle of a rather tiring assignment, where I am splitting my time between two schools and the office. The majority of my classes have been in Mie Prefecture, in a city called Tsu. It is a bit over an hour, by train, from where I live. In the mornings, the company has agreed to pay for the express train (just under one hour), but I need to take the local home via the Kintetsu Line (just over an hour). I do this three times a week.

Goodbye Anjo

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Today is my last day at Anjo. In some ways it’s a good thing, but in many more it’s a bad one. It’s the last time my group of friends will be in one sport for a while. April is the time for change here in Japan. Rchan is being transferred. KT is leaving the company and moving to Tokyo. KR finishes her contract in a couple of months and will return to the States. I’m going to miss these days.

Yakitori in Osaka

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Late last month, I took a short trip to Osaka for some sightseeing. It really was a spur of the moment trip. I had wanted to do some sort of traveling, but tickets to Tokyo Disney (where I originally wanted to go) were sold out, so I ended up looking up bus tickets at 5 pm, Sunday night. I bought a round trip, with my bus leaving at 6:30 that night, and the return trip scheduled to arrive back in Nagoya around 5:30 pm Monday evening. I made a reservation for a capsule hotel while the bus was leaving the terminal.

It took some time to find my hotel (I arrived in Osaka around 9:30), during which time I found this interesting chicken restaurant. It could hold about 10 customers max, with 2 staff members and a grill. It specialized in yakitori (grilled chicken on skewers), which I ordered a decent amount. It cost me around $10 for my fill of chicken.

I realized after the fact that it was about 5 metres from my hotel.