Takashima Island

KIMG0694

In Gamagori there is an island, just off shore, housing a collection of old Shinto Shrines. It’s a small island, not even a mile across.

KIMG0701

Besides the shrines, there are beaches around the outer edge of the island which are known for their shellfish.

KIMG0705

After paying respects at the various shrines, it’s a quick walk back from the exit, though not necessarily and easy one.

KIMG0708

There is an uneven path set between the hill the shrines are perched upon and the surrounding beaches. Some places are quite steep, especially for those wearing inappropriate shoes. The walk is only about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how many pictures you stop to take or shells you decided to collect.

KIMG0711

My friends and I took about 40 minutes for obvious reasons.

Advertisements

A Little Bit like Glitter

2016-03-23 17.24.36

I’ve been working on an essay about myself, for a job application. It’s been slow going, but I’m trying to get it done as soon as I can. As I’ve said in my last post, it feels like my job status may be changing in the next few months, so I should probably work on sorting things out.

In my introductory essay, I need to explain my work experience, why I would be a good fit for the position, and why I even want it to begin with. The latter is the most difficult to answer.

The position would take me far from home, as well as necessitate a major lifestyle change. I would be contracted for an entire year, though with great benefits and a lot of assistance. It’s exciting, but still a little daunting.

A lot of my answers are not ones you can usually give at an interview. My reasons might not seem like “good reasons” to up and move across the globe, especially if I were to go deeply into them, so I’ve been doing a lot of sole searching. I keep asking myself, “will this really change anything?”

Creating Waves

2016-02-28 22.19.20

The last two weeks have certainly been an experience. I have been hesitant to speak of it before now, but things seem to be settling down somewhat. You see, my department at work has been going though some… restructuring.

It has caused me to do some thinking (a lot of thinking, actually) about my future. Because of this, I have been looking into other avenues of employment, both in the US and abroad.

2016-02-29 14.27.06

When I think about moving overseas, I am filled both with excitement and (to a lesser extent) nervousness. While I have been overseas before, I have never lived anywhere other than the house in which I grew up. It is a little bit unsettling.

However, I am an adult now, single and without children. I love to travel and would love the chance to live in countries that are not the US. If I do not do this soon, I worry that I may lose my chance to. I am loath to spend the rest of my life in Yonkers.

Waterplay

2015-12-01 23.23.37

Today is a friend’s birthday. It’s been a long time since I last seen her (she returned to Japan in 2010), but I still think of her whenever this time of the year rolls around.

For the past few years, I have seen her grow from a shy high school student to a confident young woman, via the pictures she posts on Facebook.

2015-12-01 23.17.45

Thinking of her birthday reminds me of amother person’s birthday. That person was a mutual friend, who had a birthday seven days after my first friend’s.

While that person and I never were particularly close- not from a lack of trying- I do think of them from time to time. I also think about what that person taught me: just because something is considered “ideal” by others, it doesn’t mean that it is “ideal” for me.

2015-12-01 23.19.27

We are constantly being told what we should want or how we should do things by others. Sometimes it’s through marketing. Sometimes it’s just part of our personal cultures. Sometimes it’s because someone else wants us to fall into a certain roll in their lives. Regardless of the reason, sometimes our personal preferences or desires may not mesh with these ideals, and that’s alright.

Waterday

IMG_20150821_082357

Have I ever told you about the time I worked in a sushi restaurant? I probably mentioned it in passing, but I wonder if I ever shared my story of how I put too much thought into the Japanese word for Wednesday.

You see, the word is 水曜日 or su-ee-yoh-bee. The first character means water. Personally, its one of my favorite words to write.

Anyway, when I worked in the restaurant, I used to believe that the reason we were closed on Wednesdays had to do with it being “water day”. In my mind, it made sense because fish come from the sea, rivers and/or ponds.

My boss was always so big on “tradition” and making “those (who came) before us proud”. He always pushed us to be proper (Japanese) ladies and gents while at work, and prided himself on keeping ” the old ways”, I thought the Wednesday thing was an extension of that mentality. I was certain there was some interesting back story to it that one day I worked up the courage to ask.

Me: Hey, boss, you’re really good at keeping the “sui” in “suiyoubi” aren’t you?

Boss: The what now? You sound like you’ve been watching too much TV. (He was referring to the pun-tastic ways that Japanese commercials sell their products.)

Me: I just meant that Wednesday thing. You know, we close in difference to the sea? Because of the fish and stuff?

Boss: Where did you get that idea? If my life said it, I think she might have been pulling your leg again.

Me: No. I noticed a lot of sushi restaurants close on Wednesdays. I thought there was a connection.

Boss: No, we close because of a lack of customers.

I quietly went back to boiling my soybeans after that. I never brought up my weird little observations again. At least to him… His wife on the other hand, always seemed amused by my ramblings.

Why am I bringing this up now, you’re probably wondering. Well, I saw my former boss’ wife today, when I went to the supermarket. She seemed surprised to see me.

Wife: Oh, Ren! Doing well?

Me: Yup. Working hard, but still good.

Wife: That’s good. You seem healthy (pointed my my tanned skin) so that’s good. You take care now, but stop by sometime and have some tea with us.

Me: O-okay. Take care.

Seeing her made me think of my old job and how far I’ve come since then. The only thing that hasn’t changed is my perchant for terrible word play…