I Am Bob

Our Visas say we’re English teachers but we’re not; not really. He’s an engineer. She’s a photographer. Him over there? He’s having a little adventure before he starts med school. Yet we’re parsing the sentences. We’re highlighting the difference between “l” and “r.” We’re wearing the suits, cracking the textbooks, bribing children into behaving by […]

Scarlet Fever Fever

There are posts swirling in my head and they’ve been swirling for days. Nakata-san quotes. More mini cultural Japanese lessons. Posts about attending Bob’s wonderful koto and philharmonic concerts, posts about how Sean’s decision to build his IKEA bed at 1 in the morning resulted in a noise complaint addressed to ME, posts about solving […]

Your 105-Word Mini Japanese Culture Lesson

The Japanese use thousands of Chinese characters called kanji in their writing. Kanji are used to denote nouns, adjectives, and even verb stems. They range from the ultra simple character for one (—) to characters that have so many strokes they look like smudges on the page. Proper stroke order is essential to achieve the correct balance  when […]

Fully Furnished

Traditionally, Japanese realtors are wary of renting apartments to foreigners. For one, foreigners don’t tend to stick around too long. Secondly, foreigners will rarely know a local (Japanese) person well enough to secure them as a guarantor. Thirdly, foreigners sometimes don’t speak Japanese well enough to handle the transaction. Fourthly, many foreigners are appalled by […]


The uploading cord to my digital camera is still lost, hidden in all the layers of moving nonsense, and I only just remembered that I have a Mac Baby.  My glorious, sundrenched bedroom, with the futon rolled up and put away. The wayward sheet on the gleaming wooden floor is the instruction manual for the […]