I never drank tea before I moved to Japan. There, it came in shades of green and black and barley; iced in the summer, steaming in the winter. Tea straight up, sometimes with bitter leaves or bright green powder swimming about in the smooth ceramic cup. Dozens of varieties in the store – loose, bagged, […]
The great thing about apartment hunting with Sean is that we can discuss our thoughts in the relative privacy of the Japanese language. For obvious reasons, this wouldn’t have worked in Japan. And, sure, it could drastically backfire against us. 例えば： Realtor: And here you have the kitchen. Mind you, it’s part of the living […]
Sean and I are having lunch in Little Tokyo on St. Mark’s before our yoga class. Little Tokyo wasn’t Little Tokyo when I moved to Japan. There were a couple of sushi places, a JAS Mart, and the now-famous Kenka Ya; one of New York City’s first izakayas. I visited Kenka Ya once with Erma. […]
The 英語の先生’s Top Ten List
If you teach English at an eikaiwa, the higher ups will probably prefer that you arrive in Japan with little to no Japanese ability. This, they believe, improves the chance that you’ll comply with their “English Immersion” policy – i.e., the idea that one hour of exposure to English without translation per week can teach […]
Nihonjin, I presume?
There’s a Japanese grocery store just a few blocks away from my brother’s apartment. I’ve been eyeing it since before Sean left. Every time I pass it, though, it happens to be closed. It doesn’t help, of course, that I rarely leave the apartment before 8 these days. I’m inside, avoiding the siren call of […]
For Better, For Worse: Ways I’ve Improved Thanks to My Time in Japan
Great success – Diego has, in fact, noticed that I am the New and Improved Liv with Increased Sudsing Action! Not only did he high-five me several times on Cleaning Sunday, but I even overheard him telling his girlfriend on the phone that I am “earning [my] keep.” This pleases me greatly; I did so […]
Keluar Bahaya Bilik?
The official language of Malaysia is Bahasa Melaya. Bahasa Melaya is written in the Roman alphabet, unlike other Asian countries’ languages which are written in scripts that are beautiful but undecipherable to tourists. By the time we arrive at the guest house, my Bahasa Melaya vocabulary has grown to a modest but exciting 5 words: […]
Every once in a while – amid my weekly passion plays for the students’ attention – a teensy bit of English gets taught. Just a bit. A very little bit. Today was my last day teaching my Thursday maniacs and in the last minutes of that last class, I witnessed the best use of demonstrative […]
The invitations for the aforementioned Housecooling Sayonara Sale have been sent, the ryokan for the Snow Monkey Onsen in Nagano is booked and the “To Do” checklist has been drawn up. Today’s mission: Donate Unwanted Clothes to the Salvation Army. I tried to do this before, a couple of months ago. I crammed a suitcase […]
I came to Japan with just two suitcases. Over the past two years, my belongings have multiplied like wet Mogwai. Isn’t that just the way? It’s time to start finding new homes for the things I’ve accumulated in my time here. While I was smart enough not to go hog wild and buy each and […]