Showing posts from October, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is an international holiday, at least in most of the Western world; but here in Japan, Halloween is not as huge a celebration as it is in the states.  The holiday is encouraged mostly by foreigners, and celebrations tend to entirely revolve around this aspect.  Western school teachers or tutors (minus one, ehrm) hand out candy to their students; Japanese youth may throw parties for their foreign friends, or attend parties organized by Western groups.

Tonight we will head out with two American interns from Wright State in their hot pink and black wigs; drink unforeseen amounts of brew and wine; and be on the lookout for 24-hour 711s that sympathetically comply with those aimless Western pleas for one lonely slice of cold pumpkin tart pie, and two plastic forks--both being equally unlikely finds.

Who knows.  Tonight I may even temporarily forget that I need to be on perfect behavior, and raise my voice above 60 dB.  I might even throw my gum wrapper on the ground, or put my pl…

Seeping through the walls

I am three weeks shy of embarking on a journey that I once embodied only as a dream.  The thought--the prospects of emotions that will likely flood through me during this experience--have been quietly warming my insides since I first discovered I had been granted such an amazing opportunity.  I am as calm as I am scared.  I am as happy as I am sad.  This is an anxious unknown that has me squeamishly pondering questions with unknown answers.

I am nearly entirely prepared, equipment-wise.  Emotionally, I am scared out of my wits...

I'd never settle for less

The next fews days are destined to be rather significant.  Tonight I get my first well-needed interactive glimpse in a one-on-one English session with my first Japanese "student."  For the month that I have been here, I have felt occasional instances of alienation.  Even being around a few English speaking people, it sometimes isn't a supple replacement for the usual every day cheerfulness you may be used to passing along to your fellow patrons at the supermarket, or on a run through the park.  The lack of cheerfulness here can be a little unsettling.  No one looks each other in the face when passing.  No one smiles to each other, or genuinely says "good morning," or "how are you?"  People here are bound to their small groups and personal bonds and/or obligations to their very specific segregations.

I acknowledge that my feelings, in many instances, are almost entirely centered around the noticeable fact that I am a different race.  I live in Japan, …

These photographs have a story to tell