Somehow, venting a bit about my feelings about life in Japan and its challenges made me realize how great things are here, and I appreciate all your thoughtful responses and tips. Life here goes on mostly swimmingly, but every once in a while I question everything, and I think about my family and friends back home, and my future (especially at my age). It's perhaps not so much about crowded trains and cramped apartments, but more about what's coming up next in my life, so that's the scary part.
This Line sticker is actually one of my favourites and perfectly depicts how I feel, while managing to make me smile. I don't know if Line will ever pick up in the rest of the world, but I love how silly and relatable it is. There was a great article in the NY Times about the cultural differences and use of those stickers, and indeed, it's just 'easier when a bear says it'. Funnily, some Montreal friends were visiting a few weeks ago, and they caught a glimpse of my phone while I was exchanging messages via Line, and at this point it made me realize how absurd it was that bears, rabbits and a duck were used to convey feelings and situations. I think I'm addicted.
In other news, I had the best customer service experience at Shinsei Bank in Roppongi Hills, as I opened a new account. Not only do they have debit cards that work in most ATMs overseas, but the whole process was quick and painless. In less than thirty minutes, I was on my way out with a shiny new black card (I picked the colour!) and a packet full of information. I finally graduated from my sweet Post Office bank account, which I'll keep anyways as it reminds me of my days in the countryside. Whenever I gave this account information to my freelance writing Tokyo clients, they would always react in shock at the Marugame branch part. I'll miss that too.
In other news… I ate a wonderful dinner at Beacon in Aoyama for a work-related function, but it turned into quite the late night after half a James Bond martini (they seriously make the strongest drinks I've ever had). I also went to the Marc Jacobs family sale, which was pure torture considering my budget after buying a flight to Canada and securing an amazing pad in Old Montreal, but it made me realize I can't care less about luxury brands when I have so much to look forward to.
Speaking of clothes, I started writing a series of articles about all the different types of kawaii fashion in Japan, and you can read them here. It's been a lot of fun to learn as I could not really distinguish all the different types before, and researching is the best part, as it's a whole other side of fashion I knew nothing about.
And, now it's actually June.