Friday, March 27, 2015

April, Spring, New Beginnings

Spring is here, lots of changes, and I'm starting a new job! Can you guess where I'll work?



I haven't been this excited in a long time! The beginning of 2015 was a bit of a life adjustment with lots of thinking about my career and my future in Japan, but somehow everything feels clear again (even if I have no idea what can happen at any time). Life has a way to work things out.

I haven't been going out so much lately, it was a pretty cozy winter with lots of work and late nights, but my schedule is a lot different now and I'm enjoying seeing the daylight. I like going to Shibuya or Shinjuku because I choose to go, and not because I have to pass through there on a hectic commute.

I also just love spending time at home, it's the first time in Japan I have a home I love so much. I feel so comfortable here, and I also like my local area. Everything is within walking distance: cafes, bakeries, restaurants, banks, supermarkets, pharmacy, gym, park, station and the best ¥500 takeout Indian curry. I don't feel the need to escape, as I did when I was living in my little loft. My local area also feels very quiet and residential, even though it's actually quite central, and I enjoy feeling removed from the madness. I got my bicycle repaired (I had neglected it at my former apartment), and I've been cycling again and going to dinner at my friend's house nearby. When I bike, I always feel like I'm back in Marugame and it's such a nice feeling. Not so long ago, yet ages away from what my life is like now.




Sunday, March 1, 2015

Seven Years Ago

Seven years ago I started this blog. I wasn't so young, but I felt young. I was carefree, adventurous, I had a foul mouth and I was fresh off the plane in Seoul, Korea. I wrote this blog mostly from the staff room at my overly religious Korean elementary school, and for the longest time my only reader was my coworker Jaclyn.

This blog was like my diary for several years. In a quasi anonymous manner, I could share my thoughts about culture shock, heartbreaks, wanderlusting and daily things like the music I listened to and the food I ate. I met some of my closest friends via this blog, friends who are still part of my life today. My blog also helped me secure those first writing jobs, as my entries could be used as excerpts and were the closest thing to "published" material to show. My blog acted as a portfolio in the early days, it gave me direction and steered my career into the world of words and journalism.

Although things have changed and my diary now comes in the form of close friends I share champagne with at the top of Tokyo, over Starbucks before morning rush hour or via long messages between Japan and Canada, my heart hasn't changed and I'm still this adventurous girl who dropped everything familiar to dive in the unknown. Even though Tokyo is home and I'm fairly settled here, every day is an adventure and I'm learning so much about the culture and language. That's why I love living abroad so much, there is always a sense of excitement, even though it gets exhausting at times. I'm pretty tame and conservative on the surface, but I secretly enjoy any little thrill I get.

In honour of my blog's seventh birthday, some of my favourite things lately.




Eating

Kaisen donburi, which means a seafood bowl. It looks elaborate, but it's a very easy meal to execute. I just buy fresh sashimi from the local market, and add a few toppings such as yama imo (Japanese mountain yam), kaiware (daikon sprouts), ginger and green onion. It's best to use vinegar rice, and I love it with a miso soup and chilled sake.

Listening

Arcade Fire, all four albums on shuffle. Montreal love, reminds me of the Mile End and running into those guys at La Sala Rossa and La Croissanterie Figaro and when they played in churches.


Reading

Girl in a Band, by Kim Gordon. I just ordered it, but I can't wait to devour this book. As you all know I'm such a big fan of Sonic Youth and my heart was broken when they separated. I can often be found lurking around the sixth floor in Shinjuku's Kinokuniya bookstore in search for treasures, but I get so overwhelmed that I often leave empty-handed.

Watching

I don't have time to even watch anything at the moment, but I finally say Boyhood (loved it and the soundtrack) and last night I saw a lowbrow but somewhat entertaining movie called Two Night Stand. I also saw Casse-Tête Chinois, the end of the trilogy of my favourite Euro group following L'Auberge Espagnole and Les Poupées Russes.

Exercising

Does walking at a fast pace and rushing to catch the train counts? I've been trying to keep up with running, but I easily lack motivation due to the cold, the rain, too much work. However, the latest Stella McCartney x Adidas collection might be just what I need to get back into it...