In English: I know… I know! This is long overdue.
Yes… I’m still in Japan, alive and kicking. I’ve just been so busy. Of course I haven’t been so busy that I don’t have the time to update my blog, but I need some relaxing time too. Since Korea, I’ve traveled to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam in the summer (you can see for yourself in the pictures section). I also went to the summer Comic Market, the largest fan comic convention. In September, my cousin visited me and we had a good time at Fuji Q Highland, the Japanese theme park that used to have the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world. At least it can still boast the roller coaster with the fastest acceleration. I finally got my costume finished for the 2009 Tokyo Game Show, and that event was lots of fun (though slightly disappointing this year because it was much smaller).

Heading into October, I knew I would be busy with school as there were some students participating in an oral interpretation contest. I helped them with that, while making and dealing with the midterms. There were inconveniences caused by the typhoon that basically hit all of Japan mid-October. Then there were all the Halloween shenanigans.

November hit quickly and I’ve been spending quite some money on clothes as I prep up for winter and getting more into fashion (shock and horror, I know! …but it’s only slightly… read the French section for more). Thanksgiving has come and gone, and this year’s dinner was great along with a failed turkey in the oven. It was salvaged by frying the meat and boiling the rest.

Okay, so now that the brief update on my life is complete and December has already started, let me get into my post. I was talking to someone the other day, and he was talking about how he got somewhat used to life in Japan. I reflected on where I am now in terms of how I see Japan. There really isn’t much that surprises me anymore, which I guess is a good thing. I have gotten more settled in my life here. I still try to study Japanese when I can and when I am not tired. I still play games, read manga, and watch different media. I still spend a lot of my time talking to friends and family.

No longer are the closed but open views on sex in Japan shocking to me. I simply pass it or hear it and shrug it off. No longer does the fashion blind me, especially now that America and Japan’s fashion are basically on the same wavelength. Okay, there are times I’m still surprised like when I see the women with the ridiculously high skirts or the guys with the incredibly tight clothes. I allow you to punch and kick me silly if I ever wear such outrageously tight clothes. Anyway, I’ve come to expect people to tell me that my Japanese is SO AMAZING, despite it just being a lie. I am not being pessimistic nor am I being modest. I know I’ve improved since coming to Japan, maybe not as much as I wanted, but it is totally not as good as how people SAY it is.

What else? It has sort of become routine to explain why I look the way I do and how I am not really Japanese. From that point, I am prepared to explain how I am not 50% American and 50% Chinese. What’s more? I am all ready to explain how my parents are from Hong Kong or near Hong Kong. Then it seems to naturally segue into how Mandarin and Cantonese are completely different. I even use the same example over and over again. I say (or rather butcher) “thank you” in Mandarin followed by saying it in Cantonese (maybe I butcher it in Guangdonghua as well). All this aptly ends with the other person ooh-ing and aah-ing.

I think you get the point. Okay, I’m sure you got the point a while ago, but yea, I’ve gotten used to life here. In the spirit of Thanksgiving that recently passed, I am thankful for my life, family, and friends (from the states). Of course these come first, but I’m also thankful for:

1) my experiences in Japan
2) Toyohashi Grace Baptist Church
3) awesome friends I’ve made in Japan
4) Mito HS
5) some fun co-workers
6) my students, of course!

En français: Il fait froid.
Je prépare pour l’hiver ces jours. Alors, j’achetais des nouveaux vêtements récemment. Ils y ont deux magasins japonais où j’aime acheter, Right-on et Uniqlo. Quand je discutais au sujet de la mode avec mon ami, il rigolait à moi parce que je ne m’avais jamais intéressé dans la mode. Je pense que le Japon me changeait. Est-ce que c’est bon? Je ne sais pas, mais ma soeur pense que c’est un bon changement.

日本語で: 映画館でカイジを観た!
日本の映画をあまり見たくないけど、11月11日にはカイジを観た。漫画もアニメも知っている。話は面白いと思う。だって、映画はちょっと違う。たとえば、マンガのエンドさんは男だけど、映画は女です。でも、どうってコトはないねぇ… 映画とマンガの感じは同じ!カイジの俳優は藤原竜也ですよ。みんなさんは日本の映画をよく観たら、多分知ってる。その人はDeath NoteのLightです。Death Noteを観たときに藤原さんはあまり良くないと思った。カイジのほうがいい。これから日本の映画をもっと観るね。とにかくカイジのBlu-Rayを買うつもりよ。じゃあ、予告編を見て!

今週の聖書の詩: “‘I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,’ says the LORD Almighty.”
- Malachi 3:6-7a (NIV)

I think this is very important. Too often, we just turn away. We look to God on Sundays, but then we hold dear all our earthly things during the week. I have always tried to say that we need to look toward God. We need to walk with Jesus Christ, but I feel like I am yelling at everyone’s backs. Okay, I am obviously overly generalizing. I hope all of God’s children can focus their eyes on God and not on all the meaningless things out there. Of course, I do not always follow this. I mean, just read my French section, but as long as we are all aware of it and try to be better Christians, we can be lights of the world as we are meant to be.

今週の写真: At the time of my last post in September, I was hoping to slowly post pictures of my SE Asia trip. However, considering how much time has passed, I’ll post all of those pictures that I wanted to post. Read the picture titles for the captions. I really do hope I can get back into the groove of updating more regularly.

Thailand -->

Cambodia -->