Candle festival in Nara today!

Candle festival in Nara today!

The Dotonbori hasn’t looked this beautiful in ages.

The Dotonbori hasn’t looked this beautiful in ages.

This week the temperature in Osaka went up to 33c, but today it’s 23c and rainy. Can’t help but think of home on a day like this.

June 17, 9am

This day and time last year I was at Kansai airport, trying my hardest not to cry my eyes out. I’d just kissed my girlfriend goodbye, and I was sending emails to my friends in japan, thanking them for a wonderful 3 months.

Everything was up in the air, whether or not I’d be able to find a part time job to finance my next trip to japan, whether or not Laura and I would survive long distance until then, if I would find a job in japan or not…

This year it’s been 5 months since I last saw my mom and dad and my brother and grandma and best friend and everybody I hold dear… And that’s hard sometimes too, but I know I made the right choice, I know I’m happier, living here.

The past year has been A Year. And I want to thank everyone who supported me and cheered me on. I love you guys.

We went to Takihata yesterday, it was very pleasant up there :)

Ominous skies over Osaka

Ominous skies over Osaka

Sorry for not writing for a while! It’s been a busy couple of months. I can’t believe it’s almost 5 months since I came here already, time is really flying by.

This week a new teacher started, so I’m no longer the newest addition to the group. Feels weird.

Work has been going well though. I really feel like I know what I’m doing, and like I’ve learned a lot of new skills that I can take and apply at future jobs as well.

Recently I’ve been trying to pick up studying Japanese a bit more again. After passing N1 it’s been a bit of a journey trying to find new materials. For a while I was planning on taking this kanji test designed for Japanese people (kanken) but I feel like I just don’t write enough Japanese to really be able to retain any of the things I was studying for that. So now I’m just working on improving my passive understanding of Japanese.

I also decided to take an indefinite hiatus from my MA. I realized that the only reason really keeping me from dropping out was that I was afraid if other people’s opinions. I didn’t actually care about finishing anymore. For me the reason I wanted to do the MA is because a. I thought I needed more than a BA to be able to get a job, and b. I wanted to learn more Japanese and gain more academic knowledge and skills. I’ve gotten a job since, and I’ve finished all my classes but the thesis, so both my goals for this MA are reached. I think that’s why I’m not really motivated to finish it anymore. I think it’ll be good to get some distance and some perspective before I return to the decision of finishing yes or no.

This week was the start of rainy season in japan, so even though it’s gotten a bit cooler again (27c vs. last week’s 32c) it’s gotten more humid. And after this, summer is going to start for real. Not looking forward to that.

Hope you’re all doing well!

The national bunraku theater! Bunraku is traditional Japanese puppet theater, founded in Osaka in the 17th century.

The national bunraku theater! Bunraku is traditional Japanese puppet theater, founded in Osaka in the 17th century.

What dishwashers look like in Japan, apparently?

What dishwashers look like in Japan, apparently?

Cute kakigoori (shaved ice) makers.

Cute kakigoori (shaved ice) makers.