Japanese Winter, Mighty Frosty

Japanese Winter, Mighty Frosty

It’s been a cold winter, but spring is coming.  I haven’t yet burned my apartment building to the ground.  I cherish the simple things in life. I recently bought a space heater to help save some yen on my electric bill. Before moving to Japan, I somehow pictured living in a high-rise apartment with a…

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Growing Old in Japan

Growing Old in Japan

When I finally looked in the mirror after a month of eikaiwa teaching, my first thought was—who the hell’s that? My signature dark and flowing locks, which had once glowed with the radiance of a dozen hair-care products, had gone white almost overnight. While it’s true that I might have had one or two gray…

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The Dangers of Recycling

The Dangers of Recycling

Thus far, I’ve succeeded in taking out two of my four types of garbage. Trash is so fascinating to the Japanese that they’ve seen fit to divide it into four types and given each its own special day of the week for pick-up. There’s Plastic Bottle Day, Can Day, Unburnable Trash Day, and Burnable Trash…

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After the Last Train, it’s Ramen, Amen

After the Last Train, it’s Ramen, Amen

So somehow it came to pass that I found myself in Ikebukuro at 3:30 a.m., drinking malt liquor, eating kimchee and a really fabulous grilled mackerel, helping this random izakaya owner translate his signs into English.  If you go into a bar there and see a “Customers must pay when they order” sign, then yeah,…

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