What’s the best way to learn Japanese? After pouring years, beers, and tears into the question (pretty much in that order), I finally have an answer. Man, it has been one long decade.
They say the best things in life should be savored. I got that from an instant coffee commercial, actually. Well, there’s irony for you. But as far as I’m concerned, most things—like making money, learning Japanese, and folding my laundry—would be best done as fast as possible. Continue reading “The Best Way to Learn Japanese”
For a lot of people, kanji is about on par with natto. A huge sticky mess, difficult to consume, and not nearly as tasty as it is troublesome. Plus it makes your breath smell like the wrong end of a dog, which is rarely a good thing. I mean natto, that is. Kanji does nothing for your breath. Anyway, me personally, I never wanted to spend years studying kanji; I just wanted to speak well enough to communicate (read “drink beer”) with people. Funny how things work out. Continue reading “Why You Must Learn Kanji”
The first time I walked into a Japanese Starbucks, I thought I was ready. It’s pretty easy, really. “Large” translates to “Grande,” in some bizarro Italian-English-Japanese-word hybrid, and “coffee” is just a bastardized pronunciation of the same: “ko-hee.” Even “Hot” is, well, “Hotto.” So it’s not rocket science. Coffee’s just about all they sell, so they’ll definitely figure it out. Anyway, that’s what I thought. Continue reading “Navigating a Japanese Starbucks”
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 hairs before, my class load was clearly making me look like Keith Richards before my time. Continue reading “Growing Old in Japan”