Japan

Making a Visa Run to Japan

January 30, 2014
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Making a Visa Run to Japan

First off, I should point out my situation is unique. The majority of English teachers are hired prior to departure and able to secure their Korean working visas in their respective home countries. I, on the other hand, received a 90-day tourist visa on arrival and hand delivered my E2 paperwork to an employer...
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Posted in Japan, South Korea | 3 Comments »

Plotting a Return to Japan

October 18, 2013
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Plotting a Return to Japan

It’s no secret Japan has weighed heavily on my mind since I left in 2008. I had a good setup there: – A brand-new apartment in a quiet area with a heated toilet seat. In the mornings I could run to a park overlooking Kinko Bay and see Sakurajima smoking in the distance. –...
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Posted in Japan, Living in America | 1 Comment »

Traces of Korea and Japan

October 1, 2013
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Traces of Korea and Japan

Korean people are the most common to find anywhere on the planet, with populations in the millions outside their home country. It should come as no surprise that I encountered a couple here in Peru, touring the Santa Catalina Monastery. When they asked my friend to take their picture, I had to be sure:...
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Posted in Japan, Peru, South Korea | No Comments »

Risking Disfiguration and an Exposed Scalp

September 28, 2013
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Risking Disfiguration and an Exposed Scalp

I will admit from the start I have very little to complain about when it comes to getting my hair cut in a foreign country. We can all say it: I’m a guy. Who cares if a barber messes up my ‘fro or shaves it all off? It’ll be back in a month or...
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Posted in Japan, Peru, South Korea | No Comments »

Living At Home: Cultural Perceptions

May 7, 2013
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Living At Home: Cultural Perceptions

I feel ashamed. Like a failure. Broke, though I have some money in the bank. Inept, though I’m qualified to do many jobs. Lazy, though my routine isn’t really too different than that when I’m living in my own apartment. Unattractive to women, a source of mockery. Shorter, smaller. Sheltered. Mollycoddled. It’s only been...
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Posted in Japan, Living in America, Moments of Zen | No Comments »

If I Did It: Returning to Japan

October 12, 2012
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If I Did It: Returning to Japan

It’s not the same as it was before, when I had to return to Dallas with my head hung low, lacking any job prospects and feeling pretty miserable about myself and the direction my life was headed. Such was the state I was in when I decided to apply to schools in South Korea....
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Posted in Japan, Teaching English | No Comments »

You May Say I’m a Dreamer

May 19, 2012
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You May Say I’m a Dreamer

I’ve come to realize something about myself: two years in Japan shaped my personality far more than high school, university, perhaps any other major transitional period in my life. Not to equate myself as a caterpillar turning into a butterfly by a cocoon of Japanese culture – obviously I held on to certain beliefs...
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Posted in Japan, Living in America, Moments of Zen | No Comments »

Japan: Pros and Cons

April 22, 2012
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Japan: Pros and Cons

I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve been thinking about returning to Japan as an English teacher. And while I consider a pros and cons list the sign of a mind too confused and weak to truly appreciate his situation (should be able to work it out in his head), I couldn’t help but turn my...
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Posted in Japan, Living in America | 2 Comments »

Gambare: Volunteering in the Tohoku

March 11, 2012
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Gambare: Volunteering in the Tohoku

What can one person do? When he’s faced with something of this magnitude… The international media has practically forgotten about Japan. Remember that potentially dangerous nuclear situation over at Fukushima that no one could shut up about last year? Well, the reactors are still very much damaged, and the fuel rods did melt down....
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How to piss off a Japanese

March 9, 2012
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How to piss off a Japanese

Control your gestures. Keep your hands at your sides. The Japanese find big arm movements threatening. Speak slowly. Keep your voice calm and even… It may be difficult to do. The Japanese can be irritating. You’ll probably find them irritating tonight. Handle it as best you can. But whatever happens, don’t lose your temper…...
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