Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Autumn Afternoons

A mug of hot tea and cookies from my favourite patisserie.

Nina Simone on the hi-fi and a light breeze from the balcony.

No one at home but me.

My idea of a lovely autumn afternoon.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Let me add two new items to my list of pet peeves.

I love helping people but that doesn't mean you can treat me like a 24-hour mobile translation service. my zeal for accumulating good karma by assisting those in need does not involve translating a ten-point CV at 1am in the morning via my mobile phone. just try imagining the amount of english text i have to input letter by letter on a tiny keypad before you even think about asking for help. or at the very least give me more time.
also, the fact that i can understand japanese doesnt mean i am at your disposal for all tasks to do with japan and japanese. that includes writing requests for franchise rights to japanese retail chains and reading your medicine bottles.
It's fine if you don't usually contact me, because there's always the excuse about me being away from Singapore. it's also fine that you only chose to email me when you've broken up with your longtime girlfriend. nevermind the fact that i heard nothing from you thereafter and had to find out from other people that you managed to salvage the relationship eventually.
so if i'm the person that you only very occasionally contact, why am i the first on the list of free lodging options when you are considering holiday destinations? for crying out loud, you asked me if snow has accumulated in okinawa because you wanted to ski. at the very least try finding out a little bit more about the place that you are intending to visit instead of deciding your options on the amount of free mileage you have and the number of friends you can impose on.
my home is a hotel to my friends but that decision lies with me. oh, and by the way, i hated all your jokes and jibes about okinawa. the only time i'm letting you come here is after i've moved away for good.

My 100th Post

To commemorate, I thought I'd come clean with certain things that have been on my mind.

I was at tower records last saturday (the only place in okinawa i know of that is kind enough to allow customers, or non-buyers like me, to browse through US editions of fashion magazines) catching up on my monthly fill of fashion and gossip taking place on the other side of the world when i came across my horoscope in the november issue of harpers bazaar.

i dont normally read horoscopes and i never thought i'd believe in them, but for some reason i had stopped at the page on my way to the fashion spread. the horoscope read:

"A period of private review helps clarify your goals and philosophy, but don't lose touch with those who give good advice. If you are engaged in studies, long-distance and travel issues bring with them big news. Dreams are large and may strip down your bank account, but financial prudence can enable future fulfilment of desires."

this might be me over-thinking things again, but when i read it i was sure i had an epiphany.

but before that, lets just back up for a minute and review my present situation.

yes, after i graduate next march i have absolutely no plans for what's to happen next.

i turned down a job offer in september and while working in okinawa is still very much an option, the less-than-competitive job conditions here means that job-searching will involve a large degree of compromise on my part.

i say i want to go to america but i really am unsure about when it will really happen. it isnt the amount of preparation that scares me, but the lack of financial freedom that comes with a student's lifestyle that does. on the other hand, if i were to marry ken and settle in okinawa, i am afraid that america might just never ever materialise.

then again, marriage isnt on the cards and i dont know what ken is thinking. i am hopeful on one hand but am also fearing the worst.

i have decided on going home next march but i have no idea what my return will mean. i dont know how long i will stay and i dont know what sort of options i should be considering during my time in singapore.

so there, i have found myself in quite a situation. ideally speaking i would have liked to mull over a set of smaller, less frightful options in the final year before i turn 30, but then again i realise you can only plan for so much. life can pretty much spiral out of your hands even as you think things are proceeding according to plan.

my epiphany? for all the uncertainty that awaits me, i have decided that the best way to deal with it would be to embrace whatever that is to happen. despite the inertia that comes with taking the path less travelled, i have also found the reason why i shouldnt be giving up on my american dream.

my knowledge matters to me and so does my love for okinawa. there has to be a way i can put the two together and create something positive. i believe that the wrongs of this place should be put right, and perhaps i might have a role to play in educating people about this part of japan that so few people really care to learn more about.

america will happen with or without marriage and kids.
in the meantime, i will devote all my efforts towards my thesis and continue loving my man.
everything else, i'm leaving in the hands of time.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


Just when you think the state of English in Japan cannot possibly get any worse, this arrives in your letterbox.

the irony? the guy who sent the wedding invitation actually majored in english in university.

made myself a jumbo sandwich the other day and crammed it full of lettuce, bacon, sliced tomatoes and topped it off with a sunny side-up and cheese. it's hard eating a sandwich this size without messing things up but i was kept full the entire day!

Happy Birthday

A man's 30th birthday should be celebrated with pomp and passion so I pulled out all the stops.

thesis presentation notwithstanding, i booked us a hotel stay at a spa hotel and packed an overnight bag without ken's knowledge. when we got there i told him it was just a spa appointment and he actually believed it.

there was dinner kaiseki style, a surprise birthday cake and buffet breakfast the following morning.

with all the smiles and adoration i earned, i'd say the pricetag and effort were all worth it.

happy birthday ken!