One Year in Japan

So that flew by. Doesn't seem possible but it's already been a year since my arrival. And what do I have to say about Japan? Truth is it's like living on another planet most of the time. Many pleasant surprises but many disappointments too, watch for my I Love/Hate You Japan series. 

I like to think I've used this year to work on me-things I never had the chance to before. But I'm lazy too and I'm pretty sure I just got lazier over the last year. You know that saying "When you want something done, ask a busy person"? I'm the opposite of that person now. 

In an attempt to give myself some credit anyway, and do an annual check-in of sorts, here's a list of things I have, and have not, accomplished in the last year.

Goals I've reached:

+ Lived in Japan (okay, there's a LOT to that one all on its own)
+ Learned how to travel in Japan
+ Lost weight and got in better shape
+ Learned to cook fish (sort of)
+ Posted more here in blogland
+ Bought a good camera

Goals I could possibly still reach:

+ Read lots more books
+ Watch most of the movies on my lists
+ Build shelves in the kitchen
+ Learn how to use my new camera
+ Visit Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and/or Cambodia
+ Travel to Hawaii or Guam
+ Spend more time in Tokyo and Kyoto, and travel more around Japan

Stuff I wanted to do but now I know probably won't:

+ Really learn Japanese (no thanks, I don't have a decade of my life to spare, and I just don't care that much)
+ Ride the bullet trains all over Japan (shinkansen are only affordable for people with tourist visas, I have a resident visa so it's significantly cheaper to fly)
+ Watch more than three of the scary movies in my lists (I'm turning into a wuss)
+ Learn about Japanese gardening (what was I thinking? I'll never be a gardener, in any country)
+ Establish genuine friendships with Japanese people (it seems they'll never stop gawking like I'm an exotic zoo animal)

Things I had no idea I'd be doing here:

+ Building Wordpress websites
+ Living in a home that's one step away from camping
+ Learning so many difficult truths about Japan
+ Having a hell of a time finding anything well-designed
+ Watching way too many TV shows

I'll try to remember to check back in here once in a while – but can't make any promises.

Geisha in Flight by Shohei Otomo via Imgur


  1. Love that graphic!!! It's so you. Still can't believe you aren't fluent yet in Japanese, 'Ms. Berlitz.' :)

    1. Well I do know enough Japanese to get by. Sadly, one does not simply "become fluent in Japanese" and once I saw the baffling intricacies of how their language actually works, I decided not to waste a decade of my life learning something in which I have minimal interest. I'd equate it to learning neurosurgery and NOPE, I ain't got time for that! Sometimes you just have to cut your losses, you know?