I still haven’t fully experienced what it’s like being a REAL foreigner here (I mean, a visible one… Because of my Asian background, Japanese people think I’m Japanese.. until I speak of course). So Azam (the only Canadian student at my workplace besides me) has always complained about being treated differently, though he is fluent in Japanese… He is taking the N1 Language test this year.
Here’s my day- Left work early today at 5pm sharp, and met up with Azam for dinner. We both ordered Anago Tendon (穴子天丼), which is Salt Water Eel Tempura on rice. This place makes the best Tempura I’ve eaten! No photo, because I finished it before remembering hehe. The portion was small, so obviously for big eaters like us, it wasn’t nearly enough (Hmmm, wt about my diet? :-P)! So we went to TGIF for a second round… I didn’t know there were TGIFs in Vancouver too (apparently one in Downtown, another in Metrotown…) So it’s my first time eating there, felt just like Red Robins. Cocktails were much cheaper than in Van too! But I only ordered Ice-cream w/ Brownie. Weird thing was the Brownie was dissected into small pieces- Not really to my liking, but guess it’s easy to share.
A great example today was: When we walked into TGIF, Azam greeted the waiter in Japanese, while the waiter replied with broken English… basically telling us to go upstairs, . Once we were upstairs- WOW, the entire floor was filled with Foreigners! So obviously, the waitresses on this floor were much better English speakers. When she greeted us, she automatically handed Azam an English menu and asked me (in Japanese) if a Japanese menu was fine. I said NO of course haha. Azam was like… he never got the Japanese menus unless he requested one! No matter how fluent his Japanese was, people just treated him as a foreigner.
But of course, being a foreigner has its benefits too. He mentioned Kyushu is his favorite area in Japan, especially the countryside. Why? Because he would be the center of attention! Kyushu people are.. not my opinion, but in general friendlier than Tokyo people. And when he visited Kyushu, people there would approach him and started asking where he was from. He met many people and became friends with them once they found out he could speak Japanese! Little kids would come up to him and touch his skin (with this “Are you REAL?” expression on their faces lol) Basically, he felt like he had the spotlight on him, like a star 🙂
One funny thing… so we somehow were chatting about his EXs at dinner. He was saying how girls with long legs instantly melt his heart… and how he didn’t at all mind the girls wearing heels and being taller than he was. Then of of a sudden, his eyes lit up, checking out this waitress not far away from us. She had a tall (around 5’10) and slim figure… He was saying how hot she would be, until ‘she’ turned around – Oh… his face dropped. His “goddess” was a man indeed. ROFL!!
A little bit more about Azam. He is very confident, maybe a bit too much; but I definitely can learn a thing or two from him. He loves Japan- not for its pop cultures, but for its opportunities. He came here to learn the culture, build his networks, so hopefully he can start up a tech company in the Land of the Rising Sun. Though Japan’s economy has fallen slightly in recent years, he is still optimistic about his target market. He is a very determined guy… everything he does seems to be paving the path to build up his future company. From traveling to Japan 6 years ago, being an exchange student in Kyoto University, working several jobs to immerse himself, to coming back for some real working experience… everything is for making his dream a reality. It is not easy for foreigners to adapt and establish their careers in Japan, as the society is somewhat conservative. But he put in so much effort, made many local friends and friends from various industries. He works hard on weekdays and plays hard on weekends. He works two jobs currently (a software company in Montreal and our internship company) and still manages to build an mobile app for sale in Japan (his goal is to profit from it as the capital for his startup). I asked him how could he be sure he would make profits out of it.. His reply was that his biggest risk was losing time- but actually, he gains more by learning new things: a win-win situation even if no one installs his app.
He also said if his app turned out to be a success, he would stay in Japan longer and delay his graduation. He has been in University for 6 years already, yet he said he had learnt the most from his previous traveling and work experiences. School taught him little and a degree really was to satisfy his family. I told him I knew what my goals, my weaknesses were.. yet I’m just too lazy or not determined enough. Take exercising for example, my motivation for staying fit (buy new clothes lol) cannot overcome my laziness. And I keep making excuses about not having enough time because I want to travel… yet I slept in the last weekend and barely went out at all! Azam’s right- it’s simple once you make them into routines. Seemingly silly ways to motivate oneself are great ways too. He posted a poster of some dude with hot body in his room(yet his 6-packs only lasted for a few months XD). Breaking that habit takes as short as a week or two, just jump over that biggest hurdle and your body will adapt to it. Maybe it’s a late realization, but I have to CHANGE: my first baby steps are to be more organized and manage my time better. I guess this post will serve as a reminder- if I lose motivation again…. which I likely will, I will look back at what I have promised myself.
Ambitious dreams only turn into reality with hard work, the important thing is learning how to enjoy tackling the challenges- I’ll be 22 this year(20 just felt like yesterday), so maybe it’s time to put more efforts into accomplishing my goals.
>> What’s with me thinking about all these things lately? Perhaps getting old, or perhaps it’s time to read some self-help books XD
Before I headed for LIVIN (supermarket near dorm), I knew my chance of getting Marshmallow was low. I still went anyway, because a BBQ wouldn’t be complete without marshmallows, right? Yup, my team has organized a BBQ at a park tomorrow. I was also planning to make some 腐竹雞蛋糖水（Dried Beancurd Sweet Soup with Egg) as dessert after BBQ… so I need some dried beancurd, Ginkgo and rock sugar (?).
Of course, I couldn’t find any of those ingredients. Dried Beancurd could be replaced by frozen tofu (and strip up the layers), Ginkgo can be omitted… but can rock sugar be replaced with granulated sugar??
Anyway, I was surprised in a big supermarket such as LIVIN…. there’s NO marshmallow at all! Not even the type with fillings!! Was disappointed… but thankfully I bought tons of snacks (great with beer) last week, so I guess I’ll bring those along instead.
I’m finally, for once in my life, able to eat the entire Durian all by myself!! Woohoo~ Saw a post made by Ivy several days ago.. and I drooled so much. A few days later, I see FRESH Durian right in front of my eyes… is this fate or what? Ever since I moved to Canada, I haven’t had fresh Durian (all they sell are frozen ones). It’s 1470 yen, but to me… it’s worth every single yen!
Now- a big problem.. How the hell am I gonna open this up? I’ve only got a small knife.
It just feels awesome drinking beer while writing posts. Cheers!