Saturday, November 26, 2016

Indonesian Cuisine

With a majority of my prerequisite courses finished, I'm taking some interesting courses this semester to fulfill some curiosities that have been gnawing at me for the past couple of years, one of them being Indonesian. Though I was born in the land of Nasi Goreng and Sate, I only knew a handful of phrases that wouldn't really get me anywhere. I'm finally taking a beginner's course this semester and my professor kindly invited us, the students, to have lunch at one of her favorite Indonesian restaurants in Tokyo. Around 10 of us ended up gathering at CABE, located just 5 minutes from Meguro Station where we indulged in a delicious lunch set of rice, coconut curry, gado gado salad, along with some others for the reasonable price of 1000 yen (I must go back once again to get the names for each of the items on my plate!).


Dessert with some who stayed behind after lunch. I can't help but feel excited about all the holiday spirit in the air!


It snowed for the first time this year, quite coincidentally on Thanksgiving, and for the first time in November in 54 years apparently. I remember romanticizing about living through 4 seasons as Southern California is literally one giant summer, but freezing both my toes and fingers until they're numb kind of made me rethink my prior opinions. I will have to say snow is beautiful in aesthetic aspects so I wouldn't mind experiencing it a couple more times this winter, after I buy myself winter clothes.


November 23 marked this year's Thanksgiving. Though my friends in the US probably celebrated with some turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and pie, we made the holiday Japanese style with KFC because Thanksgiving does not exist in Japan, unfortunately.


Book #8

This week's film:

The Way Home (or Jibeuro)
This is a Korean film that I highly recommend. I actually watched it in my Korean class with Japanese subtitles but ended up rewatching it at home.

*日本語映画名: 「おばあちゃんの家」

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Job Hunting in Japan

Seriously can time fly any faster?
While I'm both happy and relieved that a week of midterms have already finished, leaving me with only one more week, I am struggling to keep up with the pace of time.
I have so much to do and so little time.
Can someone please invent some time portal-esque creation to increase the day to maybe 36 hours without having to worry about aging?
First semester of senior year is already half gone and I am furiously doing anything I can to end up working in the industry that I want to be in.
I am also in denial that I actually need to buy a "Shukatsu" suit, aka a f***ing expensive ensemble that the Japanese society quietly forces future graduates to buy as a way of proving assimilation to the social standards so that we can land a job.
Everyone around me has already bought one but I've actually been getting interviews without one, and making good impressions (I think I do, at least) - I'm questioning why it is really necessary to "spend" so much money when we are actually trying to find a job to "make money." I'm seeing so many contradictions in this annual social norm that make me question what "professionalism" and "being qualified" is according to those elites who have the honor of either giving us a thumbs up or the "you're not assimilated enough to social norms so we don't want you."
I've heard of some pretty horrific stories of extremely qualified people being rejected because they are "too qualified" or even on TV when the senpais rank universities according to "who they don't want working under them" reasoned partly with the statements like "they're stuck up (author's note: yes, that's understandable) because they're more qualified (ok hold up, maybe this means that the more qualified should be in charge of you?)."
Compared to Western norms, it is the age, not experience, that is rather stressed as being important and I feel like the there is an existing belief that companies would prefer hiring those that can cater towards their beliefs rather than provide new ideas.
Of course, I cannot think a greater time for desperate graduates in which companies willingly accept tens of new employees to their company at the same time.
It's just that some things I just don't agree with.


Film I watched this week:

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Sunday Cafe Day

It's Sunday so I'm at the café near my house again to study.
Midterms are starting tomorrow so I'll probably be hibernating in the library for the next two weeks.
There are so many students around me right now who I'm assuming are on the same boat.


I feel like I've been really productive lately - I was really into "new experiences" my first three years in college but I'm finally focused more on my studies now and have been living like a hermit.
I don't mean just school studies but just studying in general - things that have been interesting me but I had never really gone around to learn about.
I've been able to do some interesting jobs thanks to that and I'm really thankful that my efforts are paying off.
This week I was able to be a translator at an after party of a particular event that took place at an embassy. I initially thought that I would be helping out in the event planning side but was told when I arrived that I would be translating. I'm disappointed that I could have done better but it was an amazing experience and I hope I can do more jobs like this in the future.
My goal as a translator right now is to be able to do the job in languages other than in English and Japanese.


I had dinner with a friend at an Izakaya and we were both surprised at the size of our "fried food set." It was a lot bigger than expected, especially for just the two of us, but we enjoyed it either way.


Saturday, November 5, 2016


Halloween came and was gone in the blink of an eye this year.
I've been around a lot of underclassmen recently and they've been talking about what they were gonna do while my friends and I were stressing over job hunting. I didn't really want to just let the day go by without doing anything, especially since it's senior year, so I went out for dinner and drinks with some friends. I've been starting a cup coaster collection since I visited Germany last winter so I was pretty excited when this particular bar had one.


As I mentioned in my last post, I turned 22. One of my friend's birthdays lies a few days after mine so my friends surprised us during lunch with cake and presents.


There's a café that I always go to study, if I don't feel like going all the way to my university and more and more of the staff have started noticing me haha
I don't know if I should feel embarrassed or honored but they wrote a sweet "thank you" on my cup the other day that really warmed my heart.
It's things like this that really motivate me to study harder.
Honestly, I should be thanking "them" for allowing me to stay for 4-5 hours at a time and use their wifi when paying for a single cup of coffee.

そんな店員さんがわたしのコーヒーカップに”Thank you"というメッセージを書いてくれました。