After “konnichiwa,” my first Japanese word was “kawaii,” meaning cute. It refers to adorable puppies or playful children, adults dressed in anime costumes, and anything else that is quirky or fun. As I quickly learned, it’s an essential word here in Japan. Our fluffy white dog, Hercules, receives this accolade on a daily basis, which might explain the swing in his step as he proudly … Continue reading Kawaii ka Kowai? (Cute or Scary?)
Eight months after moving to Japan, I’ve made a monumental decision: it is okay to be an American. I’m allowed to put sushi and ramen on-hold once in a while and enjoy a nice burger instead. I don’t have to wear heavy sweaters in the heat of summer or exclusively drink matcha. My shopping needn’t be restricted to Japanese brands that don’t fit my hips, … Continue reading Allowed to be an American
As a child I loved to stay at hotels. The thrill of a new place was exhilarating. I’d push past my parents and run into the room, scoping out the better bed, and then rush into the bathroom to inspect the collection of complimentary toiletries. Finally, I’d turn on the TV and surf through the channels, looking for shows I wasn’t usually allowed to watch … Continue reading Cabin Fever
“Are you freaking out?” This is the first question I am asked when I tell people my husband and I are moving to Japan. And they all seemed surprised when I say no. Then they study me, tilting their head to the side like I’m a non-human species that’s difficult to comprehend, and then they smile, straighten up and say, “Well, that’s okay. You will.” Perhaps … Continue reading Are You Freaking Out?