One of the things that has truly allowed me to succeed in life is my ability to listen to other people’s advice (and their mistakes) and then plan my own actions accordingly. For most people, that is a great trait, and most days I am grateful that I am able to do so. However, I also found that my need to plan everything in order to get the most desirable outcome can possibly have the opposite effect. I could actually end up limiting myself. Travel made me realize that.
If you are not Japanese, you will never be Japanese. This may seem like such an obvious statement. Duh, of course if I’m not born Japanese, I won’t magically become Japanese. To most people, that’s not a big deal. However, it is a fact you have to learn to accept if you intend to live in Japan, because it will come up again and again even after you’ve lived there for 20 years. You can walk like a duck, quack like a duck, but you still won’t be a duck. Sorry.
So you’ve got one day in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. When there is so much to see and do and so little time, how do you possibly decide? That was the boat I found myself in when I visited Boston. I had originally gone for the Boston Career Forum, which is a big job fair for people who speak both Japanese and English. I ended up not being at the career fair for as long as I thought, so I was left with some extra time to do some sightseeing before heading home. Here is what I chose to do with a day in Boston.
Back at my home university in my Japanese classes, we learned about the word “chikan”, which refers to public, unwanted molestation. In general, it’s often used to refer to perverted Japanese men. I’d heard stories about Japan having problems with men that would grope women, usually while on trains. Yet, it was never anything I took seriously, because I’d also heard that these types of men usually avoided foreigners. Foreigners usually weren’t afraid to retaliate, while Japanese women, especially the girls, were less likely to speak up. Since arriving in Japan I’ve seen some women only trains, but other than that, I hadn’t thought much about it.
On Saturday I went to a Noh workshop that was being held at Rikkyo. Noh is a traditional Japanese musical drama. Chances are, you’ve probably seen pictures of the masks that are often used in Noh, even if you didn’t realize what it was for. Yesterday was the 4th of July, which is Independance Day in America. Once classes were over for the day, I went out to an Izakaya (a casual drinking establishment with small food dishes and lots of alcohol) with some friends from America to celebrate my friend’s 21st birthday.
Other than location, the two RUID dorms (Asakadai and Shiki) are almost exactly the same. However, there are some differences between the RUID and RIR dorms. As for Comfort Ikebukuro, I don’t much about it. I didn’t even know it existed until it was mentioned on some of the papers in the welcome packet.
Getting my visa application in the mail was my top priority as soon as I got my welcome packet with my Certificate of Eligibility. Honestly, doing my visa application wasn’t that difficult.
Yesterday I received my long awaited welcome packet. It contained almost all the information I had been just dying to know. Let me tell you, it was a lot of information, too much to put into one blog entry, so this post as well as the next few will cover everything I received.