The "GREG IN JAPAN" Thread...

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ParaParaJMo
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Re: The "GREG IN JAPAN" Thread...

Post by ParaParaJMo »

Depending on my schedule and her schedule and budget either by bus or train

_D_
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Re: The "GREG IN JAPAN" Thread...

Post by _D_ »

Do you read any other expat blogs? I've read a few over the years. Quite a cross section of people and reasons for staying, leaving or coming back. Any you recommend?

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Re: The "GREG IN JAPAN" Thread...

Post by greg »

I actually don't follow any blogs in general, since they are blocked at work. The only time I ever had time for blogs was on break time at work back in America. I'm actually wary of expat blogs, since there is a tendency towards just complaining about Japan. I try to remain positive about living here, and the best way to do so is to just not associate with too many other expats. The ones I get along with best are the ones who enjoy living here, like my friend Net-Lex on this forum. Like there is a website actually called fuckedgaijin.com or something like that. I refuse to go there because it'll just be a bunch of burned-out expats complaining about how terrible Japan is, and they really just need to pack up and go back to their home countries. Unless they're married to a J-girl and have kids and such, in which they probably feel trapped, resent Japan even more, and are probably even more bitter than the rest (yes, I can think of at least one guy I know like this).

Of course maybe the most famous (or infamous) is Debito.org, which often delves into weighty social issues that I would rather just avoid. It's a former American who renounced his citizenship and became a Japanese national in order to annoy people. He's an activist, and still very much American in that the word "subtle" is not in his vocabulary.

The ones I think are best are the "slice of life" type of blogs that just show interesting things about Japan, made by the ones who have a true love for the country. TSOJ, a user on here who was only here for a few weeks to introduce himself, has an interesting blog called Three Steps Over Japan.

There's a guy I know who is a contributor to Tokyo Scum Brigade that primarily delves into eclectic otaku type stuff, from an anthropological point of view. It's a rather interesting read, especially the series on the history of Akihabara.

Other than that, I guess I really can't name any others off the top of my head. I sometimes write stuff on my own personal homepage, but it isn't really a "blog" per se, and I haven't been updating it regularly for the past half year now. I've lost track of it for a while.
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greg
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Re: The "GREG IN JAPAN" Thread...

Post by greg »

Here are some pics of our trip to Osaka last weekend. Unfortunately, my camera was busted when I dropped it back in March or so, so several pictures didn't come out so well. I discovered a new cool shopping place called Sanbangai in the Hankyu Umeda. I will put together a photo gallery of that place for my homepage. For now, here are several pics. Click the links for larger images:

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Osaka Kaiyuukan Aquarium

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Dotombori

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Okonomiyaki, from Osaka with love

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More pictures can be viewed on my Flickr page. I'll be making videos of the Kaiyuukan Aquarium and Dotombori sometime soon.
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Re: The "GREG IN JAPAN" Thread...

Post by _D_ »

I found this blog the other day while doing a search on Shigeru Mizuki:

http://hyakumonogatari.com/

Seems to be from his English translator. The Showa comic was one of the Free Comic Book Day works but it's the WW2 stuff and not Kitaro.

This one:

http://wonderfulrife.blogspot.ca/2014_0 ... chive.html

He has a lot of stuff that is positive on Japan as well as negative. Some is funny. I must ask him why he has all the US WW2 propaganda material and none of the same material from Japanese sources of the time. Seems to play that over and over again but he also has had a lot of experiences in Japan as a teacher so that stuff at least is interesting...

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Re: The "GREG IN JAPAN" Thread...

Post by davemerrill »

I love that giant Glico boy signage in Osaka. That's on our list for our next trip to Japan. Osaka I mean, not just the Glico sign.

Can't help but think a lot of the grumbly expat blogs are by people who came to Japan expecting it to be some sort of magical wonderland, and were depressed to find that it's a place like any other with the usual amount of good points and bad points.

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Re: The "GREG IN JAPAN" Thread...

Post by greg »

_D_ wrote:He has a lot of stuff that is positive on Japan as well as negative. Some is funny. I must ask him why he has all the US WW2 propaganda material and none of the same material from Japanese sources of the time. Seems to play that over and over again but he also has had a lot of experiences in Japan as a teacher so that stuff at least is interesting...
I took a look at his blog and lost respect for him immediately when he boasted of sleeping with over 20 Japanese women (not including other foreign English teachers) in just the few years he's lived in Japan. This sort of prick is one of the worst types, in my opinion. Too many scumbags come here, treating this place like their own personal sexual playground. This sort of behavior is embarrassing.
davemerrill wrote:I love that giant Glico boy signage in Osaka. That's on our list for our next trip to Japan. Osaka I mean, not just the Glico sign.
It's best at night. Unfortunately, after the aquarium my J-Mom and daughter were too exhausted after the long day walking about. We decided to go in the late morning for lunch.

Over the weekend while staying at the in-laws' in Nagano-ken, I updated my YouTube channel with videos of the aquarium and Dotombori. I've now uploaded the last of the videos taken on my old camera, so from now on the videos will be better quality.
davemerrill wrote:Can't help but think a lot of the grumbly expat blogs are by people who came to Japan expecting it to be some sort of magical wonderland, and were depressed to find that it's a place like any other with the usual amount of good points and bad points.
I think that plays a lot of it. I think most of it is just them trying to work out their culture shock. I studied culture shock in my international business classes in college, since global business managment and strategic marketing was my major. So, I already knew what to expect when I first lived here, and as a result it didn't affect me so much.

The typical pattern is that you first ride the high of living in a foreign country, in which every day is an exciting adventure. "Oh wow, today I went to the post office, and I couldn't understand what they were saying! I had to use my dictionary and we could finally understand each other. What an experience!" Then as time goes on, all the stuff that is different starts bugging you and you get irritated. "Oh my gosh, I went to the post office today and tried speaking Japanese, but they still couldn't understand me. What the hell is wrong with these people? I thought that English was part of their mandatory education. Can't they use their imagination at least?" So you go from a real high to a real low. When people are at their low, their inner racism may leak out and they'll develop some superiority complex.

If one can endure the culture shock until it subsides, then he/she will develop a healthy love/hate relationship with the country. I am into my 3rd year of living here, and there has been no major culture shock for me. I've had it a bit recently, but compared to others, it is negligible. All I have to do is remind myself of how stupid my own culture is. So every time I see that bloated transvestite Matsuko Deluxe on TV and cringe, all I have to do is remind myself of that harlot Kim Kardassian or whatever the hell her name is and how they gave that whore her own TV show in America. Then suddenly seeing a huge fat guy draped in a mumu talking about crap is not so bad in comparison to showing an indecent bint teaching her daughters to pole dance and such (and should probably be arrested and have Child Protection involved).
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_D_
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Re: The "GREG IN JAPAN" Thread...

Post by _D_ »

And yet, I have to ask why leave at all? I did a lot of travelling over the period 1976 - 2000 but I always returned home. There never was another place that I was willing to uproot myself from. Going to die here and be interred here. The other places I have visited are of the "it's a nice place to visit..." variety and included most of Canada, the US and The UK. Yet I have had friends living in Japan for years suddenly give up and head out somewhere else. I would love to sit down with them sometime and ask why. Some though I have lost track of. Some I have found again after many years. Several are now in other Asian countries and seem to be happier than ever. Me? Not going anywhere...

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Re: The "GREG IN JAPAN" Thread...

Post by ParaParaJMo »

I will never get over the lame ass ATM hours in a cash centric society. NEVER EVER!!!

Anyway, after 5 years, things just feel "normal" to me, but I have my life to live and that's it.

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Re: The "GREG IN JAPAN" Thread...

Post by greg »

Oh, tell me about it! Even the ATMs inside convenience stores shut down after 10pm or something like that.
_D_ wrote:And yet, I have to ask why leave at all? ...I have had friends living in Japan for years suddenly give up and head out somewhere else. I would love to sit down with them sometime and ask why.
That would be interesting to know. Some people just have a wanderlust, I suppose. Especially living here, I have met people who just go from country to country. I once knew a guy who took college classes in Jerusalem and studied Hebrew, then taught English in Korea, then later taught in Japan where I met him, then after that he studied Spanish in Guatemala, etc. There was another guy who'd studied Russian in Russia, had taught in Mexico, then a teacher with the JET when I knew him, and his plans after that was to go to either China or Hong Kong and study Chinese. That guy was a real language sponge and he quickly mastered up to the 2nd level of Japanese after only a few short years. Then there's a guy from England who worked here up until April. That dude has been everywhere. Throw a dart at a map and he's probably already visited the country it lands on. He never bothered learning Japanese, but he was just Mr. Adventure, hiking up Mt. Fuji barefoot, etc. Incredible.

Me, on the other hand, I like to stay put. I have my nerd cave and my hobby desk. When I first moved to Japan, I thought the same as you, and I just wanted to move back to America and make a place for myself there. Then after moving back to the USA, I felt like I left a large chunk of myself back in Japan. It was a painful experience. Some people can live abroad and say, "Well, that was an interesting experinece," then move back and carry on as before. For me, I yearned to come back to Japan. Whenever I visited here, I felt as though I was reunited with the part of Greg that was left behind in Japan. I could feel the tugging on the strings of my heart to come back. Whether you call it fate or God or whatever, some people just have a destiny to live abroad and make a life for themselves in other countries. Dave seems perfectly happy living in Canada, too.

But you know, there's nothing wrong with pepole who say, "there's no place like home." That's perfectly fine, and everyone is different. The same goes for international marriage. Some people are cut out for it, some aren't.
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