Yomenai

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I Cant Read

No this post is neither about illiteracy nor my own inability to read Japanese. It is also not a confession of my own illiteracy or an accusation that students in Japan cannot read English. Yomenai directly translated does mean ‘(I) can’t read,” but I am referring to “reading the air” not written words. Kuuki Yomenai (KY) is a phenomenon in Japanese culture that refers to ignorance of social norms and cues. Continue reading

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Becoming a Regular

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I Don’t Have a Home

In high school I always wanted to get away. Not that I wasn’t happy at home, I just wanted to see what the world had to offer. I really didn’t care where I just wanted to get out there. I ended up in Hawaii after much prodding from my mom to decide on a university to attend. Frustrated, seeking any criteria to narrow it down, she poked and prodded until finally I said I wanted to go somewhere warm. Exasperated she exclaimed well “why don’t you go to Hawaii or something?” I don’t think she thought I would take this suggestion seriously, but I most certainly did. Getting on the plane I knew I was leaving home behind, but I never imagined that it would be permanent. Continue reading

Trouble in Transit

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Sardines
Public transit in Asia in general has been quite unreasonably exciting for me. I really appreciate the ease and comfort that the intricate system of trains and buses offered both in Korea and Japan.

One thing that I have realized, however, is that I have, or perhaps had, a very low tolerance for breaches in personal space. Growing up in suburbia, there aren’t a lot of personal space restrictions, and the US isn’t exactly the most densely populated country. Here in Asia however, I have found myself uncomfortably squished, packed and crowded into planes, trains, automobiles and a variety of other means of transportation. Continue reading