I was psyched, nervous, excited–it was my first, real “professional” interpretation job. I was to take a train to Suzhou and meet all the bigwig corporate CEOs for a Japanese and American company and help them talk to each other. I got the “go” signal from the office in Japan and it was the day before my duty. I was reviewing difficult business Japanese and doing practice exercises through simultaneous interpretation of Nikkei business video clips when I felt it.
Well I came back to Japan, and who else here to welcome me other than…
It’s been a year since going to Odaiba, and since then they have created a new mall called ‘Diver City’ full of luxury good stores that I will never be able to shop in, along with the return of the giant gundam. Everyone was outside looking for a photo snap shot, including yours truly.
Unlike last time, being in Japan feels absolutely great. Yeah, everyone still looks like a zombie and they are overworked to death, but the atmosphere of the society itself is just lovely. And more than the overall picture, I miss the little things the most. I love how the trains work, even how they look; I love the pre-packed bentos for sale, along with the nicely wrapped onigiri. I like the recycling system, as well as the clean streets and punctual public transportation. When people bump into me, it feels great to have someone say ‘sumimasen,’ as opposed to Shanghai where I get a grunt and a shove.
It’s been a few months since my last blog update, and that can be attributed to the lovely Chinese government and their hefty upgrades on the VPN blocks in China. I also upgraded to a Macbook Air, so finding a suitable VPN for my new OS was a bit of a pain, I must admit. However, here in the states I can access facebook and wordpress headache free, so hopefully I can continue to update this blog of randomness and get all of the crazy thoughts out of my mind and onto some written format.
This is me at work.
Especially yesterday when I worked two hours of overtime and just couldn’t take it anymore.
No longer do I have to make 8 hour nonstop phone calls in Japanese, but instead I am given one translation project after the next. Sometimes, I think my eyes will bleed in kanji characters. My tears will spell out the word: 過労死
In America, overworking just isn’t a common thing. One good aspect of America. Here, however, the work is too much and the deadline is too fast.
Three Chinese children in Jiangxi province attempted suicide.
“The homework wouldn’t end….”
“If I died, I thought I wouldn’t have to do homework anymore…”
Three children attempted suicide by trying to jump from a tall tree; they were all injured with broken bones and bruises, but luckily none succeeded in their trial.
Reading the Asahi daily news article. American news about the air show gone horribly wrong in Reno popped up, and everything about the article seemed quite standard until…
Nothing seemed too strange about the map until I read the labels.
The white dot on is labeled “San Francisco,” while the red dot in Nevada is labeled “Reno.”
Is it just me, or did Nevada seem to expand a bit? Seems like it just took over Utah and half of California. According to this map, going from Reno to SF could maybe take two or three hours by car?
Welcome to my new home.
The view from the center of my apartment complex, looking up into the sky.
This is what a typical Shanghai residence looks like. Packed to the brim, maximizing what little amount of space there is by putting laundry out to dry on poles hanging from the windows. The cascade of t-shirts, socks and jeans that fly through the air on a sunny day for laundry is what I love so much about Shanghai. There’s an abundance of life and character packed into every Shanghai neighborhood, and this “closeness” is exactly the kind of environment I have been in constant search for. There is nothing more charming than living in downtown Shanghai with the locals.
I remember fawning over Japanese food my first month after arriving in the country. I’m eating real, fresh, authentic sushi, I would brag to my friends in America; my sashimi kicks Utah’s seafood-less ass, I would boast as I laughed with my fresh fish. I just couldn’t get enough of Japanese ramen, yakiniku, all the “don”s (rice bowls) and the okonomiyaki I oh-so-much-love. Japan’s culinary dishes seemed so full of flavor, life; it’s a plate of refreshing sauces and vegetables that seemed to invigorate one’s palette with a refreshing wipe of “wa” (harmony).
Happy mid-autumn festival to you!
Mid-Autumn Festival (or 中秋节 in Chinese) is a day where everyone eats moon cake. Plain and simple.
Moon cake consisting of different flavors such as egg, meat, bean paste and vegetable filling are passed around and exchanged like chocolate on Valentines Day. My heart-less, unmerciful, despicable company gave us a 100 rmb voucher for 85 degrees (famous Shanghai bakery chain) moon cake set (which was probably charged to us in tax or something, those bastards!)