The Breakup Cycle

breakup

Gonna be a little real with you guys, I haven’t been updating because I had been going through a bit of a rocky time. I was having a lot of fights with my then boyfriend of 2 years and eventually broke it off with him. He has appeared in comic strips in the past, so I found myself ignoring this site because I didn’t want to look at those images.

It’s pretty silly. Anyway, I’ve moved on, and I’ve grown up and now Persona 5 guy and I can get married. He’s in high school and inside of a video game, but I believe love can overcome all.

Thanks for your support!!

Adventures in PDA

pda

I have a hard time dating in Japan because I am a person who likes PDA. A past boyfriend once snapped at me because I gave him a goodbye kiss in a train, and at that point I pretty much knew it was the beginning of the end with him. I might just be culturally insensitive, but I feel lonely if I can’t always be touching the person I like.

Luckily I now date a guy who grew up in the US and understands my need for hugs, hand-holding, and goodbye kisses. I might take advantage of that acceptance sometimes. This might be at the expense of everyone around me…

Package Delivery

package

Let me preface this by saying that, in the US, packages are just left in front of your door, even when you are not at home. Yeah, this seems like it might be dangerous, but this is the environment I grew up in.

In Japan packages are delivered to you between certain time windows. If you are not ready to answer the door in this window of time, you don’t get your package, you get an annoying little slip of paper stating that the deliveryman came and you were dumb enough to not even be around. At this point you use the slip to schedule another slot for re-delivery. This continues until you actually are there at the right time.

Because I work like a normal person, the only time slot available to me on weekdays is the 7 pm to 9 pm slot. Unfortunately for me, Japanese deliverymen in my area love to come to my place right when that window of time starts. Being punctual is not always what the customer wants…

Luckily in recent years some alternatives have shown up, my favorite being package delivery to near-by 24 hour convenience stores. Unfortunately, they will not hold packages larger than a certain size for you, so it is not a solution for every situation. There are also apartment buildings with dedicated package lockers, but alas, my building is too old for that.

Renting in Japan

 

moving

Moving in Japan is a nightmare if you are a non-Japanese national. But moving in Japan in general is extremely expensive. On top of a deposit, you are usually expected to pay “thank you money” to the landlord, a realtor’s fee, a fee for changing the locks, and a fee to a company to guarantee your rent. Sometimes these fees can add up to 7 months of rent that needs to be paid before move-in.

But wait! You think you’ll get your old deposit back to help pay for this?

Not necessarily…get ready to be charged for whatever “damage” you have done to your old place plus cleaning!

What is so bad about being foreign in all of this? 1 out of 10 apartments are accepting of a foreign tenant is why. I spent months apartment hunting and found a place, but was forced into an interview that went exactly like in my comic. I went back into searching, pretty beaten down by all the rejections and found my current apartment.

myroom

Current apartment

Love my current place though! Worth the 3 months of struggle and the 5 months worth of rent…hahaha

Clothes Shopping in Japan

manekin

 

I don’t think this comic needs much explaining. “Large” sizes in this country are super small or nonexistent. However, if you think I am being unfair to stereotype Japanese girls as maybe too skinny, are you aware that in recent years 29% of Japanese women were categorized as “underweight”?

I can’t believe it either. Why would you forgo your own country’s delicious food to be too skinny? πŸ™

Sakura Season

さくら

This sums up most every cherry blossom season I have experienced. After the blossoms reach full bloom, the slightest breeze will onset a large “snowfall” of petals. This is the famous 花吹ι›ͺ, “hanafubuki,” snowfall of petals.

It can be pretty to witness and sometimes the petals whirling towards death are just as amazing a sight as the newly bloomed flowers.

Adventures in Living Alone

myhero

 

If you are not a woman living alone, you may not understand how you could overreact at a strange man hanging out near your front door. Japan is a very safe country, but this has not stopped the international pattern of guys following girls home and stalking them, or sometimes killing them. News has probably made me paranoid, but there have been 2 times, very close to my apartment, that a guy trying to talk to me continued to follow me until I stopped and told them straight up that I am not moving an inch until I see them leave. I stood where I was and watched them leave, but even then, I was looking over my shoulder forΒ the remainder of the walk home.

I think it’s sad that we live in a world like this. But, I was really happy when my BF took my concerns seriously. It’s nice to know someone is looking out for you πŸ™‚

Commuting in Tokyo

orimasu

Quick Japanese lesson:

γŠγ‚ŠγΎγ™οΌš”orimasu” : I’m getting off. (a train or vehicle)

γƒ‰γ‚’γŒι–‰γΎγ‚ŠγΎγ™οΌš”doa ga shimarimasu” : The doors are closing.

 

I commute on the Chuo line and the Yamanote line; two extremely crowded, popular train lines.

It is not fun. The least fun thing is when nobody moves when you are getting off on a less popular station.

Please move if people are trying to claw their way off of the train.

This has been a lesson in trains and how difficult it is to leave them with people blocking the door.

/rant

Adventures in Imagination

foreigntroll

Sometimes this happens to me, there will be a person approaching some sort of open space, they will start to head towards the space, they look up and see non-Japanese faces and then they hesitate.

I always wondered what the hesitation is stemming from…It is just surprise or shock because there are just not that many non-Japanese people around…or is it this?