Friday, May 29, 2009

You know you've been in Japan too long...


Here's a fun book that captured my attention during my last visit to the bookstore.
Although some of the entries were kind of hard to relate to, there were a couple or so that were hilarious :D

View here for more!

You can't read the whole book online but there was one entry that was particularly hilarious (sadly, missing from the link above), but this should give you a little taste of it:
"How to speak fluent Japanese without saying a word"

Comments please!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Back to the Philippines

Seeing relatives I haven't seen for years under the circumstance of my grandmother's passing away was a bitter-sweet experience. Although the gathering may seem to be a joyous affair from the outside looking in, it still cannot hide the fact that the reason we were gathered together was one of sorrow. Regardless, few days we spent together during the wake was, at least to me, emotionally comforting.

During those few days, we mostly survived on fast food takeout



My cousin Jocelyn and her daughter, Georgette


My brother, James, and my mom


It has been so long since we last sat down together for dinenr






Kitties! @ IUK








So, a number of newborn kitties (5, I think) can be seen on campus these days. Actually, that was last week. This week, I'm pretty sure there're only two left. I guess people took the other three home...

video

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Teaching assistant

One of the things that causing me both grief and joy these days is my latest parttime job: a teaching assistant position at the university. I am TA to three courses in the Economics department: Programming I (Java), Programming I (Visual C#), and Mathematical Programming.
The first two I can get by with, because I used to study programming in my junior college years, but the Mathematical Programming class? I am probably more clueless than the students. So I always dread being asked questions by the students because I have no idea how to answer them. I tried to weasel my way out by telling the teacher that I have no knowledge whatsoever in the subject, but instead he said that I can learn along with the students. No way out, then. Let the stress continue.
By the way, I forgot to mention that all these classes are conducted in Japanese. This was actually one of the most important reasons why I chose to take the job. I thought it would serve as a great experience and good practice also (oh, and it pays pretty well, too). Well, I'm getting both of that, but that doesn't stop the stress... lol

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Thoughts

Going back to the Philippines, attending my grandmother's funeral, seeing long-lost family, talking to my friends here in Japan has got me, and having too much time in my hands during my two-week trip has got me thinking a lot.

First off, it has gotten me thinking about what I want in life and how I am living it. My brother mentioned that once, someone asked him why our family isn't living together (I live in Kagoshima now; my mom is in Taipei; my brother is in Manila; and my dad is in Baguio, Philippines) and that he didn't had an answer to that question. I told my brother then that it was all because of work and money. But then I thought: if I were to win the lottery and no longer have to worry about finances, what would I do? In that case, I probably would still not settle in the Philippines, but would instead try to convince my family to relocate to another country with me. The reason being that I cannot put up with the heat, pollution, corruption, and overall chaos that has worsen through the years.

On that note, while talking to Tienchi today, it also dawned on me that I don't really feel like I truly belong anywhere, that I don't truly call anyplace home. I feel like a foreigner in all three places I've lived in: the Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan. (And it doesn't help that I hold alien registration cards for all three countries)

Any thoughts?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I'm in Hong Kong again

I'm on my trip back to Japan today.

I'm currently on a four-hour stopover in Hong Kong (within the airport only) and I'm pretty sure I visited every nook and cranny of the airport already so right now I'm just posting a blog entry and basically waiting for boarding, then it's Taipei - Fukuoka - Kagoshima from here on.

Later!

Friday, May 8, 2009

In the Philippines now

Hiya!
Just wanted leave a quick hi and to let you know that I will be back in Kagoshima on Monday, May 11, and that I haven't had a chance to go online in the past week or so.
It's good to be connected again... :)
Will post more updates when I get back to my routine!