Friday, 31 August 2007

Domo Arigato Gozaimashita & Sayonara

It's not entirely unexpected that after spending up to 20months with a class, you end up with a kinda attachment that will invariably move a lil something inside when when one of you has to leave for good.

What was unexpected however, was that this actually happened with all my classes... even with the students I've only had for a coupla weeks. The number of lil sad faces, lil gifts and lil gestures that I've been shown in the past week has been something both amazing and like nothing that I've ever experienced before.

I really dunno what to say...

Thats what pictures are for.

Today was my last day as an English teacher in Japan.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Lil Moments Like These

A friend of mine was travelling back on the shinkansen recently when the man sitting next to her turned and said something unexpected:

"I like my women like I like my coffee, not wearing a shirt."

Nah, just kidding... though I gotta try that one someday. *sniggers*

What he actually said was, "Excuse me, I'm gonna buy you an ice cream."

My friend was quite taken aback by this and politely refused.

"I'm sorry, I really feel like some ice cream, but I feel embarrassed sitting here eating by myself." he explained, "Please let me treat you, so that I may have some company to enjoy the dessert with."

He looked like a kind man, so when the food cart passed again the man ordered two vanilla cups. They ended up chatting for the rest of the ride home, and my friend later told me that that lil encounter really made her day as she had been a bit glum that week.

The guy was about 70yrs old. But I guess you'd have to be to be able to intro like that with total purity. Though there's a lot to be said about learning from our generations past...

I'll be riding on 8 different planes in September... time to get practising... (0.-)

Monday, 20 August 2007


There's a lot to be said about self-fulfilling prophecies - the idea that if you are absolutely certain about how you think something is gonna happen... then inevitably, you'll end up doing all sorts of little and big things to make sure that that fate you're sure about comes about to fruition for real.

And thats whats been plaguing me these past 20months... I kept predicting my own lil personal dooms all over the place, and by and large they'd all come true pretty much exactly as I had described them (^_^)v ...fueling that sadistic part of my ego and gathering momentum for whatever the next big prediction was... Heh... It was great... Coz I was never wrong... (=.=)

And then I changed my perspective.

My situation hadn't changed, just the way I looked at things. Which then led to a subtle change in attitude, which in turn led to an even subtler change in impulse filtering. Which then led to completely different set of actions being taken than normal... something that hadn't been needed in a long long time. And was much missed when it was brought blinking back out of the shadows. (-.O)

Ohhhhh they're still as sweet as I remember... (^_^)

I dedicate this post to The Newt and The Lot - coz where they are now, is where I've been hanging around for the past few fun-filled months... and I've finally figured out how to start digging myself out of it. I'm not saying its an easy thing to do, but it can't hurt to start early and try. Sometimes it'll take something drastic to flick that switch... like leaving the country for good, and then realising that you really are leaving the country for good. (>_<) But other times, it takes just a nudge from a friend who's been there, and who doesn't wanna see the same thing happen to the people he cares about.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this:

You change your perspective a little, you can flip your attitude alot.
You do that, you'll change your life.


Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Ratatouille Wisdom

I love that one of the best new quotables I've heard in years comes from an animated rat...

Django: "...When all is said and done, we're all we've got."

Remy: "No. Dad, I don't believe it. You're telling me that the future is - can only be - more of this?"

Django: "This is the way things are; you can't change nature."

Remy: "Change is nature, Dad. The part that we can influence. And it starts when we decide."

Django: "Where are you going?"

Remy: "With luck, forward."

Friday, 10 August 2007

Just In Case?!

I only intended on going to the shops to get some milk... yet I come back with 2 cartons of milk, 12 eggs (when there's still 6 already in the fridge), a bunch of bananas, a loaf of bread, 6 pack of ramen and 2 tubs of Hersheys ice cream... this happens every time.

Jeebus, I'm worse than my father... (=_=)


In other news...
I posted this on my facebook but its so awesome I'm gonna stick it here too. =)

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Fireworks and Giant Robots

There's nothing like a weekend of playing dressup with your friends and looking at pretty pretty things in front to feel all kiddykiddylike again...

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Coz It Resonates...

...and coz he's simply an awesome writer - I'm gonna stick up a short story I read recently.

On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning
by Haruki Murakami

One beautiful April morning, on a narrow side street in Tokyo's fashionable Harujuku neighborhood, I walked past the 100% perfect girl.

Tell you the truth, she's not that good-looking. She doesn't stand out in any way. Her clothes are nothing special. The back of her hair is still bent out of shape from sleep. She isn't young, either - must be near thirty, not even close to a "girl", properly speaking. But still, I know from fifty yards away: She's the 100% perfect girl for me. The moment I see her, there's a rumbling in my chest, and my mouth is as dry as a desert.

Maybe you have your own particular favorite type of girl - one with slim ankles, say, or big eyes, or graceful fingers, or you're drawn for no good reason to girls who take their time with every meal. I have my own preferences, of course. Sometimes in a restaurant I'll catch myself staring at the girl at the next table to mine because I like the shape of her nose.

But no one can insist that his 100% perfect girl correspond to some preconceived type. Much as I like noses, I can't recall the shape of hers - or even if she had one. All I can remember for sure is that she was no great beauty. It's weird.

"Yesterday on the street I passed the 100% girl," I tell someone.

"Yeah?" he says. "Good-looking?"

"Not really."

"Your favorite type, then?"

"I don't know. I can't seem to remember anything about her - the shape of her eyes or the size of her breasts."


"Yeah. Strange."

"So anyhow," he says, already bored, "What did you do? Talk to her? Follow her?"

"Nah. Just passed her on the street."

She's walking east to west, and I west to east. It's a really nice April morning. Wish I could talk to her. Half an hour would be plenty: just ask her about herself, tell her about myself, and - what I'd really like to do - explain to her the complexities of fate that have led to our passing each other on a side street in Harajuku on a beautiful April morning in 1981. This was something sure to be crammed full of warm secrets, like an antique clock built when peace filled the world.

After talking, we'd have lunch somewhere, maybe see a Woody Allen movie, stop by a hotel bar for cocktails. With any kind of luck, we might end up in bed. Potentiality knocks on the door of my heart. Now the distance between us has narrowed to fifteen yards.

How can I approach her? What should I say?

"Good morning, miss. Do you think you could spare half an hour for a little conversation?"

Ridiculous. I'd sound like an insurance salesman.

"Pardon me, but would you happen to know if there is an all-night cleaners in the neighborhood?"

No, this is just as ridiculous. I'm not carrying any laundry, for one thing. Who's going to buy a line like that?

Maybe the simple truth would do. "Good morning. You are the 100% perfect girl for me."

No, she wouldn't believe it. Or even if she did, she might not want to talk to me. Sorry, she could say, I might be the 100% perfect girl for you, but you're not the 100% boy for me. It could happen. And if I found myself in that situation, I'd probably go to pieces. I'd never recover from the shock. I'm thirty-two, and that's what growing older is all about.

We pass in front of a flower shop. A small, warm air mass touches my skin. The asphalt is damp, and I catch the scent of roses. I can't bring myself to speak to her. She wears a white sweater, and in her right hand she holds a crisp white envelope lacking only a stamp. So: She's written somebody a letter, maybe spent the whole night writing, to judge from the sleepy look in her eyes. The envelope could contain every secret she's ever had.

I take a few more strides and turn: She's lost in the crowd.

Now, of course, I know exactly what I should have said to her. It would have been a long speech, though, far too long for me to have delivered it properly. The ideas I come up with are never very practical.

Oh, well. It would have started "Once upon a time" and ended "A sad story, don't you think?"

*dot. dot. dot.*
Once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl. The boy was eighteen and the girl sixteen. He was not unusually handsome, and she was not especially beautiful. They were just an ordinary lonely boy and an ordinary lonely girl, like all the others. But they believed with their whole hearts that somewhere in the world there lived the 100% perfect boy and the 100% perfect girl for them. Yes, they believed in a miracle. And that miracle actually happened.

One day the two came upon each other on the corner of a street.

"This is amazing," he said. "I've been looking for you all my life. You may not believe this, but you're the 100% perfect girl for me."

"And you," she said to him, "are the 100% perfect boy for me, exactly as I'd pictured you in every detail. It's like a dream."

They sat on a park bench, held hands, and told each other their stories hour after hour. They were not lonely anymore. They had found and been found by their 100% perfect other. What a wonderful thing it is to find and be found by your 100% perfect other. It's a miracle, a cosmic miracle.

As they sat and talked, however, a tiny, tiny sliver of doubt took root in their hearts:
Was it really alright for one's dreams to come true so easily?

And so, when there came a momentary lull in their conversation, the boy said to the girl, "Let's test ourselves - just once. If we really are each other's 100% perfect lovers, then sometime, somewhere, we will meet again without fail. And when that happens, and we know that we are the 100% perfect ones, we'll marry then and there. What do you think?"

"Yes," she said, "that is exactly what we should do."

And so they parted, she to the east, and he to the west.

The test they had agreed upon, however, was utterly unnecessary. They should never have undertaken it, because they really and truly were each other's 100% perfect lovers, and it was a miracle that they had ever met. But it was impossible for them to know this, young as they were. The cold, indifferent waves of fate proceeded to toss them unmercifully.

One winter, both the boy and the girl came down with the season's terrible inluenza, and after drifting for weeks between life and death they lost all memory of their earlier years. When they awoke, their heads were as empty as the young D. H. Lawrence's piggy bank.

They were two bright, determined young people, however, and through their unremitting efforts they were able to acquire once again the knowledge and feeling that qualified them to return as full-fledged members of society. Heaven be praised, they became truly upstanding citizens who knew how to transfer from one subway line to another, who were fully capable of sending a special-delivery letter at the post office. Indeed, they even experienced love again, sometimes as much as 75% or even 85% love.

Time passed with shocking swiftness, and soon the boy was thirty-two, the girl thirty.

One beautiful April morning, in search of a cup of coffee to start the day, the boy was walking from west to east, while the girl, intending to send a special-delivery letter, was walking from east to west, but along the same narrow street in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo. They passed each other in the very center of the street. The faintest gleam of their lost memories glimmered for the briefest moment in their hearts. Each felt a rumbling in their chest. And they knew:

She is the 100% perfect girl for me.

He is the 100% perfect boy for me.

But the glow of their memories was far too weak, and their thoughts no longer had the clarity of fouteen years earlier. Without a word, they passed each other, disappearing into the crowd. Forever.

A sad story, don't you think?

Yes, that's it, that is what I should have said to her.