Reason #82 to Keep Living: Memory

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It’s a new year, with new resolutions and new reasons to keep living. And yet the past still sifts around me, like sand in the air.

I’m still living out of suitcases since I returned to Canada. I’m still incessantly looking at photographs of the past year in Japan. I’m still clinging to this place I used to be, this life I used to live. Continue reading

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3 Things in Japan That You Don’t See in Ontario

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When I arrived in Japan almost two months ago, I expected some big changes. Having grown up in Ontario, Canada, I was used to crappy public transportation, large houses (not to mention big backyards), and toilets in the same room as the shower.

Everything is different in Japan.

I knew this would be the case. Like I said, I expected some big changes. I knew the public transportation here would be amazing (I’m not kidding — I get frustrated and confused now when my train’s a minute late); I knew everything would be crammed, from my apartment to the sidewalk to the places at which I eat and shop; and I knew, because I had visited Japan before, that my toilet would most likely not be in the same room as my shower.

But there have been some differences that I didn’t know about or expect. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go on and on about the vending machines and convenience stores (which are endless and always actually convenient). These three differences were more subtle. They took longer for me to notice. And, most importantly, I think they speak to the deeper differences between Japan and America as a whole. Continue reading