Archive | March, 2012

10 reasons that convince me to stay in Japan

30 Mar

Since I posted this article the other day, I received many comments and I’ve been thinking about upside of living in Japan. As many people mentioned, the grass is always greener on the other side. Every country has some kind of problem, even if it’s free from devastating earthquakes that Japan often suffer from. That’s so true. It’s possible that I don’t realize what I already have, when I keep living in the same place for years. Thus I try to see what Japan has offered to me because that for sure will be something I will miss when I leave Japan.

I’ll list up things I like about living in Japan. 😀

1: Onsen & everyday bathing in a Japanese styled bath
Bathing in Japanese style is so relaxing. Your body will be totally refreshed, warmed, relaxed and get healthier. Bathing is not just for keeping your body clean. I believe it’s good for your brain as well, because it’s always at the bathroom when I get a good idea! I believe my brain turns alpha status thanks to so much of relaxation.

2: Washlet toilet (high-tech toilet)
Every time I travel abroad, I miss Japanese high-tech toilet that installs warm seat and electric bidet/shower. I hear some Hollywood celebs who stayed in Japan got obsessed with it and imported it to install in their toilet back home. Most of households in Japan have this type of toilet, and it’s not considered so luxurious here.

3: Everything is punctual
Public transportation, people in charge of business, and friends to meet up…they are always on time. There’s no stress to wait and screw up the rest of the schedule. Someone from Ukraine who moved to Japan told me once that he chose to live in Japan because it’s less stressful. He can schedule 4 or 5 meetings a day, because everyone appears on time and every public transportation comes on time. He said things wouldn’t go like this in Europe. I see.

4: Good quality of service
Good quality of service is a Japanese standard. Company employees are educated very strictly to treat their customers as if they were God. That’s why working in Japan, provinding service for Japanese people is quite stressful. However, at a customer’s side, I think Japan is a heaven. 😀 I hear how people who traveled in Japan got surprised at our high quality of service. I will realize how wonderful it is only when I experience unsatisfactory kind of service I get somewhere else. I guess I’ve stayed in Japan too long to realize wonderful things. They have become too natural, everyday thing, nothing special, and Japanese standard, but look around the world if you can have the same quality of service? I’m telling to myself.

5: Good quality of products
Some study-abroad agency shares a list of things recommended to bring from Japan to Australia. Followings are the examples.

-sanitary items (for women) made in Japan
-band for hair (made in Japan)
-umbrella (made in Japan)
-tooth brush (made in Japan)
-pensil, eraser, notebook (made in Japan)
-Japanese electrical appliances such as electronic dictionary, camera and PC
-Japanese cosmetic products
-pocket tissues (it’s free in Japan)
-bathing suits
-tights and stocking (made in Japan)
and etc…

These items are in better quality and more reasonable when purchased in Japan than in Australia, according to the agency. (***note: My purpose here is not to speak ill of Australian products, please don’t misunderstand.) Some items are listed because of size difference. For example, tooth brush in Aussie size must be too big for us, Japanese. I will never realize how good these products are and how reasonablly they are supplied in Japan until I leave Japan and compare the counterparts offered in other part of the world.

6: Universal health insurance for everyone
Unlike U.S and other countries, Japan offers public health insurance for every citizen who pays some monthly money. Thanks to this system, whether it’s a public or privarte hospital, big or small scaled, we can get treatments and prescription drug at 30% of total expenses, with 70% covered by the insurance. This also applies to dental therapy. This is the great system and is so beneficial to everyone that none of us has to refrain from seeing doctors due to worries of money.

7: Japanese as a mother language
No matter how much I learn English, it’s still a foreign language to me.

8: Japanese books
I love reading books, but think about it that I have to read them all in English? I will take double or triple as much time as I read them in Japanese. First of all, I will definitely miss Japanese public library from which I can borrow as many as 14 books to read in 2 weeks. Living outside Japan and craving for Japanese books simply means to buy them all via Amazon and get them shipped with a fee. Oh but digital books may be useful in this case. 🙂

9: Kawaii
I still believe there are kawaii goods in any countries but it seems that I’m wrong, according to the readers of TKE blog. 😦 Then I will definitely miss something kawaii once I leave Japan. Just in case you are not sure for the term “kawaii”, it doesn’t simply mean cute characters are on. Some people still seem to misunderstand that kawaii is cartoons for small children but it’s not. Kawaii can be a good design that make girls look prettier, when garment is described as kawaii, for example.

10: Japanese foods, especially Japanese rice and soy sauce
Even though I’m not much in love with certain Japanese foods such as tofu, miso soup, oden, dried fish, and etc., being completely free from them is another story. I especially love Japanese rice and dishes seasoned with soy sauce. Is soy sauce popular everywhere now?

I think you may find out more if you remember your WOW to Japan. Having lived in this country for over 35 years, I’m not sensitive enough to realize great things I can experience in Japan. In that respect, I’m sure you can tell me better than I realize them by myself. lol

Weekend Dinner 2 & 3

25 Mar

Now my husband enjoys cooking over the weekends. I’ve wanted that for years. This weekend he cooked for both Saturday and Sunday dinner. 🙂

Weekend Dinner 2 (Saturday dinner)

1: Teriyaki chicken
I was so tempted when I saw it that I was going to eat the whole thing but it was a bit too much and so we shared it. Yummy!

Continue reading

My daily life around Pi-chan

23 Mar

I love my dog like my own child or my best friend.
You may not believe it but I wish to spend my free time with Pi-chan as much as I can. I never thought I would love my dog this much…maybe too much. ^ ^;;

Continue reading

Weekend Dinner 1

18 Mar

My husband and I’ve been married for 10 years. He used to cook for me before our marriage, but he has been too lazy to do that for a long time after our marriage. Honestly, I’ve been quite unhappy with that. However, I didn’t mind cooking all the time, as my work was easier and flexible. It was natural for me to do most of the house work while he was too busy leaving home 7:30am and returning home after 9pm from Monday to Friday, and resting during the weekends.

My husband changed his work style, and now both of us are working from home.
We chose more freedom in exchange for security, stability, social status, and enough income at the first few years. We need to work online so we can have an option to live outside Japan, if we wish to. (I may not work from home in the near future, if he stays at home, though.)

Anyhow, thus there’s one happy change! My husband started to cook for me! He actually loves cooking, which I didn’t even know!! (*0*) I’m OK for cleaning the room, keep things neat and tidy, washing dishes and doing laundries, but when it comes to cooking, I just do it as a job. Somehow I can’t put my soul into it. I can do it with no problem, but somehow I can’t enjoy it from the bottom of my heart. That’s why I’ve never been free from this feeling, “It’s always I that I have to do cooking in this house. He never can be helpful, but I can’t help it, he’s too busy. Damn!”

So I thought it’s killing two birds with one stone if I blog about the weekend dinner made by my husband. I mean, I can keep records for our reference, and at the same time I can give you an idea what kind of meal Japanese people eat at home, for example. 🙂

It’s the very first Weekend Dinner post. Here we go.

This is the dinner we just had tonight. (The whole thing looks a bit green and dark, which is because of the pendant light over the table. The lamp shades are green. That’s why the picture looks a bit dark compared with those taken in a day time with no light over it.)

What did we have? Let’s take a look one by one. 🙂
Continue reading

To be prepared for an earthquake

10 Mar

1 year has been passing since the 3.11 The Great Tohoku Earthquake
None of us, the Japanese can forget about this date. It was a triple disaster from earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima radiation crisis. What happened to Japan still remains a shock among people and it’s said we need several more years to recover from the damage that tsunami and radioactive contamination left. Some mothers with small children evacuated from Tohoku (affected areas) to Hokkaido or Kyushu area. Although my husband and I don’t have a small kid, we are also thinking of moving out of Japan if the circumstances allow.

What’s scary now is that people start to talk about the high chances of M8 (magnitude) class earthquake that could hit Tokyo and also an eruption of Mt. Fuji. But in fact, we can never be free from earthquake (and tsunami) no matter where we live in Japan. I’ve been getting tired of being under the risk of devastating earthquake and radiation issue. Now is the season of pollen dust. I’m lucky that I don’t have allergy against it, but what’s different about this year is that the pollen contaminated with radiation flies on the air. So I’m wearing a face mask just in case whenever I go out.

Some professors specialized with radiation say there’s no need to be scared about radiation, while some do warn it. Our government always say that it’s OK for now, but they never mention how the current situation affects in 3 years, 5 years or 10 years time. Every time some dangerous radioactive materials are found, they always repeat it should not affect us immediately. I’ve watched how our government handle the entire problem and recovery in this 12 months, but I have to say our government is not reliable. They are very slow in decision making, and you will be surprised how they took so much time for recovery and helping those who were affected by the tragedy.

At a moment, I started to think of a chance to move to Singapore. But would it be any chances for me, my husband and Pi-chan to relocate and work in other country? Pi-chan is a dog. Thus I don’t think Malaysia or Muslim country is possible, in terms of religious reason.

Meanwhile, I’m preparing for the inconvenience in case of a devastating earthquake.
Continue reading

How to make Oyakodon

5 Mar

Have you tried Japanese donburi? Such as katsudon, gyudon, oyakodon, unadon…? Today’s recipe is Oyakodon.

Continue reading