Wednesday, June 25, 2008
To the men: warn your loved ones !
To the women: remember this!
About a month ago there was a woman standing by the Mega Mall entrance passing out flyers to all the women going in. The woman had written the flyer herself to tell about an experience she had, so that she might warn other women.
The previous day, this woman had finished shopping, went out to her
car and discovered that she had a flat. She got the jack out of the trunk and began to change the flat. A nice man dressed in business suit and carrying a briefcase walked up to her and said,
"I notice you're changing a flat tire. Would you like me to take care of it for you?"
The woman was grateful for his offer and accepted his help. They chatted amiably while the man changed the flat, and then put the flat tire and the jack in the trunk, shut it and dusted his hands off. The woman thanked him profusely, and as she was about to get in her car, the man told her that he left his car around on the other side of the mall, and asked if she would mind giving him a lift to his car. She was a little surprised and asked him why his car was on other side. He explained that he had seen an old friend in the mall that he hadn't seen for some time and they had a bite to eat and visited for a while; he got turned around in the mall and left through the wrong exit, and now he was running late and his car was clear around on the other side of the mall. The woman hated to tell him "no" because he had just rescued her from having to change her flat tire all by herself, but she felt uneasy. Then she remembered seeing the man put his briefcase in her trunk before shutting it and before he asked her for a ride to his car.
She told him that she'd be happy to drive him to his car, but she just remembered one last thing she needed to buy. She said she would only be a few minutes; he could sit down in her car and wait for her; she would be as quick as she could be. She hurried into the mall, and told a security guard what had happened; the guard came out to her car with her, but the man
They opened the trunk, took out his locked briefcase and took it down to the police station. The police opened it (ostensibly to look for ID so they could return it to the man). What they found was rope, duct tape and knives. When the police checked her "flat" tire, there was nothing wrong with it; the air had simply been let out. It was obvious what the man's motive was, and obvious that he had carefully thought it out in advance.
The woman was blessed to have escaped harm. How much worse it would have been had she waited in the car while the man fixed the tire, or if she had a baby strapped into a car seat. Or if she'd gone against her judgment and given him a lift.
I'd like you to forward this to all the women you know. It may save a life. A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle. I was going to send this to the ladies only; but guys, if you love your mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc., you may want to pass it on to them, as well.
Send this to any woman you know that may need to be reminded that the world we live in has a lot of crazies in it.... better than sorry.
PLEASE BE SAFE AND NOT SORRY! JUST A WARNING TO ALWAYS BE ALERT AND USE YOUR HEAD!!!
Pass this along to every woman you have access to. Never let your guard down. SOMETIMES, THAT FEELING IN YOUR GUT IS THE VOICE OF GOD. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS!!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
thirty minutes before six pm, my friend.officemate decided to make a declaration that she will no longer continue doing her min-thesis to be submitted to melbourne university in order to get her masters degree. that started our conversation about her difficulties writing the paper and coming up with a strong theory/arguements about the real motivations behind japanese's oda to china... i felt bad because i can feel how stressed she was thinking that she failed.
on my way home, i was still thinking about her problem with the thought that she could really finish it just in time if only she would push her self to do it. since i saw her draft report, i saw that all information are already at-hand however, she just need to sort things out and figure what does she really want to point out. i find it easy for me because i have spent my college years doing such kind of papers and even until i was already working. then i realized that i have not been using my potentials in order to pursue my dreams...
when i was still in college, my friends would always tease about my crazy dream of becoming the president of the philippines. for an average girl like me, it would take forever before i could reach that dream... though, i just consider it a crazy thought, still, some people believe that i could or might be a president of the philippines in due time... hehehe...
but as i step into the ladder of maturity, my dreams become narrower and simpler... there was even a point in my life that i do not want to do any further study because all i want is to be a housewife, raise a family, and take care of my family. i consider it as noble job but that would also mean i would throw away my career and my educational background.
however, God does have other plans for us. of all my friends, i was the one who do not have plans of going abroad because i do not want to leave my dad and our house. these are the two things that my mom requested me to take care of before she passed away. but duty calls and now i am here in japan for one year.
being here served as an eyeopener for me and gave some light to what i really want to be in the next five to ten years. though i am still in the crossroads between raising a family and being a good housewife or a career executive, one thing is for sure... i will definetely finish my studies when i get home. i also want to take a culinary course in a well-known school to add credentials to my small business. and if given the chances, i will study abroad for another masters degree or post graduate degree...
as for my mission of finding a prospective husband to be, well... it will come in due time... i hope :)
Sunday, June 22, 2008
i was surprised when i recieved an email from a new friend inviting me to go to roppongi for some clubbing. it was really unexpected because i only met him once and i haven't heard from him since then. the date was set saturday night around ten in the evening. meeting place: almond restuarant near exit 3 of the metro subway.
it was not hard for me to look for him in front of almond because when i got there, he was already standing in front of the restaurant talking to some of his fellow africans. he said that he just met them there while for me. they even suggested that we go to "nature" one of the bars in roppongi. so we tried to check out the place but we found out that it has already closed. since he doesn't have any idea what bar we could go, i suggested that we try gaspanc. knowing that the place is nice and the music is good, i was sure that he will enjoy the place.
and my instincts didn't fail me.. he just loved the place and the ambiance. we danced while we share a couple of beers... as time pass by, the place starts to be crowded with people of all ages and nationalities... my friend tease me because it was not only one or two but six girls that find me hot... (scary!!!) and would even say that they like me.. these girls are not tomboys, these were typical japanese young girls who hunt men.
but what caught our attention was a not-so-typical japanese girl named yuko... she really danced her heart out. she was so bubbly and cool to be with... according to my friend, among the six girls who liked me that night, she was the top one.. she utterly say that she really likes me... i just hope that her fondness is purely innocent otherwise, that would scare me to hell.
so, we spent the night dancing, drinking, and laughing with her... we even noticed that people around us keep staring at us because we are really having our good time. we didn't even noticed that it was already five in the morning until the bar became bright because all the lights were turned on as a signal that it was about to close. we promised to hang out together soon.
and before we part ways, she reminded us that her name is yuko....
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
with that in hand, i grew up living on the way how my parents would like it - protecting me not to have the same situation as my elder sister. we may not be filthy rich, but i can say that i have lived comfortably with my parents. at times we may not have a very luscious meal on the table but i grew not worrying how my life would survive day after day. my mom and dad work very hard to get me into the best school in our place. they even push me to join a lot of extra curricular activities in school and in our community. every year, my mom would spend money to buy nice gowns for the may flower festival. she said that it was her commitment to the Lord that she would dress me beautifully and join the festival as a gratitude for giving me to her and keeping me alive. it was fun at first but as i get older, i try to question my mom because she always push me to do a lot of things. she always want me to achieve academically, politically, and socially.
a few days before i graduate from college, i was still clueless of what i will do after graduation. until then, i was even clueless why i took political science at all. when people ask me why i took that course, i would always say that it was mom who filled-up my college application.
i thought things would change when i had my first job in a real nice oublic office. i thought that i have already fulfilled her expectations of me. i thought that she would stop pushing me to do more than what i think i can do. but i thought wrong. sometimes i feel bad when she tells me that i did not do my best or my best was not enough. but being a good daughter, i cannot utter a single complain about being tired of living to her expectations.
when she got hospitalized, my world fell into pieces because i was caught unguard of the situation. in a split second, everything was my responsibility. i grew up just thinking about simple things but at that moment, all the people around me depend on me especially my mom who was struggling for her life. i remember her saying that she can endure any pain and would obey all the doctor's order because she knows that i am around to be with her. that moment bacame worse when we led her to her final destination. i tried not to cry infront of my family especially my dad because i felt that they rely on me. i have to be strong for them otherwise, everything would fall apart.
i can say that i acted well because people believe that i have coped with her loss in a short time. but lately, i realized that i was beginning to fall down bit by bit. i became tired of doing my best and i became tired of living with other people's expectations. i came to a point that i just want to do nothing. even up to now, i am still struggling between being carefree and being responsible. a lot of times i do not want to go to work because i feel that i am being exploited and uncompensated for doing a hard work.
while i was watching a movie from my laptop awhile ago, i can see myself in the actress' story. i was able to relate how hard and scary it was for her to live with the expectations of others. she tried to rebel on it but then she realized that it would only do her worse. when she tried to embrace it, she realized that it was not bad after all.
one way or the other, that story has hit me. i may not have the courage to rebel to my mom when she was alive but at some point in my life, i did rebel when she was gone doing things that i know would hurt me in the end. i felt happy doing some crazy stuff but at the end of the day i felt emptiness inside me. if only my mom is beside me right now, she would tell me that i have not been in my best for the past three years. i have all the opportunities to make change but i did nothing about it. i was like a working machine jsut fulfulling my duty in order to get paid but my passion for doing my best was gone. at this very moment, i was not even happy working to other country. when i accepted the offer, i did not do it because i am glad to but i see it as an obligation for me to accomplish. maybe it was also a way for me to be away of the daily responsibilities in my family. but seeing the said movie made me realize that there are a lot of things that i could do to change other people's lives making it better for them to be encourage to continue living. it's just up to me whether i embrace that chance or just bum around letting than chance pass... and i decided to embrace that chance. i may not became famous for that but atleast when i get old, i would have some legacy to leave from my youth. something that i could share with my grandchildren, if ever i would have grandchildren in the future. :)
the book is about a girl who got pregnant at the age of fifteen... without someone to take care of her, she decided to look for parents that could adopt her baby. she found a prospective couple in a different state thus, she was forced to transfer to be able to meet them and discuss with them the terms. as they were waiting for the baby to come, the girl had a good time with the couple and eventually, they become close friends. a month before her expected date, she had an ultrasound to know the baby's gender. there they also found out that the baby was already dead and needs to be taken out of her body immediately. it was a rough time for her and the couple but that incident made them closer and more open to each other. after a few days, the couple realized that they want here to live and take care of her. she refused the offer believing that they only pity her for the loss of her baby... but then, after a few days of thinking, she went back to them and live with them as their adopted girl. the couple may have lost a baby but they found a daughter in her. she may have lost a child but she found good parents in them....
sometimes the best things that happen to us come in unexpected. we may not have wished for it, but God really knows what is the best for us.. at times, we get confused whether to embrace it or not but our instinct would tell us to accept it as fate. it may come in a wrong time, but at the end of the day, we realize that it was really meant to come just the right time and place.
as i was writing this article, i realize that i, myself, gets into that same situation a hundredfold. at first, i refuse to accept some of them eventhough they already happened but destiny and faith tell me that God has other plans for me. something that would make me a better and strong person. I just need to trust and believe in Him.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
since i arrived in japan two months ago, i also tell my friends that one of my frustrations was not having a nightlife. most of the stores/malls in yokohama especially in the place where i lived, tsurumi, are already close by 8:00 pm... and the public transportation is only until eleven...likewise, tsurumi has no bars/disco where my generation could enjoy. yes, there were a lot of beer houses but most of the people who goes there were oldies, typiccal senior citizens who like drinking beer everyday and going home crawling because they were so drunk..
when i asked my friends where to have some good time and hang out, they said that the best place in town is roppongi... the entertainment center of japan which is located in tokyo. when i was about to leave for manila sometime in may, my friends promised me that we will go to roppongi to have fun and to celebrate one of my friend's birhtday... excited as i am, i really look forward to that they that we will go clubbing.. at last i will have a nightlife in japan!
so, the set date came and we were all dressed for partying... a few hours before leaving the office, i already felt the hestitation from my friends... while we were deciding to set our itinerary, that hesitation became very obvious. one, they are not into clubbing and dancing. two, eventhough they know how to get to roppongi they are not familiar to the good places there... whew!!! thus, we ended up having dinner in a somewhat isolated italian restaurant in aka rengga (red brick) 5 minutes away from our office...
i did not let them see my disappointment but inside i really felt sad because i have already set my mind that i will go to roppongi that day... if i would wait for the time for them to set another date in roppongi, i might be back in manila with no avail...
the friday after that, i decided that i will go to roppongi even by myself... i browsed the metropolis (tokyo magazine) to see what possible clubs i could look into... since i do not know how to get to roppongi, i sought the help of jorudan.net, an internet site where you could consult on possible trains to ride in going to your desired place and time... with enough information at hand, i got dressed and headed to the train station...
i chose the shortest train itinerary going to roppongi even if it would require me to take a different line...my travel seems longer but it was nice enough to know some new places near tsurumi... unfortunately, the train i hopped in stopped at shinagawa therefore, i still need to get off and take another train going to ebisu... from ebisu, i took the tokyo metro subway going to roppongi...
roppongi, here i come!!!! as i exited roppongi station, excitement and fear got into me at the same time... excited because at last i would have a nightlife...yehey!!! fear, because im clueless of the place... so, i tried to walk around and scout the place... one thing i noticed is that there are a lot of black people standing at the sidewalk and inviting customers to try their place... when i got tired of walking and still undecided where to go, i called von for help... he suggested a few nice bars and luckily, i was already in front of one of them..the bar's name is gaspanic... similar to some bars in malate and timog, gaspanic is a small place with a VIP corner, a long bar, and the dj's booth on the other corner... just enough for people to stand in and dance.. what's nice about the said bar is that it has no entrance fee unlike most of the bars in roppongi. likewise, you can enjoy a bottle of beer for as low as 600 yen... not bad. the best thing for me, there's a filipino working as one of the bartenders in gaspanic... yehey!!! his name is taro, half-filipino and half-japanese. when he saw me approached the bar, i already saw a nice smile form him and then he asked me if i am a filipina...with that, i already know that i am safe in the place.
since trains are only until eleven pm, i did not have any choice but to wait for the earliest train schedule the following day (5:00 am) otherwise, it would take me a fortune riding a taxi going to my place...
it was only eleven when i got inside the bar, but it was quite full already... and most of them were already dancing... i ordered a beer and tried to feel the place.. after a minutes, i stood in a corner and began dancing...i felt awkward at the start but that feeling faded as time passed by... i did not even realized that i was already having fun with some of them...that moment, differences in race, language, or work status, etc never materialized. people just danced and had their fun...
back in manila, i always try to reach home before the sun would show up no matter what... but since, im the land of the rising sun, it was already bright eventhough it was only 4:00 am... it may have ruined my principle but what the heck?! i had fun!!! at last, i had a nightlife!!!!
get paid to blog
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
it has been two months now since i left manila and fly to yokohama.... my first few days in japan has been very challenging yet fun... first, the weather: april should be springtime but as i go to work everyday i need to overcome the cold strong wind and the heavy rain... second, being alone all by myself: i may look independent but being alone here in a strange place gave a new meaning to the word independent since it's my first time to be really away from home. its like waking up everyday morning without someone to wish for a great day or going to bed without someone to chat how your day was. there is also the fun side of being independent... designing your own pad and deciding what to cook for lunch and dinner... fourth, the beautiful places: there are a lot to see in yokohama and elsewhere in japan.. i fear that i may not have enough time to visit the must sees in the land of the rising sun. fifth, realizing the beauty of home: as i go to different places and meet new friends, at the end of the day you'll realize that there is no real place like home...
excited. that was my first reaction when someone invited me to visit kyoto...if it would push through, it would be my first time to go to a place not within the kanagawa prefecture or to tokyo area... my excited got bigger when i found out that my trip is 200% confirmed... yes! i will go to kyoto on june 1, 2008...
saturday morning, i was on my way to shinagawa where i will ride the shinkansen (bullet train)... quite nervous inside since it will be my first time to ride in the said train, i tried to look cool..pretending to be normal...
my excitement lessened when i do not see any thing exciting along my way... all i can see was either a congested urban area or a vast field planted with rice or orange... worse, the rain has never stopped since i rode the train..
when i reached kyoto, my excitement returned... i felt excited to explore the place to see the different tourist places.
my first itinerary: meet bernadia's friend and have lunch..... trying to find a stranger in the middle of the busy environment of the kyoto station... then i heard someone called my name....having lunch with him was good... he took me in a cozy italian restaurant. time was fast with him as we talked a lot of different things over a platter of pasta....
second itinerary: kyoto university..... after lunch, i headed to kyoto university to meet the student of my friend as well as leave my things in the laboratory before i continue with my tour...
it took me quite a while before i could find the place and the person that i have to meet since it was a weekend, i seldom see people on the street whom i could ask for directions... after a few rounds in the university and studying the map, i finally found the aka renga building (red brick)... as i enter the laboratoy, i can see the confusion on their faces when i introduced myself to them... maybe they were expecting someone older rather than see a high-school-like girl as visitor...
third itinerary: ginkakuji temple (the temple with silver lining).... since i only have a few hours to look around, i see to it that i will make the most of my time.. so i chose the places that are uniquely kyoto... one of them is ginkakuji temple... aside from its uniqueness, the temple is also near the university... going there would save me some time to visit other places.... phong, friend's student, was kind enough to lend me his bike going to the temple.... excitement and fear went into me as it was my first time to ride a bike in japan.. as i bike my way to the temple, i thought half of my spirit was left on the street... i was not able to enjoy much in the temple because my mind was on my way home using the bike again... luckily, i returned to the university campus safe....
fourth itinerary: gion (maiko town).... when i reached the campus, i immediately returned the bike to him and decided to take the bus instead... in that way, i would feel relaxed from the burden of taking care of the bike and being safe... walking in the street of gion is like going back to the old time of kyoto... the maiko town (geisha's place) is very traditional... the houses were made of wood and the architecture is ancient... very traditional just like in the old japanese movies... as i toured the quiet town, i see tourists (local and foreign) standing at the sidewalks as if waiting for someone... suddenly, people gather in a group.. there i found out that all of them were waiting for a geisha to come out for them to take pictures.... i also tried my luck but it always end up having their back view in the picture... i thought i will leave the town empty-handed... as i exit in the main gate, i saw a group of geisha coming towards my direction...
with a smile on my face, i returned to the campus... and when my friend asked how my trip was, i smiled, show him the picture in my camera and said: "i saw maiko"
it all changed when one saturday morning i was awakened with the loud noise coming from gongs and people shouting... when i looked at the balcony, i saw people wearing japanese happi and carrying a miniature house or temple... that kind of scene lasted for two full days....
i was surprised when i saw the silent street of honchodori became very lively even after ten pm. there were a lot of stalls selling various products and food.. people dressed in happi, young and old, gather together to enjoy the food...
that sunday afternoon, my amasement got bigger when i saw the street of honchodori being crowded... a once quiet street became very lively... people gathered together to give thanks and to celebrate
1. its unique
2. its one of my favorite flowers
3. it reminds me of my race - asian
4. its intriguing yet wholesome
. OSWALD - moarimeikatate (sounds like america and states. har.... har... har...)2. JUNELLE - zudotokutataku (Thank God I’m a Filipino! sounds like sadako. nyay! hehehe)3. Sanilisa - arikatokitakiarika (Good for tongue twister challenge...hehehe)4. Jeanne - zukukatotoku (sounds strange hahahha........ )5. Juliana - zudotakikatoka (oh boy...i am glad that I am not Japanese :D It is difficult name for Juliana....LOL)6. Janice Ng - ZuKatokimiku ToJi (not quite used to name starting with Zuka...haha)7. MARZIE - Rinkashizikite (WOW! Very hard to pronounce but love that my Japanese name starts with an R!)8. JEAN CHIA - Zukukato Mirikika (I love Mirikika! So cute!! ^^)9. EMILA - Kurinkitaka (Yummy! Sounds like a sushi dish!)10.FARAH - Lukashikari (I hate this name, it sounds like 'lu kasik kari' translated: you gave curry) hahahahah11. DEBBIE - teku tutu kiku (lol! Sounds like 3 kawaii characters of a very cute Japanese anime! Love it!)12.RATU SYURA - Shikachido Arifudoshika (Try saying that 10 times in a row without twisting your tongue!!)13. Sam - Arikarin, Not bad. Luckily it is not Tamagochi.14. Liza - Takizika (hehe, sounds like a tamagochi or digimon character)15. Imelda - Ki-rin-ku-ta-te-ka (Kirinkutateka) sounds awful to me, glad to have not been in born in Japan16. Bhang - I've chosen to translate my nick over my real name. Here's what i got - turikatoji (do i sound like I'm casting a spell?.. lol.) 17. Anna-katokato (do i sound like a scary tv show?!)
This blog has truly touched me. Knowing that someone has appreciated one's presence and made a change in their life is worth-keeping. Whenever I miss home, reading this blog has helped me ease my loneliness and homesickness. Remembering our good times together help me look forward to the day that I will be home again... However, as we enjoy each other's success in life, a part of me still fear that when I'm about to go home, my dear friend is about to leave to fulfill her dreams...
Technology has really gone a long way not only in terms of business and economic development but even on the personal level of the people. What am i saying? Nowadays, relationships have been very vissible through on-line only through the internet but also through mobile chatting. Gone are the days of visiting the girl's house and pleasing the parents through water-fetching and wood works; hello to text courting and eyeball dating.
Relationships nowadays were made through internet courting with the help of chatrooms, friendster or myspace :) And what is really amazing is that two people from both end of the world were able to share forever through the power of today's technology.
At this point in my life, I am only contected to my loveones through technology since I am very far from them now. Fortunately, tools like the internet and mobile phones are already in place otherwise, I may die because of homesickness.
Friday, June 6, 2008
everything is new to me at the moment... and i have decided to embrace and enjoy it. maybe that is the reason why there's no trace of culture shock in me... for the first time, i will live alone and independently for one full year... no dad, no cousins and relatives in the house... just me.
all my life, i live in a house where relationships serve as the center or focus... as an only child, my responsiblity to my parents include being with them always... likewise, my parents are a little overprotected of me. im not saying im a spoiled brat but i can say that i have lived comfortably with my parents being always there to provide for my needs and wants.
living alone right now is really a big challenge for me... first are the household chores. i have to do them all by myself. most importantly i learned how to wash my clothes from time to time. its not that i do not know how to wash clothes, but back at home, someone does it for me... now, i am double careful not to stain my clothes because i know now how hard it is removing them... :)
second, my daily expenses... i learned how to somehow manage my finances for me to be able to pay for my bills... i can say there's a big difference here and at home because i don't have my dad to back me up immediately now if i run out of cash...
people who i meet everyday outside our house think that i'm an independent, strong woman who can deal with everything and anything... but inside our house, i'm still a daddy's girl...and living alone has indeed honed me to be a new improved person....
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
April 6, 2008: It was a mixed emotion… part of me feels excited and half of me feel like backing out. As early as 3:00 am, all of my family members are already preparing for my trip. Everyone is excited yet one can feel the sadness in everyone’s heart. It would my first time to be very far away from home for a long time. On our way to the airport, we tried to make the trip a typical one like we always have. We diverted our attention to RM’s stunning expression for it was the first time that this little boy has seen a lot along the road – the glittering lights along the highway and the noise coming from the vehicles passing through.
As we get near the departure area, everyone still try to act normal. Though I know in m heart that right everybody feels like crying. There goes my first challenge – saying goodbye to my love ones without shedding a single tear.
The second challenge was harder than I imagine. As I pass through the airport security and my bag being weighed, I was shocked when the Northwest Personnel told me that I overweighed my luggage twice than the allowed…meaning, I have a 20-kilo excess baggage with me. I don’t have a choice but to pay that or else I would end up giving my stuff to the airport security.
Getting in the plane was a little easy… I just slept most of the time probably because I didn’t have a decent sleep for the past few days. Getting out of Narita International Airport has been fun though I felt quite nervous at first because of my very heavy luggage. But everything turned out fine and quick. Luckily the airport limousine was just right outside the airport exit door.
On my way to Yokohama, I was stunned by the beauty of the cherry blossoms. I just hope that I could get near to one. When I reached the YCAT (Yokohama City Air Terminal) I was welcomed by CITYNET Assistant General Secretary Kazuo Hashimoto. I was very glad to see Hashimoto-san. He was very kind to carry my heavy bag until we reached the Yokohama International Student House in Tsurumi, which is three stations away from YCAT. He even accompanied me to my room J After that, he toured me around the commercial area of Tsurumi and he even treated me dinner….
Hmm…I think I will be accustomed to my place in no time…. while I was packing my things and putting them in places that I think are right for them, I begin noticing that there are still some things that I need to buy tonight, most especially fresh food… Going to the market was easy because it was just right beside my building J After doing my grocery; I went back to my room and finished tidying up the place. A few minutes after that, I received a phone call… to my surprise; it was Von – my classmate in college!!! Talking about luck, I was very grateful that we are staying at the same building. He even offered me to just to his room whenever I need an Internet connection and he will lend me his iron. Yehey!!!
They say that first day is always a disaster… I think not… my first day in Japan has been a thrill. It may have some downsides but at the end of the day it turned out just fine.
May 30, 2008: It was almost two months now since i arrived in Japan. Adjusting to my environment was not really a big deal except for the extreme weather and language barrier with the japanese… being alone all by myself is quite a challenge too. i may look independent but being alone here in a strange place gave a new meaning to the word independent since it’s my first time to be really away from home. its like waking up everyday morning without someone to wish for a great day or going to bed without someone to chat how your day was. there is also the fun side of being independent… designing your own pad and deciding what to cook for lunch and dinner…but the rewarding part of it are the beautiful places. there are a lot to see in yokohama and elsewhere in japan.. i fear that i may not have enough time to visit the must sees in the land of the rising sun. but still there are times when you miss home… as i go to different places and meet new friends, at the end of the day you’ll realize that there is no real place like home…