being “fluent” in a language
encompasses being at the professional level in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
i wish there were more hours in a day
My days in Japan feel considerably busier.
There’s just so many things to do in a day, and I’m trying my best to keep in touch with so many people throughout the days - my mom, my girlfriend, my siblings, my grandparents, my uncle and ojichan, and friends back home - but all these errands and assignments and socializing and the stupid homework checks that some of the people in my dorm ask me regularly are making everything so much more difficult.
I just wish I had more.. time!
renouncing my Japanese citizenship tomorrow
Heading to the Japanese Consulate tomorrow to turn in my renunciation documents. I’m giving up my Japanese citizenship for a mere scholarship and the measly sounding “foreigner’s benefits” that’ll be presented to me during my 11 month stay in Japan. It’s disappointing to see my citizenship - something my mom fought so hard for me to keep throughout my entire application process - be relinquished through the signing of a few sheets of paper only two weeks before my departure. I’ve never seen my mom cry such regrettable tears… Although it hasn’t hit me yet and I have yet to comprehend the graveness of this situation, maybe one day in the near future I will realize what I have lost.
And here’s to the beginning of my foreigner rigmarole.
some thoughts while dog sitting at my professor’s house at 10:30pm
I leave for Japan in seventeen days. seven. teen. days. Sometimes I cringe when I see a trailer for a movie that is coming out weeks after I leave for Japan, or see a commercial ad for a new TV show “premiering this autumn.” I get goosebumps when I hear my taiko teacher ask my siblings whether they’re available to perform at a gig on some random day in October.
To be frank, excitement is the dominant (and appropriate) feeling that I am experiencing in my remaining days in the states, but I can feel my positive emotions being suppressed by my growing anxiety and tenseness towards the concept of “studying abroad.” Japan is supposed to be a familiar country for me: Japanese was my first language, my mother immersed me in the culture from an early age, and I feel confident to identify myself as a Japanese American. But as my departure date quickly approaches, I’m beginning to develop a minor degree of apprehensiveness to that country. Truthfully, I don’t know what to expect or gain (or rather, what I should be gaining) from the year I’ll be spending in Japan. I’ve been to Japan numerous times, but have never lived there for a year. I can communicate with the people there, but never have I interacted with college students my age on a daily basis. I can picture myself being involved in club activities and “circles,” but what exactly will I be gaining from all of this? A closer identification with my mother’s culture? Improvement of my Japanese language skills? Or the gaining of a “global perspective”? These are the cliche words that often pepper the pamphlets and videos that advocate college study abroad programs. But how applicable will these be to me?
Studying abroad in Japan will surely require me to step out of my comfort zone, a big step if I’d call it that. I’ve been telling my professors, taiko teachers, friends, and my family that I’ll come back a changed man, a more mature individual if I may. My biggest fear as of late is the possibility of “wasting” my time in Japan, not taking full advantage of the opportunities provided to me. I hope I can live up to the promises I have made.
Dante, my professor’s seven foot Deerhound, will not stop licking my knees.
Japan in seventeen days.
I want to make videos just like this, or have experiences similar to this sort.
the most irrelevant holiday in our household.
one of the most painful experience for me is
going to a Japanese restaurant and seeing everything that can go wrong in a Japanese restaurant, go wrong.
Went to Sushi Para today and it absolutely sucked. Good thing I have super low standards for American sushi. It was almost entertaining to see parties of non-Japanese people eating at that place and thinking that it’s authentic Japanese food.
Ok I’ll stop being an elitist.
Khalil Fong - 夠不夠