From KyokoThis is about my American friend. He is a manager at Boeing, one of the most famous companies in the world. I met him several months ago, at an English discussion meeting. I didn't have chance to talk to him during the discussion. After the event, we went to a Vietnamese restaurant with the members of the English club. After eating and drinking there, we walked together to the station talking a lot. I was immediately charmed by his character.
Since I was interested in business matters, I asked him how he establishes good relationships with his coworkers as a manager. Thinking about the fact that he is the manager of many branches of his company, it may not be easy to adjust to the local environment and its culture. He said “Once we master the rules of business, management is not difficult. We must put the right man in the right place. Watching people closely and estimating the workers’ ability and performance properly is important.”
He then proceeded with an interesting story. At one of the branches of Boeing, he used to be a boss of many local people who were not Americans. When he was transferred to another branch, a local person replaced him as manager. After a while, the workers started to demand that he return to replace the new manager. He said they liked him because he used to bake muffins for them every morning. He jokingly said that the rules of management are very simple.
The other day, we talked about the American president Donald Trump. He is viewed as a representative of rude and aggressive men. However, we should not fail to see the facts of the matter. Racial problems became more serious under the Obama administration. The news media often manipulates the facts for their benefit. Main stream media does not always report news correctly. Reading a lot of books is one of the best ways to make us think. We must cultivate logical thinking and see the matter objectively to make good decisions. Trump seems too aggressive, but he was elected by the American people. We must think about why he was chosen. These are some of the sensitive matters that we also talked about.
He is going to return to Seattle with his subordinate who is an excellent engineer after this one-year special assignment in Japan. He taught me English and treated me nicely. I asked him how I can return the favor. He replied, “Help people in need and pay it forward!”
From NickThis weekend I was fortunate enough to spend some time again with my father here in Japan. I don't get to see him much so I really treasure the time we get to spend together. This weekend we decided to do something that we used to do in America all the time. We went to see a movie. Even though he has been traveling for many years and to many countries this we the first time he went to see a movie in a foreign country. This reminded me that of a small side hobby I developed while traveling. That is to go to a movie theater in as many different countries as I can. As of writing this I have been to a movie theater in 8 different countries, America, China, Japan, France, Vietnam, Malaysia, The Philippians, and Myanmar. Though there are many similarities between the theaters in different counties there are some differences that I'd like to share.
I will start with my home country of America. Probably the biggest difference about going to the movies in America is we don't choose our seats when we buy the ticket. We go in to the theater and find the seat we want to sit in by walking around and looking. That means it is very important to get to there a bit early, especially if it is a popular movie. It can be a problem if you go really early to get a good seat and no one else goes to that movie, then you have just wasted a half hour of your time waiting by yourself in an empty movie theater. Though, that is still better than getting there late and having to sit in the front row.
After living in China for a year, I had the chance to go to many movies while there. One thing that stood out as being a little unique in Chinese movie theaters is people talk a little bit more. Maybe not too loud but noticeably a little more than other places I have been.
The coldest movie theater I have even been in was in Vietnam. I was freezing. When I looked around I saw that a lot of people had brought a jacket or long sleeve shirt even though it was the middle of a Vietnamese summer. My friend said that it was one of the attractions of the movie theater. People liked to go there because it was so cold. The theater in Malaysia was similar but not quite as cold.
I'm not sure if this is standard in every movie theater in The Philippines but the seat that I sat in was the most comfortable seat I've ever sat in at a movie. It was very soft, it rocked back in forth a little bit, it could recline, and it had a nice head rest.
It was over 15 years ago that I went to France and saw a movie. I don't remember much because it was so long ago. I do remember there where ashtrays built into the seats and they seemed to have been used recently. I'm not sure if this is still true but at that time it seemed you could smoke in the movie theater in France.
Myanmar was a small single screen theater. I saw a Chinese movie with English subtitles. It seems unlikely that anyone would spend the money to translate a movie into Burmese or include Burmese subtitles because there are not enough theaters to make it worthwhile. So most movies will probably have English subtitles if they have them at all.
The one thing I noticed about Japan what was unique is the fact that everyone stays in their seat until the ending credits have finished. This is a little different from the rest of the world. Most places people will get up and leave the second the movie ends and not watch the credits. I asked my Japanese friend why and she said it was good manners.
My Parent's visitRecently, my parents came to Nagoya to visit me for the third time since I've been living here. They stayed with me in my one-bedroom apartment for two weeks, needless to say it was very cozy. I usually see my parents once a year, so I forget about their quirks and foibles. Staying with them in such close proximity always brings back a rush of nostalgia from my youth. Some good, and some bad.
The good is that, luckily for me, my parents are very loving and generous. I always receive some kind of gift, and they try their best to pay for everything (I have to step in at times here however.). In addition, they are both excellent cooks and insist on making me some of my favourite dishes in my small kitchen. This visit my mum made me pancakes one morning, and her cassoulet one evening. A delicious French stew made with beans and pork belly that is cooked for hours. The smell alone makes me ravenous.
The bad is my mum's incessant cleaning, although this has greatly improved since my youth. She still insisted on constantly running my shaky washing machine though. For my dad, it's his planning. This hasn't changed. I love spending time with my dad, unless we are travelling somewhere. When travelling he loves to take control, even though he can't read any of the signs here in Japan, he was still adamant he knew exactly where he was going! I have learned to just let him lead the way. Lastly, it's me. Maybe I'm just not very mature yet, but when I'm with my parents I still feel like a child. Perhaps this changes with age...
We had a great trip together, visiting Hiroshima and Nara, and of course eating all of the best food Japan has to offer. I can't wait to see them again at Christmas. However, before that, as a bit of a surprise visit, my brother is coming to see me in November. He is only staying a week, but I'm already anticipating his quirks. This means stocking up on beer and savory snacks to keep him occupied. He also snores really loudly but I haven't found a solution for this yet, I'll probably just have to endure that one. Nobody is perfect but they are my family and I will always welcome them with open arms, just as they would for me.
Fall is a gorgeous season in Japan. I like fall the best.
The night is silent and long, so it's comfortable to study, read books, and sleep.
The food is also delicious, sauries, chestnuts, Matsutake mushrooms, pears, peaches, grapes,
persimmons and so on.
It's also good for hiking, sightseeing, and playing sports.
The flowers and the trees are especially
beautiful in fall. A harvest moon is amazing! And the weather is too nice to do anything. We want to
keep opening windows and to feel a gentle breeze all day.
I think we don't have such a perfect season except for fall. But some people might say spring is the best
because of the cherry blossoms and the warmth after the long winter,or some people might say summer is the best
because of fireworks or marine sports. Some people might say winter is the most fun because they want to enjoy
But,to think about food, sports, views, and the weather together, fall is number one for me.
Which season do you like the best? What do you want to do in your favorite season?
From TakakoCan never get enough of the beauty of Ladakh.
A blue sky, the mountains, a tiny water fall, a water stream and an exchange of Julley words with locals. This is what we came across while rambling in the village of Hunder.
Although I deeply love oceans, deserts and other wild landscapes, it is only mountains that beckon me with that sort of painful magnetic pull to walk deeper and deeper into their beauty.They keep me continuously wanting to know more, feel more, see more.
It is in the still silence of nature where one finds true bliss. Yes, it was bliss to spend more time than usual in this magnificent place.
There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is society where no one intrudes; I love not Man less, but Nature more. Nature does not hurry yet everything is accomplished. Nature always wears the colors of spirit.
One of the joys of travel is visiting new towns and meeting new people. It was an amazing experience to travel along with people from across the globe. I made so many friends from all over the world. English is a very important tool. This is for sure!
A remarkable journey that became a milestone in my life.
Do not miss Ginger lemon Honey when you visit Ladakh !!
Spend leisure time in the lap of nature!