Dāku Sheimu wa fukou daa.
As for Dark Shame, it is misforturne.
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Sorry, I was only in Japan for a few weeks, if it makes you feel any better -- the bulk of my teaching was in Hanoi, Vietnam. My university in MD has been expanding its study abroad program so I got a nice job for half a year teaching in some universities to explore whether it would be a good fit for a partnership. It panned out perfectly because I was intending to apply to JET or something similar just to go abroad and teach, but I was also conflicted because I really wanted to hike the PCT, which has a really strict time window because of snow in the Sierra Nevadas, and I knew that once I took the initiative to move somewhere, I'd probably want to settle there for a while.
Vietnam was an absolute blast, I must say. I even probably preferred it to Thailand if not solely for just how foreign and exotic it felt being there. Traffic is anarchic, Communist Party propaganda is everywhere, you'll see random bootleg anime merchandise in unexpected places like Buddhist temples, people are generally nice unless you decline buying their wares, the geography is stunning, and the food is probably the best in the world (that I've experienced). Definitely worth the visit, if you get the chance. Have you had the opportunity to visit anywhere else in Asia during your time in Japan?
Yuuup, I'm in the USA still. I kind of randomly decided to relocate to Arizona after hiking the PCT while I explore options for teaching abroad. I knew I wanted to be in a warm climate for the winter and I've always liked the desert so I figured, why not? Unfortunately, nobody told me how aggressive the drivers in the Phoenix area are. There's nothing quite like feeling an extreme aversion to driving anywhere because of the high risk of getting in a car accident.
The PCT was actually way harder than I thought it was going to be, but I feel like I understand significantly more about the world and myself for having experienced everything I did. It felt really enlightening to spend almost five months in the most ancient of human conditions -- worrying constantly about access to water, obsessively rationing food, being in a continual state of pain and suffering, braving every type of weather condition, fighting wildlife, dealing with isolation from civilization, not bathing for weeks at a time, and, moreover, seeing sights that few will ever see. You should also be proud that I earned a reputation for being really fast and doing way more miles than other hikers normally do. I even hiked 60 miles one day (don't do this if you value your life).
Hmm, good to know. I was looking into other programs for teaching in Japan but none of them seemed like as good a deal as JET in terms of prestige, income, benefits, etc, but maybe you've seen or heard of other options that might be worth looking into? I've also considered South Korea because I hear nothing but good things about teaching there, but I know I like Japanese culture and I have some language skills which makes it a more attractive option. Grrr, I have so many questions for you but I don't want to overwhelm you with one message so I'll just ask you a couple to satiate my burning curiosity. What was your interview like for JET? Still enjoying your life in glorious Nippon? How are your Japanese language skills now? Still have your burning love for Once Piece?
My number one choice was Kagoshima prefecture on Kyuushu, then Kagawa Prefecture on Shikoku, and lastly Chiba. I don't much care where I end up as long as it isn't Sapporo again. Been there done that. What were your choices when you applied? I'm guessing Shizuoka wasn't one of them, huh?
Christmas has been goooood. I flew back to MD to be with family (I'm still here until New Years). It's tough going from nice 70 degree AZ weather to the brutal winters of the East Coast again, but it definitely feels more Christmas-y when it's cold. How about you? Did you spend Christmas with your boyfriend eating KFC? Ohhh, also, send me your apartment's address in Dropbox if you want a care package. I've been meaning to send you one for a long time. Oh, and a list of anything you'd specifically like from the States. I know there must be things you miss. I just wish I oould send you pumpkin pie.
My dearest pitcher-nii~~~~!!!!
Geez, I really dropped the ball on responding in a prompt manner, huh? Well, you know me. I went and taught English for a little while in Vietnam and Japan and also hiked the Pacific Crest Trail for five months (2650 miles from the Mexican border to Canada), so I guess I've been somewhat productive. I actually just applied for the JET Program, but I'm still haven't completely decided if it's what I want to do. What's your expert opinion on the matter and are you still doing it? Where are you?
How has my dearest twin brother been? I've been really busy lately, to the point where I haven't even really been watching any anime anymore. I guess I don't really have much I want to watch anymore anyway, but still. I have been playing a Japanese mobile rhythm game called Show By Rock an embarassing amount despite not being very good at rhythm games in general. If you're interested in trying it out, give me your friend code and I'll send you harassing messages like every good brother should. I don't know if I ever told you, but I did end up getting a new road bike and I still spend a lot of time cycling when I get the chance. Also, I saved this image I found on google and have been saving just for you.
Aren't you so glad I did?
But enough about me. Tell me about your whole life. Spare no small details. How's the JET program been treating you? Is the slave labor worth it?
影ピッチャーも、お誕生日おめでとう！ ☆*:.｡. o(≧▽≦)o .｡.:*☆
How can you hate Shimizu from Major? She's so adorable, ahh!! If it involves something that happens after Season 4 then don't tell me. Still watching this epic tale of baseball. :D