It can be hard as a foreigner…

So they say that this marks the beginning of “tsuyu” (梅雨). Or better known as the rainy season. It has been pretty gloomy/rainy out. I guess the rainy season continues for about a month–but it doesn’t mean that it will rain the entire time. People always emphasize the strength of the rain over how many days it rains during the rainy season. People tell me to prepare a rain outfit and to watch your umbrella because it’s the one time of year where people take other peoples’ umbrellas because the rain is so strong.

There is something that I have learned about as a foreigner here in Japan. The concept of signing something in Japan is done with a stamp (印鑑?). My name doesn’t fit in the tiny box they leave for using their stamp and, for example, my bank will not let me physically withdraw money from any other location but one (other than using an ATM) all because I don’t have a stamp. I spent 1 hour or more at the bank making an account because one tiny mistake (even writing the wrong month on accident) meant you had to redo the entire application–that and the worker didn’t really know what I was supposed to do. I had to rewrite the application because I didn’t use all capital letters for my name. “You can write your first name first.” “I’m sorry, last name first.” “I’m sorry… I need all capital letters…” And the list of “why not gather all the information on what I need to do before I write everything up using kanji and what have you? Frustrating…

Life in Japan is not easy if you don’t know someone who can help you. Most situations it is exceedingly difficult to get anything as a foreigner. You need the right visa length, etc. For example I wanted a cellphone through Softank but I couldn’t sign up for it the normal way because I didn’t have a 2 year visa. I had to buy the phone outright and then sign up for their service. I needed a bunch of paper work too. My proof of application for my gaijin card, my visa, my passport and another picture ID–and even then they could have turned me down. Technically speaking it went against protocol to allow me to sign up without a 2 year visa.

Internet can be hard to obtain–especially if you don’t have a Japanese computer because some services require you to install certain programs to access your internet which are in Japanese and have trouble running on computers that are English based for whatever reason.

In most situations the good outweigh the bad, but at the same time it’s very frustrating when Japan claims they want more foreigners to come and live and work here and yet they still keep things very difficult to have the same necessities they would have or want in their home country. Something that comes very easy for Japanese citizens to obtain and it has nothing to do with the language barrier.

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Born This Way

I have a confession… I, at first, didn’t like Lady Gaga’s new song but it ended up growing on me. I know it sounds like Express Yourself by Madonna, but judging by the fact she hasn’t come forth with any angry words or lawsuits I’ve basically come to terms with the fact that Madonna okay’d it, or it isn’t close enough to Madonna’s song. I dunno, you all remember when Ice Ice Baby came out, right? And Queen & David Bowie had a cow and claimed that Vanilla Ice stole their beat? Madonna hasn’t done that yet.

Anyways, here is Lady Gaga’s new music video. It is so awkward! Leave it to Lady Gaga to offend and engage you at the same time. I really have no idea how to describe the first part of this video. Lady Gaga was totally giving birth, wasn’t she? The evil chick gave birth to a gun from her crotch, didn’t she? All the crystal stuff reminded me of the old Super Man movies. As much as I love Lady Gaga, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the whole story Scientologists believe. Either way, I suppose it was fun to watch. It made me envious of Lady Gaga’s body! God, I want to have an ass like hers!

Which allows me to segway into my next thought. I cannot wait to karaoke in Japan. Hopefully I get Golden Week off so I can talk Jake into visiting me (because I will not have the funds to take a train up to see him since I won’t get paid until June). I want to karaoke even though it’s probably a financially stupid idea–but one needs to have fun!

Blogspot vs WordPress

I recently obtained an account with both blogging sites and have come to the conclusion, after playing around with them both, that I enjoy WordPress much more than Blogspot. It may quite possibly be due to the fact that WordPress doesn’t want to force me to link my gmail account with everything, thus messing me up on other accounts (like Youtube, because my gmail account was banned from Youtube for some messed up reason).

So, WordPress, you have me at your disposal. Be gentle as I am new to this “blogging” style. I am a Livejournal girl through and through, but due to recent events I realize I must create a more public hub to post about things than remain constantly private via my LJ. Besides… LJ is SOOOO emo now–or so they say.

My mother and grandmother have decided to pitch in together to buy me a small, hand-held digital camcorder because they realize the time difference may make it difficult to chat online and they would like to see me in some form so… video it will be!

And each day that passes I become more increasingly aware that I will be spending my birthday alone for the first time in my life. Oh WHY, oh WHY did my birthday need to fall on a week day! In the past I was always able to request off–but not this time. This time it’s during ORIENTATION week! I’m going to buy myself a slice of cake and get myself a can of beer from a vending machine and give a toast to myself. It’ll be a blast. 🙂