Dry Cleaning

Moving to a new city, there are several things that I enjoy, looking for good markets, where to find odd spices, specialty foods, or good tofu, and making connections with local mom and pop stores. Amongst other necessities like finding a doctor, a hairdresser, a dentist, I was looking for a place to dry clean... Continue Reading →

Emergency Care

Having lived in the US, where medical care is not a given civil right, and in Switzerland, where I had to pay for medical insurance to be chosen from a dizzying array of options that had to be reviewed every end of November, I now live in a seemingly more forgiving country, which provides universal... Continue Reading →

Financial Cocoon

Just like I imagine many children raised in a salary-man family, at some early age, we used to get paid a small allowance in exchange for some household chores. We kept an accounting book, which we were required to balance and show our mother along with what was left in our wallets at the end... Continue Reading →

Study Guides

At the FabCafe in Shibuya some years ago, I picked up a sticker: MORE THAN [FUJIYAMA, SUSHI, SAMURAI, GEISHA] PROJECT. (It is actually a project from 2014-2016 to promote products from Japanese artisanal companies by Loftwork). Having lived so long abroad, I understand why this sticker / this project exists. Especially in the last few years,... Continue Reading →


Somehow, I had inadvertently invited people to my house. I guess it is a big deal to be invited to someone's house in Japan. Most people go out for food and drinks after work. Perhaps because it is because people live in small quarters. It is also not very customary to invite significant others, and... Continue Reading →

I my me mine

  "Is it me, me..." these words uttered by my colleague stung. Yes, I think I can be quite self-absorbed, perhaps as a result of receiving a lot of attention in my infancy as a first born child and a first born grandchild on both sides of my family. I'd like to think that I... Continue Reading →


Meetings after meetings, they seem to last forever. No agenda, no duration announced in advance. This prompted me to circulate a book on how to pitch one's idea in 1 minute - I also need to learn how to do this too, especially in Japanese. So I leave some 2 hours in between my appointments.... Continue Reading →

Getting or Not Getting the House

Why do I feel so guilty about nostalgically wanting a bigger Japanese house built in the 70s? As if to receive guests from abroad, or not wanting to be boxed into a tiny room is a crime. It comes from the real estate agents’ comments, but also, a New Yorker’s first comments on seeing the... Continue Reading →

The First Week.2

(continued) The typhoon had diverted paths, and by near midnight, the crickets had joined a familiar soundscape in the evening, audible above winds or rain. By morning, trains were running as usual, and so, my first week started, on time. On time means, surviving the rush hour train and bus (2 trains, 1 bus to... Continue Reading →

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