Did the world end yet? 😫

 

I have heard so many times the world is ending that it is getting exhausting. Seriously..! Don’t you maniacs have anything better to do than scare us all?
And to make things worse, I have been so busy that I haven’t even had time to freak out properly, you know?

That’s how busy I am.

In Japan, we have North Korea trying to nuke us, and then we have these “experts” in numerology and Bible that have finally cracked the exact date of the “end of the world”.

Let me put this out there

If the Maya didn’t get it right, neither will you, ok? So stop the nonsense.

So, pick up the pieces of your life, clean yourself and gather strength because we have to keep facing the same things we have to face everyday.

The world still spinning, we still here, we gotta give it our all with hope and courage.

Ramen: Its mommy, daddy and museum

 

The arrival of instant ramen in 1958 to the world marked a milestone in ramen history. 

 

                                                                            Instant ramen advertisement-1963

 

 

It was a game changer..! Just imagine….! Japanese housewives didn’t have to slave over a hot stove to prepare one of the most emblematic and delicious dishes ever been born in Japan. But have you ever wondered if Ramen is Japanese?

 

Well according to the ramen museum in Shin-Yokohama, ramen is hafu (a mixed race child) 

 

 

                                                        In summary, Chinese daddy, and Japanese mommy

 

                                                                                                      

See..? I never lie 😉 

 

 

And once we finish researching about the origins of ramen, we entered the museum, and this beautiful view welcomed us, 1958 was a magical year indeed. 

 

And it is in 1958 that the ramen museum is set up, as it time had stopped forever in its alleys.

 

The experience was amazing, I mean ramen is a unique experience in its own right. But walking, feeling, touching and “living” 1958 Japan was a sort of a dream come true as if someone would have opened a “time portal” for us. I just loved it..!

 

It was just simply lovely 😊

 

China town: A walk on a Sunday afternoon

 

It was Sunday, I was alone at home so I decided to take my camera and travel to China town in Kanagawa-ken, where I used to live few years ago. 

 

 

And the energy hasn’t changed at all 

 

Maybe it (the energy) has increased. 

 

 

 

 I also made new friends 

 

 

And before I went back I stopped by the police box (koban in Japanese) 

 

 

It was a lovely afternoon indeed. 

 

The dark shadow

 

Today I woke up and to be absolutely honest, I felt angry and miserable as if a dark shadow were dragging the life out of me. I do everything I could to escape this shadow that clings my soul from time to time. 

 

Sometimes, I feel I’ve scared it for good, but it (the dark shadow) always comes back. And I want to hide, but if I hide, it stays because then I become the prey. And I see it (the dark shadow) growing bigger, stronger and scarier. 

 

It (the dark shadow) becomes so big, I fear it might swallow me. 

And it is in those moments that I have to fake strength to face it, so at least I manage to keep at a safe distance, so it doesn’t hurt me or others. 

Sometimes, I feel like I live a lie. Pretending to be “normal”.

People around me do not realize for a moment my truth. They see a young, jovial man, who seems to have it all. If they only knew my dark secret, if they only knew how much energy it takes to get out of bed, push myself out of the flat, to get in the tube, to see people, and to talk to people. 

 

If they only knew I am trapped. 

 

If they only knew I am trapped and lonely.

Ikeda Manabu: And her rebirth

When you see Ikeda’s painting “rebirth” you can’t help but think of a child’s dream, with its vibrant colors and hidden mythical creatures that seem to be laughing and playing in the painting. You quickly forget they are drawings because they look alive. And before you realize what it is happening, they (the drawings) invite you to play with them. Lucky me, I visited Ikeda’s exhibition with Nick West from gensojapan.org, who kept me from getting lost in the painting and took amazing photos

IMG_0082

Every corner of it (the painting) speaks of innocence, and  you can feel it (the innocence) playing around the room like a cheeky little boy looking for attention and cuddles.

IMG_0077

Every stroke tells a different story

fullsizeoutput_1a5

If you are interested where to find Ikeda’s “rebirth” click here

#DACA: Broken dreams, broken economy

#DACA is a program started by President Obama, in which people who arrived illegally in the United States as children can work and thrive, in other words, feel at home in their home.

#DACA recipients do not know any other country than the United States of America, why then take away their rights? When they, economically, generate millions of dollars. They buy homes, own business creating in this way jobs Americans say immigrants steal from them.

 

Without going into sentimentalisms ending #DACA is a terrible business move.

Why is it a bad business move?

Well, when 800,000 thriving young,  people stop paying taxes, their business taken, and with them, the jobs they created, then it would, logically, have an enormous impact on the economy. Without counting that according to #CNN deporting #DACA recipients “would cost American economy 400 billion dollars” what a “brilliant businessman” you are, Mr. Trump. 

 Of course, Mr. Trump is not a brilliant businessman, nobody in their right mind would consider anything but a white supremacist, whose narrowed views are affecting millions of hard working people.

#DACA is not only a direct attack on the weakest members of society but a tremendous economic mistake.

But I guess, it is all about making America great again, isn’t it?

Being an immigrant

 

Being an immigrant, I feel thankful for all the opportunities I’ve been given in all the countries, I’ve been lucky enough to be welcomed. For all the people, who received me, not as a stranger, but as a friend, as one of them. And for that, I’ll be forever grateful.

Since I learned to read, my favorite topics were literature, history, and geography. To hell with mathematics and algebra, who needs to know how to convert algorithms in real life?….I’m actually asking you. Do you know why they torture us with those classes? Anyway, I was always curious, so I had lots of questions: Why Italy was called Italy? Why doesn’t everybody speak Spanish? How come English sounded so scary? Believe me, when I say, my English teachers didn’t make my learning process very easy.

Moreover, growing up with my Okinawan grandparents only fueled my natural curiosity, because I learned there was a different world out there, and I was going to discover it. But, truth be told, I never thought, even in my wildest dreams to land on this beautiful island. I was happily living in my cold Colorado, eating hot pockets and rocking the world. When suddenly, everything changed. It felt like an earthquake in my life, but I’m sure it was part of what we call destiny, and I arrived in Japan in 2006. Exactly, 10 years ago. And although it wasn’t easy at first, I realized that maybe, I could make myself at home. After all, I hadn’t forgotten all the Japanese my grandfather dutifully had taught me while playing the sanshin (Okinawan guitar) in the warm afternoons we shared at home so many years ago.

Since my experience, I can tell you that being an immigrant is not so bad, as long as the locals welcome you, and you try to adapt. In other words, like in every relationship, everything is 50%-50%. Give and take. We, immigrants, need to adjust to the new land; we need to learn the local language, respect the local culture and the law. We can’t just arrive and do things our way. We must remember that we are guests in a foreign land.

Please, do not think for a moment, I’m a Bretix or a Trump supporter. Those two catastrophic political events are nothing but a shame. Moreover, listening to Trump talk is like listening to Hitler. A monster using ignorance to catapult its political ambitions. So, let’s just be careful about our choices. Because if the locals support this kind of politicians then God helps us all. There is no hope.

Furthermore, if we think immigrants are the cause of the social problems in our countries, then I advise you take a closer look at what’s happening in the world. Outside your community, outside your borders. Search for information, read and try to understand that the world is not the same as fifty years or merely two decades ago. In these days, to get a job, we need more skills, more experience. And as we, immigrants, know we have to work hard, study and never stop learning to have a chance. A chance. Sometimes, literally one chance, we are aware, we have to prepare constantly, and untiringly, so we are ready for any job that might come along. Our advantage is hard work because we are trying to survive. And maybe have the chance of a life.

Please think of that before voting for Trump. For Britain and Brexit, it might be a little bit too late. But seeing Boris Johnson becoming the new foreign secretary, I’m convinced more than ever that karma does exist for countries that do not choose their leaders wisely.

My multiple personalities worry about me: Have I gone mad?

 

I woke up worrying about my blog, the likes, the comments, the stats, and the growing page, in other, I was becoming obsessed, and full of myself. 

 

The narcissist part of me, Yone-narcissist, was smiling and telling me how great and smart she was.

 

I can’t stand her. I’m sure you won’t either. She needed to go..! and she needed to go fast..! The sooner she leaves, the better I would feel. 

 

We needed to find a cure. And to cure sudden sickness we need strong medicine, so I decided to spend a day without Internet.

 

First, Yone-chan, my inner child, resisted. And although I explained to her it was for our own, she burst into tears. That’s when Yone-Oni showed up. Because everytime Yone-chan is hurt Yone-oni comes to the rescue. Yone-oni is a natural protector, despite her bad temper. And I was expecting a fight with her (Yone-oni), when she started crying, as well, saying how bored she would be without the internet.

 

I tried to convince Yone-Oni promising her ice cream and having a lovely walk in a park, Some of my other personalities started smiling encouraging Yone-Oni to accept the deal, at least fourteen of them seemed to agree. 

 

Then I told them we would buy ourselves a nice book. 

 

“Another one??????” all my multiple personalities shouted all at the same time 

 

“But this will be different” I replied

 

“Different??” they asked 

 

“Yes, because this will be a book for us to enjoy. To have fun” I said.

 

That’s when my multiple personalities stared at me, all the same time, they seemed truly concerned.

 

“I’m serious” I told them defensively 

 

But they all just stared at me as if I had gone mad.

 

“Are you ok?” asked Yone-Oni with real apprehension in her eyes.

 

“I promised you, I’m fine” I said

 

“She delirious” they all said in unison.

 

Then they all rushed around the house.

 

One brought me a blanket to keep me warm, although, in Japan, September is still quite warm.

 

A group of cheeky ones decided that the best for me was to take Oji chan’s soup (I will tell you what Ojichan’s soup is in another post) then they started “cooking”

 

I don’t remember Ojichan’s soup having so many vegetables 😐 in it. But what matters it’s their good intention. I guess. 

 

Another group of my personalities decided I needed music, so they played one of my favorites melodies. 

 

Another one decided I needed a cuddle, and another personality said that what I needed was kisses on my forehead, another said it (what I was needed) was getting my hair brushed. 

 

They still fighting. So, I haven’t gotten either a cuddle, kiss or my hair brushed. 

 

 

The house was becoming a mess.

 

Groups were discussing how to calm me down just in case of a breakdown.

 

.
They were all talking, and I was about to explode, when we heard a sound in the door.

 

“It’s him” they said, and they all run to hide and to look their best

 

Even Yone Oni was putting lipstick on.

 

“What?” She asked defensively. 

 

He came through the door with such a lovely smile that even Yone-Oni melted down. 

 

“What a stunt..! We have done great” said Yone-narcissist smiling happily at me.

 

“You” I said “That’s it. You gotta go” 

 

I unplugged the internet, and it will remain this way until Yone-narcissist goes back to sleep 😊

North Korea: Japan’s nightmare or South Korea’s lost brother

 

In the last weeks, North Korean missiles pass across Japanese territory, which you as can imagine, it’s concerning, scary and alarming. In other words, we are living in fear.

Since I can remember, North Korea has always been a difficult subject in the region. It is like having a little cousin, who has an endless tantrum.

But, in my experience, South Korea see the North as the missing brother at the family table. When you meet South Korean people, you would expect them to hold a grudge against their North Korean siblings.

But to my surprise, there are always warm words from the South Koreans, as if the North were a long lost brother, as if they (South Korean people) were longing the moment they (South and North Korea) could be reunited once again.

Why is then all this missile shooting about?

I, sadly, think that Kim Jong-un has lost his mind. Just think about it, he was raised not to think but to obey and fear his father. And when he (Kim Jong-il) died, the power fell onto his (Kim Jong-un) lap and with it, his father’s legacy (Kim Jong-il), his unsolved business, and a starving nation. In other words, he (Kim Jong-un )is scared and overwhelmed. That’s why he is behaving like a trapped animal because he feels that way.

 

Please, do not think for a moment, I am defending him because I am not, I am trying to understand him (Kim Jong-un).

 

But I have to admit that Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, put a string on our, already damaged, relationship with North Korea, when he decided to change article 9, the article that prevents Japan from entering into any armed conflict. In other words, Kim Jong-un fears that Japan changed its laws so we can “legally” go and get him. He (Kim Jong-un) is paranoid. And as any paranoid person, he is just responding to his fears. No matter how unrealistic they (fears) seem to us. For him (Kim Jong-un) these concerns are real.

 

But Kim Jong-un probably doesn’t know that we, people who live in Japan, strongly opposed to it (the change of article, 9). We still do. We don’t agree with it. But the Japanese Government little listens to the population.

 

Perhaps, Shinzō Abe is not the leader Japan hoped for after all.

 

And to make things worse, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, makes dangerous statement such as “North Korea is begging for war” which only helps to fuel the fire that it’s already burning.

 

Nikki Haley, Shinzō Abe, and Mr. Trump forget that millions of lives are at stake here, when they decide to talk big and to make changes in their international relations’ approach.

But it all depends on our perspective of the issue, so to finish, I would like to leave you with this question: Is North Korea, Japan’s nightmare or South Korean’s lost brother?

[ssm_form id=’1172′]

Warning: Writing is addictive

 

When I started writing my blog, I thought, I might do it once or, maximum, twice a week, nothing that could take so much time because I am always busy. Besides, there are other things to do in life, right?

 

Writing isn’t everything, is it?

 

Wrong..!!!

 

Writing is everything.

I can’t spend a day without, at least, writing a line. And even during the few months, I spent without posting. I spent them writing short stories, which hopefully, will see the light someday.

 

Maybe tomorrow, maybe next week. I don’t know yet. But you bet I am working on it 🙂

 

But I wish someone would have warned me. Tell me that writing is addictive. I got myself into this dependence on writing, I need it and crave it. It is like every emotion I feel must be processed through writing, otherwise, my feelings do not make sense. It is like the words burn and heal me, all at the same time.

 

So, if you are thinking of starting writing, my dear friend, welcome to the clan. But be aware that once you start this journey, there is no coming back, the words will pull you back in. There is no escape. You will never be same, you will be transformed by the need to create and to free the words from the prison of your mind.

 

You have been warned. Good luck.

[ssm_form id=’1172′]