Tag Archives: feeling

It’s a Good Feeling

This morning, I took ten minutes to record a quick video. It’ll be up tomorrow. But during this video, I was acting far more naturally and having fun with it. I realised this is how I want my videos to be. I think I found my voice. 

It’s a really good feeling making something I’m very satisfied with. Of course, there are still improvements I want to make, such as better video editor, better camera and microphone, and adding end cards. However, with what I have now, I feel good about it.

I want to bring back that feeling to this blog, too. Next month will be busy, but for a good reason. I’ll be releasing a video and doing a blog post about it next week. You’re going to see a more relaxed and conversational me. Look forward to it!

I Didn’t Want to Leave the Bookstore

Today, while my wife was writing an English assessment test, I walked around downtown Edmonton for a while, and I found myself in a Coles bookstore. I made my way to the science fiction and fantasy section, as I always do in a bookstore. I didn’t want to leave.

It’s been so long since I’ve been able to look around in a bookstore in Canada. What I found was a huge selection of books larger than I have seen in a very long time. There were so many books! The feeling I felt was indescribable. I wanted to look at each individual book, but my time was short. I felt a sense of calm and a very strong desire to read.

How do you feel when you’re in a bookstore? Which section attracts you?

The Christmas Feeling Is Missing

It’s Christmas Eve. Christmas Day begins in less than two hours. But unlike my Christmases in Canada, the ones I’ve had in Japan just don’t feel like Christmas. Not in the same way.

Yes, I have family here. We have presents, though mainly for kids. We have a Christmas dinner. There are Christmas parties. There are Christmas decorations, and even some people cover their houses with lights. Christmas music is all over the place. There are some Christmas TV shows. What’s not the same? What’s not Christmas?

Well, in Japan, Christmas is all commercial. It’s not so much about family, it’s more for the children. It’s not a holiday, so people work. The big difference is that the build-up to Christmas just isn’t there. Well, there is a build-up, but in a totally different way. And the strange thing is that the day after Christmas, all decorations are gone. They’re replaced by New Year’s decorations. New Year’s Day is the biggest holiday in Japan, so that’s understandable. It overshadows Christmas in a big way.

There are many differences between a Canadian Christmas and a Japanese Christmas. And these are things I miss a lot.

  • Christmas dinner – Turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy. In Japan, it’s Kentucky Fried Chicken.
  • Focus on family – In Japan, the focus is on kids.
  • The relaxing feeling – It’s not relaxing in Japan. It’s basically a day like any other day.
  • The Christmas spirit – People get into Christmas in Canada. Not so much in Japan. It’s not very important.
  • The TV shows – I miss the Garfield, Charlie Brown, Rudolph, and Frosty Christmas specials.
  • Sitting around the Christmas tree – Some people do this in Japan, but it isn’t a major thing.

I think the biggest difference is the anticipation. During December, everyone is anxiously waiting for their holiday to start and spend time with their family. This happens here in Japan, but for New Year’s Day. It’s just a different kind of celebration.

Ever spend Christmas in another country or culture?

The Excitement of Starting a New Book

I recently finished reading The Iliad, which was a pretty difficult book to read. It took me quite a while. But of course, I started on another book right after. And let me tell you, the feeling was wonderful.

Starting a new book gives me a feeling of excitement most of the time. Sometimes apprehension, but usually I feel very positive about it. If it’s a series I’m continuing, I always feel great about it.

This time, I started reading The Dragon Reborn, the third book in The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. Since I’ve already read the first two books, I’m very familiar with the characters and the world. I was excited to start reading it. And since I’ve begun, I can’t seem to put the book down. I’m enjoying it thoroughly. It’s quite easy to read, and I get through the pages quickly. It’s probably Jordan’s style that keeps me glued to the book.

To be honest, I felt a bit of apprehension when I started The Iliad. The style is very unusual compared to what I’m used to reading. Of course, it is nearly three thousand years old. I felt a great sense of relief when I finished it. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book, but it was hard work to read it. I still have The Odyssey to read.

When you start reading a new book, how do you feel? Do you have a strong feeling of anticipation or excitement? Let me know in the comments below.

That “I’m in Japan” Feeling

When I came to Japan, I always had the “I’m in Japan” feeling. Everything I saw, heard, smelled, tasted, and felt was Japan. Everywhere I went, I thought, “This is Japan.”

A few months later, the feeling wore off. A few years later, that feeling just isn’t there.  I loved that feeling. I remember when I was a kid and we visited my grandparents on Vancouver Island, I had that “I’m on Vancouver Island” feeling. Then I lived there, and didn’t have that feeling anymore.  Occasionally, I’ll get flashes of these feelings whenever I’m somewhere somewhat familiar to me, but not often.

But I felt it again. After more than a week of sightseeing, I felt it again! But not where you’d imagine. I felt it while I was laying in bed this morning, hearing the sounds of everything going on outside. I suddenly felt, “I’m in Japan.”

Today, we’re going to a place that is very Japanese. From its tofu-filled shopping street to its Afuri Shrine, Mt. Oyama is a very old religious site in Japan. We’re going to climb it! And by climb it, I mean we’re taking the cable car. It’s a new cable car, too. I won’t live blog it, since I’d just say thing like, “here’s a tree, and some more trees” and “Check out this rock!” I will take video whenever we see something interesting, though.

So, my question for you today is a two-parter. First, the feeling that I’ve mentioned, do you get that feeling whenever you go somewhere new? And second, have you ever climbed a mountain? Let me know in the comments below.

Recapturing a Place’s Atmosphere

Whenever I’ve been somewhere so many times it feels routing, I start going into automatic mode. I don’t seem to pay attention to my surroundings. When I go to new places, not only do I notice everything around me, I also feel the atmosphere of the place.

Thinking back to when I was a kid, I think I was always sensitive to the atmosphere of the places I was in. I got a certain mood from every place. I always remember camping at the Wapiti River, going to the playground near my house, and playing at recess in elementary school.  Later, after we moved to a new town, I always enjoyed the atmosphere of the undeveloped area behind our house. There was a forested area that I often walked through.

As I grew older, I found that I wasn’t feeling the atmosphere as much. But it wasn’t sudden, it was gradual. Or maybe as an adult, I’ve been distracted by inner thoughts, and just didn’t give my full attention to my surroundings. That’s probably more likely.

What I noticed earlier this week is that I was actually feeling the atmosphere of the place I was in. I was just going out to buy a drink during my lunch break, and as I walked past a temple, I slowed down and just looked around. I started noticing the details of the temple and the high-rise apartment building next to it. It was at that moment that it hit me. I could feel the atmosphere of the place. Not only that, it made me think about how it felt when I was a newcomer in Japan. Everywhere had an atmosphere. That’s one reason I started walking around neighbourhoods near train stations. I wanted to experience the atmosphere of different places. It fascinated me.

But lately, I haven’t really gone anywhere new. And then I decided what I would do with my YouTube channel, and I think I found a way to recapture that feeling. I started thinking about the places I could go, make videos, and share the atmosphere of the place with others. I want to give people a simple view of the place. Little talking, just observe what’s around. I decided to call this series A Taste of Japan. Maybe through this, I can regain that feeling of newness that I used to have. I hope I can. And I hope you’ll enjoy watching the videos, too.