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10 Things I Will Miss About Japan

320px-Flag_of_Japan.svg10 years in Japan means Japan feels like home.  But in a year, we’ll be living in Canada. Of course, I’m going to miss a lot about Japan. Maybe I won’t know what I’ll miss until we’ve been in Canada for a while, but I’ll make some predictions here.  This is what I think I’ll miss about Japan.

1. Sushi and Sashimi

It seems I talk a lot about food. I love sushi and sashimi.  Sure, I can get it in Canada, but it’s not nearly as good as the sushi and sashimi in Japan.

2. Temples and Shrines

I love the old architecture, and I really enjoy visiting temples and shrines.  Can’t do that in Canada.

3. The Weather

I prefer Japanese weather.  Winter is warmer than in Canada.  Summer is very hot and humid, but I’m so used to it, Canadian summer nights will feel cold.

4. Seasonal Fanta Flavours

There are often new flavours of Fanta other than the standard orange, grape, and melon. You can often find flavours like apple, pear, muscat, peach, and so on. I’d like to see melon in Canada.

5. Trains

The highly efficient train system in Japan is incredible.  There’s nothing like it in Canada.  In Canada, there are systems in major cities, but they still aren’t as extensive as the ones in Japan. And it’s easy to travel between cities, any city, by train in Japan.  In Canada, you have to drive, take the bus, or fly.

6. Convenient Convenience Stores

They’re truly convenient in Japan.  You can be anywhere and find one within five to ten minutes.  In Canada, you have to drive to find one. And unlike Canadian convenience stores, you can find prepared meals. It’s mainly just snacks and drinks in Canada, though you can also get some hot foods like hot dogs in Canada.

7. Gyudon

Tokyo Express in Edmonton sells beef bowls, but there’s nothing like the ones in Japan.  I’ve checked menus of various Japanese restaurants in Edmonton, and none of them have real Japanese gyudon. I love it, and I think it would succeed in Canada.

8. Gardens

Japanese gardens are incredible.  There are imitations, like at Devonian Botanical Gardens near Edmonton and at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, but they’re not authentic.  I love the authentic Japanese gardens here.

9. Yakiniku

Sure, there are some places you can get something like yakiniku in Canada, but it’s so expensive.  And it’s not like in Japan where you cook it yourself.

10. Curry

Canada has a lot of Indian people, so curry is easy to find.  However, Japanese curry is not easy to find. I love Japanese curry, and want to find a good supply of it. Maybe some will be okay to use.  I hope.

Of course, there’s a lot more I’d miss.  Do you have any suggestions? I’ll let you know if I’d miss it or not.

10 Things I Miss About Canada

320px-Flag_of_Canada.svgI’ve been in Japan for 10 years now, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss anything about Canada.  I do miss some things. Of course, I’ll get to experience them again in a year.  And then I’ll miss Japan.  But here are 10 things I miss about Canada.

1. Politeness

Canada is known for its politeness.  Japan is also known for it, but they’re different.  I feel like Japanese politeness is only on the surface, just to maintain appearances and to not disturb the status quo. In Canada, it’s more genuine. People are concerned about each other and more interested in being friendly to people.

2. Dill Pickle Potato Chips

Can’t find it in Japan often. Pringles does sell it from time to time, but I want Old Dutch.

3. Bacon

Sure, Japan has bacon, but it’s more like a thick cut of bacon that tastes like ham. It looks like bacon, but it’s so thick it’ll never be crispy. I want the crispy bacon of Canada.

4. Chinese Takeout

Japan has a lot of Chinese food, but it doesn’t have the same Chinese delivery system as Canada.  And the food is different. I like Canada’s.

5. Cheap Dairy Products

Cheese is so incredibly expensive in Japan!

6. Cheap Vegetables and Fruit

One stalk of celery is about $1 in Japan. Can you believe that? But bananas are cheap.

7. Driving

I have a driver’s license in Japan and drive a few times a year, but the roads are so narrow in many places, so many people stop and block an entire lane on a busy road, and the parking spaces are so narrow. Give me Canadian roads and traffic laws.

8. Feeling Like I Belong

Japan’s culture basically excludes anyone who is not Japanese. You could be a person of mixed race born in Japan, first language is Japanese, raised to be Japanese, and have Japanese citizenship, but you would not be considered “Japanese.” Look at Miss Universe Japan. She’s half African-American. She’s had to go through a lot of discrimination and abuse because of her mixed heritage. In Canada, not only would I feel like I belong, but my daughter and wife would be accepted into Canadian society.

9. Thunderstorms

The area I live in doesn’t get many thunderstorms. Edmonton does. I love thunderstorms.

10. My Family

This is obvious.

I will also come up with a list of things about Japan I will miss. And I’ll miss a lot. I love it here.

Recommended Book Blogs

Do you like reading book blogs? Well, this post lists a lot of them. An incredible list. It’s All About Books has created this list, and I recommend checking it out.

It's All About Books


I do not only love to read books, I also love reading about books. I’ve encountered a lot of great book blogs out there, and decided to make a big list including all the blogs I follow for easy future browsing.

So I present you with the list of the book related blogs I follow in alphabetical order(please contact me if you think one is missing! It’s a big list and it’s easy to overlook a particular name…):

>>>Last updated September 29th 2014<<<

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Introvert Problem Checklist

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ll probably know I’m an introvert.  Pulptastic recently posted a list of problems that only introverts would understand.  Well, let’s see if I understand them.

1. Practicing conversations with people you’ll never talk to.

Guilty.  I’ve done this, though I can’t tell you who I had conversations with.  They’re not real.  I guess this is kind of a way of practicing what I would say in different situations if they ever arose.

2. When you want to cut all ties to civilization but still be on the internet.

Several years ago, yes.  These days, no.  I actually like going out.  I don’t do this anymore, but I used to.

3. When your friend wants to invite more people over, and you don’t want to sound like a bad person by saying no.

Yeah.  I preferred to avoid large groups, but I found it hard to say no.  Not such a problem now.

4. When spending a heavenly weekend alone means that you’re missing out on time with friends.

Yeah, well, I enjoyed my time alone.

5. And you fear that by doing so, you are nearing ‘hermit’ status.

I was a hermit for a while in university.  I didn’t go out except for class.

6. When your ride at a party doesn’t want to leave early, and no one seems to understand your distress.

Hasn’t happened to me before, since I tended to avoid parties.  But I guess there were times when I simply didn’t go to parties to avoid being around people I barely knew.

7. Trying to be extra outgoing when you flirt so your crush doesn’t think you hate them.

Flirt?  What’s that?  I didn’t flirt.  I was too embarrassed to do that.

8. That feeling of dread that washes over you when the phone rings and you’re not mentally prepared to chat.

This wasn’t a problem, to be honest…until after I worked at a call centre.  Working at a call centre made me hate talking on the phone, and I am always reluctant to answer if it’s an unknown number.

9. When you have an awesome night out, but have to deal with feeling exhausted for days after the fact.

Hasn’t happened.  I avoided big nights out.

10. People saying “Just be more social.”

This is annoying.  I don’t have that problem these days, having learned how to be more outgoing.

11. When you’re able to enjoy parties and meetings, but after a short amount of time wish you were home in your pajamas.

Yeah, this has happened. I’ve enjoyed early parts of parties, then kept watching the clock to see when it was time to go home.  This was much more common when I was a kid, and at a party my parents dragged me to.  I just wanted to leave.

12. Staying up late every night because it’s the only time that you can actually be alone.

Yes! And it seems like some people just don’t understand this.  Like my daughter.  She just won’t go to bed.

13. People making you feel weird for wanting to do things by yourself.

Yeah.  Seeing movies, eating in restaurants, things like that.  I did that alone, and I felt awkward when people looked at me.

14. Having more conversations in your head than you do in real life.

I do have a lot of conversations in my head.  Isn’t that normal?  I get lost in my own thoughts a lot, but I tend to figure out a lot of things that way, especially with my writing.

15. The need to recharge after social situations.

Absolutely.  They drain me.

16. People calling you out for day dreaming too much.

Not really.  I’ve always been quite alert and aware of everything going on around me.  I’ve never been a daydreaming introvert.  I’m an observational introvert.

17. Carrying a book to a public place so no one will bug you, but other people take that as a conversation starter.

It happened!  I was reading an astronomy magazine when I was in university, and a woman came up to me to tell me how beautiful the universe is and that God was so wonderful.  I felt awkward and excused myself.

18. People interrupting your thoughts, and you get irrationally angry.

Not really.  I cope with that well.

19. Having to say “I kind of want to spend some time by myself” when you have to deal with that friend that always wants to hang out.

I haven’t really had a friend like that, to be honest.  But I did sometimes turn down invitations because I had “plans.”

20. When you’re asked to do a group project, and know that you’re going to hate every minute of it.

This is the story of every science experiment in junior high and high school I’ve done.  I was the top science student in my grade, and I really detested it when mediocre and scientifically impaired classmates tried to tell me how the experiments are really done.  They were ignoring the instructions.  I made sure to let the teacher know that they were doing it wrong, but here’s the interpretation of the data we gathered.  I always got top marks despite my partners’ mistakes.

21. When you hear the question “Wanna hang out?”, and your palms start to sweat with anxiety.

Not really.

22. When you hear, “Are you OK?” or “Why are you so quiet?” for the umpteenth time.

I got this so much.  It was incredibly irritating.  Yes, I am OK.  I’m quiet because that’s just how I am.  I’m a listener, not a speaker.

23. Having visitors stay with you is a nightmare, because it means you have to be on at ALL TIMES.

Not a problem when it’s family.  Maybe I just get along with my family.

24. When people stop inviting you places because you’re the one that keeps canceling plans.

I don’t cancel.

25. Being horrified of small talk, but enjoying deep discussions.

I’m not horrified of small talk, I just find it awkward.  Deep discussions are amazing, though.  Love them.

26. When you need to take breaks and recharge after socializing for too long.

Yup.  I tended to withdraw at social gatherings and just listen from time to time.  But it wasn’t all the time.  I regained some energy and socialised again.

27. The requirement to think introspectively rather than go to someone else with your problems.

Yeah, I usually figured out any problem I had by myself.  Maybe this had more to do with pride, as I was always figuring out everything by myself in school.  That is, except when I had a bully.  I went for help then.

28. Not wanting to be alone, just wanting to be left alone. And people not understanding that.

I don’t really like being alone.  I hated it when I was single.  However, I have always needed time to be left alone.  This does not mean I’m being antisocial, it means I’m recharging.  And I need time alone to get lost in thought about various topics.

29. When people mistake your thoughtful look for being shy, or worse, moody.

This has happened.  But when I was a kid, I really was shy.  These days, people think I’m always very calm and quiet.  I’m usually deep in thought at those times.

30. That people need to know that you aren’t mad, depressed or anti-social. You just need to not talk to anyone for a while. And that’s okay.

Absolutely.  It is not being antisocial.  Being alone for a while means I’m getting my very important recharge time.  Being an introvert, I gain energy while I’m alone.

While some of these don’t apply to me, I can understand them all.  For those of you who are introverts, what do you think?  And for those of you who are extroverts, can you understand?

My Gift To You: Signatory Agent List For Writers

This list may be useful for some of you. Need an agent? This is only for the east coast of North America, mostly USA.

The Krystol Method

My Gift to you painted in a red bow! 


I know that this blog is very long, but I hope that it will help writers. I am ALL for helping any writer. As someone who is seeking an agent, I know others will benefit, too. This was given to me by another writer and I am passing it on. I hope that someone’s agent is in this list! Good luck and best of all, keep writing! This is the list for the EAST COAST!

 Signatory Agency List 


250 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013, (212) 767-7837

Before sending a completed script: We suggest that the individual first write or telephone the agency, detail your professional and/or academic credentials and briefly describe the nature of the material you desire to submit. The agency will then advise the individual whether it is interested in receiving the material with a view…

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List of Literary Magazines Accepting Blog-Published Fiction

Got some fiction that you’ve already published online or in a blog? Well, here’s a list of magazines that will accept submissions that were published online already.

The Paper Butterfly

Because I’m a newbie original fiction writer (been in fanfic for 5 years), I didn’t realize by publishing my short stories on the internet it’s much more difficult to get it published in a literary magazine.  I spent the past two days combing the internet for literary magazines that would accept blog-published stories.  I thought it would be easiest if I separate these journals by categories.   Also, since I primarily made this list for myself, it focuses on literary fiction but I included some sci-fi/fantasy which I will denote with ^^^.  Some of these also accept poetry, non-fiction, essays, genre fiction, etc.  Some accept anything.  Other want you to write stories with a specified theme.  You just have to read the guidelines carefully.

This is the source of where I found most of these literary magazines: Literary MagazinesTop 50 Literary MagazinesAbe Book’s Top Literary Magazines

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