31 October, 2009
30 October, 2009
29 October, 2009
- I use my hands to illustrate some of my words, like numbers. This comes of learning another language and lacking confidence that people will understand your words. Interesting that it has translated over into English.
- I've been told I speak softly (except when dealing with children who aren't responding). I don't think that this was particularly a characteristic of mine before I went to Japan. A couple of theories - possibly just Japanese. I wonder if it is also born of sticking out so much and trying to compensate by speaking softly?
- I don't like my shoes on in the house, though possibly that was the case before.
- I can tend to go over the top in humour or speaking my mind, just because I can.
- I speak to people in lines, chat to bank employees, checkout chicks - just because I can!
- I pay less attention to what others think. For years we've been living in another culture, with lots of people paying a lot of attention to us. In the end I've had to largely disregard them and get on with doing my own thing. Sounds weird, but here's an example; managing my kids in public. In Japan they attract a lot of attention in public, just because of the way they look. Dealing with bad behaviour in public is tricky in the face of that. I've had to block out the fact that lots of people are observing us and get on with managing my family as best I can.
- Related to the above but slightly different - I've grown fairly comfortable with me (this is a sign of age too, I know). We are living lives so different from most of the people around us - here and in Japan - that we've had to find our own plimsoll lines. How much we can take on, when to say no, even what to feed my family, how to manage my own kids, and what my own role will be outside of my home-maker role. With so few people as role models it has not been easy and negative comparison with others is a potential trap.
28 October, 2009
27 October, 2009
Some false assumptions among many Japanese that’s slowly being dispelled by time is the “uniqueness” of Japan...(and therefore)
- Japan is the only country that has four seasons;
- foreigners can’t understand Japan; (nor can they speak Japanese)
- only Japanese can use chopsticks properly.
It's absolutely true. So many times people have commented on my amazing ability to speak Japanese (or use chopsticks) when I've only uttered a short phrase, no better than a primary schooler might do....
Here's another key insight:
...and more. Especially if you have white babies or children. We've had ladies nearly swooning at the "cuteness" of our kids! It is wonderful to be in a land at present where we don't stick out. And in fact, where it doesn't matter too much if you do!
Drawing attention to yourself as an individual is a huge no-no: don’t blow your nose in public, try to avoid eating while on the go, and don’t speak on your cell phone in crowded public areas like trains or buses.
The main problem with this is that foreigners simply can’t avoid standing out; we stick out like sore thumbs no matter how long we’ve been here, or how much we know about Japanese culture and society.As a result, being in Japan gives foreigners the status of D-level celebrities: you’ll get glances...
26 October, 2009
25 October, 2009
24 October, 2009
22 October, 2009
21 October, 2009
- Seen the doctor
- Visited Koorong
- Professional development (observing an OT treatment session)
- Visited OMF office for more resources for deputation
- Deputation - Japan Focus morning teas
- Visiting with friends
- Spent time with my mother in law
- Lunch with husband !!!
- Slept (after the Manila return debacle)
- Shuffled a boy to Prep orientation day and back to PrePrep
- Tourism (pupil free day on Monday)
- E-mail - answered, wrote, deleted etc.
- Schedule arranging
- Deputation planning
- Cleaned (a little)
- Wrote a prayer/newsletter
- Miscellaneous errands like library book returns, pet shopping, banking, photocopied
- Encouraged my husband in his assignment writing for his masters
- Critiqued several pieces of writing for my internet critique group
- Sought after resources on the internet for people
20 October, 2009
"The idea of those who are 'called' to ministry or missions is a category we have invented, not to explain their behaviour, but to excuse ours." p39
19 October, 2009
- Toowoomba (not really true anymore)
- Japan (but that needed some background)
- OMF International (if they were really enquiring about what mission I was from)
- Wynnum (where I'd slept the night before)
- Brisbane (probably the correct answer, though not technically correct, because we're just outside the boundary)
18 October, 2009
16 October, 2009
15 October, 2009
14 October, 2009
12 October, 2009
11 October, 2009
10 October, 2009
09 October, 2009
08 October, 2009
An Asian "businessman may know all about economics and be thoroughly conversant with business management, yet underneath he still acts and reacts in an Asian way...We remain deeply influenced by our original culture." p5Yes, the face of Australia is changing. It has been for a long time. There are micro-cultures within our country. There have been for a long time. This doesn't significantly change the basic fundamentals of our thinking. Our society is basically Western. Our systems and thinking come from Greek philosophy as well as our Christian heritage (not Australia's but British/European). Just because we have immigrants arriving from different parts of the world doesn't change an overall nation. Of course people have written books on this. For all I know people have probably based their PhDs on this. I haven't, and though I've lived in Asia for the last eight years, I cannot claim to be a sociologist. So feel free to challenge me. I'm open to debate, though I might not change my mind.