IMG_2310 on Flickr.
I’m going to tell you something I wish I got when I started on The Path of the Expat; Don’t be afraid to leave if you’re unhappy. I don’t just mean your job. I mean the nation you’re in as well. I don’t care if it’s Korea, Japan, India, UAE, or even frickin’ America. Yeah, you’re gonna tell yourself that you’ll miss the kids. Or you love your girlfriend just that much. Or you don’t want to go through the hassle of dealing with Immigration. Or that it’s not as bad as you think. Or where else are you gonna get booze this cheaply? Don’t. Just leave. If you can do it in a way that allows you to keep everyone’s pride intact by all means do it. But if you find yourself in a situation where the best option open to you is to pack your bags and walk out the door, do it.  It’s like any other sort of relationship. If you both can’t find that balance between give and take, neither of you will be happy. Yeah, some people like being in a codependent relationship. But this advice isn’t for them. Life is a very short thing. Don’t make it any more miserable than it can be. Both for you and everyone around you. You’re going to drag them down with you and doesn’t that seem more assholish than making someone cover your shift? This was a Hipstamatic shot, I recall. Taken somewhere on the Yamanote Line in Tokyo.

IMG_2310 on Flickr.

I’m going to tell you something I wish I got when I started on The Path of the Expat;

Don’t be afraid to leave if you’re unhappy.

I don’t just mean your job. I mean the nation you’re in as well. I don’t care if it’s Korea, Japan, India, UAE, or even frickin’ America.

Yeah, you’re gonna tell yourself that you’ll miss the kids. Or you love your girlfriend just that much. Or you don’t want to go through the hassle of dealing with Immigration. Or that it’s not as bad as you think. Or where else are you gonna get booze this cheaply?

Don’t. Just leave.

If you can do it in a way that allows you to keep everyone’s pride intact by all means do it. But if you find yourself in a situation where the best option open to you is to pack your bags and walk out the door, do it.

It’s like any other sort of relationship. If you both can’t find that balance between give and take, neither of you will be happy. Yeah, some people like being in a codependent relationship. But this advice isn’t for them.

Life is a very short thing. Don’t make it any more miserable than it can be. Both for you and everyone around you. You’re going to drag them down with you and doesn’t that seem more assholish than making someone cover your shift?

This was a Hipstamatic shot, I recall. Taken somewhere on the Yamanote Line in Tokyo.

For my first two years and final month in Japan I was sleeping on a futon. Once you hit a certain age, the distance from the futon to a standing position gets a bit too far for first thing in the morning and you crave the intermediate sitting position a bed gives you. 

And it’s embarrassing to have to crawl over to the wall and haul your creaking bones up like a drunk on a Sunday morning.

For my first two years and final month in Japan I was sleeping on a futon. Once you hit a certain age, the distance from the futon to a standing position gets a bit too far for first thing in the morning and you crave the intermediate sitting position a bed gives you.

And it’s embarrassing to have to crawl over to the wall and haul your creaking bones up like a drunk on a Sunday morning.

I was struck by how dedicated the would be cruiser was to following the contour of the stall’s lock. Shinjuku is a pretty busy station and I can’t imagine the line up of grimacing and sad-eyed salarymen he was causing while he dedicated himself to the task. 

I suspect the stall graffiti will be a lot more aggressive now that I’m back in Canada. I have a lot to do here and a lot of photos and memories to process while I do it. 

But let tell you one thing I learned while staying in Shinjuku: Pretty, young, and cool people are generally too wrapped up in being pretty, young, and cool to make for interesting street photography subjects. I think that’s why you typically only see photos of them standing around and showing off their clothing instead. 

This was a Hipstamatic shot that got trimmed and straightened in Photoforge2.

I was struck by how dedicated the would be cruiser was to following the contour of the stall’s lock. Shinjuku is a pretty busy station and I can’t imagine the line up of grimacing and sad-eyed salarymen he was causing while he dedicated himself to the task.

I suspect the stall graffiti will be a lot more aggressive now that I’m back in Canada. I have a lot to do here and a lot of photos and memories to process while I do it.

But let tell you one thing I learned while staying in Shinjuku: Pretty, young, and cool people are generally too wrapped up in being pretty, young, and cool to make for interesting street photography subjects. I think that’s why you typically only see photos of them standing around and showing off their clothing instead.

This was a Hipstamatic shot that got trimmed and straightened in Photoforge2.

Abandoned homes tend to be left that way here. Capitalist society. No one pays to have the property cleared, property is left to the elements. Earthquakes seem to do the lions share of the cleanup work. The rest vanishes into the kudzu. 

This is one of a number of post war homes in my neighborhood. Interestingly, several of them have been recently renovated to see use as cheap housing. 

Hipstamatic app set to random.

Abandoned homes tend to be left that way here. Capitalist society. No one pays to have the property cleared, property is left to the elements. Earthquakes seem to do the lions share of the cleanup work. The rest vanishes into the kudzu.

This is one of a number of post war homes in my neighborhood. Interestingly, several of them have been recently renovated to see use as cheap housing.

Hipstamatic app set to random.

Originally I was going to go off on certain Internet “communities” and the hypocrisies they spout on the subject of copyright. 

Then I realized that was one of those telling an alcoholic they’re too drunk to drive situations and casual snark was a better way to get it off my chest. So instead of a rant here is a Hipstamatic shot of Aoshima in Miyazaki.

Originally I was going to go off on certain Internet “communities” and the hypocrisies they spout on the subject of copyright.

Then I realized that was one of those telling an alcoholic they’re too drunk to drive situations and casual snark was a better way to get it off my chest. So instead of a rant here is a Hipstamatic shot of Aoshima in Miyazaki.

Since my current plan has me returning to Canada in the spring for some much needed doctoring, I’ve been thinking about writing some posts about my decade in east Asia, but I’m not sure about what. 

The urge to let loose my negativity on aspects of my time here that made me unhappy is an easy route, but it’s exhausting and goes nowhere. And unfortunately, the web has a view of this part of the world so shaped by wishful thinking and internet memes that I’m pretty sure no one would be interested in the real deal…

Here is the real deal about this place, by the way;

1. Look at your boring fucking life. 

2. Translate it to Japanese. 

TAH-DAH!

Practical living stuff can be found in a lot of places if you look for it. So can warnings about the job situation. 

Hrm… Anyone have any thoughts?

Since my current plan has me returning to Canada in the spring for some much needed doctoring, I’ve been thinking about writing some posts about my decade in east Asia, but I’m not sure about what.

The urge to let loose my negativity on aspects of my time here that made me unhappy is an easy route, but it’s exhausting and goes nowhere. And unfortunately, the web has a view of this part of the world so shaped by wishful thinking and internet memes that I’m pretty sure no one would be interested in the real deal…

Here is the real deal about this place, by the way;

1. Look at your boring fucking life.

2. Translate it to Japanese.

TAH-DAH!

Practical living stuff can be found in a lot of places if you look for it. So can warnings about the job situation.

Hrm… Anyone have any thoughts?