Letter from Dogenzaka

I've been in Japan two weeks now. Some days are easy, some days are tough. I came here to start a new life, and I've been interviewing for software jobs at a few companies. 

I live in Shibuya. Get off the Yamanote line, past the statue of Hachiko the loyal dog, past the crowded pedestrian "scramble" crosswalk, past the famous 109 Tower, the MEGA ドンキオテ, Bunkamura, up the hill into the winding, narrow streets of Dogenzaka. I pass the Hyakkendana red gates, nightclubs, love hotels, and other outrageous shops. (A favorite is the 420 lifestyle store that loudly states NO WEED, as the plant is very illegal here. Doesn't stop them from selling t-shirts). And among all that chaos is my new home. I actually really like this area -- I've stayed here before on my first visit to Japan, and it's quite safe. One of the advantages of living in Japan vs. America is I don't feel like a second-class citizen at night. I can go just about anywhere at any hour and be perfectly safe (except that one time in Golden Gai...). 

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I live in shared housing with eleven other people, plus a rat. Luxuries are for the employed, and for now, this is better rent than I had in Texas. Overall Shibuya's a pretty fancy place, though living in a red light district share house shaves a little off the cost. Might have to go country on that rat soon, though.

Last weekend I visited my Indigo teacher in Fujino and helped him with some housekeeping and yard work. It was good to see the country again, and we got the place looking nice for his upcoming workshops. It's amazing how connecting this country is. I was able to get to his place on my own by train, bus, and 20 minutes of walking. I sold my car before I moved, and I won't need one here.

I found a few affordable Japanese lessons, one at Waseda University is only 100円 per course, and there's usually 1 teacher per 2-3 students. Another is a class in Shibuya at the Cultural Center. So at least I'm picking up the language.

Interviews are nerve-wracking, though I've passed a few. I know I'm smart and capable, and I'm studying the right stuff, but I hate coding on a timer. I want to be thorough and check my work, and I still have sore feelings from the BAD PLACE last October. But they showed me who they were, and at least I know it's not what it used to be. Onward and upward. 

I miss my cat, and I miss tacos. If any friends are reading this and wanna skype date, I would like that. For now, Star Trek is getting me through it. The plum blossoms are out, and the cherries will bloom soon. At least I got back and fulfilled my promise to myself.