It’s been a while since I blogged. And it’s not because I’ve got the blues or anything like that. I’m in a big transition phase right now. It’s time to pack my bags and get ready to go. And no, it’s not a holiday this time. It’s a move. Whenever I move from one period of my life to the next, I find myself thinking about where I was when it started, and where I am now. And boy have I come a long long way.
Who doesn’t love dumplings? I feel it’s one of those things that you can find in just about every cuisine. Meat wrapped in flour that’s either boiled, steamed, pan-fried or deep-fried. Yum yum yum! So my friend Noza taught me to make chuchvara – boiled dumplings served with either soup or tomatoes and onions.
Thankfully, it doesn’t snow much in Tokyo. It’s snowed a grand total of three times since I moved here some two and a half years ago. And yesterday’s snowfall was the biggest. I was in the middle of teaching a lesson when it started snowing. My students stopped listening to me and promptly rushed to the windowpanes to stare at those magical specks of white falling from the sky. The next thing I knew, some of them had opened the windows and stuck their hand out. They were collecting snowflakes and studying them. I’d done the same at their age – but how quickly the novelty had faded for me.
I was honestly astonished at how delicious, delectable and authentic the whole experience was. If it wasn’t for the strange decor and the hefty price tag, I would have felt like I was back in Singapore. And BTW – the super hot is actually super hot… Truth be told, it was a little too hot for my palate. I should have prudently chosen a less spicy soup – but hey.
There was a time when the thought of someone taking their own life shocked me to my very core. But these days I feel nothing.
Navigating the complexity of the Senpai Kohai relationship is one of the stepping stones of working in Japan. Senpai = senior. Kohai = junior. In theory, this is a two-way street that has its roots in Confucianism. The elders pass on their knowledge and experience to the younger ones. Seems fair, doesn’t it? Those with more experience and knowledge lead the way for those with less experience and knowledge. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed that these things are often determined by age and rank – not by ability, intelligence and capability.
I put on my comfortable shoes and saddled up for Day 2 of Wealth Master Congress Japan 2017. Fortunately, today was 100 times better than yesterday. The queue in the morning was still an epic and unorganised pain in the neck, but unlike yesterday, the wait was only 20 minutes as opposed to an hour and 20 minutes. I repeat – this event was organised by idiots. I’ve been to a ton of conferences and I’ve never seen anything as terrible as this. The venue may have been the New Otani Hotel at Akasaka-Mitsuke, but I felt like I was at a fish market full of eager customers looking to get the best possible bargain deal. God help us all.