It’s Sunday night, so time for another list of random thoughts that probably make no sense. What’s unfortunate is that these weekly brain dumps are incredibly self-censored. The topics that usually float around my head the day before the return to work are generally not accepted by polite company. People would likely feel bad for the caramel ice cream.
Fantastical fantasies involving dairy products aside, let’s jump right in!
I’ve been doing some analysis of the visits to my blog this week in an effort to optimize and refine some of the features that are being built into v5 and was surprised to find that the average number of non-bot visitors a page on this site might see in a given week is 27.34. In addition to this, of the 2,784 posts on this site, only 87 have not been accessed by a person in over a month. Given how abysmal a lot of the earlier posts are, I wonder if it’s time to think about “the right to be forgotten”.
Chatting with Neighbours
Nine months have passed since the family and I moved into our home, yet I still don’t know half the people in the immediate neighbourhood. While out for a bit of a walk today I met two people down the street for the first time who regularly see Nozomi and I head out for a walk. Usually when people discover that I can (roughly) communicate in Japanese, there is a regular assortment of questions that I am invariably asked. Queries about my nationality, language abilities, length of time in the country are the most common tropes. However these neighbours were more interested in something else: my line of work.
Nozomi gets three walks a day when there isn’t a typhoon bearing down on us. In the morning around 8:00, after lunch, and again before dinner at 7:00. Men of working age generally do not spend as much time at home as I do, which had some people wondering if I worked for the mob or sold drugs to be able to seemingly stay at home all day. A neighbour a few months back even asked if I was unemployed on account of the bad beard I was growing at the time.
The truth is seldom as interesting as neighbourhood rumours, so when these two men discovered what I do and for what company, they nodded and said that my job made more sense than some of the hypotheses people have had over the last couple of months.
The boy has gotten into a terrible habit of calling me by my first name rather than the title children usually have for their fathers in Japan1. This has happened primarily because Reiko uses my name a lot when talking to me. Sometimes he’ll stick to the standard “Papa” but, usually when we’re at home or in the park, he’ll look right at me and request something while calling me “Jeeson”. This means that I now have the additional task of teaching the boy to call me either “Papa”, as is standard in Japan for young children, or “Dad”, which is what I’ll likely prefer when he’s a bit older.
Over the last couple of months I’ve found myself falling asleep for a couple of minutes in the middle of every day. The naps are rarely more than 5 minutes in length and seem to happen after playing with the boy for a bit. I wonder if this is a sign that I’m too old for toddlers …
Despite having the occasional chat with neighbours, I rarely get a chance to talk to adults outside the house about things not related to anymore. This has resulted in having the same conversations again and again with different people. While I can appreciate the opportunity to practise my Japanese, I do wish I had friends who lived closer. A lot of the people I’ve met here in Japan have been great and I’d love to maintain a connection. Getting together, though, has become quite difficult given that I work primarily from home.
I should do something about this ….
I would love it if the boy called me something like “Grand Master Flex” or some other late-80s era MC name. It’s unlikely to happen, though.