Everything Is A Bit Different

When visiting a foreign country you tend to notice a few differences.

Like the fact that fish head soup is a delicacy (yes, with the eyes and teeth still inside) or that they all walk on certain sides of the road opposite to what we, as Westerners, would consider the ‘correct side’ (even though those who ride bikes don’t really stay in their designated lane).

That when eating noodle soup one should slurp as loud as possible to show the chef you like the meal. Or that businessman dressed in black suits and white shirts do in fact travel via bicycle and listen to music. (What would a Japanese businessman listen to on the way to work?)

How restrooms in a foreign country are vastly different than ‘Western’ style. (They even have instructions on how to use a Western, which I initially laughed at but then realized I needed instructions on how to use an Eastern latrine.) Or how shrines and temples are everywhere, and in certain cases the vending machines sell beer.

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But there are similarities, too.

Like the fact that even the Japanese take pictures of their food and take selfies. Or how the commute is always one to fall asleep on (if you’re on a train) or become crazy because of (if you’re driving). Trust me on this, the Japanese folks drive just as crazy as we do. If not crazier.

How enjoying a good meal is universal. And relaxation time (in the form of gardens, zen and flower, and hot baths) is essential to being happy.

We even recognized some local eateries (McDonalds) and exercise centers (Curves). The kids chat loudly, snacks are everything, and everyone gets excited over Disney. It was nice to see some common threads weaving us Western and Easterners together. (Aside from the importance of work, school, family, and friends, of course.)

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The differences far outweigh the similarities though, but that’s why people travel to foreign lands. To experience new things. To see the world through another culture’s eyes. To learn and grow as humans.

And I’d like to think that this particular Japan trip helped me do just that.

Honestly, the trip could be summed up in one word: Amazing.

I’m glad to be back home. Glad to be back to my routine. Glad to spend time with friends and cook Western food. But I’m thrilled I got to visit a foreign country, and that I got to do it with my family. We made memories to last a lifetime.

I hope the great blogosphere had a lovely few weeks without me!

Warmest regards,
Kellie

P.s. – Also, I changed my blog’s appearance around a bit. I’m still deciding if I like it. Comment, people!

Adventure Time!

No, not the cartoon, I’m talking about tonight’s adventure. I’m heading to…

JAPAN!

That’s right, folks, I’m going to the land of the rising sun. Two whole weeks soaking up all the culture, cherry blossoms, shrines, and sushi I can manage.

Because of this, I probably won’t be able to post until May 26, the day after I get back.

(I will allow you to weep for a moment…  … …moment over.)

You have my assurances, o blogosphere, if I do get some free time, I’ll certainly think up some writerly/editorly thoughts and post them.

But don’t count on it. I may not have that much free time.

And I might old-school it in Japan – pen and paper style – then blog about it when I get back. It’s all very up in the air… which is what I’ll be all day tomorrow. Speaking of, did you know it takes 11 ½ hours on a plane to get to Japan? Not including how long it takes to get to the Lower 48 from Alaska, of course.

It better be worth it.

See you two weeks!
Warm regards,
Kellie

A Mid-Week Post: Good Deeds

So, my father recently had this great idea for a way to help cancer victims push through  their recovery – he calls it Sailing Away From Cancer.

The Little Blurb

Cancer survivors go through hell. But you can help them get better by donating to Sailing Away From Cancer. You’d be helping Ed Doherty (a cancer survivor) and his crew (other survivors, with their care givers) go on an adventure of their lives.

(Plus, it’s tax-deductible!)

More About It (pulled from YouCaring.com)

“This program is specifically aimed at those either recent diagnosed or currently undergoing cancer treatment and will have completed their treatments by the end of July 2014. This campaign will offer very inexpensive week long sailing trips to the British Virgin Islands for current cancer patients undergoing treatment and one care giver.”

Here’s a link: Sailing Away From Cancer | Other – YouCaring.com. Check it out.

Why Donate?

1) Cancer sucks.
2) Surviving is wonderful.
3) It’s for a good cause.
4) Start-ups are hard and you’d be helping.
5) My dad is awesome.

Think about it. It could be your good deed for the day.
Warm regards,
Kellie

New Cover, Old Stereotype

I’m a fan of Teen Titans. Okay, not like a I-dream-of-dressing-up-like-one-of-them-during-a-comiccon fan, but I used to watch the show back in 2003. I loved the show. The characters were funny, the plotlines, fun, and action, easy to follow. I liked Raven. I still like the show in a nostalgic, wasn’t-my-childhood-great kind of way. I even write fanfiction about it, because yes, I’m a geek.

But when I see this:

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…for the new  relaunch of Teen Titans #1, I get a bit, well, disappointed. Now, I know in most comic books the female characters are often dressed in an alluring fashion, meaning very tight and usually very revealing outfits. It’s a ridiculous stereotype still portrayed in comic books today, but this cover, in particular, went a bit too far. I mean, really. Look at Wonder Girl. Stop. Look at her again. It’s way far off the mark.

Why? Three reasons: 

1) This is Teen Titans. It’s about teenagers. Any teenager that well endowed has probably gotten a bit of help. Do you see how round her breasts are? That’s just not normal, folks.
2) One solid kick to her face/chest/shoulder/any part of her body and that top would just snap right off her (or at very least, there’d be a nipslip).
3) It’s a stereotype. DC can (and should) do better.

Now, I don’t mind seeing a bit of skin on a woman, and sometime I, too, like to show off a bit. But THAT MUCH cleavage? On a teenager? Might as well be giving the whole female gender a shove out the equality door, then slosh out the self-respect with them, too. Plus, it would be next to impossible for her to fight in that outfit without having to readjust. I mean, the Black Widow’s outfit is tight, too, but at least she can fight in it.

(And speaking of equality, look at Bunker – can you tell he has darker skin? Not really, no.)

Overall while Beast Boy, Raven, and Red Robin look good and the setting seems exciting, the other two main characters are a bit sad in comparison.

Although looking again, I could do without the helicopter… and possibly that paper airplane… and the piece of paper floating beside Beast Boy. It’s too random for me. 

But maybe others will like it. Thoughts?

Have a lovely weekend!
Warm regards,
Kellie