Categories
English

Wrapping up July’19

English tests

In this July, I took two TOEIC tests – Listening & Reading (L&R) just a few days ago, and Speaking & Writing (S&W) at the beginning of this month. The TOEIC tests assess one’s English skills in the international communication context. Though optional and probably irrelevant for me, I took those two tests (and paid some fees).

The Japanese companies particularly like the TOEIC tests, probably for one reason — the scores. Depending on the scores achieved, they can measure or determine one’s skill in English, be it proficient, average, or needs more polishing. The L&R test proves to be the most popular test, if compared to S&W and Bridge test (targeted for beginner to intermediate level of English learners).

TOEIC scores are bonus points in Japanese resumes (I think). In the internal company mail, I often receive invitations and discounts for TOEIC L&R tests held in company buildings (usually in groups). Despite the extended invitation, I did not accept it.

Monthly targets

As stressful as it sounds, the targets are aimed to improve, if not, enrich life by forcing oneself to do something. It is something that I began trying this year by setting some targets each month.

The first target was to visit at least one place that I never went to. That sounded easy.

Except it’s not. Apart from procrastination, probably the other factor that hindered me is the uneasiness to explore places that I’m not familiar with. However, that fear not only defeated the purpose of coming to Japan, but also limited the extent of where I can expand my album and todos.

A random station. Unplanned detour. Accepting random plans from friend. Coming up with one day travel plan.

Wrapping up

In just a few moments, July will be coming to an end, and hence stepping forward towards the end of the 2010 decade. What a milestone! 5.. 4.. 3.. the countdown continues.

Categories
中文

你是你自己的牢狱

以前我读过许多心理系文章,说明思想和想法是如何塑造一个人。对一个人的认识,甚至是他是怎样的一个人,可谓是从他自己的思想中被塑造出来也说不定。我不时也陷入了这样的一个想法 — 在事情A的处理方面,若选择方法B或C来解决,而不是方法A(平时的解决方式),那么事情肯定有突破性的发展!我这么想着。

确实,采取新的方式来解决一个问题自然会迎来应当的结局 — 毕竟,凡事没有所谓固定的结局。人生也许就是从许多的分岔路口形成出来的?我不禁这样想。

我喜欢挑战新事情,但同时也喜欢维持现状。要说挑战新事情,最有代表性莫非是到日本上班吧。当初没想得太多去进行申请,经过了两次的Skype面试后正式录取,现在回想起那段事件,仿佛是梦(虽然已经实现了!)。要说维持现状,这个可多了。变化和维持,两个都互相排斥。想了想,简单的事情也可以想成得很复杂,复杂的事情也能被分解为简单的事情,人类可谓是个复杂的生物。


我经常想着事情 — 从日常的事物到短,中甚至是长期计划。我开始计划并且想着该如何去实现这几个系列的计划。无意中,我仿佛把自己扔进一个无形的牢狱里。很可笑的是,牢狱的锁是自己上的。到了什么时候就该做A,到了某个里程碑时需要完成B,到了。。。

这系列的“到了”和“就要”变成了一条无形的锁链。

有人说,做人要自由。好好享受了人生之后再慢慢计划,活在当下。有人说,要在最初就好好做计划,以免以后受苦。用一句成语来概括,“先苦后甜”。说实在的,我仍然在一边看着身边友人,一边摸索着自己的路该怎么走。虽然眼前和路上有着许多盏灯照耀着接下来的路该怎么走,但是途中不免有个小路分岔口。我该试看到那个小路走吗?还是别离开那个大道,继续在燈下继续走?

也许生活本来就是一件很简单的事情。也许,我掉进了自己的牢狱。

*好久没写中文博文了,若有犯错,请在留言处给予纠正,谢谢!

Categories
English

Escaping to the city: the weather

Once in a while, I take the train to go to Tokyo. It’s about an hour away, just perfect for a nap in the train (if I found a seat, that is). Since I rarely go to the metropolitan area, my impression towards Tokyo is always refreshed.

Just recently, I travelled to Okachimachi, a town neighboring Ueno and Akihabara to watch the new hit anime movie by Shinkai Makoto, Weathering With You (天気の子). With the cloudy Saturday morning being relatable to the movie theme and its atmosphere, I entered the cinema with high hopes.

Yes, it definitely earned a solid five-stars rating.

Its location is mainly focused in the Tokyo metropolitan area, centered in key areas such as Shinjuku, Kagurazaka, Tabata, Odaiba, Yoyogi, and the likes. I was deeply amazed by the frames drawn; each has its unique characteristics, and certainly make the work itself more interesting.

The building and landmarks, public transportation, and various scenes within the movie certainly bring an extra layer of realism — not only the scenes inside were modeled after the real locations, the background noises and effects also reflected the real Tokyo. How I wished I watched it in Shinjuku.

After I finished watching it at 11am, I decided to walk to Akihabara from the JR Okachimachi Station. It’s a near half an hour walk (~1.5km), but it was satisfying. I’d argue that besides hopping on the train, cycling and walking are definitely some of the ways to enjoy while travelling.

Tokyo, and the neighboring Chiba prefecture (where I stay in) are experiencing the lack of sunshine for weeks. The Marine Day, annually celebrated at the beach (and the likes) under the hot sunshine, for this year is quite cloudy. It was quite odd for the summer season, as it was humid yet cool. Although it was relieving for my house’s electricity bill, I’d sure appreciate more sunshine over the days to come.

Weathering With You touched upon a topic which affected worldwide, that is, climate change. Many parts of Tokyo are built upon reclaimed land. I won’t spoil the contents, but after watching the movie, I’ve grown more appreciation towards the surroundings, which I’ve taken (and I believe many people would have) granted for.

The company I am currently working at right now is taking steps to reduce the global warming footprint, and is working towards a greener environment. Many companies have followed suit, however, still insufficient. The mindset of the masses play critical role in improvising the environment. However, the mindset still requires huge improvement…

Have you watched the movie?

Categories
日本語

あと何回の夏が過ごせるのか

初めて日本語でブログポストを書いている。日本にいて、1年過ぎが経った。まだ梅雨が続いている今、時には家にいるしかなくてどこへも行けず、ちょっと退屈だと思っている。

ある夜、たまにYouTubeを開き、音楽を聴き始めた。Keyの有名な曲が流れ始めた。作業中の手が止まった。歌詞と曲をよく聞き、その深みを味わっていた。気づけば、いま自分が日本にいると改めて認識した。

ここにいられる間はビザの有効期間によるものだ。あと何回の夏が過ごせるのか、時にそう思う。まだ来日する前に、ずっと四季に憧れていた(マレーシアは365日夏。蒸し暑いし、よく雨が降る。)。春ってどんな風景だろう、冬の日の雪ってどんな景色だろう…と、私はそう思った。

やっと日本で暮らすことができて、ずっと憧れた四季を味わうこともできた。いまはちょっど夏。去年のことを思い出した。一人であっちこっちを歩き回って、行ってみたかった場所を訪ねた。

東京。

中学校のころ、うちのパソコンの壁紙が東京の様々な景色だった。とある駅名標、赤い東京タワーの景色。時には田舎の写真、ある高速道路の写真、渋谷のスクランブル交差点の写真も載せた。これらは私にとって、日本へ行くためのモチベーションだろう。

平成30年のGW明け。ちょっと不安でわくわくした気持ちで成田国際空港を着陸。スカイライナーに乗って新宿へ。すべてが新鮮だった、と私はそう思った。本当に毎日、日本語を身に着けないといけないの?と不安が自分の中に広がった。ただの趣味ではなく、本当にコミュニケーション ツールとして使わないといけないぞ、と覚悟を決めた。それはわずかの12時間で。

ビザの期限切れまではまだ遠いが、日本にいる毎日を大切しなくちゃ。

あと何回の夏を過ごすことができるのか。

※初めて日本語で書いた文章でした。言語での誤りやミス、不適切な言い方などが見つかりましたら、コメントで書いていただけますよう、今後ともよろしくお願いいたします。

Categories
English

Tanabata wishes

It is Tanabata (Star Festival) today in Japan. In contrast with the desired weather, which is sunny and clear, it rained throughout the day and throughout Japan due to the rainy season, otherwise known as 梅雨 (つゆ;tsuyu). I went out this morning to attend an English exam. It rained lightly and had strong winds — definitely not an ideal day to go out and enjoy this Sunday.

I didn’t write wishes on a paper and hang it on a bamboo branch, so I decided to write here instead!

I wish the world, my family and friends, and my loved ones be in a healthy and peaceful manner. I hope I can close the chapters of 2019 and the 2010 decade in a well-ordered, memorable manner.

This year’s Tanabata wishes

What are your wishes for this year’s tanabata? Whatever it is, I hope it realizes in a way that is beneficial to you.