Friday 29 March 2013


I have a mouth full of bitter bile. Not literally of course, but there is something building in me and making me rethink a lot of things in my life. Saying that, my thoughts are like a jigsaw puzzle my 4 year old has given up on and has scattered from arsehole to breakfast-time and I can't blog it yet, I really want to but I'm not quite ready to put my soul on the line of the Internet yet, I'll be ready soon I promise.

I think if I had some kind of bitch-o-meter on here, that my biggest percentage of bitches would be about Ryota. It's quite natural I'm sure, since it's not P.C. to bitch about your children properly, he is the one I spend the majority of my time with and therefore most likely to bear the brunt of my bitchiness, but I can safely say, for now, we are actually in a good place. Sorry, I know the stories of his arseholey behaviour are a great read, but to be honest, the things on my mind actually have nothing to do with him. For once... I'm sure it will change at some point but we've been working really well together lately.

Prime example, we lost our camera when we went to Disneyland (Disneyland is a whole fucking blog post too!) recently and I was bracing myself for Ryota to go off his nut at me because I/we left it on a bus. It was out good canon camera with a zillion photos on it too and I was heartbroken that it might be lost. I went into a huge downer about it, if we had lost it my trip was going to be ruined and I also thought we were going to  have a massive argument about it but he was like, "Well, if we get it back, we'll be really happy. If not, can't be helped, and it means you can get the Nikon that you wanted!" Where the fuck did old Ryota go?! Whatever I liked the new attitude, it perked me up and I apologised for not taking more care to check the bus for our shit. We got it back thank god, but it shows that we can actually interact as normal loving humans! Score!

And we actually had no fights during the Disney trip, despite it being one of the most irritating places on Earth!

It may be his new 70% philosophy, he read a book that said you shouldn't live life at 100% all the time because you'll never have anywhere to go but down and always be disappointed. And when I think about it, it's kind of a good plan! From now we shall be the 70% super couple. Just wait, now I've blogged about it we'll probably have a massive fight tonight!

Right, must go work. I'm hoping my next post will be a bile purging one.

Thursday 14 March 2013

You were all right!

As usual, all the people who comment on my blog were right and I should never have wished for life to get any more exciting. Boring is good, a lesson I should have learnt by now, I'm 30 this year!

So after getting restless in my own skin of course something happens to shake it up, and not in a good way.

So yesterday I got a text from my sister that said:

"Hey sis, don't know if you know or not bu Dad hasn't been well, skype??"

And as soon as I read it of course all the worst things went through my head, well, actually only one thing went through my head:


Because that's what you automatically think right.

So after skyping with my sis and calling my Dad, I discovered that he's been having numbness in his legs since December but it's gotten much worse in the last month. Fucking December!!! When I was there!! When I was getting annoyed with him because he wasn't taking Ashton anywhere and seemed to be bothered by having my kids there. Fuck, talk about guilt trip.

So it's not cancer (that we know of yet) but that kind of scares me even more because it may be brain related and brain stuff is so unknown and shrouded in mystery. I feel helpless but I'm glad my sister finally told me after my parents not telling me because I'll worry. I want to worry rather than not.

I hope he's OK. I really don't know what I'll do if he's not.


Saturday 9 March 2013

Dumbing up business

I never dreamt I would start a business in Japan. Or actually anywhere for that matter! I always thought that people who started their own businesses were so motivated, so street-smart, so up for anything. So not me.

I like the worker-bee mentality in Japan, although I would definitely strive to be one of the slightly senior bees, I was quite happy to work for the man, punch in and out, get paid and live happily ever-after until I was 60.

Of course then I became a housewife and spent the most boring, unfulfilled year of my life stewing in my own unfulfilled, bitter juice. The thought that I could be a housewife/stay at home mother for any longer actually made me really anxious. So I was faced with the dilemma, go back to worker-bee mode but juggle kids and a house with it (much harder), or to start something of my own, on my terms. And thank God I did. Starting my own business has been one of the best experiences of my life. I can take pride in something I built, that I am almost solely responsible for, and something that even if it fails, means I had a good hard crack at least!

Now I've never started a business anywhere else, and I imagine some aspects are international, but doing business in Japan has really been a cultural eye-opener. And by eye-opener, I mean like when they do lasik surgery and clamp your eyes open and shoot lasers in there kinda eye-opening! There were so many aspects that side-swiped me, no matter how many business books I read or how much I planned, I just had to learn about it by doing it and making mistakes.

I got lots of advice when I started: "Work hard!" "Do your best!" "Speak Japanese!" "Don't speak Japanese!" and loads more that I just let wash over me because I was actually so clueless that my brain didn't know which compartment to file all the advice and just kind of blocked it out. But there was one piece of advice I got from a (Japanese) friend of mine who also ran her own business, and it was:

 "Don't try to be too Japanese, you'll have a much better business if you act like a 'dumb' foreigner."

Now I had no idea what she meant at the time, and she said it in a really nice way so it wasn't at all offensive to me, and I've realised, after 3 years that this was possibly the best advice I got.

But now it brings the question of, why??

And all I have to do is turn the TV on to get my answer. The foreigners on Japanese TV aren't the ones fluent in Japanese language and culture, they're the 'stupid' ones who make mistakes and cultural blunders all over the place. Bobby, Laura, the girl on the washing powder advertisement, the guy in the McDonald's commercial a few years ago, they all have a 'dumb foreigner' character that they play, and play very well. But what is that doing for the vast majority of us who CAN speak Japanese, who CAN be culturally sensitive?

Not that I really care that much, I may get on my moral high horse but really I just want to run a successful business, so I find myself stressing less about my perfect telephone manner, about the whole other 'polite language' that is so crucial when speaking to a customer, and hey if making exclamations of amazement when being told that Japan has 4 seasons and the best rice means good business, then I can handle that!

I think the fact that dumbing myself down is a good business practice should somewhat annoy me more than it does, but at the end of the day I don't think I can change Japan, I can change my own life to make a success for my family, and that is the only thing that matters to me. Selfish? Yes. Can it be helped? No.

So I will continue to make mistakes, because it can only be good for me! (and it takes all that pressure off too!)