This Drama Is Fiction: My year on the other side.

What happened in six weeks in Seoul, one year in Kyoto and three months in Spain.

Now I'm a hapless intern in a company in Japan.

Check out my gel nail art tumblr!


After I wrote that post about my ex yesterday, I started thinking about the things I’d written about him last year so I trawled through this tag:


It is a laugh! (Actually there’s a lot of boring shit I wrote and still tagged him in it but aside from that)

Really, the warning signs are crystal clear, looking back at it!

It’s funny because, besides my better judgement and the whole ex girlfriend pregnancy thing, I kind of found myself attracted to him again hanging out with him this weekend. But after reading through that tag and reminding myself of everything, fuck that!

I’m preeeetty sure he still likes me, or at the very least, he’s in a vulnerable place after what happened with his ex so there is no way I can let anything happen with him. I think too much has changed between us anyway and I hope he can see that…

Could only come up with 2 good things and then I forgot one of them. Maybe tomorrow I’ll do the ‘5 good things’ thing


Here is a side by side comparison of how The New York Times has profiled Michael Brown — an 18 year old black boy gunned down by police — and how they profiled Ted Bundy, one of the most prolific serial killers of all time. 

Source for Brown, Source for Bundy.

Oh my god. I had a really packed weekend but I’ll skip everything else and get straight to the story.

My friend came to Nagoya to visit so we booked a hotel with another intern and planned to go out on Saturday night. Then I got a message from my ex asking if I was free to meet. He knew my friend too from before so I figured I might as well get it the meeting over with, as he seemed so keen to meet and probably wouldn’t stop asking.

The good thing about him, the thing that I liked about him when I met him (actually the thing that makes people who don’t know him so well not believe what I know about him), is that he has a real skill meeting new people and he can always make people feel relaxed and have fun. So we all were able to ignore the elephant in the room and have fun, catching up on what had been going on in everyone’s lives and drinking. I didn’t mind because I didn’t feel nervous at all about meeting him after the last time.

He got drunk and we realised he hadn’t eaten all day so we helped him to a convenience store to get some fried chicken. Finally we were sitting outside the convenience store and he started dropping bombshells. He had broken up with his girlfriend (the one after me). He had tried to love her to forget about me, but apparently she was so selfish, nothing like me (anyone who used to read this before may remember he *always* called me selfish, even for wanting to break up with him, but I guess he has a romantic way of remembering things).

The reason she was so selfish? Their relationship was on the rocks, they were arguing all the time, he wanted to work abroad and she wanted to stay near her parents, she had to get married soon….. And then she got pregnant.

Or he got her pregnant, I don’t know which way of saying it is better or worse. He said a lot more about it, but I don’t really remember because I just felt like I was going to throw up.

He then wanted to get married and to keep the baby but she insisted on getting an abortion, which he couldn’t deal with. I can completely understand her because she would have to give up everything, her life, university, her career, her dreams to find a partner she loved etc. She has one more year left until she finishes medical school and I cannot imagine her being able to finish and become a junior doctor and have a baby, because Japan, so it makes sense no matter how hard it was for my ex. He lives in a dream world because his parents have given him everything and he hasn’t suffered - he wouldn’t have to give up a single thing if she kept the baby.

He said she was nothing like me and asked what I would have done. I’m sure he expected me to say I would have kept the baby, because he doesn’t understand me at all. I told him I would never ever ever have got myself in that position in the first place, but then I acknowledged that these things happen with the best will in the world. I just can’t believe that TWO medical students can be SO stupid, but then he’s smoking 60 cigarettes a day now, which disgusts me so much, so they obviously don’t apply what they learn to their own lives.

I didn’t tell him, but I think if I had gotten pregnant when we were together last year I would have had an abortion. But I wouldn’t have told him. It might be more cruel but I know that side of him - he’s honourable but way too naive and romantic. Whereas I’m very aware of how dependent I still am on my parents and I’m not capable of having a baby yet. I want to be able to give any children the best I could, not fuck it all up because I’m too young and selfish still.

It’s such a hard decision to make for anyone though and I don’t think it’s fair to judge anyone, whether they choose to have a baby or have an abortion, because you’re not in their position.

Ah man, a lot happened in one year.


Leo has the worst time coping with = being ignored, feeling like they gave too much for no reason and their self-doubt


Leo has the worst time coping with = being ignored, feeling like they gave too much for no reason and their self-doubt

Oh yeh and my responsibilities on the day of the competition? Calling the elevator.

Woahhooah I am going places with all this experience I’m amassing

I was feeling so low at work today. I know that I can’t do so much as an intern, especially not being a native Japanese speaker but I feel like I’m wasting so much time and there are so many more helpful things I could be doing for the company, like correcting the fuck out of their English translations and helping with the competition I’m supposed to be ‘overseeing’.

Like, i might have complained about some things while I was in Spain but I have a pretty high level of Spanish. There are spanish and English speaking participants coming to the competition. Naturally, I COULD be helpful. But instead, while I’m copy pasting information from one spreadsheet to another, I have to overhear my coworkers around me asking each other advice about things I know, like English questions (as well as gossiping about each foreign participant whose information they have on their computers ew).

Aaaand today the information I received to copy paste into another document was information I had already compiled myself, but had been done again by a different staff member. My mentor had literally asked me to do something, taken no action with it and someone else did the same thing again! There is no point in me being there.

The final nail in the coffin for my feeling like shit today was not being emailed about the change in time of the office meeting and then, finally at the time of the meeting, not being given a copy of the handout and having to sit there, understanding even less because I didn’t have the documents to follow.

I am so depressed about my lack of progress in this place.

Tear Gas Is an Abortifacient. Why Won’t the Anti-Abortion Movement Oppose It?


A couple of years ago, when I was newly pregnant and reporting in the West Bank, some of my local colleagues insisted that I skip covering a protest at an Israeli checkpoint. At first, I was resistant to letting pregnancy stand in the way of my work, but they knew from experience that there might be tear gas, and tear gas, they said, causes miscarriages.

They were right: though rigorous studies are few, there is evidence that tear gas is an abortifacient. In 2011, Chile temporarily suspended its use after a University of Chile studylinked it to miscarriage and fetal harm. Investigating the use of tear gas in Bahrain in 2012, Physicians for Human Rights found that local doctors were reporting increased numbers of miscarriages in exposed areas. And UN officials have connected tear gas to miscarriages in the Palestinian territories.

This means it’s likely that police in Ferguson, Missouri, have been spraying abortion-causing chemicals on crowds of civilians. Recently at TheNation.com, Dani McClain wrote about the killing of black youth as a reproductive justice issue, one that goes to the heart of the rights of parents to raise their children in peace, safety and dignity. She’s correct, of course, but if the anti-abortion movement were actually concerned about the well-being of the unborn, then the violence in Ferguson would be a pro-life issue as well.

(Source: aloofshahbanou)

Oh my gosh I forgot to mention - last week I saw my ex boyfriend again! He’s the one I wrote about here so much last year while I was in Japan because he drove me crazy until the end and even after.

I went to Osaka to see his mum because she said she and all the family missed me a lot. I used to teach English to his cousins and often had dinner with his parents and relatives so I wanted to see them too. When I arrived they let me know that actually my ex boyfriend was going to be there and asked if it was ok. Apparently they all tried to keep it a secret from him but he was going back to university that night and wanted to have dinner with his family before… so they had to admit they’d already planned a dinner with me. So that was… interesting.

He hadn’t changed much, still as spoilt and full of stories as ever but I had to bite my tongue this time whenever he made any comments because it was no longer my place to get angry with him.

For example he’s studying medicine at a ridiculously expensive private university so, in order to get closer and understand ‘the people’ (ugh), he got his first part time job….in an exclusive sushi restaurant (his mum knows the owner). He was telling me a story about how all the other part timers got pissed off at him and accused him *without reason* of not taking the job seriously because he got the job through the owner without going through the same process as the rest, but then he proved himself and they were so impressed how quickly he learnt everything. I was so bored of his bragging.

He then retold the story in Japanese to his aunt, this time adding that they got pissed with him *just because* he was late to work and caused them extra trouble but he said sorry so wasn’t that enough?! That changed the story just a little bit.

I tried so hard to hide my eyerolls and thanked god I don’t have to listen to any of these kinds of stories any more. He said he wanted to introduce me to his university friends but, to be honest, they sound like awful people and I can’t imagine why he’d want to introduce his ex girlfriend to them except to parade the foreigner around. Do not want.

All his family commented how much my Japanese has improved and, again, I couldn’t really say that since I broke up with him I finally was free to make friends and had so many more opportunities to practise Japanese (he speaks really good English and did everything for me when we were together).

We stayed entirely clear from the subject of boyfriends/girlfriends so I didn’t get to find out if he’s still dating the girl who is also studying medicine but needs to find a husband soon to inherit her father’s hospital. Says it all really. I’m sure they’ll be so happy together.

Today I went to work wearing a cardigan, and came home with heat rash on both arms.

It’s the first time in my memory that I’ve had heat rash….. my body is not made for Japanese summer :(

The term “tear gas” is a misnomer. For one thing, “tear gas” seems to imply something innocuous— you would think it’s just a chemical that makes you tear up. In fact, tear gas is a dangerous, potentially lethal chemical agent which is outlawed under the Chemical Weapons Convention for use during wartime. As the Omega Research Foundation argues: “Less-lethal weapons are presented as more acceptable alternatives to guns. But these weapons augment rather than replace the more lethal weapons. Euphemistic labels are used to create the impression that these weapons represent soft and gentle forms of control. CS is never referred to by the authorities as vomit gas, in spite of its capacity to cause violent retching.” NGO Physicians for Human Rights believes that “ ‘tear gas’ is a misnomer for a group of poisonous gases which, far from being innocuous, have serious acute and longer-term adverse effects on the health of significant numbers of those exposed.”

What is tear gas? Facing Tear Gas (via gowns)

(Source: roundedcomms)

Remember ladies- your no-makeup face is offensive in the workplace in Japan. 

Cover that ugly face up! 

I really want to write a book about how the old guys’ halitosis at my workplace personally offends me, but then that’s not how the world works…

Remember ladies- your no-makeup face is offensive in the workplace in Japan.

Cover that ugly face up!

I really want to write a book about how the old guys’ halitosis at my workplace personally offends me, but then that’s not how the world works…

Best thing about going back to work after the well long obon holiday- all the omiyage from my coworkers: cookies, cakes, biscuits, nuts, pretz, jelly things, Japanese sweets……

The worst thing… The omiyage I bought from Kyoto is still in my desk because I only bought 10 pieces. I then realised with horror when I arrived that there are 14 people in my office and it would be a fatal office lady error to hand out only a few.

I tried my best to be a good little OL but as always I’m just the hapless gaijin intern, now with faaaaar too much perishable food hiding in my desk drawer.

There’s no point to a guy yelling, “Hey sexy baby” at me out of the passenger window of a car as it speeds past. Even if I was into creepy misogynists and wanted to give him my number, I couldn’t. The car didn’t even slow down. But that’s okay, because he wasn’t actually hitting on me. The point wasn’t to proposition me or chat me up. The only point was to remind me, and all women, that our bodies are his to stare at, assess, comment on, even touch. “Hey sexy baby” is the first part of a sentence that finishes, “this is your daily message from the patriarchy, reminding you that your body is public property”.