Greetings everyone! I'm on a bus heading to Fukushima today, and on the way, I reread an article I found a while ago. It's a blogger writing about monolingualism in Australia, and he makes some points that are relevant to America and other English-speaking countries. I like how he compares the attitude many English speakers have with a type of imperialism. Anyway, here's the link:

http://blogs.crikey.com.au/fullysic/2011/12/13/too-monolingual-for-our-own-good/?wpmp_tp=0

     I've previously looked (very quickly, and I know it's Wikipedia!) and it turns out that America, as a nation, has no official language. Seriously.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_the_United_States
Not even English. Some states have made it the official language, but many others haven't. I used to fall into the same boat with the "if they're going to live here, they should speak our language" people, but being in a place where almost no one speaks English has been eye opening, and so has learning another language.
    I guess I'm just writing this one to make a few more people aware because I think a lot of the reason Americans are so monolingual is the attitude. Heck, maybe allowing citizens who don't speak English would actually be a good way to encourage bilingualism, but I sure am not a politician. Just a thought. Have a great weekend everyone!
 
 
    I know, it's ridiculous! But I finally got an internet connection at my place, and I can finally give you those pictures me and my lovely lady friend took waaay back in December/January. Remember me mentioning those? I thought not, but here they are anyway!
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At an arcade in Akihabara. Yes, six floors. I'll translate: 6-3F, Video Games. 2-1F, UFO Catcher. B1F, Large Scale Video Games.
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And after Tokyo, we hit Kyoto! This was at the station when we arrived.
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One of our many temple adventures in Kyoto. We tended to just walk around Kyoto and turn into whatever shrines and temples we came across. And there were loads.
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Takoyaki at an Izakaya in Ueno
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And this was a Studio Ghibli store at the Skytree. Anyone not into Japanese culture, Ghibli is like Japan's Disney...you know, right after Disney.
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I wish I could give you some better quality, but I really don't like carrying a camera around. This was at Yasaka Shrine for New Years in Kyoto.
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Big old temple very nearby our hotel.
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We tried to get a good shot of the famous intersection in front of Shibuya station, but all it was rainy, we were inside the station to take the pick, we were using an iPod touch, and it turned out like this.
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The imperial Palace at Kyoto. When we visited here, you folks on the East coast in America were just entering the New Year.
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Tokyo Skytree! This was the clearest shot of the tower we could get, unfortunately.
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That's me jammed into a seat on one of the buses that took us to our hotel. It was only ten or fifteen minutes, but I swear I still have a crick in my back from the ride. :)
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A kimono displayed at a bridal shop we passed every day. That thing's ornate as balls!
    So there ya go! I do have many, many more pictures, but not only would you be forced to stay here all day looking at them, I'd probably have to spend the next week just putting 'em up here, so I'm saving myself a bit of trouble and only posting a few of the pictures for now.
    Besides, it's been about two months, and I've moved on to doing some other things. I've been snowboarding almost every week since the beginning of February at a number of different mountains. I knew there were a lot of mountains near Aizu, but the amount of ski resorts within a one hour drive is just crazy! In fact, I went boarding yesterday. The day started out a little rainy, but pretty soon it turned to snow and I was enjoying myself quite a bit. I spent a good portion of the time on my backside, but even soaking wet, it was a hell of a time.
    And on that note, I'll take my leave and clean this friggen apartment up! It's not that bad, but I'm sure if my mother or my girlfriend was here, I wouldn't be typing this right now. Have a great day, week, month, and year everyone! Only a short time before spring and the cherry blossoms, so look out for my update on that!