how to check the (accurate) weather in Japanese

When I need to check the weather, there's a few things I can do... but I've found that some are less helpful than others. Of course, upon arriving in Japan, I still regularly checked MSN and for weather updates and temperatures. Although, I soon found these to be wrong more often than right, and thought about how else I could find more accurate weather reports.

Of course, I could just turn on the TV, but since I rarely watch TV and acquire most of my news via RSS, that wouldn't work too well. Especially if I needed a report right away. Up to this point, I often heard students and teachers around me throwing around "Yahoo."

Japanese words to know when ordering online

It's been almost a month since I last posted, leaving me to wonder why I let all that time get away...

Dinner tonight was curry, as in カレーライス, or "kare raisu (curry rice)." Japanese curry is a somewhat stew-like curry, brown with orange carrot blobs and/or yellow potato blobs and/or beef/chicken/pork chunks, etc. The spiciness ranges from mild to "hot," although hot wouldn't necessarily be as spicy as Thai curry. I find curry to be incredibly addicting, and though I ate it in the States before coming to Japan, my way of cooking it has become much more "Japanese," as I attempt to emulate the various delicious curries found all over the country.

Since today was a dreary, wet, cold March day, I thought curry sounded perfect for dinner. Around 5 p.m. I started the process of chopping onions and sauteing them, whilst I minced garlic and ginger and gathered the rest of my ingredients from around the kitchen. The onions began caramelizing, so I threw in the ginger and garlic, followed with water, stock, a bay leaf and star anise. That all simmered nicely as the flavors amalgamated. About an hour later I put the still-somewhat-frozen chicken in the pot as my husband returned home, soaking wet. Since the chicken was so cold, I turned the stove up and put the lid back on to get everything heated quickly without allowing bacteria or anything to form. Well, as I got caught up in talking with my husband per the usual end-of-the-day conversations, I completely forgot I had left the burner on high, and sat down to read some food blogs while I "waited" for the chicken to "slowly" cook.

serious illness in Japan

Due to what I think might be some possible confusion or misunderstanding from my previous post, I thought I would explain the entire process of my serious illness. Though, my intent with the post was humor and slight satire and I hope it was not misconstrued. I am certainly not the kind of person who would demean anyone nor rant about things that simply are what they are. I also never assume that everyone should speak English; actually, the opposite, as I do try very hard to learn and understand Japanese and achieve fluency. My six-month illness was enough to try anyone's patience and three months of no diagnosis, not being able to work, and trying to deal with proving to my employer that I couldn't work (nearly impossible without a diagnosis) was trying.

During this process, my husband primarily helped me, as he is fluent in Japanese, and sometimes the doctors spoke English as well. My Japanese was still pretty basic, at least at the speaking/listening level (reading has always come easier to me). Sometimes a native speaker or fluent speaker who had been living in Japan a while accompanied me when my husband could not get off work (as he had to take paid leave whenever he took me to the doctor). Most of the time I felt so sick that I would not have been able to do anything on my own, even if I wanted to.

So. Shall we begin?

Vitamins and Supplements in Japan

Updated November 22, 2011. What about those nutritional extras that many of us employ, particularly when our bodies mount attacks against us? (and really, does anyone else agree that Vitamin C is almost like eating candy? Tart, orange-y candy?) Are they easy to find in Japan? How difficult is it to find what you need?

Before coming to Japan, I asked a few people about what I should or shouldn’t bring. One person said she usually had her family send her vitamins. My reaction was something like: Seriously? I'm going to a country that doesn't believe in VITAMINS?