Learn Japanese with Tinder

| By Sushilove51 | Photo by R. Angelo |

“I just want to say hi to my girlfriend, OK! yo Adrian! It’s me. Rocky “

-R. Balboa

 

“Itaidoshin” is a Japanese proverb that means “different body, same mind”.

I understand the message as similar to a well-known American saying, “birds of a feather”. We all know how natural it feels to connect with a person whom you experience “Itaidoshin”.

I write this to talk about a co-worker of mine. In the short amount of time we’ve known each other. We’ve soon became brothers. Mostly because, life has molded our personalities the same way. Grown up on the West Coast, Joined the U.S.A.F.,Gym Rats, Hot Sauce Connoisseurs.

Then add to that we have the same sense of humor. In which, alone can bring people closer than super glue. It’s the dry cement of relationships.

With all this been said, There is an area of our lives we are completely different.

That is our relationship with women. I’ve always been into the long-haul enjoying the pleasure of building something with. I know guys my age ask “Don’t I get bored”. But, I’ve always thought different. There’s a special type of fruit that comes from it.

It’s probably a personality trait I have or a mental dysfunction for me to enjoy the chaos of it all.

Growing together there are times we tire and irritate each other for no reason. One moment will be magical. Sipping sake on a beach towel in the middle of nowhere. The next moment will be a hardship. Making us wonder if our love will die. I like this pocket of tension, right there where the smoke is. Nothing feels better than standing still when it clears.

He on the other hand, plays the field, and has a girl in prefectures all over the country. At work he makes the shift pass smoothly by sharing his experiences and telling me where he meets them. One of those being Tinder. I know this is pretty popular among singles but I’ve never had to deal with this. Having been in a long term relationship for so long I never considered it.

He explained to me that the process is simple to start. You create a profile, Post a picture and your ready to go. Look at other profiles, Once you see a profile that attracts you. You swipe right. If it doesn’t attract you then you swipe left. He even said that he’s found some people to practice Japanese with it. This part intrigued me the most. It wasn’t all about hooking up or finding love. Some people just wanted to find groups and hang out with people who had the same interest.

This sparked the writer/journalist inside me. I wanted to explore and know how all of this works. I wanted to document it. So I did. I of course, gave myself some rules. Like not meeting up with them. And keep the conversation light and not try to lead anyone on. I was faithful to the relationship I was in. And this is how it went over the course of Four days.

tinder blog

Day One

     I created a profile with honest information. I didn’t make a catfish account. I wanted to use my real name, photos, purpose, and hobbies. To get the real experience. And I made up my mind to keep it just over text. I wasn’t going to meet anyone. Also, my profile had an emphasis that my goal was to learn the Japanese language better.

The first day. I learned that your given 50 swipes to choose which profiles you like. I used ten the first day. After about a couple of hours. I didn’t get anyone who matched with me. I wondered if the profile needed more touch so I googled tips on how to make it better.

-More than one picture or people think it’s fake.

-crisp, clear, bio

I wanted to know if people where alerted all the time. But the rules are that once you swipe or are swiped. You are given 24 hours for them to swipe you back in order for the two of you to match. The first night I didn’t get anything.

But, I got a little message that said someone had liked my profile. But it said that I had to subscribe to Tinder Gold so I could see who did it. It cost about five dollars a month. To me this sounded like a trick to get you to subscribe. I’m not coming from a place of desperation and I wasn’t going to behave that way. Investing any amount of money was a no-go. I also read an article that said if you aren’t getting matches with the free account what’s the point of paying just to get extra swipes.

Day Two

I woke up that morning. Opened up the Tinder App and noticed that I finally got two matches.

A whole entire day?I know I could go to a shopping mall or the beach and get a match quicker than that.

Well anyways, Back to the matches. Logistically speaking one lady was pretty far from me. And the other was almost in the same neighborhood. I wrote to both of them the same message.

“Hajimemashite” which translates to “Nice to meet you”

One of them messaged me within a couple hours. We began to text and I found out she was a traveler from Taiwan looking for locals in the area that wanted to explore the city or could show her around. I told her that I wouldn’t be available for a couple of weeks. But, I guess she didn’t read my bio about only wanting to study Japanese.

The other person was younger 19. She was more interested in someone speaking English to her. Although, I think she quickly lost interest. After a few texts back and forth. She didn’t message me until the fourth day. But, I understand how it is at that age. Having a low attention span and being on this app. She may have had her time divided with a lot of other users. I, on the other hand began to realize that I may not be good for this. I don’t know if I had the luxury of having so much time to waste.

I swiped a couple more times that night.

 

Day Three

     The next day. I had two more matches. One of them I matched up was a “super-like” option. I guess it makes them stand out. Because it wasn’t an ordinary swipe. They wanted to let you know that they really liked what they saw.

The traveler from Taiwan messaged me and said she was no longer in the area. Later that night it said her location was thousands of Kilometers away. So she was on her own adventure. The other girl didn’t respond yet.

The two new matches were pretty interesting to say the very least. The first one was 25. The one who super liked me. If she looked like she did in the profile picture. She was beautiful and I texted her the standard “Nice to meet you” But I didn’t hear from her immediately.

The other profile was very weird. Everything was in Japanese but I used google translate to understand what the profile said. It was a Pirukura style. (A Japanese photo booth where they make the people look like Anime characters.) There were two girls standing side by side. And message said this.

“This is a double account. The girl on the left and the girl on the right.

We don’t have time to message back.

But, on our free time. The girl on the left or the girl on the right will meet you where you are.”

*If that wasn’t the scariest messaged I’ve seen*

Later in the day, I had another match. Now this made me realize for sure that I wasn’t made for this. I have too much going on in my life to add Tinder in. It’s almost like another chore having to stop what I’m doing with work, my college classes, my lady, my gym time, going out with friends, to have to converse with a stranger every now and then. It takes me out of my rhythm. And I had to re-calibrate over and over again.

Day Four

     The photo you see up above is from the fourth day. I had four more matches and it said 3+ people have liked your profile. But, it hadn’t shown there profile yet. After all this I’ve yet to meet someone who wanted to practice Japanese with me. The girl who super liked me messaged me and with an exclamation point said nice to meet me as well. The girl from Day two who didn’t message me finally responded. But said something simple like “How Nice”. I forgot what that conversation was about. I don’t think I’m going to message the recent matches. Because I may not hear there response until way further into the week. I thought it felt good that a lot of people wanted to connect with me. But, I don’t have the time to give anyone my time or well thought out responses. This is exhausting. And it takes me away from Blogging something that I enjoy doing.

Conclusion

I shared this information with my lady and she thought it was interesting. Not in a bad way. Or at least she hasn’t really spoken her mind about it. But, like I said hardships refine relationships. We will be gold in no time.

 

 Has anyone tried internet dating? If so, How did your experience go?

 

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Night Shift at Aomori

|Written by Sushilove51 | Photo by A. Chandra|

“Funny thing is I used to stay up all night and called it Fun”

– unknown author

 

I know there’s a stigma about working the night shift. It isn’t good for your health. It isn’t natural your body wants you to be tucked away in bed. Still, despite all of this. I’ll always prefer Nights to Day and wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m not sure as to why. Except for the tranquility I feel during those late hours.

It may be a useless talent of mine that has developed over time. By “Useless Talent” I’m piggy-backing of the theory mentioned in that Tarantino film, “Planet Terror”. It was said during a dialogue between the character Dr. Dakota to a patient.

“You know, my girlfriend had a theory. She said at some point in your life, you find a use for every useless talent you ever had. It’s like connecting the dots.”

Having grown up in Southern California. Very close to Mexico. I’ve partied very frequently since the age of 15. (All you really needed was $15 and a fake id.) While I was up at any hour who knew that I was possibly training my body to be ready for the graveyard shift.

It’s not something you can put on your resume. Word-for-Word. You have to spice it up. Instead, of saying something like.

“I’m able to rock out for 48 hours straight”

You can instead say “I’m able to give 110% working long hours on any shift”

like I said, “Spice”.

When the time for our base’s deployment exercise came around. I’d gotten tasked as a Guard to work the Night Shift. This connected the dots of my useless talents to other useless talents I had.

I remembered every time I spent sitting in a garage watching movies with buddies. Kind of what a guard does. In the sense that you sit on your butt and are required to be alert for long period of time. (Of course, credit the fact that your head is on a swivel ready for bad guys.)

Who knew that chit-chatting about random topics like who has the best crossover in the NBA, The law of attraction or the benefits of wheat grass. In front of Soda, Monster energy drinks, and McDonald’s would someday give me the skills I needed for a future career.

I looked around and thought that life has started to get better. Deciding to stick around has finally started to pay off. I wouldn’t let nothing ruin the good news I’d been giving. Even if I had to work it alongside someone with one of the worst reputations.

To me he wasn’t all that bad.  He was from Sudan. Had a very Sudanese name. However, was preferred to be called Matthew. I assume he was tired from American guys mispronouncing it. I knew him from Basic Training. I’ve always thought he was an “all right” guy. But then again we didn’t really speak a lot to each other. A lot of the other guys avoided him like a wild fire.

One of the reasons was his Temperament. They said he didn’t know how to take a joke. It was said that whatever was said to him he took very personal. And taking everything people say to you personal can get your feeling hurt a lot in the military.

Since, most of the Leadership are straight shooters when it comes to talking and they could care less about your feelings. For example: if we are exercising and someone’s not fit enough and slowing everyone else down. None of them will baby you. Instead, You’ll more than likely hear leadership say.

“Hey fat ass, you should start throwing up after you eat. Then you’ll finally make the run time”.

Also, Americans participate in the Art of roasting. Which by definition is insulting your fellow man for fun. And when it comes to roasting I believe there aren’t any safe zones. It’s pretty much open season for everyone. But, to Matthews credit this is something you have to kind of grow up in to get used to.

The other main reason no one wanted to work with him was because of his smell. Which I admit was an acquired kind of off putting. Back in Training school, we stayed on the same floor and you knew which room he stayed in by that pungent, combo that could be confused with hamster cage hay and ripe onions.

If he said that he was growing onions in his room. I could imagine people saying, “Oh it makes perfect sense”.

Instead people said “Bro, you smell like crap. Did you take a shower?”

I admit this would make me want to get out of guarding a post for 12 hours with him. But, it didn’t bother me so much. Because, since I got to Japan. I had the worst allergies of my life. My skin would flare up and get red. I would wheeze when I went to sleep. And, I was immune to the smell because my sinus where always stuffed. I wouldn’t be able to smell the gun smoke if I fired a rifle. Everything was okay.

As far as how Matthew’s personality. I’m the type of person who tries to understand. And if he was sensitive I wasn’t going to try to bother him. I didn’t need to roast him. He’s probably had enough of a hard time coming to America from Sudan and all. I had no problem with him.

One top of everything. The Supervisor said we’d be guarding the exit gate on the West Side. This was easiest task. When you’re guarding the exit gate your required to do nothing but sit there, couple radio checks and grab your binoculars every now and then. And whenever they simulate a Chemical Attack you can pretend to put a Gas Mask while the guards at the Entrance gate have to actually have it on for hours at a time. Running around like toddlers while the Training Instructors are evaluating their every move. But, who knows maybe I would have been happy either way. Looking at the bright side might be another useless talent being put to use.

*The day our shift started*

We sat there two men making a living sitting down, chit-chat about random topics. In front of Coke, Monster energy drinks and McDonald’s. All my life I thought that this was just a Useless Talent. Well, past negative thoughts. Look at me now because It can’t be that useless if it puts food on the table.

During our shift Matthew and I converse about life experiences but after about two hours in there is only so much that we can talk about. Until the two of us start to get tired. We retreat to our books or magazine.

*Three hours later* Matthew starts to giggle.

I question him out of curiosity. “What’s so funny man? you read something good?”

Out of nowhere Matthew says, “You know the guys at work like to joke around a lot”.

“Yeah, nothing like a good laugh” I respond.

“Yeah, it’s very different from where I’m from”

“How so?”

“It’s a sign of aggression to make fun of someone the way they do it” Matthew says sternly.

“Really?”

“Yes, and you don’t want to start fights where I’m from…Because we’re I’m from we fight until the death”.

I just nodded along, and thought to myself. “Wow, this got uncomfortable fast” I pulled out my book. And decided not to talk the rest of the shift. because I wasn’t ready to die nor to kill. I was just looking forward for time to pass. Not out of fear of him. But more so we can get into my favorite time period.

It begins at 0400 and ends around 0445 this is when the sun starts to rise.

To me there is something, “magical” about this time period. I know that once I’m here I get this burst of energy. Everything feels more calm. Everyone gets calm. The wind isn’t moving. The air seems to feel fresher. I think about a new beginning. And the inability to articulate words to convey the beauty of it all.

I just learned accept that you don’t need it. All the understanding of why something is enjoyable. I have to tell myself “How about you just enjoy the mystery”.

Then another memory comes to mind. I smile about it. Even if it’s kind of sad because it’s a story of wasted opportunity. And not much can irk a person’s soul worse. There’s that sense of regret of saying the wrong words or not saying anything at all.

Then all that’s left is hope. The hope that something better will come. A better chance. Your life’s Destiny.

 

Are there any talents you thought were useless but a moment they became useful?