Hello, Harajuku gal
Long story short, I’m now in Japan and I’m living here alone for 3 months.
I got the idea some time in October last year – a friend told me about how another friend was living in Tokyo by teaching English. I’ve always wanted to live overseas by myself , but I didn’t realize that there were other options besides studying overseas.
I haven’t pursued a degree for a couple of reasons, namely that I’m really awful at the whole academic thing, and that I’m really reluctant on spending that money unless the course can offer me knowledge (on a subject that I’m passionate about) that work/hands-on experience can’t offer.
Most of my friends are studying in uni now, and some of them have even graduated. Incidentally, the time it takes for my fellow coursemates to complete national service is also the deadline that I’d given myself to try out photography as a career option.
And regardless of how encouraging the past 2 years have been, my age and my inexperience constantly bugged me… and others, I’m sure.
Things is, with enough practice, anyone (with a decent amount of taste) can take a pretty photograph. Having grown up in the most sheltered environment possible (super-safe Singapore + incredibly supportive parents), I’ve always felt that my photos (or perhaps even myself as an individual) lack the kind of depth or flavor that only life experience can create*
*Is there a synonym of ‘taint’ with a positive meaning instead? If I say that I’m not well-marinated yet will you get what I’m driving at???
I couldn’t get a job as an English teacher in Tokyo because I lacked a degree. My emails weren’t getting any response cause they’re in English (and who would trust a random chick from some random southeast asian country, really??)
So after giving it much thought (or not that much thought, as I’d later realize), I saved up so that I’d be able to feed myself without an income, and bought a ticket to Tokyo.
“Do you speak the language?” “Have you been offered any jobs yet?!” “You don’t even know how to cook right!?!” “HAVE YOU FOUND A PLACE TO STAY AT YET?!”
“No,” I would utter. I could practically feel these extremely valid questions puncturing my enthusiasm like tiny needles.
So by the time May came around, all the excitement had dissipated. The space my enthusiasm once occupied now housed a truckload of dread instead.
I get that the story’s pretty bleak thus far, but in the week right before my departure however……. Everything whipped around the way only those people who do those mask changing acts (变脸) could!!
My friend’s friend’s friend offered me a room in his super cool and super spacious (by Japanese standards) sharehouse; I got to shoot for Nylon Japan and Elle Girl Japan thanks to the recommendation of incredible friends (Hi Nat! Hi Linda!) and coincidentally, fashion week; AND I won a laptop that can henshin into a tablet at Blueprint so I now have something to showcase my portfolio with!
IT’S SO UNBELIEVABLE (IN THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE)
I’m terrified of things that sound too good to be true, but that’s all they’ve been – too good. Special shoutout to my homie Jesus for saving my ass. Doing good deeds for the rest of my life, I promise.
I still have 0 expectations, but I firmly believe that that’s for the best. If things don’t work out, photography wise, I’d still have a pretty kickass holiday and likely-to-be embarrassing stories to share!
Speaking of which, I have so much to tell you about the amazing sharehouse I’m living in and my new housemates – but till then, here’s a bunch of photos that I took in Shibuya and Harajuku yesterday:
Maybe I should have taken a more touristy shot with something that is more obviously Japanese?
The famous Shibuya crossing.. off-peak
Random street in Harajuku
Pimped out Unicorn
The side effects of shopping on Taobao is preventing me from getting that pink pair!