Go Premium
Facebook Twitter Google Plus

The Forever Foreigner

September 19, 2016

Comments

Share Post

Hello everyone!

We’re back with another episode of Eatyoursushi. And we have new graphics to go with it. Ooooh pretty! Dan’s really talented at this kind of stuff, so big high five to Dan for making it happen. We’re also adding a short little section to Eatyoursushi. Say hello to FATFATTACOHEAD! I mean, Japan releases so much fun stuff and we barely get the chance to try it out, let alone get a chance to make a video about it, so this seems like a fun way for us to share some of the interesting snacks coming out of Japan. Yay!

Otherwise, sorry if we seemed a bit dead in this week’s episode. We’re adjusting poorly to the jet lag. Yes, I know: every time we come back from the West we complain about jet lag, but this time I was sure we had it under control. We had a bizarre flight back. We flew 14 hours from Toronto to Korea, then had a six hour layover, and then a two hour flight to Japan. We made it back to our homes at around 12:30AM, and fell right asleep, which seemed like a perfect time for us! We usually go to sleep at around 2AM or so, and so we weren’t that far off. But we woke up a lot earlier than we thought we’d wake up, and then it all went downhill from there. Bah!

What’s great, though, is that we’re waking up at normal people hours now. We usually get out of bed at 10AM or so, but now we’re waking up at 6AM, and we can go out for breakfasts in the morning and see people going about their days, like normal folk. It’s such a different feeling. I like it! Martina’s more a creature of the night and she isn’t really all too into it. But it feels so cool! Ah, how easily amused we are. LOOK AT ME WAKING UP LIKE REGULAR FOLK!

But, for real, sleep is super important to us. I think it’s one of the most neglected aspects of people’s health. There’s so much literature about diet and exercise, but I don’t see as much effort being put into sleeping deep. And some people that are entrepreneurial/workaholics barely sleep at all. I remember when we were like that. We’d publish six-seven videos a week and slept like shit. That takes such a huge toll on your health. I won’t let that happen again. Now we sleep in dark dens. We drop the shutters over our windows and not a crack of light gets through until we naturally wake up.

Ok that was too much talk about how much we sleep and how sleepy we are. You can see what’s on our mind for this week. That, and what it means to be a foreigner, which we talked about somewhat extensively in this week’s episode, and which I now feel I will be for the rest of my life, no matter where we are. We definitely felt like foreigners in Canada. The only place we didn’t feel like foreigners was in our own homes. Martina’s basement is almost exactly the same as when she left it, it seems, and it’s only there that we feel like we have a piece of who we were before.

And I know being a foreigner means different things to different people. Our experience of being foreigners is definitely different than that of other people, definitely different than that of my parents, different than that of my neighbors. But the emotions we feel in Canada are kind of the same as those we feel in Japan and Korea. Maybe “foreigner” isn’t the right word. “Outsider” seems more appropriate. The more I think about it the more it hits me how bizarre our lives are. Yesterday we were sitting outside of one of our favorite coffee shops in Kichijoji. The inside is small, but it has steps outside, and we usually get our coffees, sit outside on those steps, and people watch. A Japanese lady in her mid 30s (? I really don’t know what age she was we suck at guessing ages) walked up to Martina and asked to take a picture of her hair. And after she took some pictures the first thing she asked was “what is your job?” I mean, it’s something we take for granted, but Martina probably couldn’t get a job with her hairstyle, right? The professional workforce is usually more conservatively attired.

We don’t have traditional jobs. We don’t look like regular people. We don’t fit in anywhere. We’re strangers wherever we go. We don’t sleep at the same times as most people. We’re just odd and in many ways un-relatable.

Which is what leads me to my final point. Thank you guise for watching us. Thank you for letting us be a part of your lives. Thank you for mailing us letters and letting us know how we are a part of your lives, because in many ways it doesn’t feel like we’re a part of anything. But reading your comments and letters anchors us, and reminds us that we’re a part of something, even if on many days it doesn’t feel that way.

Ah, I shouldn’t have written this after magic mail time and jet lagged. Next week I’ll be less emotional. Here’s magic mail time, in case you’re wondering.

Comments

28

Share Post

Eat Your Sushi

HIDE COMMENTS

The Forever Foreigner

28 COMMENTS

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. It was actually pretty hard to find foods that you thought were going to be bad but turned out to be good since y’all usually have an optimistic attitude to new things. There was the chocolate shrimp chips, the McDonalds chocolate fries, the Taiwanese snacks, the scallops and packaged chicken leg in the Chinese convenience store raid video.

    2 years ago
  2. You need to stop asking that Simon xD
    50 % of us (Northern Europeans) don’t like licorice either xD

    2 years ago
  3. I would totally in to a video of you guys going to Portland. It looks so amazing, especially for foodies. The farmers’ markets looks so awesome there as well.

    2 years ago
  4. First off, not to get too technical about it, but what your foreign friends are describing (if they’re white) isn’t really what a microaggression is… but that’s neither here nor there. The point is that I agree that it’s harder for foreigners to integrate in places like Japan and Korea since they’re such homogenous countries (meaning the majority are the same race). Having foreigners actually taking part in their culture, living there, etc is a relatively new and still a pretty uncommon thing. Whereas places like Canada and the US are huuuuuuuge melting pots and people are used to seeing different types of races all the time (at least in major cities). The fact that a Korean ajumma or whoever is impressed that a white person can use chopsticks or eat spicy food – as Martina said – isn’t to put you down but they’re genuinely surprised BECAUSE it is not regularly seen. They are usually happy that foreigners are taking part in their culture. I was born in South Korea but grew up in Singapore for most of my life,and when I go back to Korea and speak Korean, even my family members are surprised I know the simplest of words. It annoyed me for a long time but realized that it’s not because they want to be mean, it’s because they’re genuinely impressed I can speak Korean when I’m basically a foreigner. So I would tell your friends to not get too butthurt and Asia will start getting more accustomed to foreigners as expatriates become more common in these areas.

    2 years ago
    • I don’t think intent plays that big a part into the whole microagression thing. A white person asking to touch an afro hair style usually doesn’t mean to be nasty either, but it still isn’t a very nice thing to do to a stranger. Maybe they aren’t trying to be nasty/mean and are genuinely surprised, but it still reinforces the feeling of otherness. Being constantly reminded you “don’t belong” can be very taxing and complicated, specially when you are trying your hardest to adapt and fit in. Not to mention, oftentimes the questions will be substantially “nastier” (of the bad kind) than the ones S&M exemplified.

      2 years ago
  5. You guys did a WTF with Chocolate Shrimp Chips once. You expected it to be gross so you could use it as a punishment, but they turned out to be quite tasty

    2 years ago
  6. There’s a good documentary about Chinese food in America – The Search for General Tso.

    2 years ago
  7. This is from a while ago, but I can explain the police “whooping stick” mentioned a number of episodes back. Long story short, it’s a traditional martial arts weapon called a Jo. Read on for a bit more lengthy explanation/background:
    There is a Japanese martial art called Jodo (completely separate and different from the much more widely-known Judo), which uses a wooden stick (called a Jo), similar to a bo staff, but only 128 cm (~4 ft) tall. Th Jo and Jodo were invented in the 1600’s by Muso Gonosuke Katsuyoshi in an attempt to defeat the famous swordsman Minamoto Musashi, but eventually was incorporated as a way to police, in particular, drunken and unruly, yet also high-ranking and dangerous, samurai; using a Jo allowed police to subdue swordsmen (via whooping of a precise and well-timed nature) without dealing serious injury or death. Japanese police have carried on the tradition of using the Jo as a non-lethal policing tool, from what I understand they are still often trained in a policing form of Jodo referred to as Keijo-jutsu. All this said, I’m not sure how often Tokyo police actually use it – the only time I know of is when a friend once asked a police officer for directions, and they used their Jo to draw a map on the ground, ha. This is history I’ve learned as someone who practices Jodo; if you want to know more, Wikipedia has a good overview (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jōdō ). Or you can always check out if there’s a local Jodo group/club where you can go watch or try it out in person!

    2 years ago
  8. You should read Third Culture Kid: Growing Up Among World by Ruth E Van Reken & David C Pollock. Although it’s directed and focused on internationally mobile kids, a lot of what it includes relates to your experiences of “foreignness” in Korea/Japan as well as in Canada. I think you’ll really enjoy from it!

    2 years ago
  9. Hey guise,

    I just tagged you in a picture on Insta from Korea of tangerine and banana crisps from CVs in seoul, I totally thought it was a Korean thing, and LOVED them, Ive been trying to buy them in the UK ever since, dont know how you didnt like these?!?

    2 years ago
  10. Hey guise! So happy that you’re back! Your videos of the USA were cool (TOTALLY want to rent a houseboat now!) but the notification e-mails didn’t go out for those videos or this so I ended up watching on youtube (linked from your twitter feed) and didn’t realize that there were blogs for them until now. Doh. The new opening here was super cute but I really feel the need to click something when it has a “press start” and I don’t know what to do! The little cool train and sfx is super-neato — Way to go Dan! it makes a nice audio seguay. BTW, for the EYS episodes, I’ve noticed that I end up jumping for the volume knob pretty often because the levels are always changing. For example, at 8:54 it gets louder and at 8:56 even really louder (at the scene switches), maybe you are using different s/w than for EYK?

    Asian food in Canada: At first I thought that the changes/additions to Asian restaurants in Canada was to make them more palatable for Canadians and I’m sure this is true to a certain degree but these days I think that it partially because a) kids: kids are fussy and need something plain and familiar – like fries or mashed potatoes, b) availability of ingredients: not every food court store will import specific ingredients to make dishes, it is easier now though than when I was a kids and c) Asians expats in Canada generally go to these restaurants even though they can make the food at home because of the atmosphere but even they like to eat something different without going whole hog into a different cultural food. It’s like fusion cooking. As for Chinese food, I actually like Canadian Chinese food better than the authentic stuff as well. Sure, chicken balls, ginger beef, and General Tso Chicken are awesome (from childhood memories and deadly sauces) but also because in actual China, since they don’t import fruits and vegetables, the availability of changes more drastically over the year and in winter the meals are pretty drab and starch/rootveg heavy. But maybe I would appreciate it more if I lived there all the time but I felt like the Canadian versions were more healthy and tried to let the ingredients since rather than MSG-saucing everything to death. While you may have lost the mystery of being able to read japanese now, you’ve gained from not obliviously owning shirts with Japanese writing with rude sayings. As for the challenge – totally funny but I was worried for Simon’s life with his punishment, I was on the edge of my seat – you have to be really careful if you eat spoonfuls of peanut butter. If you choke, you could die since the Heimlich will not work on peanut butter and you can’t breathe through it. You have to find a hard straw or stirstick to stick down their throat until paramedics can arrive to help you. So actually, Simon ate the most dangerous punishment. Glad you were ok Simon! I like the new Fatfattacohead treasure find is a nice addition but if it’s food, maybe don’t make the punishment for the challenge food. It’s always funny to watch your reactions to bad tastes but it’s getting a little overdone to have two segments of it in the same EYS video. Martina, I love your hair but it’s true, you would have a hard time getting an office job. I had a friend get fired for having a purple streak in her hair and my bosses made my life difficult when I put some hot pink in the top layer and brown underneath (in a bob) so that I re-coloured it after a week. I can understand that needing an anchor feeling and I think that it’s pretty common in our generation but you’ve created your own island and I hope that you can grow to trust that it will always be there for you, even if you stop making videos some day. I think that I can speak on behalf of many Nasties when I say that we’re all happy that you made it and we will be happy to share in it forever with you and even after you’re gone, it will endure because it is so beautiful and awesome. Cyber_3 – going to wipe out some random dust that just got in her eyes……

    2 years ago
  11. The chocolate fries in McDonalds early in your stay in Japan. I still want to try them myself >.<

    2 years ago
  12. About being a foreigner, when I was living in Japan I think I was more brave there than I am in my home country. Like I was “allowed” to make mistakes in Japan but I’m embarrassed to make mistakes in Finland… Does that make sense? I guess it’s because I think I’m supposed to know everything here (even though that’s not really the case). I do miss Japan for many reasons but that being one. I tried more new things and went to new places often and I miss that!

    2 years ago
  13. The teriyaki thing, I’m pretty sure you ate it in Japan. But the detail is: teriyaki is a cooking technique not a sauce. The meat is grilled or broiled, and brushed with sauce made basically soy sauce, mirin and sugar. But the restaurants can have their own sauces.

    I think in Japan, it’s common sense, maybe. For example: pasta is boiled, but we don’t say Boiled Pasta with tomato sauce.

    The poop thing, I’m with Simon! hahahah It isn’t very related: search for Squatty Potty in YouTube. Hint: Unicorn.

    2 years ago
  14. Skill testing question: Scallops, and duck/ chicken leg from china, simon & that omurice gimbab, Simon & milkus a very long time ago when you raided a convenience store, dunkin donuts “glutinous rice donut cream cheese”, does hweh count?? idk, simon and the mukbang boseom. to name a few.

    2 years ago
  15. Martina was like “NO” as soon as the chip touched her tongue. I died

    2 years ago
  16. “We don’t have traditional jobs. We don’t look like regular people. We don’t fit in anywhere. We’re strangers wherever we go. We don’t sleep at the same times as most people. We’re just odd and in many ways un-relatable.” – That’s something to be proud of. ^^

    2 years ago
    • I’d say we feel less proud than fortunate. We’re not trying to complain about it. We just feel concerned that we might be unrelatable to people, and I just hope that we never lose touch.

      2 years ago
  17. The chinese snack video , you guys were scared to try the packaged scallops but they actually were great.I believe that was the same video with the mountain dew chips of doom haha

    2 years ago
  18. Hoooow were you able to film on the casino floor of the Bellagio without security all over you in a nanosecond?! I took a picture of an audition sign for ‘The Amazing Race’ in the casino in Windsor (I was pressed that I (as a Canuck) couldnt audition of the US show, but they could use our casino for castings) and was flanked by security before I could even blink. O_o

    2 years ago
  19. OMG! First thing that come to my head was those jelly slimy thingy eggs, from the taiwanese snack video with that wierd spice you can make a awsome sandwich and ball at the gym. I loved that video since everything was a little bit of but tasted graaate (except the tofu lace thingy that wasnt that bad).

    2 years ago
  20. Hey guys, it’s me again… been three weeks in Canada, and I seem to get the “Outsider” feel, is not only the language (native Spanish speaker speaking) but the fact that you don’t belong here, but at the same time you don’t belong in your country any more… Question how did you guys manage the homesickness, cause in my case is hitting me pretty hard, and ‘winter is coming’ and they have told me is the worst!

    2 years ago
    • I think the most important thing to do to fight homesickness is try your hardest to make your current home feel like an actual home. Especially during holiday season, if you don’t make the effort to decorate your place, and it looks stark and sad, then you’ll remember what it’s like to be around family during holiday seasons and feel homesick. So make a solid effort to recreate festivities wherever you are. Bring in friends. Make sure you have a fantastic time, and it’ll definitely help keep the homesickness away :D

      2 years ago
  21. Skill testing question: Pretty much everything from your Taiwanese snack tasting video lol, specifically the egg brick. Also, the congealed smoked chicken leg from China. Spudgy loved that one, too!

    2 years ago