Hello USA!

7 August 2014


It’s our second full day here in Austin, TX and things have been… so far so good. We’re a bit more settled in and Fu started work yesterday.

We’ve both never been to the USA before, and it’s been interesting experiencing how different it is from Japan and Singapore!

The thing that stood out the most was that things here are bigger.

Roads are wider, cars are bigger, food portions are larger, buildings are bigger, selection (of anything, really! TV channels, groceries, anything!) is crazy huge!

People too, are bigger. I don’t mean that in any offensive way, ok! It’s just an observation! When walking to the immigration counters, I noticed that the view is very different from what I see in Japan. People here are much taller and er, broader… horizontally… here. (did my attempt at political correctness work?)

Their personalities are also bigger. They are very unreserved and much louder than what I’m used to in Japan. Not that it’s a bad thing, just that it takes some getting used to.

Oh yes, the apartment is also bigger! The place we have now is actually much bigger (and better) than our apartment back in Tokyo wtf.

Anyway, let me show you some pictures!

Bedroom, as some may have seen on FB or Instagram

View from the bedroom – Living room on left, kitchen on right

Love the kitchen! It even has a dishwasher! Washer Fu is officially (and happily) retired.

Fully stocked with kitchenware and utensils!

The biggest microwave I’ve ever seen contains a little surprise :D (popcorn, in case you can’t tell)

View out the window

Apart from the big-ness, there’s also… English! So much English!!! I think my English will finally be put back on track again. LOL. Ever since moving to Japan, I felt like my English has rapidly deteriorated and this blog was one of the sole means of maintaining any standard of English (although I slip in Singlish at times, heh. More fun that way leh!) There were so many times I couldn’t find the word in English, although I could express it in Japanese!

To be honest, I’m a bit conscious about how I look and that I stand out from others. I don’t really know how friendly Austin is towards foreigners and I’m still mentally bracing myself for the possibility of being “scolded”.

You know, like those horrible racist videos you see on FB or Youtube where some local yells at the foreigner to “Go back to where you came from!” etc?

Although I do think I’m being quite ridiculous la, because so far people in Austin have been nice and friendly!

On to our first meal in USA is… – Hold your breaths ladies and gentlemen! This is a historical moment! –

Mexican food!!!

Haha, kinda fitting for Texas, eh?

Seafood enchilada

Sorry. Even though we’re in Texas where they’re more famous for meat than seafood, my instinct is still to order seafood! Turned out quite good actually!

A hilarious incident occurred at dinner. We thought we had to order at least a drink (which turned out to be untrue) so I ordered from the only drinks listed in the menu, which were cocktails.

The waitress immediately asked, “Could I see some form of ID?”

HAHAHA. Do I look like a teenager?!! REALLY???

Well, I suppose I should be flattered… but I dunno… I don’t mind (ok, actually I love it LOL) when people say I don’t look my age. But er, teenager kinda slants towards looking naive/stupid/unworld-wisely rather than youthful. Isn’t it? But I shall not complain. I will just assume she meant young, not stupid! :D

On a parting note, here’s one of the lessons we learned.

What do you call these?

If you said “serviettes”, yay! Us too!

But that’s not what they’re called here, sorry!

They’re called napkins here!


  • Reply Dale 11 August 2014 at 4:10 am

    Serviettes! Do you and your husband speak in Japanese most of the time?? (How long did it take you to learn?)
    Your place looks awesome!

    • Reply Rin 11 August 2014 at 11:26 am

      Heh, napkins remind you of… sanitary napkins, don’t they? LOL.

      Nope, we speak a mixture of English, Mandarin and Japanese. And a dash of Korean words that we picked up from watching k-dramas and variety shows lol.

      I started learning the Japanese language about… 8-ish years ago? There were breaks in between, but yeah :)

      Yeah, this place is pretty awesome! Actually an upgrade from my apartment in Tokyo, as sad as that sounds.

  • Reply Joshua 14 August 2014 at 1:46 am

    Really entertaining!

    I sent some comments/advice to your husband, but am too lazy to type them out here.

  • Reply Joshua 14 August 2014 at 1:55 am

    Edit: I meant to leave that on the other post.

    As for this post,
    * Bigger personalities are more fun! But some of the biggest personalities I’ve met are Japanese ;)
    * You’re unlikely to be scolded here. People are much more likely to flood you with advice.
    * We’ll have to teach you the difference between Tex-Mex and Mexican food.
    * You get your ID checked because we’re really bad at telling the age of Asian people.
    * The drinking age is 21 here, so you could just look like you’re 20!
    * The Wikipedia article on napkins is informative,

    • Reply Rin 14 August 2014 at 6:01 am

      Hi Josh!

      Haha, yeah, he forwarded your comments to me. Thanks for taking time out to write them all down! :)
      I’ll need to check HEB out!
      And Whole Foods do close. Conbinis don’t ;D
      Well, you don’t want to see how much of a germaphobe *I* am then… lol.

      Indeed, I have no idea the difference between Tex-Mex and Mexican food!
      Oh? There I was feeling happy because I looked young…
      Heh, yep, I’ve read up on serviettes vs napkins since ;)

  • Reply Elly 21 August 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Hello Rin! i just chance upon your blog while im doing some googling about Japan!
    because i’d be traveling for the first time to Japan in Oct and also, i am harbouring thoughts of working and living in Japan in near future! I am also a Singaporean in my mid-twenties.

    i have many burning Qns about life/work/holiday in Japan and would love to hear your advices & stories! Would you mind emailing me so that i could email you for advices (ok i sound rly creepy here but im not! lol. )

    so fortunate to bump into your blog! (you’ve relocated to Austin now? Congrats! :) )

    Arigatou Rin-san! ^^

    • Reply Rin 22 August 2014 at 9:47 am

      Hi Elly :)

      Sure, feel free to email me! My contact info is actually listed here ^^

      My blog actually covers a lot about life (need to navigate to july and earlier)/work/holiday (and another link here) in Japan so you might want to check those out too.

      Haha, no, I didn’t relocate to the USA. I’m just here for 3 months :)

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