JET Programme: Cats & Mall Rats

I’ve been in Japan for almost a month now! Amazing! I feel like I’m finally getting settled in, and eager to explore more of the places around me. It was a busy week for trying new things:

Mall Rat

Me to culture shock:

I’ve been taking more time to do self-care and treat myself to things, to counteract the emotional rollercoaster of living in a new country separate from loved ones. Takasaki Station itself is attached to the Montres mall, and a 5 minute walk will also bring you to OPA mall. After work, I have been starting to explore these malls, and there are a lot of awesome shops (particularly clothing shops)! In the highest irony, as American malls are dying, I am quickly becoming a mall rat in Japan.

Moff Animal Cafe

Cat shelves

The Moff Cat Cafe in the OPA mall was super cute. I was feeling bummed about something or other, so I decided to spend the money and go pet some cats. Moff cat cafe boasts many cats and apparently one ferret (which I did not see). Most of the cats were chilling or sleeping. Obviously, these cats are very accustomed to humans. They didn’t even raise their heads as I approached them. As I pspspsps‘d to one of the cats, it hit me with a stare a la Manet’s Olympia.  A knowing and indifferent stare, I am just one customer of many customers before and many to come after.


Some of the other cats were more energetic. There was a Bengal-type cat that was jumping around everywhere. There was a little kid playing with the cat and it was super cute.


In addition to cat cafes, there are also just a bunch of feral cats that roam the city and countryside.


This has been an eventful week, so I will be posting more blogs this week centered around different topics.

Here’s a bonus picture regarding cats, in case you don’t want them around your house (the feral cats here are super vocal) or jumping on your counters, I have a product for you: Don’t cat!


Please feel free to comment or share my blog with others. If there’s anything in particular you would like me to write about, please reach out to me!

Till next time!

Lake Elsinore, CA – March 16, 2019 – Wildflower Super Bloom

About two years ago, I drove by the Lake Elsinore bloom on my way to Anza Borrego. The bloom looked pretty but not spectacular. So, when my best friend Sarah, who lives nearby in Temecula, invited me out for an early hike on a Saturday in Lake Elsinore to see the flowers, I shrugged and said yes because I hadn’t seen her for a while and I also haven’t hit the trail for quite some time.

It was an absolutely spiritual experience. Nothing can come close to describing the beauty of millions of golden poppies opening up for the gentle morning sun with flocks of painted ladies alighting gently on said flowers. Sitting up high overlooking this spectacle, I felt hope that even though we see so much darkness and death in the world everything was going to be okay. After years of drought and fire and death, here is Spring dancing and alight with fresh life and beauty.

Here are some pictures that don’t do it justice: