Recently, an old friend of mine introduced me to one of her Japanese friends to help him connect with fluent English speakers—this works perfectly because I’ve been trying to learn Japanese quite seriously for the last two years. We’ve been messaging each other back and forth, talking about random things like what he loves about living in Kanagawa, comparing the size of American and Japanese Burger King burgers, and sharing mutual laments about how underpaid we are and how expensive our respective countries are. We were also sharing heartbreak over the Super Bowl—yes, someone I know in Japan was rooting for the Eagles. The serendipity is something else.
But this also got me wondering, how do people view the city of Philadelphia outside of America? What do they know about it outside of Philadelphia cream cheese and the Rocky movies? (A Japanese TV show I was obsessed with last year, Midnight Diner on Netflix, also makes a few references to the films). It’s been refreshing seeing my city through the eyes of foreigners, even if it’s just through a few blinks here and there, and it’s made me curious about the smaller towns closer to the big cities. I don’t know much about Kanagawa, but I’d love to visit when I get to Japan—it’s 50 minutes from Tokyo.
Anyways, I hope everyone has healed from the heartbreak that is another championship loss for our beloved teams and the dread that is Valentine’s Day. Go check out some classical music, or check out this week’s hearty roundup.
Be safe, y’all.
Kyle V. Hiller
BSR associate editor