What’s in a name? 「ジョーダン ＝ joodan」
What’s in a name, you ask? Well, in this case, a good story. When we first came to Japan, we were granted pseudo-Japanese names. I call them pseudo as they really aren’t Japanese names at all but rather katakanized variants of our natural names.
My Japanese name, although not as awesomely-ironic as the one my vegetarian friend was granted (鯨肉 ・ くじらにく ・ whale meat), is pretty enduring in it’s own right. ジョーダン is identical to the word 冗談 「じょうだん」, which literally means joke, jest, or funny story. Like most people, I love a well placed jest or funny story, so I have no qualms with the meaning of my name. Additionally, it makes for a great icebreaker as so few people make the connection until I draw it out, which of course helps lighten the atmosphere while at the same time making my name easy to recall.
Who am I?
I am Jordan, but I am not a joodan. I love to have adventures while exploring new countries, cultures, and cuisines. I’m an avid amateur cook who couldn’t bake a muffin to save his life. Luckily, my wife is a great baker.
However, in order to cook you need to procure the necessary ingredients, which has proven to be quite difficult in Japan as some of my favourite recipes are of Greek, Italian, German, Ukrainian, Mexican, and Canadian origins. Fortunately for me, my mother raised me to be quite the capable green thumb. After too many frustrating trips to the supermarket to recount, I decided that if I can’t buy it, might as well grow it! Although we don’t have a lot of space, I have managed to grow many fruits and vegetables in Japan, some of the more difficult to obtain being jalapeno, habanero, purple basil, thyme, chives, lemon mint, and proper size cucumber (they’re always so tiny in Japan). The climate allows me to grow pretty much year round, although some herbs, such as cilantro, have proven difficult to cultivate. However, with a new climate comes new pests alongside a host of additional challenges. But hey, if life weren’t replete with challenge to overcome, what would there be to accomplish?
As boring as it might sound, in addition to cooking and gardening, I enjoy studying Japanese. I enjoy failing at speaking Japanese much less, but that’s a tale for another day. My less mundane interests include aikido, snowboarding, SUP, and photography.
What am I doing in Japan, anyways?
Well, as an occupation, I’m currently teaching conversational English at two high schools in Mie-ken with the JET programme. In all honesty though, being able to work in Japan was just icing on the cake as what really brought me here was the desire for some adventure while I detox from completing a BA in Honours Psychology with a double minor in English and Philosophy. I can’t think of a better way to recover from that experience than by immersing myself in a new culture and language on the other side of the Pacific Rim.
So here’s to hoping that our time in Japan becomes just one of many more phenomenal adventures we have yet to experience!