ニューヨーク州弁護士のNew York’s Mama（フォーダム大学ロースクール卒業）とNicohachiのAyakoが2021年を振り返る。
ニューヨークで弁護士として働かれているNew York’s Mamaの話はとても面白いし、英語の勉強にもなりますので、リスニング、スラッシュリーディングの教材としてご利用ください。
I didn’t go out much. It all depends on the people, too.
You said some people are wilder. And then some people are more wild and I didn’t go out so much and still, I don't go out that much, but right now I think people are out more.
I went out two weeks ago or maybe a week ago, or almost 10 days ago, I forgot.
I went to Shibuya, and after that, I went to Roppongi.
There were so many people, I couldn’t believe it. And it was close to midnight, and people were still out.
I was surprised because I didn’t go out that much until then and I just realized people are actually out.
Maybe now too, it's 忘年会, year-end party season and people go for drinks. I’m sure more people are going out.
I said the situation in New York seems better, not better, I don't know what’s the good word to describe this, but you mentioned that life is kind of back to normal in New York and I can kind of say the similar thing, the situation in Japan as well.
Actually people are out, but we’re wearing masks, a lot of people wear masks and just try to wash hands and keep distance, and that kind of things we practice, like we do it.
Other than that, people are more going out and meeting people. Kind of getting back to normal.
That was my impression actually also when I went back to Japan in June.
People say about like strict rules that are applied when you stay in Japan as an international traveler.
Quarantine itself is pretty strict but other than that, like people were enjoying their lives it seemed at least to me.
I'm pretty sure in December towards the end of the year, 忘年会season and everything people should be having fun and I think it's a good thing.
I have mixed feelings about it but I think generally it's a good thing and that's also one of the reasons why I missed Japan so much because seems like even though people talk about all the crazy rules about Japan, but once you get in there and once you get over the quarantine, I think some kind of freedom is guaranteed.
And even if we say the city doesn't really mandate any rules at this moment but once city mandates, some kind of, put some, implements some kind of rule onto the citizens, then they mean business.
So we really have to follow the rules otherwise we get tickets and we have to pay the penalties and stuff like that.
If they really mean it, they mean it. On the other hand in Japan, seems like the rule thing is somewhat they say it hoping that people will respect but I think in a practical manner, it's not really that strict after all. Kind of like that.
That’s so true.
We have to follow rules, but it’s not like you get a ticket or anything if you violate it.
That’s the difference.
Let’s talk about next year. What do you want to do in 2022?
I hope this situation continues…
Same. What I hope the most is somewhat this covid situation will somewhat say under control, so I can keep traveling internationally.
I already made multiple plans.
Where am I going first?
In February I'm planning on going to Mexico City, Mexico.
I’m actually living there, Airbnb and just stay there for a month, the entire month in a condo.
When are you planning to go there?
Like around the end of January…until February.
I'm still planning, at the planning stage.
I want to just live there for like a month and go to the local gym and meet new people and work out there and eat something. Yes of course. That’s my life.
I have to keep going there. Monday through Saturday.
Sunday off but 6 days a week. That's my routine.
So I have to keep the routine up.
That's my first plan of the year, traveling plan of the new year.
And in March actually, me and my friend bought tickets to go to the Galapagos.
We will go to Galapagos to see the big turtle and all those sea animals and stay on the island for about like one and a half weeks or something like and that’s the plan for March.
And then if possible the same friend and I will also go to Indonesia.
She already booked tickets for Indonesia because she wanted to go there for like years and years so I might be able to just follow her and just go to Indonesia during fall.
I may wanna go back to school. Because of the visa restriction, I wasn’t able to do any of those. But now I can switch my job, I can quit job and do the school.
I wanna either study acting, singing. I wanna do fashion, too.
Then I can still keep working remotely and I can take the night classes too, go to those like night classes, fashion school for instance, summer school, or something like that.
I wanna be able to make clothes as well. That’s one of my dreams.
I want to make some huge shift in my life within next year. These are my goals.
Oh my gosh, you have so many stuffs you’re thinking about.
That’s exciting! I haven't thought about what I want to do next year and now hearing your story, I should be thinking more about next year.
Actually, I have a few questions. Let’s talk a few more minutes.
It’s been almost an hour. I can’t believe it, just time went quickly again.
You said you’re gonna be staying in Mexico for a month and are you gonna be working during the period?
Or it’s just your vacation?
I’ll just pretend that I'm in LA or somewhere West Coast.
Because it’s the same coast.
Technically international, but I’ll pretend I'm still staying within America but West Coast.
We’re only three hours behind New York City so I just want to test myself, like how it would feel to work from West Coast.
I’ll keep working, I’ll bring my laptop, and in Airbnb, I’ll just open my laptop and do the work early in the morning and go to the gym and come back and work a little more.
I wanna have a normal life there.
I just wanna have a feel of how it feels to live on the west coast once in a lifetime.
Do you have to pretend? Are you going to be in trouble if you tell the company that…
No, no, I’ll tell the company honestly. Just internally, I’ll pretend I’m still within the American Border.
I thought you were gonna be hiding it.
No, of course not. I’m not gonna release that kind of information during this session.
I know, (I thought) “is it ok?! It’s gonna be out…”
“Please edit out”, no it’s not gonna be like that. I’ll be very honest.
Understood, understood, understood. OK.
I just asked about what you wanna do next year, now let’s talk about a bigger thing. What kind of world do you wanna see in 2022?
At this point, we’re all frustrated about not being able to travel as much as we wanted to.
I definitely hope for the world to become more borderless physically so we can travel back and forth more seemingly, and you know including international travels especially.
Also, like everything I feel like over the past couple of years may or may not be related to covid-19 necessarily but I feel like recently people kind of like rely slightly too much on technology side and people kind of underestimate the beauties of actual heart-to-heart conversation communications.
But I'm a true believer in communication so I really hope that the world appreciates this kind of conversations and small talks included but I really hope that people can sort of like, up their gear and try to pick up their communication skills so we can relearn how to kind of help deliver our thoughts over to other people and we can sort of like exchange our opinions and agreements and disagreements sometimes without hurting other people's feelings.
That takes a lot of practice and no matter what language it is, I think many people can relate to this as well and from the audience that are learning English and I really hope that they can also pick up, not just the vocabulary but also the communication style in general, how to officially communicate with people, how you can officially make friends with other people, how you can be socially popular, I don't know what it is, but that kind of things I really hope the world can pick up next year.
Actually, like brushing up your communication style will kind of enable yourself to enlighten your own personality that was hidden due to a lack of communication skills.
For one of my goals for next year and that might apply to any of you here, but I really want to be a better communicator so I can express my feelings more in a better form,
so I will be able to rediscover what I was actually thinking that was kind of buried or hidden deep inside of me because I didn't have the tool to communicate that to put that part of my heart out and I really hope that world can learn a little bit more about that in the future.
That’s so important. I was kind of thinking about that, not the similar thing, but I can say a similar thing because I want to be able to help more Japanese people or companies go abroad to expand their business abroad or do their own thing.
I think English skill is just one of them and then you got to be able to, you have to communicate well, right?
English skills are just skills, and your tool.
Communication matters more, a lot more.
So, what you just said resonated with me very much.
ニューヨーク州弁護士のNew York’s Mama（フォーダム大学ロースクール卒業）とNicohachiのAyakoが2021年を振り返る。
ニューヨークで弁護士として働かれているNew York’s Mamaの話はとても面白いし、英語の勉強にもなりますので、リスニング、スラッシュリーディングの教材としてご利用ください。
Good morning! おはようございます。よろしくお願いします。
So, Mama’s here. Good morning, no, good evening for you.
Good evening for me, good morning for you.
Hi, thank you for coming today. I’m so excited.
Thank you. I’m very excited about today’s session.
Where should we start? So, how was your day?
It’s approaching the end of the year recently,
it’s around the Christmas season and everything,
I’ve been so caught up with work.
I’ve been actually working very very hard, which is good and bad.
Compared to last year, 2020, when I almost had nothing to do for two-three months straight.
I was just sitting in my room, all the courts were closed and there was nothing to do.
Everything was shut down and I was just like, staring at the corner of my room.
Due to the Covid situation.
That was actually really scary. I didn’t wanna get fired.
I wanted to keep my life moving forward so this year, as opposed to last year, it got my business picked up pretty well.
Right now I'm complaining about my work being too busy but you know, better than nothing.
Looking back, how did this year go for you?
It's been a rollercoaster since 2020.
Like ever since covid-19 happened, it's been a roller-coaster ride for me.
A lot of good and bad happened but mostly good, I think.
I was able to turn the negatives around to positive and
I still maintain my positivity and still try to live my life as positively as possible.
That's kind of my slogan so I try to stick it to the positivity.
In 2021, it has been an interesting year for sure for me.
For instance, back in June, I went back to Japan temporarily to get the final interview for my green card and I became a permanent resident of the United States.
So now I'm a green card holder. Yeah!
That’s definitely a huge event for me, one of the highlights definitely for this year.
Sounds like you’ve had a great year.
Yeah I think all in all I had a very positive and great year.
I also traveled, I forgot to mention but, I traveled to Paris and some states in America.
Actually, I wanted to ask you about it.
I went to Paris, France for the Thanksgiving holiday and that was phenomenal.
I mean it's just mind-blowing to even think about going international travels after covid-19 happened.
It was surrealistic to even think about going abroad.
Me and my friends, we made it happen this year right before the new variant came in of course.
We took the right opportunity, we took the right chance to go abroad anyway.
Right now I feel less comfortable going abroad because of all the new variant's situations and restrictions that might be implemented at any point.
I'm really really glad that I could travel so much within this year.
I made a lot of domestic travels as well like Miami and Portland Maine and…
Let me ask you about something you felt difficult, like, is there anything you felt difficult this year?
You had a lot of positive, happy things.
The reason why I try to stay as positive as possible is of course obviously because I see a lot of negatives that happened within this year or last year as well.
Of course the inconveniences that are imposed on everyday life due to covid-19 pandemic took a huge toll on me.
Not being able to travel freely, not being able to socialize freely, and that has been still being somewhat hard.
Going to the gym and exercising has been a huge part of my life as well but then again at one point, this year we have to wear masks at the gym.
Right now we don't have to wear a mask anymore while exercising, which is a relief but there might be some time in the future where the gym suddenly reimplements the same rule again.
You know, we have to start wearing masks again you know, who knows what the situation will be.
So, the unpredictability is definitely the difficult part of this year.
You can't even predict what's going to happen tomorrow.
So as much as I try to stay positive, but you also have to improvise a lot depending on any possible circumstances that might come along.
So I take it as a test. Yes, I see a lot of negatives and I see a lot of buzz.
But I take it as a test that's kind of test it to meet myself to kind of measure whether I can, how I can go over the obstacle this time and what kind of test will be tested next time so I kind of take it as a challenge and like an assignment to myself.
I was planning on going back to Japan this year actually by now I should have been in Japan toward the end of year.
I was going to spend my New Year's in Japan but still this Omicron thing and you know Japan's still mandating, is it 10 days or 14 days?
Maybe 14 days, I think.
That's like really rare compared to other countries.
It's okay to implement some quarantine period for the unvaccinated people.
But for myself who got vaccinated three times including the booster shot, it doesn’t really make sense why I have to put my needle inside my skin three times and still have to quarantine for 14 days just because I go back to my home country.
I sadly had to cancel it so that was definitely a difficult moment for me.
Actually, I wanted to ask you about the situation in NY, you said, there’s no quarantine, and you know it seems very different from the situation in Japan. What’s it like to go out in NY, like, generally…?
It’s pretty much back to normal.
I can't really say a hundred percent because again because of the Omicron variant.
But at least nowadays people seem to be able to enjoy just like they used to.
So we can enjoy our fullest in New York. So like on Christmas day, I went to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree with my friends and that was super packed. Maybe it shouldn't be packed like that, but it was really crowded. Some people, I mean a lot of people still wear masks but except for that, people look extremely like completely back to normal and I can enjoy my life back to normal kind of life or at least for a couple months.
Wow. You know I take dance lessons. I still have to wear a mask while I exercise and dance and it’s tough actually.
I don't like it but it's like going back to pre-Covid before the covid-19 happened.
Yeah, I just can't imagine the life like that in Japan.
But you will get there too cuz when New York City got lockdown we were one of the first cities where lockdown happened and you guys were still chilling.
You guys look so normal so fine and seems like covid-19 only happens in North America or Europe or whatever.
Covid-19 targets specific cities like such as New York City but not Tokyo, to say the least.
By actually Tokyo or Japan caught up with New York City eventually so you guys are kind of like behind almost like three to six months behind us so I can guarantee that you will start taking off your masks and start enjoying the normal back to normal kind of life soon but it's just it takes a lot of patience and that it needs a lot of time before that happens, unfortunately.
But I think Japanese people like wearing masks in general.
So maybe we’ll keep doing it.
So we’ve been talking about this year, like what we've been doing, what happened this year.
Before we talk about next year, is there anything you want to mention, you wanna talk about?
How’s Japan now? I’m generally curious.
Last time you were in Japan, was it June, right?
How were things like back in June?
It was difficult to go out, still. Or maybe we started going out around that time.
It wasn't actually as bad as I thought it would be.
Like about going out and socializing with people.
People seem to still socialize.
People are kind of like hesitated to post any pictures of socializing with people around that time of the year, however people were actually kind of going out and discreetly socialize with people.
that was the impression that I got.
So when I actually arrived in Tokyo and when I stayed with my parents and grandma, we went to quite a few restaurants.
We weren’t really hanging out, hanging out.
But I was thinking like “Hey, even after the quarantine period is over, I should not step out of my apartment, I mean my parents’ home.”
Because that was back then, that was the common sense in New York City we should not really like socialize or even step out of the apartment regardless of the quarantine period.
But in Japan, I think as long as we wore masks and we kind of like stayed respectful for each other, I think within our discretion, we were somewhat able to do what we can.
Nobody stops you from doing what you do.
There were still a lot of サラリーマンとかworkers taking the actual trains and still going to physical offices.
It was unbelievable because everything went remote in New York City but in June, people were still going to the office.
They somewhat tried to stagger the rush-hour a little bit too, sort of 分散乗車とか。
But that doesn’t really prevent 100%, right?
なんとなくthey’re doing what they can do but rules are actually not as strict.
Now I kind of remember.
The reason why I asked you is that this year was also like a rollercoaster (ride) to me. It just went quickly.
And then in June, what did we do, what was the situation like and what it was like compared to now and maybe we had the state of emergency.
It was lifted after June, maybe.
It was in the middle of a state of emergency.
People were still out. Shibuya was crowded.