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.