Nevertoomuchglitter Interview

The fun and always upbeat Brooke at Getcha Nails Did interviewed me today as part of an ongoing series about nail bloggers.  Thanks, Brooke!

If you were awake at night, wondering “What does that Nevertoomuchglitter girl look like, anyway?” -here’s your chance to find out.

While we’re at it, I’ll take a minute today to answer some questions that have come up in the past, mostly about me and Japan.  I don’t really like talking about myself- this is a blog about nails, after all! But a few young’uns have asked me how they, too, can get to Japan and what it’s like here.

1) How did you get to Japan and what exactly are you doing?

I studied Japanese and Mandarin Chinese at university. My original plan was to come to Japan for one year, but I stayed a lot longer! My first job was as an English teacher for public school middle +  high school students. I was 21 and some of them were 19.  It was in a city located smack dab in the middle of Japan’s ‘rice basket.’ Sort of like a Japanese person going to the US and winding up in Nebraska.  From there, I moved to Kyoto (not the city, the state- kind of like the difference between New York City and upstate New York).  In Kyoto, I worked at a small private English language tutoring school. Horrible. It was in the countryside- gorgeous, but really boring. All the young people left town to get a job in the city. It was so lonely. The school manager was a petty witch, to use a family-friendly phrase.  I left the school on really bad terms and couldn’t get a recommendation, so I moved to Tokyo and became a legal secretary for a big British law firm.  I worked there a while, saved some bucks to travel around the world, and then I sold off all my stuff and hit the road! I spent almost two years travelling, taking pictures, and going places I never thought I’d see like Tibet, Nepal, Tahiti, Cambodia…But darn, it was hard work. No plushy hotels or comfy trains and a really heavy backpack.  I went back home to the US, thought I’d find a job…nothing. Zip. I came back to Japan again, working first as a translator at an environmental engineering company, and now as a translator/executive assistant. Other jobs I’ve had: health food store cashier, neurology lab assistant, amusement park clown, snowboarding announcer and security guard.

Just FYI for all you Japan-bound hopefuls:  If you’re a native English speaker, you can probably get a job teaching English, but not in Tokyo as this is very competitive. You will need a 4-year university degree in any subject as a minimum requirement. Immigration will check this out. “Teaching” is more like “entertainment.” Be prepared for a lot of bratty kids, desperate housewives and very low pay. Email me if you have any really specific questions and I will try to help you out.

2) What are some good and bad points about Japan?

Good- fabulously clean toilets that even make background noise so you can piddle without embarrassment! People are generally polite. I never have to worry if a neighborhood is safe after dark or not- I can walk anywhere, anytime.  Great food prepared with pride- looks as good as it tastes! Wonderful tea. Sense of tradition- even in a big city, I can see a 1000 year old temple and smell the incense and imagine what it was like centuries ago.  Public transportation is fantastic- on-time, and it goes anywhere.  People here  have a sense of shame- not in a bad way, but in that they won’t have intimate conversations on cell phones in public and they won’t sue over every little thing, and when public figures get caught doing bad stuff, they apologize and (usually) leave quickly. Customer service is usually top-notch- the store clerks walk you out of the store and hand you your bag and bow a lot.  There’s much less “me me me” in general.

Bad- Racism and sexism are perfectly OK and not agianst the law here. Women are second-class citizens.  There is no protection against discrimination- I had over 10 real estate agents refuse to even show me apartments because I was non-Japanese.  People have spat at me and tried to start arguments. Environmental disaster- there is no environmental oversight here in Japan. Companies dump freely in fields and rivers. The groundwater is poisoned. There are just too many people. Japan is half the population of the US- crammed into an area the size of California. The traffic jams here are epic. Young Japanese people have no dreams- they’re taught like robots in schools and education is just memorization. Very few people have opinions that they’ll share and there’s very little intelligent debate- it’s simply not taught at school. Japan is a very lonely place, and it’s hard to make deep, lasting connections.  People here are extremely guarded.  It’s not even a language barrier- they just don’t form close relationships, even with each other. There are a million unspoken rules about how to behave here, and since it’s 99% Japanese, they all know the rules and outsiders don’t.  It’s like trying to square dance when the caller is speaking an alien language. Oh, and things are darn expensive.

Brooke covered a lot of other stuff with her insightful questions, so I’ll just list a few random facts:

I’m a Scorpio.

I was known to eat paste as a kid.

I’m an only child.

I’m planning to do some more travelling after I leave Japan, and I’m dying to go to Scandanavia, Turkey, Greece, and Morocco.

I am left-handed- this is why you usually only see my right hand on the blog!

For me, one of the most important qualites in a person is a good sense of humor.

I have no problem with public speaking, but walking into a group of people in a party intimidates me.

I hate pantyhose!


About nevertoomuchglitter

Nail artist. Wanderer. I'm a color-holic, in fact, it was my love of color that brought me to the nail art world. Well, that, and the fact I was too cheap to pay crazy Japanese prices for nail polish while living in Tokyo, so I had to start mixing my own. That's how NTMG began.
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19 Responses to Nevertoomuchglitter Interview

  1. Violet says:

    I loved your interview with Brooke! And of course I’m in awe of your frankens and nail art in general. I love the way you’ve kept your own style while still being influenced by Japanese nail art.
    Teaching in Japan used to be a dream of mine until my Mum did it and they stuck her in a tiny town where everyone was scared of the crazy gaijin lady and old women followed her home from the train station clutching their umbrellas as protection XD
    Now I just save my money and going on a giant holiday/spending spree every few years. All the benefits with minimal spitting and bitchy real estate agents!
    Anyway you have an awesome blog!

  2. nevertoomuchglitter says:

    Thanks Violet! There are definitely good and bad points about being here. I will be heading back home or leaving Japan eventually- I’m just trying to enjoy the ride while I’m here. The holiday sounds like a great idea! Thanks for stopping by the blog and come back again soon!

  3. Kaybee says:

    I’m so impressed by everything you have done, and at such a young age. I would never have had the courage to go it alone like that! I love your blog and I find this personal info kind of fascinating and it adds another dimension to your nail art. Very cool! Thanks for indulging us! I love your nails that look like kimonos. I love how you’ve made art part of your life even though you have a “regular job.” I think a lot of us are letting the artist peek out with our nails!!

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Thanks for coming by, Kaybee! I may start posting photos and the nail art that was inspired by it if that’s not too boring for the folks that only want to see nails. 🙂

  4. Kristine says:

    Love your stuff 😀

    And let me know when you come to scandinavia, I’ll show you around, and If I have a couch, you can borrow it for the night 😉
    (this is me being very very impulsive and unscared, but someone interested in nails, can’t be dangerous? Nope, I don’t think so ) 😀

    Your story is really cool, I would love to do something similar, but for now, studying in my neighbour country (sweden) is far enough 😉

    Have a great day!

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Thank you Kristine! I’d love to meet you if I come to Sweden. I’m not a dangerous person, I promise! 😉 Maybe I can do a nail art world tour!

  5. Deez says:

    Your interview at GYND was really cool, thanks for adding all this extra stuff here. Sorry you may be lonely out there….. But you have lots of people waiting to see your creations on Blogger! I am thankful for all your creations, you have inspired me lots and helps me pull together a few things by following your blog ~ and hope you know i look forward to seeing the things you keep come up with. AND THE RAD DOLLAR STORE POLISHES!!!!

    I ♥ dollar stores, and one boring day I came up with the notion = If North American Dollar stores have all this AMAZING stuff from Asian countries… I can only imagine what the actual Dollar stores in Asia are like! I saw a clip on YOUTUBE of a 100Y store, and it was soooooooo cool! I am jealous!

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Deez- Thank you! I’m actually not so lonely- I have my guy with me, but without him, I’d be pretty lonely for sure! I’m so glad you got some ideas from my blog!

      The dollar stores in Japan are pretty epic. The biggest one I know of is 7 FLOORS! I can’t handle it!!!! I go there sometimes to get nail goodies- they have souvenirs, makeup, household stuff, food, anything and everything! It’s an hour train ride but soo worth it. If you’re ever in Japan, I’ll take you on a 100 yen shop tour for sure.

  6. Alexlyndra says:

    Interesting! I’m left-handed too. You’re so welcome to Scandinavia when you get here, I think you’ll like some of the places. I can give you a tip, if you don’t like cold and rainy weather, come here somewhere between the beginning of June to about the end of August, then it’s warm and very beautiful here!

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Alexlyndra- You’re left-handed too? Cool. I’m looking forward to Scandanavia travel- no firm plans yet, but summer sounds like an excellent time to visit for sure. I hear it’s expensive but it can’t be too much worse than Japan. But I can find local cheap food and hotels here because I can speak Japanese…

  7. amusement park clown and a security guard – ok I’m going to QUIT being surprised by you and just expect the unexpected when it comes to you! You are going to be that really cool old lady that all the kids love and want to hear your amazing stories – when you get really old that is…. 😉

    I love hearing all the neat and not so neat things about Japan – it’s very interesting to hear how it is over there.

    You have officially impressed me Jen 🙂 Love ya girl!

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Aww, thanks Brooke! Lurrrve you and Dinky too! I may add more stories and photos to the blog, but I know a lot of readers just come for the nails and have a hard time with English. But I’ll throw in some more photos and blurbs about nail inspiration!

      • nevertoomuchglitter says:

        Oh- and I was a really effective security guard at 5’3″ and 90 pounds. I’m sure those bad guys were terrified. 😉 My ex-security guard job pretty much surprises everyone- I guess my physique isn’t all that intimidating! Stop! Or I’ll cover you in glitter!

  8. Lucy says:

    Hi Jen! Thanks so much for sharing more of yourself. It’s really wonderful to learn more about you. You do have a fascinating life. Your very brave living in a foreign country and working there. The Japanese are very interesting people. Taught like robots it’s no wonder they express themselves thru all the different characters dress and makeup. I’ve never been to Europe or Asia so reading about your experience is fantastic. You continue to astound me, your art with your nails and all your franken polish. You are an interesting person. You’ll have experiences and adventures to last a lifetime. Hope you have many more. Love ya!

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Thanks Lucy! I love ya too- and thanks all your positive comments. I’m always glad to know someone enjoys my blog. Next, I want to hear all about my readers- particularly the frequent visitors like yourself? Where are you? What do you do?

  9. Volyund says:

    I’m Russian and I lived in Japan with my mother (biologist) for 8 years in Japan (2nd-9th grade). You can imagine what it was like to be the only blond in school. My mother ended up leaving Japan for US because of the legal discrimination and nonacceptance of foreigners, and we’re doing really well in US now. So good luck.
    By the way, she said that after you live fore more than 5 years in Japan it gets harder and harder to renew Visa every year.
    I would like to visit Japan, but I know I can’t, and won’t be allowed to settle down there.
    Again, I wish you luck, and you should seriously think about starting your own nail polish line.

  10. Cinthia says:

    Hi! I just found your blog and been looking through almost all the entries you’ve posted so far to this one, definitely the best 😀 hehe, I haven’t read all of them, I was in awe by the pics. Yes, I am a recently converted nail polish/ Konad addict… hahah. But this post, speaks about the person behind the nails and it’s great, and like the rest of people here, I’m also impressed 🙂 I love it that you seem to live each day to the fullest.

    I live in Chile and you’re welcome whenever you’re interested in a tour 😉

    oh, and that phrase “Stop! Or I’ll cover you in glitter!” made me crack up xD

    keep up the good work!!

  11. Sarah-Anne says:

    Being new to the blog I’m just now finding all this stuff about you and I think it’s awesome! Me being the way I am, I actually was one of those people who wondered “What does that Nevertoomuchglitter girl look like, anyway?” after I started reading your blog! I love looking at your nails (of course!) but it was awesome learning a little more about you!

  12. Amanda says:

    I stumbled upon your website the other day and have since been reading my way back in time until the beginning. After all those pages of posts, it feels nice to get to know you a bit! 😉 Hope the nails/Japan continue going well for you, and if you ever get a chance and want to say hello, come check out my new blog and leave a comment 🙂

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