✱ I had an appointment with my cardiologist this week. First things first, I went through an echo doppler exam to see how things were going after more than two years without undergoing this same exam. It made me very happy to find out that, fortunately, as it happened before, everything is still fine with my heart for my age. Then I’ve run the treadmill for many minutes, while performing an exercise electrocardiogram: this kind of routine usually exhausts me, but there’s something good in it, as for years I was unable to finish the whole procedure due to feeling tired or feeling pain, except when I ran the treadmill two years ago and beat the exercise, although very tired: I did it again this week, that is, completed the treadmill routine again, what was praised by my doctor who said although I still need medication and exercise (who doesn’t need exercise, after all?) I did very good in the treadmill. But the apex of my appointment was when based on these exams’ results, he dismissed the upcoming need of performing an ambulatory blood pressure monitoring exam, the one I hate the most in terms of cardiology as it has you attached to a device hung from your waist during 24 hours in a row, even disturbing your capacity to sleep well. My doctor also adjusted some of my medications dosages and that certainly contributed to improve my well being… 😊

✱ I’ve fallen a little behind my 2023 reading goal — although there’s still time for me to recover. Even so, this week I could finish reading Assombrando Adeline, a book whose details, as a librarian, I’ve personally contributed to Literal.club, by the way. This was the 11th book out of 20 I want to read this year, and it was a story different from anything I had read before. It just didn’t prove better than it was because of the translation errors that showed up… maybe a pet peeve of mine, but still enough to impair the whole experience… still, finishing the book made me start reading the second volume right away (the author told her story in a duet) and this means soon enough I’ll reach 12 books read 📚.

Luke, our lovely doggie friend

Luke really got me scared this week. Normally a very active little Yorkshire dog, always after us and willing to play and keep us company, this week he spent two days whining as if he’d got hurt, yet for no apparent reason. It looked like he was feeling pain in his rear legs. He usually jumps up and down our sofa and beds but he just didn’t during this time. After observing him for some time I even set up an appointment with the vet — only to see him recover after my wife gave him a small spoon with two drops of anti inflammatory medicine, following a previous’ back pain episode he suffered a couple of years ator for which we kept the vet’s prescription. Thank God this made him better. Luke’s been with us since 2017 now and he’s as part of the family as all of us. We all love him and felt very relieved as soon as he came to his old self again. Nice to see you well, buddy.

I found this Mastodon post by user Danie Ware, where she mentions her pet peeve about book reviews quite interesting:

Pet peeve:

A book review is a review of the book. You read the book, and you write down whether you liked it or not.

It is not:

Whether the postman bought it on time
How it was packaged
If it was left out in the rain
Whether your local store had it in stock
The publisher’s selling policy
What kind of paper the pages were…


Why is this a difficult concept?

It instantly got me thinking how I both totally agree and disagree with her opinion at the same time.

On the one hand, one’s thoughts about the storyline, the characters and the writer’s ability to give you the next page turner or the worst thing you’ve ever read is exactly what the core of a written book review is, and that’s the kind of informed opinion I’m after whenever I feel like reading a new book. I look for confirmations and, in that sense, want to know how far my expectations could go if I read a new book.

But, on the other hand, I simply cannot think of a book disregarding its handling and packaging. The quality of its cover, its printing, the fonts used and its adaptation to my language, for instance, if I’m reading a translated work. I mean, how could I fully enjoy my experience with the best plot ever in my hands if the font is horrible or there are typos, translation or printing errors? How less amazing would it be to read a new book when it’s torn or crumpled? I don’t know. Just like driving the fastest car ever made while it is all dirty?

Don’t get me wrong. I totally understand Danie’s point of view. I just guess a book’s review should be split in two parts, say, the story part, plot, writing and author originality included; and the user experience part, embracing shipping, delivery, quality and anything else related.

As (almost) everything must be paid for twice, it is only fair to be able to evaluate both these parts. After all, no matter how well written and innovative a book is, you might not be able to pay the second time for it, that is, engage in the effort and the initiative required to collect the benefits one would have after the reading is done something already hard in itself, only turned even harder due to any book mistreatment.

But this is only my pet peeve, and you’re free to disagree — or not.

Only recently I was able to come across a very interesting article, discussing that everything you buy actually needs to be paid for twice, otherwise that’ll be wasted money — and that this should be a finance lesson taught to anyone in school.

And I couldn’t agree more, even though this made me reflect very deeply on how many things I buy but don’t pay the second price for.

There’s the first price, usually paid in money. This is the usual price you have to pay if you wish to gain possession of whatever that is that you desire to have, be it a book, a new software or a game.

But the thing is, only after we pay the second price will we see any return on the first one. And this second price consists of all the initiative and effort required to gain its benefits — a price that could prove to be much higher than the first one.

In that sense, I quote this passage from the article:

A new novel, for example, might require twenty dollars for its first price — and ten hours of dedicated reading time for its second. Only once the second price is being paid do you see any return on the first one. Paying only the first price is about the same as throwing money in the garbage.

I had never in my life seen things this way. This has made me feel bad and terrible ever since, because — taking only books as an example — I have bought many, many, many of them during my life yet I haven’t had time to read half… no, a quarter of them, and this is all my fault. I know I have linked this post many times here, but, yes, tsundoku. That is an addiction, and maybe I’ll have to live and deal with it, because I love books, even those I haven’t read yet, although bought.

But wait, there’s more. After reading this one article I stopped to think how many streaming services I pay for monthly, even yearly, only to go weeks in a row without watching a single movie or series episode. How many online courses have I bought at Udemy, Coursera or the likes of them, without ever finishing them — without ever starting some. How many games did I buy in Steam and never played (the number would have you scared) only because I thought it would be a good idea to take advantage of their semiannual sale, never finding the will to start a single match.

This is me examining my own conscience aloud. This is a public confession, where I state that I should do different from now on: enjoy what is there to be enjoyed, yes, but cancel services, subscriptions and recurrent expenses whenever although paying for them I’m unable to reap the full benefits because the time to pay for the second price never comes, never presents itself.

I hope I can remember this self analysis later in my life and then be able to say that I’m paying twice for more of the things I wish to possess.

Have you ever considered this? Have you been paying for your acquisitions twice?

Foi em 1994 que o engenheiro da computação Lou Montulli, da Netscape, inventou o cookie. A partir dessa invenção as páginas web ganharam a capacidade de se lembrar de nossas senhas, preferências, configurações de idioma e várias outras informações relevantes.

Quem não gostaria de fazer compras com um assistente ao seu lado, escutando nossas preferências e segurando nossas sacolas enquanto andamos pela loja e escolhemos o que queremos, não é mesmo? Os cookies de Lou viabilizaram essa possibilidade, ou seja, a invenção em si foi revolucionária ao estabelecer a gravação de blocos de dados localmente — isto é, no dispositivo em uso pelo usuário enquanto ele acessar o site — para recuperação posterior, ou seja, em uma visita futura do mesmo usuário a este site. Tudo isso, então, configurava uma troca privada de informações entre usuário e site.

Mas menos de dois anos depois, as empresas que comercializam anúncios descobriram como hackear os cookies para uma função muito menos nobre e invasiva: rastrear o comportamento dos usuários. Estes novos cookies do mal começaram a ser chamados de cookies de terceiros, ou third-party cookies, em contraposição aos first-party cookies originais, que trocavam dados apenas entre usuário e site. Os cookies do mal são como aquelas escutas que são plantadas em filmes de espionagem: captam tudo o que está sendo feito pela vítima, mas só compartilham estas informações com seus aliados. Os espiões podem colocar seus cookies nos sites de outras pessoas, para armazenar o que você visitou e que tipo de dados você informou.

É graças ao trabalho desses cookies espiões que, se eu buscar pelo termo escova de dentes no Google, começo a ver um monte de anúncios de escovas de dentes sendo vendidas por sites que variam desde supermercados e farmácias até a Amazon ou o Mercado Livre. Por mais que alguém possa argumentar que cookies são um mal necessário e que seria impossível navegar na internet atualmente sem esbarrarmos com eles e cedermos nossos dados de navegação, eu acredito que esta coleta de dados é uma invasão de privacidade que torna os antes inocentes cookies verdadeiros monstros da internet.

Ao longo do tempo e durante anos, os cookies foram coletando dados de forma cada vez mais descontrolada, graças à falta de regulamentação quanto a rastreamento e vigilância de usuários online, um cenário que só mudou a partir de 2018, com a introdução de legislações de proteção à privacidade como a GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) europeia e a LGPD brasileira, responsáveis, aliás, pela grande quantidade de popups que atualmente aparecem pedindo para você aceitar cookies sempre que visita um site na internet. Não é nem de longe a solução perfeita, mas pelo menos agora é possível termos noção do que cada site quer rastrear e porque, e concordar (ou não) com esse rastreio de informações.

Mas não é apenas clicando e consentindo (ou não) com a utilização de cookies que podemos combater o uso inapropriado de nossas informações pelos anunciantes. Também podemos escolher usar navegadores que desabilitaram totalmente o uso de cookies de terceiros: os primeiros que fizeram isso foram o Safari, da Apple, em 2017, e o Firefox, da Mozilla, in 2019. Já o Chrome, produto do Google que, caso não esteja claro, é antes de qualquer coisa uma empresa de comercialização de anúncios online, acaba de implantar um recurso chamado de Privacy Sandbox, que diz substituir os cookies terceiros mas que, ainda assim, coleta muitos dados pessoais dos usuários, alimentados por um processo de opt-in em que você concorda com a coleta de dados mas apenas porque não o entende direito, ou não consegue evitar.

Se você não está pagando pelo produto, você é o produto.

Em relação a empresas como Google, Facebook e tantas outras, normalmente disfarçadas de redes sociais, nunca é demais repetir aquela velha máxima que diz que quando não estamos pagando por um produto, é porque nós somos o produto: quer um navegador de internet gratuito? Ótimo. Apenas tome cuidado com o que está adquirindo (ou com o que está concordando) ao usá-lo gratuitamente.

One Piece Season 1 poster

✱ I can finally say, 61 episodes later, that I’ve finished One Piece: East Blue Arc, the equivalent to the anime’s first season. When watching so many episodes in a row it is impossible not to deal with filler episodes, such as the Warship Island arc, but luckily One Piece is known to have few episodes like this — little less than 10% of the 1,000+ aired so far. Besides, the story is so amazing and filled with charismatic characters, and all the main ones have solid background stories, what is very appealing. In short, I loved it. And this means I’ll keep on watching Luffy and the Strawhat Pirates’ adventures.

The movie’s thumbnail art

✱ I’ve watched All Quiet on the Western Front, much because of my younger son’s insistence, as he loves history, geography… and war related subjects. This movie tells the story of Paul Bäumer, a young boy who enlists the German Army with his best friends to fight during World War I, only to find that his romantic view of the war — glory and heroism — is soon replaced with the realities of war, that is, deaths, despair and hopelessness. Paul then replaces his dreams of becoming a war hero with his best efforts to survive. This type of movie is not my cup of tea, yet I need to admit that it looks very pleasing to watch, and it narrates war in a way I’ve never seen before, I mean, from the POV of common soldiers, what contributes a lot to its antiwar message. I can recommend it.

An example of a Brazilian pastel

✱ Brazilian food is filled with unique dishes. From brigadeiro to coxinha — both delicious, by the way, there are so many goodies that you can taste here. This week, though, me and a couple of friends from work decided to eat pastel prepared in a street market, something that I hadn’t done for some time. As delicious as difficult to explain in English, its Wikipedia description says pastel is a Brazilian street food consisting of half-circle or rectangle-shaped thin crust pies with assorted sweet fillings and fried in vegetable oil (equal to the picture I placed above). More than the delicious taste of pastel, though, the most important thing to me was to collect yet another good memory with my friends. Amazing.

✱ I’ve accumulated 10 books that I’m currently reading and maybe, maybe not, you’re going to believe I’ve gone completely out of my mind. I also think so… it’s a real exaggeration, I know, but all of this happens because I’m addicted to reading and I cannot keep this impulse of buying and starting to read new books at stake (again, tsundoku). I’ve bought Holly, the newest book from Stephen King — who, by the way, I believe is maybe the greatest storyteller alive — in pre-ordering because I just cannot pass without reading anything he publishes, but ended up buying and reading… Assombrando Adeline, which called my attention for being at the place in Amazon’s psychological thrillers list (a genre that I appreciate reading) and made me debut . I haven’t finished it yet but this decision of reading the book made me debut in the dark romance genre as well. This is not a genre for everyone, as it deals with things like death, mobs, kidnapping and many other disturbing themes. I’m liking it so far — although the Brazilian Portuguese translation of the ebook sold by Amazon is sufferable with all its errors, typos and machine-like translation, making me believe that Google probably translated it —, to the point of having read 80% of the content in 2 days, a real page turner.

Brotato game card in Nintendo eShop

✱ I’ve decided to digitally acquire Brotato on the Nintendo eShop this week. That’s a game I already own on Steam, and that I very much enjoy playing (whenever I have time to). In case you don’t know Brotato, its concept is very simple: you are a potato 🥔, fighting hordes of space aliens and trying to survive for as long as you can while being able to use up to six weapons — one crazier than the previous one — because, as no one had ever determined the total number of arms a potato can have, the devs decided to give them six ones. Now, not only did I buy this game out of knowing and enjoying it quite a lot, but also because at home we’ve come to the feared stage in parenthood where you start to dispute your own computer’s screen time with that of your kids (in this case, my younger son). So as to have no conflicts, why not play Brotato wherever he’s not using the device, right?

✱ At work, this week our director came from the United States, where he lives, to spend some time with the team. He’s Brazilian and whenever he needs to be at his home country, he appreciates creating this time for all of us to spend together. So, 3 whole days were reserved for presencial workshops, team buildings and lectures, all of them always enjoyable on their own. I specially loved two of the activities during this period, and will now say why.

First activity. Listening to one of the scheduled sessions during this week’s time with our director, I got acquainted with The Five Love Languages, a book written by Gary Chapman, an American author who addresses human relationships. I had never heard about the book but, to my complete surprise, many of my coworkers had read it. All of who did highly praised its contents and one in particular even testified that it had changed her relationship with her significant others. The speech we were watching to was meant to demonstrate how four of the five love languages can be applied to a normal, work relationship (thus excluding physical touch) — and through some drills we performed during the time I was able to discover a couple of revealing things about myself and the people I work most closely with, and, as I told my leadership later, this alone would be worth all the workshops’ while; but the thing is I immediately added the book to my “to read” list, as it can be really helpful in strengthening one’s personal relationships, too.

Second activity. This was a guest talk with a personal old acquaintance with whom I had professionally worked before. I didn’t know, though, that he was an expert in mindfulness and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). During almost one hour he took me and all of my colleagues through a real self-knowledge journey. Consisting of three parts, the speech addressed thre principles: what is the most important thing in our lives — mindfulness, that is, clearing out minds by archiving everything and everyone that is not ourselves or isn’t under our direct control to change; concentrating on being the best possible person to whom or what we have archived once our mind is free and in peace; and figuring out that the most important person in our lives will always be that one who’s nearest to us in the present moment. It is very difficult to summarize everything I’ve learned this week in this single paragraph, and I won’t try to do it, but one thing’s for sure: that one set of three principles is certainly life changing.

Some weeks ago I was in São Paulo with my son, as he was going to take the JLPT test. Now, 7 weeks later, his results came in by e-mail: he’s been successfully approved in JLPT N1 level! This has been a very nice way to start the week, both for him and for me. I’m very much proud of yet another positive result in his path towards living in Japan… ☺️

✱ This week, another reason for happiness in our family was my younger son’s birthday — he’s just turned 12. I can’t believe time flies like this, and that he’s just all growing up! We got the family together to celebrate and to make his day even more special with cake, candy and a lot of delicious treats! 😊😊

✱ My sister and brother-in-law moved from their apartment some months ago and we finally could make it to visit their new house. It’s a very nice two-store house with a pool and a fireplace and I could see how much my sister appreciates having been able to move there. That’s the kind of place all surrounded by nature that we all in the family know is what she loves. Besides, we had a meal together and the kids got to meet… the cats. I mean, they met them before, but Nick and Chica are with my sister for quite sometime now, and it was the first time my sons played with them in a while. Quite a memorable, fun night we all had together.

✱ I feel specially worn out this week, and the culprit is no other but work. Don’t get me wrong, I simply love doing what I do and working for the company I’m working for. It’s just that this week, in particular — and I foresee that the next one also, likely —, consumed a lot of energy. In the end it has all paid off, but it required extra work and dedication, not only my own but the one of some good friends. On to learning even more and to mastering these activities. I’m sure every cloud has a silver lining… 🙏

Mnemonic example for katakana テ (te)

✱ In my continued Japanese studies I’ve been experimenting with many different techniques in order to try to memorize what’s got to be memorized. Despite many things that I’ve tried, I hadn’t yet taken mnemonics seriously. But that was before I started to use jpdb.io to learn at least some kanji. Developed by a single developer, it uses a technique similar to that used in Heisig’s hugely popular Remembering the Kanji book to teach kanji, but using different keywords… and mnemonics. And the thing is, after using mnemonics for only a few days, I was successful in learning my first kanjis. That’s when it occurred to me that I maybe could use it to learn katakana. Man, do I hate katakana… they just don’t stick to my memory… but mnemonics could well be the answer… so I’ll try them and see if they work as well as they’ve been working for kanji… yet to be seen.

✱ I’ve watched a couple more episodes of One Piece this week and came to the 25th in the East Blue Arc, the story’s first act. The story keeps very interesting and it’s been nice to find out the past stories of some of the main characters. This makes me want to keep on watching the series. Oh, and I’ve also watched Uma Quase Dupla, an average Brazilian comedy movie featuring Cauã Reymond and Tatá Werneck, both famous actors here in my country. The popcorn I prepared to eat along it, though, proved to be better than the plot.

✱ Last Sunday it was Father’s Day here in Brazil. I’m lucky enough to live at a walk’s distance from my parents’ house, so I visit them often, almost on a weekly basis, and have plenty of opportunities to talk to them and to catch up with whatever is going on. Even so, last Sunday we all got together — my parents, my sister and brother-in-law, my wife and kids to have lunch and spend some family time together. It is always nice to do such things because I love my family. If it was Father’s Day where you live too, last Sunday, I hope you had the opportunity to be with your kin and with whom you love, spending some quality time together… 😊😊

Takeshi’s Castle Amazon Prime poster

✱ I used to love watching Takeshi’s Castle! It aired during the late 80’s and early 90’s here in Brazil — although in a licensed version, locally developed by Rede Globo, one of the Brazilian TV broadcasters — and made me laugh lots and lots. Later I found out that the original, Japanese produced show, aired in Brazil on cable, too, during 2018, on Comedy Central. The thing is Amazon Prime just released a remake of the show, currently a single season composed of 8 episodes. I’ve watched the first episode with my children and I could relive all the laughs I had with the original programs. Pretty nostalgic for me.

Lucas Moura, after scoring a goal last Wednesday

✱ I don’t usually talk about soccer here — although I support São Paulo since I was about 12 or 13 years old. But I needed to do it this week, at least this one time, first because São Paulo played the second of two matches trying to reach the final round of Copa do Brasil, aiming for the only national title it currently doesn’t have; and second because Lucas Moura, revealed in São Paulo during the 2010 to 2012 seasons and, to me, one of the best players the team ever had, returned to playing in São Paulo, after 10 years away, during which he played for PSG and Tottenham. It was partially thanks to him that my team won a place at the final round scoring 2-0 against Corinthians, one of its biggest rivals. Lucas scored the second goal, sealing the score and gaining us the opportunity to (maybe) finally conquer this last title. Yet to be seen, but coming this far was really, really nice.

✱ I know very well that one of the important parts in learning a new language is trying to practice writing — and by chance I’ve come across a very interesting resource online where it’s possible to do it… while journaling! I’ve heard many people praising journals as good means to put your learnings on paper, and Journaly does exactly that. You can write as many posts as you want in your target language in your journal for free, and have them read by people who are native and are there learning other languages. These people then read your texts, applauding them for incentive and also giving you honest feedback and corrections, all things that contribute to making you learn better. I found it very appealing for me and my Japanese learning, so much that I’ve created an account there, even though I’ve only had the time to post there once so far. Here’s what I’ve posted, by the way:


✱ Still regarding Japanese, that’s not at all an intuitive language for me, as a western person, having been raised speaking an European language, Portuguese, to learn. And knowing English doesn’t help either, except for being able to find plenty of resources to learn by myself of course. In that sense it was very fortunate for me to come across Japanese For The Western Brain, a series of small essays describing Japanese grammar in a non-grammar way, that is, quoting Kim Allen, the site’s author, “[…] so that people who have a working knowledge of English grammar (such as what you learned in school, even if you’ve forgotten some of the details) will be able to compare and contrast English and Japanese grammar“. I’ve been reading it this week and I can say it’s a very spirited text, helping to prepare one’s mind to adjust to Japanese.

My results last Thursday 😊

Keep walking, besides being the slogan of a famous beverage, is something I’m trying to improve at, for health reasons. It’s been sometime now that I’ve heard from a doctor that one should walk 10,000 steps daily — but that is not an easy task for many, me included. What I’ve decided to do was to adapt to the circumstances… using the 改善 (Kaizen) continuous improvement principles, I’ve established to try to meet 6,000 steps a day. Still not that easy for me but much more attainable at the moment. This week I got to reach the goal 4 in 7 days. And I still hope to improve in weeks to come… 💪💪

✱ I’ve never mentioned it here, but, during the pandemics I started a YouTube channel aiming to teach English to Brazilians. This was during the initial months of it all, and my employer at that time advised us all to remain home, for our own safety. But working from home was not a possibility for them, as they lacked the proper IT infrastructure to allow us to do so, and it ended up exposing us all to a situation where you’d stay home without being able to work at all. As I taught English as a Second Language in the past, it occurred to me that sharing my knowledge would be a nice way to keep my mind active. I ended up producing 40 videos from May, 2020, and reached a little more than 700 subscribers what, for me, is a real milestone. After these achievements, though, I quit it altogether by December, 2020. The reason? I was feeling stressed… totally caught in the net of social networks, I felt panic because I received no views, or not enough views, even though this is totally relative and actually doesn’t mean anything or doesn’t matter at all, and felt several other negative effects as well. After I quit, I thought about continuing to help people to learn English and a couple of ideas sparkled on my mind, although I never had the impulse to turn them into reality again. The reason I brought this up this week is because while studying Japanese with YouTube videos, I had some new ideas and I guess I can make this work again, probably without all the stress load I underwent sometime ago. I’m really feeling excited to create at least a pilot and a couple of follow-up experiments, so stay tuned if you wish, for more news soon.

The Don’t Touch the Spikes mobile game screen

I’m really sure everyone has already played at least one mobile game that got on their nerves. I have played several, but this week I decided to remember why Don’t Touch the Spikes (iOS, Android) used to irritate me so much, all because my younger son has been playing it for some weeks now. If you don’t happen to know the game, its goal is pretty straightforward: tap the screen to make the little bird jump higher, release your finger to make it fall. Whenever you hit the wall the bird changes direction and you score 1 point. It is all endless — until you touch the spikes on the wall, when it’s game over. The goal is to score as high as you can. My son’s high score is 83 (at least by now), whereas my personal best is only 66, a score I got I don’t remember when, and that I’m aware of only because everything is recorded at Apple’s Game Center. This week I couldn’t get past 44, but I could clearly remember why it all got on my nerves: as with any games of this kind, you just… lose, for no apparent reason… you jump too short, or too low, or too high, but always at the right measure to hit the spike, and lose. But that’s ok (and expected, after all). This game’s most annoying feature, though, is the lack of an option to turn its sound off. There comes a time when this also gets on your nerves (and on your wife’s nerves), so you gotta stop to keep your marriage going… 😂

✱ I’m really decided to commit to learning Japanese. Thus I’ve paid for a month’s worth of LingQ content. I’ve used this app before while learning French and Spanish and I believe it’s a good way to find both audio and texts for practicing a target language. That doesn’t eliminate the fact that, for languages as Japanese, it’s necessary to learn the syllabaries first, before decoding the language, but I’m pretty confident I’ve made a good choice — and I’ve already started to have fun with it.

✱This week I woke up to find out that I had been victim of an unauthorized purchase made in one of my credit cards. Someone somehow broke into my Rappi account — one that I hadn’t been using for a couple of years and that now, due to the circumstances, I have properly cancelled — and used a card associated to my PayPal inside it to purchase 120 dollars in supermarket goods. So as soon as I found it out, through a notification received straight from my bank’s mobile app, I immediately got in touch with my bank, PayPal and Rappi personnel, so I could try to tackle this horrible inconvenience from all the angles I could. Long story short? The purchase was properly cancelled from all three perspectives. I closed my Rappi account, erased all my credit cards associated with PayPal and changed my password there, cancelled the virtual credit card used in the purchase with my bank and replaced it with another, brand new number, and spent a couple of hours changing and updating payment methods in several services I have subscriptions of. These are all securit measures to prevent future problems, but that doesn’t make the inconvenience smaller. I felt very angry with myself for this, as I’m usually very protective with my personal data (especially financially speaking).

While looking for new ways to learn Japanese and to figure out how to make it stick better in my mind, I came across this video by Bunsuke, where he says he’s never used Anki either to learn or to recall new Japanese vocabulary. That got my attention because I have probably the biggest defender of Anki right here, at home: my older son loves Anki and never gets tired of saying how it has done marvelous things for his Japanese learning along the latest 3 years, and how I’m wasting my time for not trying it, and sticking to it.

The thing is I don’t feel Anki is cut out for me or adequate to the way I usually learn new things, be them languages or not. Meanwhile, right at the beginning of the video I watched, Bunsuke mentioned something that I truly believe when it comes to learning something new:

"I'm completely okay with forgetting. I think forgetting is just part of the process of learning and so I don't really beat myself up over it if I forget a word or forget a kanji. If it's important, it'll come up again"

His relaxed attitude towards forgetting, considering it a natural part of the learning process was really welcome and comforting to me. Bunsuke doesn’t worry about forgetting words or kanji, and this is because he believes important information will resurface through repeated exposure. As his video goes on, he says his learning involves basically two activities: reading and writing down unfamiliar words. Something else I found resonating was that, for him, reading is a form of spaced repetition in itself, rendering Anki not better than reading and recording unfamiliar words and kanji.

The thing is… we will all forget before we learn something. So if, and when it happens, it’s ok. What I do is to keep trying to expose myself to Japanese as much as I can as I try to learn. I’m totally conscious my exposure time is not as big as my son’s, but this is because he’s been dedicating to studying, and only studying, while I have my work duties and a lot of other matters going on. Still, I’m really committed to learning a little every day, even if it means only a couple of minutes (luckily, I’ve been able to do it longer). As for not using Anki, maybe I have an oldschool mindset, maybe not. The thing is, for me, reading and writing down anything I don’t yet know really helps with the learning. I feel that’s what I’ve been doing all my life.

I found out that Steve Kaufmann, a Canadian linguist who currently speaks 20 languages and is an authority in language learning, talks about forgetting languages on a recurring basis in some of his YouTube videos. He says he personally looks for language exposition through reading (and listening to) lots of content, and that this regular exposure to the language makes it quickly revive when needed — so knowing someone as renowned as him also believes important information will resurface through repeated exposure is also comforting to me.

My son doesn’t give Anki all his trust out of the blue. Anki has indeed been the tool that proved crucial for him to gain all the vocabulary, fluency and understanding he conquered in Japanese. This means there’s nothing wrong with using Anki. But his stance regarding Japanese resembles a duty, as he’s dreamed of studying and living in Japan for quite sometime now (and again, I love and admire him for his bravery in doing it this way). On the other hand, although I am learning Japanese for some reasons, I want to do it having fun along the way — meaning that the moment it starts to feel as a chore for me, it will be the moment I quit.

Forgetting words and phrases as part of my learning process has happened to me, and it has been fun. I’ve just got to take a leap of faith while learning, as I’m sure the commonplace between me, Bunsuke and Steve Kaufmann is embracing the idea that forgetting will help building some kind of knowledge reserve that can be retrieved and relearned later. I know it sounds most unbelievable to trust in vocabulary eventually sticking, but I’m sure it will. So that’s why, Anki apart, I believe no one should worry about forgetting along the path of learning.