Apr. 28th, 2017 09:47 pm
pulchritude: (1)
Saw this in the circle and thought I might participate, although I probably won't be able to do daily posts. But I'll finish it for sure? And I'll try to post non-English songs when possible, to make it more interesting.

So...Day 1: A song you like with a color in the title

徐佳瑩 - 身騎白馬 (Riding a White Horse). My favourite part of the song is the chorus, which is sung in Hokkien instead of Standard Mandarin and also alludes to a folk story.

( All days )

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Mar. 4th, 2017 蚂蚁vp加速器官网
Meant to post this ages ago but ugh, real life kept getting in the way :\\\\

Anyway, it's very hard for me to find people truly beautiful or stunning, etc. So when I saw the music video for Ed Sheeran's Shape of You, it was very surprising for me to find the female lead, Jennie Pegouskie, really stunning.

Her expression at 0:53 in particular slays me, as I'm a sucker for stuff like that *o*

(no subject)

Jan. 6th, 2017 11:35 pm
pulchritude: (Default)
Hi to new friends! I keep meaning to post, but somehow I never manage to have time -___- I do read my circle every day, though, and do try to catch up after being away! And I've been doing pretty well at leaving comments more often, so yay? ^^

So I guess a little meme for the time being, until I can find the time to make a post with more substance:

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I hope 2017 has started well for you! ♥

well, it's been a year full of popcorn.gif

Nov. 10th, 2016 01:05 am
So, not gonna lie, after Brexit, I had very little doubt that Trump would get elected.

And because I am the sort of person who enjoys watching the world burn, well.

(Although one thing that I do have to say - maybe it wouldn't have happened this way if, you know, there hasn't been increasing inequality and the like, i.e., ever worsening problems that the privileged and the elite hadn't cared about addressing.)

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Sep. 4th, 2016 06:27 pm
pulchritude: Manuel Neuer comforting Benedikt Höwedes (10)
Dear [community profile] relationshipping match,

Yay, I'm really looking forward to your work for me!

( General likes and dislikes. )

And here are my pairing-specific likes and dislikes:

( Naruto )

( Django Unchained )

( Greek and Roman Mythology )

( Sherlock BBC )

Please feel free to ask me any questions in the comments, and these are really just preferences; if you've got a really great idea, please feel free to go for it!

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Mar. 27th, 2016 11:06 pm
pulchritude: (4)
So, er, I meant to post this at the beginning of the month, but I forgot. But yeah, Lethe Press is having a $1.50 e-book sale (minimum 3 books). It's too bad that I don't read e-books, but I figure that people in the circle might be interested!

In other news...I've signed up for a 100 km walk that is to be done in two days with some colleagues. We ~trained for the first time yesterday, and well, at least I know that I can do 10 km without much problem (although I felt like I didn't have much strength in my legs today when I was cycling...still managed to cycle 30 km, though!)

And one day I might actually catch up with my book & film log...why i so lazy -__-

(no subject)

Jan. 31st, 2016 01:04 pm
pulchritude: (5)
"Habitica: Gamify Your Life" (Watch on YouTube)

So I've been on Habitica for a while and it's been a great way for me to be productive...anyone want to join in? XD

Wow, I haven't joined a fic exchange in several years....

Jan. 2nd, veee加速器电脑 05:16 pm
pulchritude: luffy is too precious to be real (8)
Dear [community profile] chocolateboxcomm match,

It's been a while since I've joined a fic exchange or even posted any fic, so I'm very excited to see what you will be writing for me.

( General likes and dislikes. )

And here are my pairing-specific likes and dislikes:

( Harry Potter )

( veee加速器电脑 )

( Ancient History RPF )

I know I'm kinda picky, but I hope you'll be able to work with my preferences. I look forward to seeing what you write for me! And please free to leave a comment here anonymously if you've got any questions!

Movie #02: 危巢 (2011)

Sep. 5th, 旋风vp加速器 10:14 pm
ios 加速器vpSummary: A young girl stands stubbornly in a frozen wasteland, gazing into the distance at brand-new buildings far beyond her reach: this opening shot underlines the theme of When the Bough Breaks, a persuasive, powerful documentary about a family living on the edges of Beijing. The family’s two daughters, Xia and Ling, and their son Gang form the heart of the story; they share none of the riches of the nearby capital city, but share with one another a burden too heavy for their ages: how to find funding for their education, and change their fate with little to no help from their parents.

Their dominant, unreasonable father possesses neither the will nor the ability to support their education, while their mother merely dreams of some kind of miraculous outside intervention, whether from an Auntie or the lecherous Mr. Chen. Left on their own, the kids must fight the battle themselves, led by the strong-willed Xia. Continuously confronting their parents, both Xia and Ling finally are forced to drop out of school, in order to afford to send Gang to college. Though the family remains intact after all the fights, the cuts are raw and hard and difficult to heal. Directed by one of China’s most significant female filmmakers, Ji Dan, When the Bough Breaks is a raw, at times unblinking portrayal of the underclass of contemporary China.

Thoughts: I was lucky enough to see this film at a free screening that included a Q&A with the filmmaker. As expected, this is a harrowing look at the people at the very bottom of the social strata in China, and I like how this is a very slice-of-life documentary (in contrast to the types of documentaries with voice overs and big overarching ~themes~ [Michael Moore's stuff comes to mind here]) - Ji follows the children around, and we get to see inside their lives and the difficulties they face.

But what I especially enjoyed was the Q&A with Ji. She told us about how her being there affected things (and made certain things in the film possible) and about how it's never really possible to make an objective documentary (which, yeah, I loved). We also got more insight into and information about the children and their parents, including what they are up to now and why certain things happened as they did, which, for me, enriched my understanding of the film a lot.

It's still a nice film without the Q&A, but I think the Q&A took the film to another level for me - it gave definition to the story and made it richer. Of course, as a slice-of-life documentary, the audience can't really get the full scope of the story by design, and the film works as is, both as a work of art and a piece of social commentary, but the Q&A fleshed things out and made it more personal and poignant.

I'd still recommend watching it, though. A little perspective is always nice.

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Jun. 3rd, 2015 12:56 am
pulchritude: (4)
Summary: Welcome to Chromatacia, where the societal hierarchy is strictly regulated by one's limited color perception. And Eddie Russet wants to move up. But his plans to leverage his better-than-average red perception and marry into a powerful family are quickly upended. Juggling inviolable rules, sneaky Yellows, and a risky friendship with an intriguing Grey named Jane who shows Eddie that the apparent peace of his world is as much an illusion as color itself, Eddie finds he must reckon with the cruel regime behind this gaily painted façade.

Thoughts: I love dystopias (they are one of my favourite genres), so how could I resist one that seems so different from the rest? Though I had a huge problem with the premise (that people could only see certain colours, since I just couldn't see how we would lose our colour vision so selectively) until I learnt that the humans in the book are supposed to be of a different species—after which I was more than happy to go along.

It was super interesting seeing how the world was ordered by colour and how colour (rather than the other things most dystopias use) affects everything, and I enjoyed seeing the rules of this dystopia as well. The book isn't exactly fast-paced, as the climax happens only near the end, and the first 400 pages is really just worldbuilding; the novel begins in media res, so I definitely spent a lot of the time going, And when/how will x happen??? I enjoyed the worldbuilding, though, since I found it pretty unique.

I also liked the main characters, too. Eddie is a well-meaning young man, if a bit naive, and Jane was a fun and feisty character as well as a strong female character. I do feel like the romance subplot went perhaps a bit too fast (though granted, that might just be my lack of sexual attraction speaking), but that wasn't enough to really affect my enjoyment of this book. A definite rec, and I can't wait for the sequel!


May. 19th, 2015 12:19 am
pulchritude: (5)
Summary: Imagine this, if you will. Conjoined twins are sold by their father to a pop guru in the '70s who then go on to lead a cult punk band called The Bang-Bang. Excess overload, sex, drugs and utter mayhem. Add into the mix a third "dormant" head on the shoulder of one of the boys and you have one of the most crazy mixed up but totally hypnotic novels around.

Thoughts: So I happened to find this book at an Oxfam bookshop (and can I talk about how I miss the charity shop culture in the UK?), and given my thing for books illustrated in colour...I bought it without even really knowing what it was about (and now I've got a first edition full-colour illustrated book from 1977, lucky me). After reading it, I just have to say that this novel is a hot mess, as my bb J would put it, even though it's all very circumspect—the novel is narrated by a number of the people involved with the twins, but since the twins never narrate, we never really get to see inside their heads. Instead, we get version(s) of what happened from others, which, while distancing the reader from the twins, also made the story perhaps sadder, because the twins then become people who are acted upon rather than actors themselves.

The illustrations, meanwhile, made the story more grotesque, I think. They are done in somewhat of a creepy, macabre style, and it took some getting used to, but after reading the book, I find the style very fitting for the narrative, which is itself quite grim yet also larger-than-life/beyond normal life in a lot of ways.

Apparently there was a film adaptation that got rid of the third head? Which makes me boggle because the third head is actually a pretty important part of the plot and I can't imagine the direction in which the film went instead. Overall, this was an interesting read, and I'd recommend it, but not without the full-colour illustrations, as those really enhance the story and make it the experience it was for me. (Although I'd say the same for any story with full-colour illustrations - I'm pretty sure I love Animal Farm so because I read the 20th anniversary edition with full-colour illustrations.)

Book #03: Machine of Death, edited by North, Bennardo, and Malki (2010)

May. 11th, 2015 05:12 pm
pulchritude: (4)
Summary: The machine had been invented a few years ago: a machine that could tell, from just a sample of your blood, how you were going to die. No dates, no details. Just a slip of paper with a few words spelling out your ultimate fate -- at once all-too specific and maddeningly vague.

A top ten Amazon Customer Favorite in Science Fiction & Fantasy for 2010, The Machine of Death is an anthology of original stories bound together by a central premise. From the humorous to the adventurous to the mind-bending to the touching, the writers explore what the world would be like if a blood test could predict your death.

But don't think for a moment this is a book entirely composed of stories about people meeting their ironic dooms. There is some of that, of course. But more than that, this is a genre-hopping collection of tales about people who have learned more about themselves then perhaps they should have, and how that knowledge affects their relationships, their perception of the world, and how they feel about themselves.

蚂蚁vp加速器官网 I'd been meaning to read this book ever since I saw it promoted on Twitter back when it was first released, and I'd had the e-book downloaded for a while, but I don't really like reading books on the computer, and then I got this gift for the redditgifts books exchange....

I really like the premise behind these stories, and I found it interesting to see how different authors approached it. Most of these stories aren't actually about people meeting their deaths, either; rather, it's about how knowing how one will die changes their lives, whether significantly or only minutely. It's also interesting to see the worldbuilding each author did for their story.

One thing I found disappointing, though, was how so many of the stories are set in the US and in a time that doesn't look much different from the present. The preface said that submissions from five continents and set in every conceivable genre were received, so it was disappointing to get only one dystopia and one story set in a country outside of the Anglosphere, especially since that would have made the anthology much more varied and interesting. Whilst I powered through the book, most of the individuals stories started standing out much less to me the further I got, and in that sense, I feel like reading the book in stretches, perhaps between other reading material, would keep it fresher.

With that said, I still enjoyed the book overall and would recommend it. I didn't love every single story, but there weren't any that were truly bad, at least, and I'm looking forward to reading the 'sequel'.

Book #02: Boxy an Star by Darren King (1999)

May. 6th, 2015 05:02 pm
Summary: Boxy the black transvestite drug dealer and Star the teenage nymphomaniac trash junky are the two poles of Bole's universe. Fourth generation pill-takers, born thru a sieve and growing up on spangles and E, their brains so scrambled they have to write themselves instructions on how to get up in the morning, Bole and Star are in love. But as they stumble through the days, trying to do the right thing but borrowing pills from the wrong people, dodging conjurors and pineappleheads (policemen), love isn't necessarily what they need to survive. Vivid, tender, funny and dangerous, like A CLOCKWORK ORANGE for the post-Ecstasy generation, BOXY AN STAR summons up an entire future world with breathtaking originality. And with its extraordinary hero and heroine it is also a tender and utterly contemporary love story - quite unlike any other you'll have read before.

Thoughts: I picked up this book because it was shortlisted for an award, it cost only a quid, the cover was attractive, and the book was written in an 'interesting' way. Unfortunately, I found the stream-of-consciousness prose kind of annoying after a while, especially since it's not written in standard English but working class dialect set in (at the time the book was written) the near future in London, which made the book harder for me to read. King makes up a lot of 'futuristic' slang in the book, which took me a while to get because I hadn't realized that this book was supposed to be set in an imagined future until I looked online (yeah, I know >_>), and it was kind of funny seeing the technology he envisions to exist in the future, which is the case for many books written in a supposed future.

The other problem I had, meanwhile, was that I had no clue this book was about drug culture going in, and drug culture is one thing that I care very little about, having never done any drugs myself as well as never having any real desire to do so. So the book was very slow going for me until about three-quarters of the way through, ( 旋风vp加速器 ) What happens after this I found much more engaging, especially what Bole does in order to pay back his debt to Boxy (I had even managed to guess what was going on for once), and the ending was something that I hadn't expected at all and found very touching. Unfortunately, this didn't redeeem the first three-quarters of the book for me because whilst now I can see all sorts of new things in them, it doesn't change the fact that the events that happen are about drugs, and I'm just not interested in reading fiction about drug culture and the effects of taking drugs.

I really wish that I had seen a summary of the book before I bought it, since I probably wouldn't have bought it in that case. This isn't a bad novel, per se, just really not my thing, and whilst there is a love story in it (though imo it doesn't really get going as one until more than halfway in), it's not quite my kind of love story, either. So yeah, it took me more than two months to read 240 pages, since I kept putting it off.

I've got this book listed on bookmooch if anyone's interested.

Book #01: Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser (2001)

Mar. 15th, 2015 veee加速器电脑
pulchritude: (5)
ios 加速器vp Fast food has hastened the malling of our landscape, widened the chasm between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and propelled American cultural imperialism abroad. That's a lengthy list of charges, but here Eric Schlosser makes them stick with an artful mix of first-rate reportage, wry wit, and careful reasoning.

Schlosser's myth-shattering survey stretches from California's subdivisions where the business was born to the industrial corridor along the New Jersey Turnpike where many fast food's flavors are concocted. Along the way, he unearths a trove of fascinating, unsettling truths -- from the unholy alliance between fast food and Hollywood to the seismic changes the industry has wrought in food production, popular culture, and even real estate. He also uncovers the fast food chains' disturbing efforts to reel in the youngest, most susceptible consumers even while they hone their institutionalized exploitation of teenagers and minorities.

Thoughts: This is a very in-depth look at the fast food industry. It starts with the beginnings of the industry and then goes in-depth into the industry, scrutinizing its workplace practices, the way the food is made, and how these things have affected things like georgraphy/population distribution, agricultural practices, the spread of diseases, the exporting of USAmerican culture, etc. I found the book very thorough and engaging, but I was already interested in the subject, so ymmv. Also, I already knew about a lot of this stuff (though not in so much detail), so I didn't find the book particularly enlightening, and reading this book in 2015 made me find it a bit outdated, since the version I read was published in 2002 (though there does seem to be a more recently published edition with a new afterword). This book would be a great read if one doesn't already know much about the subject, in which case I would highly recommend it, but if one already does (and I feel like most people who have been around for a while would), then I'd advise skipping this book.

I've got this book listed on veee加速器电脑 if anyone's interested. :)


Mar. 11th, 2015 10:34 pm
Summary: In 1967, a young Beijing student, Chen Zhen, is sent to live among the nomadic herdsmen of Inner Mongolia. Caught between the advance of civilization from the south and the nomads' traditional enemies - the marauding wolves - to the north; humans and animals, residents and invaders alike, struggle to find their true place in the world.

Thoughts: So...we ended up watching this at K.'s place because the other girls wanted to see it. I hadn't wanted to see this film to begin with, so my views are super biased. As an environmentalist, though, I really enjoyed the environmental message of taking care of nature and not spoiling it blindly for our own gain. It's also pretty cool that the filmmakers were able to train wolves to do all that they did in the film, although I feel like they were too anthropomorphized—as far as I'm aware, wolves aren't driven by things like revenge or dying with dignity.

The main reason why I didn't want to see this, though, was because of how apparently the book on which this was based has been used to show how Mongols are 'wolves' and the 漢 are 'weak sheep', which, ugh. I mean, yeah, it definitely bothers me that we are depicted as the bad guys, especially when the root cause of everything really lies in Western imperialism, and just because Mongols traditionally lived a nomadic life doesn't mean that they are automatically more ~in tune~ with nature than agrarian peoples.

And that's not even getting into how the idea of the wolf as a totem, which is a huge theme of the film, has been disavowed by Mongols. And given that the book was written by a 漢 author who can't speak Mongolian and who was only in Inner Mongolia during the Cultural Revolution, yeahhhhh. It makes me wonder how much of the Mongol culture that we see in this film is actually accurate. Some people say what's important is the message, but I'm sorry, if the message is delivered in a very problematic way, that's gonna make the message a lot harder to be accepted.

So, it's not a bad film, per se, but I find it hugely problematic, and it didn't help that I was super unsympathetic to the main character and his ridiculousness. So yeah, I recommend seeing this film with a healthy dose of scepticism if you are going to see it.

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Mar. 7th, 2015 06:37 pm
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ios 加速器vpSummary: In 2079, in Washington, the ex-CIA Operative Snow is brutally interrogated, accused of treason against the United States. The chief of the secret service Scott Langral believes that he shot the agent Frank in a hotel room. Meanwhile, the idealistic daughter of the president of the USA, Emilie Warnock, is visiting MS One, a maximum security prison in outer space expecting to find evidence that the prisoners are actually guinea pigs of a huge corporation. When one of her bodyguards loses a hidden pistol to the dangerous prisoner Hydell, he subdues the staff in the central control room and releases the prisoners, including his brother Alex who becomes the leader of the riot. Now the veteran agent Harry Shaw offers freedom to Snow if he succeeds in rescuing the president's daughter. But the idealistic Emilie does not want to leave MS-One without the hostages.

Thoughts: Ngl, I saw this only because we went over to K.'s place and he put this on, and it's pretty much just a mindless action/thriller that doesn't add anything new to the genre or make one ~feel~ or think. And I kinda hated how the prisoners were mostly potrayed as horrible people, and Emilie shouldn't have tried to do anything for them. Not to mention that the two main villains were Scottish. I hadn't really noticed it before, but after [personal profile] ayebydan posted about it...yeah, wtf, what are two Scots doing in a USAmerican prison? So yeah, it's fine for people who want nothing more than mindless action, but that's about all it's good for.

And that's everything from last year...not a prolific year for consumption of anything except for fic. XP

i am so old-fashioned

Mar. 1st, 2015 08:13 pm
pulchritude: (13)
Went to pick up the 漢服 I had ordered more than three months ago this afternoon. I had ordered five articles of clothing...and 1. the shop couldn't find two of them and 2. I ended up rejecting two of the three that they could find.

The second point I find especially annoying because just, idk, I expect people to not suck at their jobs? If you are gonna be making clothes for people, you should be not shit at it? I saw way too many crooked stitches and loose threads, and it's kind of inexcusable when the piece I sewed for myself...by hand...in my spare time...with footy on in the background...does better with that sort of stuff than the stuff someone did with a sewing machine for their job. Not to mention that they chose a really ugly fabric for the collar on one piece without consulting me first(!!!)...and made a fundamental error with the design...man, so glad I took a close look at everything at the shop or I would have taken that shit home with me, and that would have been terrible. (Totally didn't take a close look at the lotion I got the other day until I had exited the shop...and it turned out that the seal on the lid was already broken. I didn't bother going back since it was more than likely that the salespeople there would just say that for all they knew, I had broken the seal myself, sigh. It looked untouched inside, at least, since the thing on top of the opening itself was still there (although it wasn't attached to the container itself in the first place, so someone could have just replaced it....), but yeah, hopefully that'll teach me...I'm really good about it with clothes in general these days, but other stuff...sigh.)

Anyone, hopefully the new tailor that they hired will actually get it right this time. She was a middle-aged woman who seemed to know her stuff, so I have some hope. Getting bespoke clothing made should not be this difficult. I should really learn how to use a sewing machine...I could even go into business myself then, who knows....


Last weekend my father dug up my mother's old stamp albums, and it's been really exciting looking through them and seeing all these old stamps from the 80s and 90s. It's such a shame that I rarely get to see stamps these days :( I really should have bought more stamps from charity shops whilst I was in the UK.... (Who knows, maybe in a few decades I'll be the type to buy lots of stamps from ebay...or whatever the equivalent of it will be then.S:)

(Yes, please feel free to send me any extra stamps you may have lying around, haha. ;))


I was watching TV the other day when this occurred to me—do you guys have local channels in your countries? We have a state broadcaster with 10+ channels, but then instead of large broadcasting companies, we have provincial and local channels. Each province has its own satellite channel that everyone in the country can get, generally, but then they'll also have a selection of channels (economics, kids, news, etc.) that only the people living in said province will get. And of course then local channels—the channel that made me think of this is based in one of the cities in the urban agglomeration in which I live.

I know that the US does local affiliates (which aren't really the same thing), and the BBC has local and regional branches, kinda, but does your country have local channels in the same way that we do? I'm really curious. :)

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Feb. 23rd, veee加速器电脑 11:09 pm
pulchritude: (1)
Summary: Harry is waiting in Privet Drive. The Order of the Phoenix is coming to escort him safely away without Voldemort and his supporters knowing - if they can. But what will Harry do then? How can he fulfil the momentous and seemingly impossible task that Professor Dumbledore has left him?

Thoughts: Yes, years later, I've finally managed to finish this book, and on the last day of the previous year to boot, and negl, I only began this book last year because I have this thing where I don't feel like I can write fic for certain fandoms without consuming all of canon, and I wanted to write the epic fem!Tom/Harry idea in my head, so.... XP

( ios 加速器vp )

Book #01: The Curious Incident of the WMD in Iraq by Rohan Candappa

Feb. 22nd, 2015 09:23 pm
Summary: The Curious Incident of the WMD is a mystery like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Anthony Algernon St. Michael Blair, the Prime Minister of Britain. He knows a great deal about New Labour, sound bites and why he makes a good leader and very little about the history of Iraq. He loves cheese and hates Gordon Brown. He discovers what he thinks is the central mystery and sets out to investigate it, but subsequently discovers a deception which leaves him forever linked in an uneasy triangle with a stumbling, inarticulate US president and a genocidal dictator.

Thoughts: I hated Veee最新版下载-Veee苹果版下载-Appfound:2021-4-3 · Veee最新版是一款全新的功能性加速软件,使用异常的方便,轻松使用更安全!无需ROOT权限,给你不一样的全新体验!想要手机拥有无限加速体验,感受顺畅的操作享受,感兴趣的小伙伴记得点击appfound手游网下载, but I enjoyed this book a lot. I felt like Candappa imitated the style of the former very well, and it was amusing envisioning Tony Blair as a bit of an idiot who really had no clue about much of anything and yet somehow managed to bumble his way through anyway, which is pretty much why I enjoyed this—I find it nice to be able to approach depressing real life events in a humourous way; it makes things more bearable, even though the truth within the satire makes things a little bit sadder at the same time, too. This book would probably be enjoyable for people who are not fans of Blair (though probably not if you've already read tonnes of work critical about him and his government), but people who aren't familiar with key figures in New Labour aren't really going to understand it, and I wouldn't recommend it in that case.

Happy Valentine's Day if you celebrate it!

Feb. 14th, 2015 06:16 pm
pulchritude: (13)
It's increasingly common now for people to celebrate the new year on holiday, but doing so personally would feel wrong to me, as for me, the new year is tied with visiting with (extended) family, which tends to not be able to happen when on holiday. Not to mention the atmosphere on holiday would be really different, and then it's just not the new year anymore to me.

Do people go on holiday for the most important holiday for your culture/country? I've never felt that was the case with Christmas, but perhaps that's changing, too.

And randomly, does your culture/country have a really strong divide when it comes to 'home' vs 'out' clothing? I didn't really notice this in the UK & US, but here it's super common for people to change into 'home' clothing as soon as they get home (unless, of course, one's brought guests), and I know it's pretty common in Japan as well, to have separate 'home' & 'out' clothing, so I'm curious.


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