13 July 2006

Not Living in Tokyo

Naturally, being a foreigner in Japan can be difficult at times. Further to the previous post, here are some of the things I won't miss when I go home:
  • Insanely high levels of humidity, which mean
  • Very, very bad frizzy hair. I can't wait to be in a country that has proper voltage so I can use a proper hairdryer and straighteners. I'm sick of looking like a scarecrow. And I can't wait to go and see Justin (my beloved stylist) to get my hair done properly.
  • Being unable to find many clothes and shoes that fit. The fact that I have to buy ugly clothes, simply because they fit me, not because I like them.
  • People refusing to sit next to me on the train. This could be because they think I smell, but I'm sure it's because I'm a foreigner. Too many other people I know have experienced this. (If it is because I smell, then this may well happen in Australia, but I don't think Aussies are as discerning, so I don't anticipate this will be such a problem.)
  • Being unable to communicate basic needs/wants. (I know this is completely my responsiblity, but I sure as hell won't miss it.)
  • Generally living in such a densely populated city. I crave spaa-aace!
  • The guy who sits behind me. He's actually a really good translator and nice bloke, but the decibels hit the high numbers when he slurps his tea and noodles and it makes my skin crawl.
  • Japanese food. (I actually quite enjoy it, but am totally over it at the moment. What I wouldn't give for a decent Italian or French meal.)
  • Not having a proper kitchen with oven and benchspace on which to cook.
  • Earthquakes.
  • Japanese television. I really need a good dose of the western variety - probably starting with my Buffy collection. To be quickly followed by the final two seasons of Angel that I've not yet seen. Big yay!
  • See first three points!
There are a lot more things for this list too, but I'm looking forward to experiencing them in person.


  1. If these are the only reasons for leaving, STAY! I left Japan 3 years ago after 8 years there. The world OUTSIDE is never the same as when you left it. Japan is a gem and I can't wait to go back, permanently! Luckily, I married my Japanese sweet guy while there, so I CAN go back. And he was definitely the right choice. There's no one in the States with that kind of Japanese purity. Don't know about Australia.

  2. hi maruchan, welcome and thanks for reading. these certainly aren't my reasons for leaving japan, they are just the things i won't miss. my reasons for thinking about moving on are personal, so they don't make it onto the blog.
    i agree that japan is a gem in that it is certainly unique. i think there are people of purity all around the world and i would never ascribe it to a certain race.

  3. Hey GG...I'm happy to see you back again!

    I'm guessing your visiting friend has just gone back?! Every time I have someone come and visit me, I spend the next few weeks reevaluating why I'm here and am frequently tempted to get back on the plane home too. However, this feeling always passes...for me, at least...Gambatte with your decision!

    And, I wish people wouldn't sit next to me on the train...I tend to have them sit waaaay too close for my comfort...grr!

  4. hi vk, yeah it's hard having folk leave after they visit. it's so good to fall into that easy familiarity with mates and i really miss that. a lot. still not sure what i'll do, but i reckon i'll be here til at least christmas.

    hehe, people either won't sit next to me on the train or they fall asleep on my shoulder, but they rarely sit too close. yuk!

  5. I only caught on to Angel half way through the series but I really think that the last two seasons were a killer, I hated have to wait for a week to see what happnes next!

    I think that I could understand some of those needs, they might not seem big to some, but as the saying goes it's the little things that count, but not having a proper kitchen that's a bit harsh. I think that I would have a problem with the space thing, even here I get a little suspicious when my personal buffer zone gets a little too crowded ;-)

    Will you have fond memories when you leave and do they out weight the bad ones?

  6. hi renwick,

    angel rocks! i can't wait to see the final seasons. i can't believe i haven't seen them after all these years.

    i don't have any bad memories of my time in tokyo. it has been an amazing experience and still is, although that's not to say it doesn't provide regular challenges that i occasionally vent onto the blog. generally, it's all good and i'll be here a while yet!

    hope you get to check it out one day.