Friday, April 16, 2010

It's here.

I knew it was going to creep up on me, when I least expected it. And I knew it was going to be mild, yet inevitable.

I've spent this past week moping around, feeling just sad and lonely, and I've had the hardest time getting out of my apartment. I came home crying from the supermarket because people were staring at me. I've been getting so upset at the sound of my students giggling, thinking they must be making fun of me in Japanese. Those things usually don't bother me, but this week has been bad, and I've finally figured it out.

Culture shock.

I hate to admit it, but I'm going through a mild version of it these days. It came upon me intensively in Korea, so I knew this time around it would be a bit easier, because I can at least acknowledge it and I know it will be okay. My stay in Japan has been going so smoothly, and I'm lucky to be surrounded by a solid group of friends who can relate and listen to my whining over ramen.

However, all this has motivated me to keep studying Japanese, and to look forward to all the fun to be had in the upcoming months, including visits from friends and family, and my first Japanese summer. I think all the rain and cold we've had lately hasn't helped, so cheers to the warmer weather.

And, as always, and as lame as it sounds, watching Friends has proved to be the most comforting thing. Never fails to make me feel better.

{Those sights are beautiful, but sometimes make you feel so um... isolated!}


Jen said...

Oh no! What happened to all of a sudden make you feel this way? Did it just suddenly set in and hit you?

I hope you cheer up soon!

thevoyageofv said...

Aw, Viv. I know how you feel and it isn't nice. Even though I've been in Sweden for a while, sometimes it feels like a struggle just to get through the day. Like you're too different from everyone else to ever fit in. I hope you'll feel better soon. In the meantime keep watching friends and just remember that you won't be there forever and when it's time to go you'll wish you could stay just a tiny bit longer.

French lover said...

Aww je comprends tellement. En tant qu'étranger dans un autre pays on se sent parfois tellement seul au monde. Et puis c'est un peu normal qu'après l'excitation du début et de la nouveauté, tu commences à t'installer, et le fossé culturel avec.
Même entre la France et le Québec, je l'ai ressenti. Après quelques mois, bien sûr. Au début tout est tout nouveau, tout beau. Et puis le temps passe et ta famille te manque, tes repères aussi. Mais je pense que c'est parfaitement normal et passager.
Il faut développer des petits rituels de réconfort : comfort food, good TV (moi c'était SATC, je connais les 6 saisons PAR COEUR ^_^). Allez, cheer up, le Japon te manquera bien assez tôt :)

Isabel said...

:-( I hope you're feeling ok today - I'm sorry that you've had a rubbish week, and feel bad about my whining to you!

I am convinced that it is this cold weather that is making things seem that bit more difficult.Warm weather is forecast for next week so happy times ahead :-)



tn1125 said...

aww..Vivi <3 i'm so sorry to hear that. I hope you feel better soon! Friends is verrry comforting..and so is SATC. I still watch friends now..i dont know why lol. i know all the episodes by heart!

羅惠玲 said...


Renee Summers said...

Vivan. I hear ya. Really. The same mushroom cloud had descended upon me this week as well in Korea. I also am blessed to have a great group of friends here, but I've found two particular outlets that really help to distract in times like these are: an awesome new book and awesome new music. Try 'The Romantic Movement' by Alain de Botton (unless you've already read it) and try out Both have helped heaps this week.

All the best,
~ renee :)

Emery said...

Hey, Viv!
For what it's worth, I'm back in touch and ready to offer Emery's Friendly Cheerfulness Backup Service!

Cat* said...

I just found your blog and love it :)
I live in Tianjin, China right now for the semester and it can be hard to live in such a different culture from time to time. I have days when I hate that everyone is staring at me, turns around while driving a bike etc.
I hope you will feel better soon :)

{lovely little things} said...

Sorry to hear you've been a little down. I think the culture shock is inevitable, especially when you've traveled as much as you have. But I do concur with your remedy of Friends, that show ALWAYS makes me feel better. Just whip out the Lightning Round episode and you're good to go!

Life Abroad said...

Wow I've been through that feeling too, albeit in the Netherlands which I'm sure isn't as difficult as in Japan. Getting out of the house and forcing yourself to do different things always helps, but so does going to the nearest city and shopping at familiar stores like H&M and Zara (do they even have these in Japan???) Just remember that the feeling will go away!

Lauren London said...

Awwe, I hope you feel better soon! Friends always puts me in a better mood! Take it easy and study your Japanese! Your students are not laughing at you, they most likely look up to you! ;)

Nicole Marie said...

awwww. well at least this time you know what makes you feel better!!

pearshapes said...

dude watching friends is absolutely my go-to cure for everything!
great blog<3

Des said...

I'm sorry to read this, but I understand what you're going through.