Today I got around to thinking about how exhausting it can be to live in Japan. As exciting as every day is (for starters, everything is a challenge and a trip to the supermarket can be a real adventure), keeping up with this pace can become strenuous. I rarely stop and think about it, but some days I just have to remind myself that it's normal. I live in a place where I am as literate as a kindergartener, I understand only about half of everything that is said around me (or what is going on), and to top it off I look completely different, therefore get stared at anywhere I go. No matter how well-surrounded I am in this land, I'm unfailingly isolated. Even though I live in a city I'm completely in love with, in the midst of crowds and bright lights, some days I cannot shake this uneasy feeling.
Ironically, those are all the things I missed the most when I returned home after Korea. I missed all the excitement and daily difficulties of getting anything or solely communicating. I missed being so independent and all the freedom that follows... there is a sense of feeling so free and dauntless when you live abroad, something I never, ever experienced back home. Sometimes I think that living in Japan is like living in a bubble.... is it real life? And will I ever be able to go back to reality?
When I start having those thoughts, what I like is to step out of my apartment and walk around and just soak in the crazy, crazy energy of this place, which is so revitalizing.
(Or take silly photos on Photo Booth... because well, it's there).
I'm not sure if living in a city intensifies the feeling of isolation- it may or may not- but regardless I feel way more sane here than I ever did in the countryside... surviving Marugame made me pretty strong. Like a cockroach. Which reminds me, Japanese roach season is approaching quickly. AARRGH!!! Hello, roommates.