When I was approached on the train by a weird middle-aged man recently, I politely looked at the picture he showed me of himself pressed up against a Russian stripper whose name I cannot remember. I agreed in saying that she was pretty, and shook his hand after it had combed through his long, graying locks. As he walked away I only felt slightly relieved, barely bothered by the encounter.
After living in Japan for roughly eight months I have to come to realize that very little unsettles me. The most ridiculous of scenarios occur on a regular basis, and awkwardness has become expected, if not comfortable.
The most trying thing that has recently taken place would be, at any other time in my life, considered completely normal. This being some quality time spent with my mom, dad, and big brother.
The two weeks they were in Japan were filled with day trips and long train rides; slurping on udon and eating raw fish while claiming that every meal was more delicious than the last. My family met my new friends, some of whom speak very little English, and I watched on as my co-workers, students, and a trainer at the gym looked at my relatives in awe, especially my brother who in no way fit in with the restrictive Japanese ways.
Having my family in Japan was a little bit tiring,
and led me to the realization that my dad is a really, really good person.
After they left, my life resumed as normal. Which consists of Saturday nights that look like this
followed by sleepy Sundays and Monday mornings where I am expected to sing, dance, and sometimes speak Russian.