Going Home

Three months have passed now. I am packing my stuff now and look back.
It was abnormously hot, hotter than usual during this season as my colleagues said. In August, you cannot even walk 100 metres without soaking your clothes in sweat. But thanks to lots of shopping facilities, a cooling place is just a stone throw away.

Living in Japan and encountering Japanese can be very nice and a tough challenge for the European temper.
No, Japan is not Lala-land even though you will rarely hear any complaint.
Japan is not Geisha, not Samurai, not “Hello Kitty”, and not Toyota alone.

NOT Lala-Land! (though the Tatami floor reveals Japanese origins)

NOT Lala-Land! (though the Tatami floor reveals Japanese origins)

Japan is hard working people, trying to find their niche on razor-thin gains while striving for the better next level, reserved for seniority.
And like in any other country, people dream of a better tomorrow and think about life’s meaning. Why else would they visit shrines and temples regularly?

Japan’s inhabitants are well tempered, very patient and – if you ever get so far, which is not difficult at all – very friendly people paying off “yesterday”, a yesterday’s stalled hyperboom sealed in chained and still boiling pressure cookers.
A today which cannot utilize the full capacity of its economy while keeping unemployment rates low at the same time, given that one third of all  employees have annual contracts, given a growing income gap and declining middle class despite a growing number of millionaires, and given high suicide rates among males, more than Europe’s long-standing top rank Finland and less than the Baltics or Eastern Europe.

Japanese can also be quite rude in European eyes if they get into your way like a rolling stone, without looking left, right, or behind. And do not underestimate how fast elevator doors in Japan are shut though the way into it may be slow-paced.
And despite Japan’s well-developed school system, Japanese sometimes fear to speak the lingua franca. Hence, it must start in school.

Europe and US: dream on!
Japan is not lala-land and has never been off the map. A shocking turnaround may not happen here since a people can come off a shaken boat.
And thanks to gals and guys like Yuka-san, Mayumi-san, Yukie-san, Takeshi-san, Emerson-san (actually Taiwanese but very kind), and many, many others, Gaijins will have a hard time to dislike Japan in spite of several hard lessons.

Gaijin, please, do yourself a favour: mind your manners and temper, smile, and do not dress as if someone has thrown you into a heap of clothes.
This is Japan, not Mallorca.

Japan, I like you, your inhabitants and attitude as well as your food.

I think it’s time to go home now – to digest.
And I hope I’ll be welcomed again.

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1 Response to “Going Home”


  1. 1 Grandmaster T September 2, 2010 at 5:42 am

    Very nice. I’d like to hear more. Please call, when you’re back.

    And bring that kitty!! =)))


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