Category: Travel Life, Lessons, and Fun Facts

You Will Never Be Japanese - Footsteps of a Dreamer

You Will Never Be Japanese

If you are not Japanese, you will never be Japanese. This may seem like such an obvious statement. Duh, of course if I’m not born Japanese, I won’t magically become Japanese. To most people, that’s not a big deal. However, it is a fact you have to learn to accept if you intend to live in Japan, because it will come up again and again even after you’ve lived there for 20 years. You can walk like a duck, quack like a duck, but you still won’t be a duck. Sorry.

Heading Home

Heading Home

The day I left my dorm, I said goodbye to many of my friends, and spent a good part of the train ride in tears. However, I was on my way to Chiba with one of my friends, so I had that to hold onto. I spent the day with his family as he showed me around his hometown, and he and his family took me to the airport when it was finally time to board my plane.

Chikan

Chikan

Back at my home university in my Japanese classes, we learned about the word “chikan”, which refers to public, unwanted molestation. In general, it’s often used to refer to perverted Japanese men. I’d heard stories about Japan having problems with men that would grope women, usually while on trains. Yet, it was never anything I took seriously, because I’d also heard that these types of men usually avoided foreigners. Foreigners usually weren’t afraid to retaliate, while Japanese women, especially the girls, were less likely to speak up. Since arriving in Japan I’ve seen some women only trains, but other than that, I hadn’t thought much about it.

Ueno Zoo and Rainy Season

On Saturday I went to the Ueno Zoo, which is the biggest zoo in Japan. They had all sorts of exhibits and the entrance fee was pretty cheap. Today I was supposed to go adventuring, but unfortunately there is a 100% chance of rain pretty much all day. That’s one of the joys of rainy season here in Japan. I look at my weather forecast for the week, and it’s pretty much entirely rain.

Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye

The whole process for this trip has been an emotional roller coaster. These last few days in particular have had their ups and downs. Saying goodbye to my mom and boyfriend in a few hours is probably going to be one of the hardest parts of this entire trip. This will be the first time I’ll be away from home for an extended period of time.