Saturday, July 22, 2006

Home is...

For a few days now, I've been downloading books and then reading them on my comp. on the monorail. As I've mentioned earlier, the monorail has picture windows that afford a nice view of the neighbourhood we pass by, and, the neighbourhood is beautiful, each second of the commute and each view is a Patel Shot.
But , however beautiful a thing might be , if you see it twice a day, every day for 20 minutes, you can get bored of it. Hence the reading. And that brings me to the point of this post. Sometimes during my reading, when I lift my head, it takes me a while to catch my breath- the view can still take it away. After having caught the breath, the first thought in my head is, " this is home."
And thats surprising, considering my lack of proficiency in nihongo(japanese) and the resulting frustrations. I've been abroad for most of my life , and this is the first time I find myself feeling like a foreigner. Most day to day transactions here are in nihongo and I've been conducting them with a mix of my abyssmal to absent nihongo and body language and mime. A prime example is the lady at the community store at work. I get in, say ohaiyo(good morning) and then proceed to get my bottle of gatorade. Once I bring it to the register, the lady actually tries to make conversation. Through a lot of mime, she gets her point across and I too mime my response added with a lot of hai's and smiles. Totally and absolutely back to basics. Communication at its most primitive and heartfelt. The one time, I don't mind having a face that mirrors what I feel and the ability to smile easily.
Not saying, that there aren't any rude japanese. Some have totally driven me up a wall with the pride they feel for their language and the resultant lack of will to help me out. But for the most part, the people here are the nicest I've met anywhere else.
That makes me wonder, I can be hopping mad at one japanese and be totally ready to pull rank and show him his place but curb that instinct , remembering the 10-15 that have gone out of their way to help me out. For the most part I am comfortable , but, am I home yet?

3 comments:

Apy said...

I face that problm with language all the time but i dont think this is home... no matter how long i live here.. i l always be a foreigner.. people have been amazingly polite but still...

lil _kath said...

... being here in Japan for long 6 years i think im used enough with everything but still i dunno if i can say this is home too though i have to feel that because im married and have the possibility to stay here for long.

...yeah, its really hard if u dunno the language coz they're not good in communicating in english too.

... just learn the basic words and try to talk to Japanese definitely everyday coz talking and being used with the sounds and pronounciation will help u most learning the language.

... gambatte ne! ^_^

..enjoy weekend!

cheers,
-kathy-

bilbo said...

konnichi wa kathy san,
thanks for visiting the blog and leaving your comment. Am not saying Japan is home, yet.
The language is definitely tough and in this case, practise is not making perfect. you have a good wkend too.