Today is my one year anniversary of living in Japan!
Exactly one year ago from this very moment, I had just landed in Tokyo, not exactly sure what I was getting myself into, but nevertheless ready for the adventure of living in a foreign land.
Even though my body was weary and jet-lagged, I was way too fired up/overwhelmed to sleep well when I first arrived. Actually, I think I barely slept a wink for the first week!
Just for fun, I went back and read the first blog entry that I wrote in Kuji. While I've done a lot of things, been a lot of places and met a lot of people since then, I really feel like it wasn't long ago at all that I wrote that post. I clearly remember all the feelings I had then, and how I was looking forward to learning and living Japanese culture as a foreigner.
And now, one year later, Japan doesn't even seem like a foreign country. It feels like home. In fact, I feel like my theme song is "Turning Japanese." So many things that were uncomfortable/strange/different at first, now feel the complete opposite.
I've made a list of them....
The top ten indicators that you're turning Japanese
# 10. You immediately feel the need to take your shoes off when entering a building.
# 9. Without thinking about it, you bow your head when meeting people.
# 8. You say "sugoi!" ("great!") instead of the English slang, "sweet!"
# 7. You get sushi cravings. (Often.)
# 6. You drink green tea as if it's water.
# 5. Driving on the left side of the road feels completely normal.
# 4. You actually prefer to eat rice with chopsticks instead of with a fork.
# 3. You have no issues whatsoever with going to a public bath.
# 2. Eating raw squid doesn't seem at all strange or gross.
# 1. You can use a "squatter toilet" as if it's natural!!
All of these are true for me...except for #1!! I still despise the hole-in-the-ground toilets. So I guess I'm not quite Japanese. Yet. But give me another year... :)