So, there’s no real easy way to jump into the oddities of being a foreigner in Japan, so I might as well start with what happened to me the first day I was on campus. On to the meat of things, children!
So I had done the normal things, went to orientation, wandered around looking helpless and confused, avoided eye contact with strangers. The usual. Eventually I had wandered sort of close to the cafeteria when two Japanese guys ran up to me and belched out some hellos. I didn’t really know what was going on, but then they asked me to lunch, and there was no way in hell I could say no. These guys were genuinely excited just to be talking to my white ass, fuckin’ Christmas morning style. I’ll admit, it felt pretty damn good.
Afterwords it got a little weird. One of the guys, Ryousuke, asked me to come see his apartment, go to dinner with his friends, and gave me a free bike. I’d usually assume that someone inviting me back to their place after knowing me for 5 minutes would be planning to A) steal my kidney, B) kill me and practice home taxidermy in their basement, or C) make sexy time. But in this case, we played Super Smash Brothers and he watched that “We Are The World” music video from the 80s, the one with Stevie Wonder. Fucker loves Stevie Wonder.
Other than that, everything you’d think would be different is different. Traffic, food, general disposition of the population. And the weather, holy SHIT it is hot here. Humid as well. It wouldn’t be that bad, but it’s a very pedestrian place full of winding roads and back alley paths, so you can easily end up walking for several hours a day. This would explain all the bicycles around here, which are interesting in their own right. Most the people I’ve seen riding are over 50; it’s pretty fantastic. Also, tiny cars.
Forgive me if this post isn’t heavy in the content department, I’m still spending most of my time blundering around in awe. bai bai