Once Upon a Tanbo

Archive for October 2007

I feel like talking a little about my work today

I used to be a teacher and now work in an office translating documents.

I think that one of the main problems I had as a teacher was my lack of
creativity. Some of the other particpants in my area always had such
good ideas and i was so jealous. In comparison my lessons seemed boring
and by the book, but try as I might I could never think of anything
original on my own. Another reason that I was not a fan of teaching
English was that I didn’t feel any motivation or progression in my
work.. My Japanese is hardly
fluent, and I hate to sound like I am bragging, but I am defintely
proficient enough to hold at least daily conversation as well as
understand what was going on around me.. However being told not to speak
Japanese at work was very hard, and although I did try to not to
eventually it just came out. The
students who I wasn’t supposed to speak my contraband(!) Japanese with
wanted to do it at all times.. Obviously in the classroom I wouldn’t let
them get away with it.. but outside of class I was interested to hear
about their personal experiences or questions that.. as 1st and 2nd year
junior high school students, they couldnt communicate yet through English.

Anyways, I had decided to end my contract after a year and move to Tokyo
to be with Ryohei when it came to my attention that the person who
previously this current position was leaving. So, just for the fun of it, I
decided to apply and see if I could take over the job although at that
time (last December..) my Japanese was not up to par for the
work required. I submitted my application for a transfer and didn’t hear
a peep for 2 months.. and the deadline for recontracting in February
was quickly approching so I assumed I didn’t even get an interview.
However! When I went in for my teachers meeting at the way end of
January I was informed I had an interview.. and in 4 days. So.. to say I
was alarmed would be an understatement. However Ryohei
helped me so much.. he was still living in Osaka at the
time, so the night before my interview he came down to my apartment
despite it being a weeknight to help me practice for my interview. He
mock interviewed me and wrote down a “speech” in Japanese of what I
should say and what they would be looking for. Of course I forgot it all
the next day but I was so happy for his kind gesture and help. He really
wanted me to be able to get the job and be in an enviornment where I
would continue to build my Japanese skills.

But I’ve digressed..

So anyways I had my interview on a cold February morning, about 4 days
before the recontracting deadline.. I met with my “future” tanto
(supervisor) and the head of the international division that I would be
working for.. however to my surprised much of the interview was
conducting informally.
But anyways since I didn’t have a level check and the fact that I
always get shy about speaking Japanese to new (higher up) people, I
didn’t think that I had passed. And I was very very surprised that I got
the job when I was informed 2 days later. And two days before the
deadline to resign my contract…

However with that excitement and surpise came sadness as I realized that
I would not be joining Ryohei in Tokyo that summer.. but in hindsight
that was really for the best.
My vocabulary and grammer have improved a lot, mostly thanks to my fanatic
study for the 1kyuu Japanese Proficiecy exam in December.. At this point I can only do J-E translation but someday I’d
like to be able to do English to Japanese as well although I think that
will take quite a few years.

My office is also a nice place because the people are so nice.. I’ve even made plans to
go with two of them to Kyoto for Maple Leaf viewing in two weeks. So
yes.. I do enjoy my job and I hope that I will be able to continue it.

About Ryohei and his work..

As I have stated before Ryohei wants to be a koumuin.. or civil servant
and pretty much work at a government office, pretty much like I am doing
now. However, due to “the man” there is an incredibly difficult exam
that is administered only once a year that has only about a 12-15%
acceptance rate. There are many different approches to studying..
self-study, going to a special cram school. blind luck. negligence..
(haha) so Ryohei has opted to attend a cram school which boldly states a
96% pass rate for its students.. I like to believe in the numbers.. but
we’ll see.

Anyways the exam that he wants to take.. for Niigata (Actually theres 3
places he wants to apply to.. the head of Niigata govt in Niigata city
and then the two smaller city halls near where his family lives..) is in
June so he is planning to try this year although.. since he’s only going
to start seriously studying in April.. the likelyhood of him passing is
pretty slim, but he wants the experience.. and he said if there is a
miracle and he passes it will be great. However.. after the June exam
which he will be studying crazily for he plans to get a parttime job..
most likely at the same building where I work and then work during the
day and study at night until the next years exam next June. (which is
the most likely scenerio.. although I really hope by some crazy miracle
that he would pass this year..)

Although working and studying will cause him to have the crazy 12 hour
days that he is having now.. the fact that we actually get to be
together is encouraging. Actually I know we have a really hard 2 or so
years ahead of us.. but I want to be strong and I think that actually
living in the same apartment will be a nice change. Its only been two
days since I came back from Tokyo but already I miss him and I am back
to counting down the days until we can see eachother again.. (currently
at 16 if you are interested)

Anyways once again I try to blog about something else (work) and it
turns to the usual thing (Ryohei) Having a long distance relationship
tends to override any normal thought I have.. I’m looking forward to
after March when I can actually write about different things..

And that concludes todays episode of the Sarah show..

Edited to remove some irrelevant information.


So I am back from my weekend in Tokyo!

I flew back from Haneda to Kobe this morning with the plan of going into work for a halfday, but I was just so exhausted that I decided to take the whole day off and rest. We had a pretty busy weekend and I have an interpretation event tommorrow so I didn’t want to burn out before then.

So this weekend was Ryohei and my 1st anniversary! I arrived in Tokyo by bus late Friday night. I take the bus from Osaka to Tokyo and its about 8 and a half hours which is soooo long. Espicially if I can’t sleep. I had Nanny Diaries to read, which I finished in about 3 hours so the other 5 I was just sitting their getting all crotchity. And also Ryohei and a nomikai that night so he couldnt come to the station and pick me up but he told me to email him when I got there. Which I did.. 5 times.. no answer. So at this point I am tired and cranky and I was about to say I’ll just meet you at your house.. (angry face) but then he came up behind me at the platform near Shinjuku and suprised me. Needless to say, Friday was just a crash exhausted night for both of us.


Saturday, Typhoon 20 decided to grace the Kanto area of Japan with its presence. Despite the fact that I would have been perfectly happy to stay indoors all day, Ryohei and I had decided long ago to buy one of those nice, 3500 yen cakes to celebrate our anniversary so off to Shinjuku we went in the middle of the typhoon (or it seemed like it to me). We were both soaking wet and cold, but we ended up get a chocolate and white chocolate cream cake which was yummy yummy and probably more calories then I should have consumed in a year.. but oh well, anniversaries are special! That night for dinner we made our special nabe and watched tv/relaxed. All and all a lazy but fun Saturday.. ohh I also introduced Ryohei to Godiva Chocolixor.. he became addicted opps!! Hehe.. I told him we can only have it once a month.. see I am a very kind girlfriend I think.. I don’t know if we can get it in Kobe so he better not be getting it behind my back in Tokyo!!!


After the crazy rainstorm came a beautiful clear Sunday. Which was the date of our actual anniversary! We slept in really late.. until about 11:30 yikes.. I haven’t slept in that late for a long time.. we had thought about going to the Ramen Museum in Yokohama, but since it was already about 1 by the time we got ready and I wanted to spend a full day there, we decided to head to Odaiba instead! For our first date we went on the ferris wheel at the Osaka Aquarium so we decided to keep the tradition alive by going on the ferris wheel and Odaiba as well. We got to Odaiba around 2:30 and had an okonomiyaki lunch before walking around the fuji telebi place but it was just shops and so crowed so we gave it up and went to where the ferris wheel was instead. There was a video game arcade so Ryohei played some weird game and I spotted the Nova English Game.. yes, I decided to test my skills agaisnt the rest of the country haha.. Well.. I got about 2nd place in the Tokyo area.. Ryohei was so impressed.. actually it was a pretty good test because they would show the Japanese word and you’d have to pick the right English one.. so it was actually a nice review for me… there were some weird words too.. like “compounded” and “thirstily”… but yah.. I was glad to impress my fiancee with my hot English skills.. haha.. We don’t speak English too often and I sound like an idiot in Japanese most of the time so it feels nice to show that yes I am proficient in SOMETHING! Anyways we lined up for the ferris wheel just as it was getting dark and saw a beautiful twilight view. It was soo beautiful. Afterwards we returned to his apartment and ordered Pizza Hut.. yum.. I don’t like the Japanese take on Pizza most of the time.. but that was very yummy~~ After dinner we talked about various things espicially his move here. I now have a pretty specific date!! March 8th or 9th!!! So only about 4 more months left!!!

So it was a very fun weekend that ended too fast.. saying goodbye to him this morning, as usual was hard. I’ll be seeing him in another 3 weeks when I have a week long conference in Tokyo but 3 weeks is still hard.. I just have to keep telling myself its only for a short time..

Anyways Im feeling tired now so I’ll leave you all with a few pictures from the weekend!

View from Odaiba at Sunset

Happy Anniversary Purikura!

One more! (note his english print is prettier than mine… 😦 )

All right thats all for now!!!

I hate waiting for things.. I have never, ever been patient.
When I was still in elementary school I would number the days on my
school calender, starting around April, and cross them off slowly until
the last day of school in mid-June.
I count down everything, and then as soon as it comes I have to find
something else to count down to..

My countdown dejour is two. Two days until I go to Tokyo again to see
Ryohei. It feels so silly to count down the days until you see your
fiancee again, but in my case it keeps me somewhat sane. Its been 7
months since we’ve been long distance and it just feels so hard
sometimes. Espicially when a certain amount of time has passed between
meetings.. over the summer I had a lot of vacation so we were able to
see eachother once every 2 weeks or so.. from now on we are both busy
with work so its going to be only about once a month until we move in

Interesting fact: I had a long distance realtionship in high school and
swore that I would never do it again. Actually.. when I first started
emailing with Ryohei and he told me that he was interested in talking
with me because he would probably be moving to Tokyo(where I had lived
for my study abroad), I told myself that this was one person that I
shouldn’t get interested in more than friends. Of course, always being
one to contradict myself, he ended up being the love of my life. Which I
am very thankful for, just not so thankful for this seemingly
neverending year apart.

I hate going back to a lonely apartment at night, cooking dinner for
one, and sitting down for a mind numbing evening of television and
Japanese study. Its funny.. because on one hand.. it still feels like
I’m single sometimes (the lonliness,going to bed alone,etc), but I
defintely can not join in the single girl activities like excessive
partying, going on dates, etc.. that a lot of my single aquitances do
here. Not that I’ve really ever been a partier, but if I was really
single I wouldn’t be staying at home as much for sure. The first couple
of months when I came to Japan before I met Ryohei, and ashamedly, the
first month or two after he left when we werent sure if things were
going to work out or not, are a prime example. Besides the obvious
reasons, of not having to look for a dating partner.. a lot of the money
that I would spend on going out is used up on my trips to Tokyo.. its
not that expensive, but I do end up spending about 15000 yen (including
transport) every weekend that I go out there.

Well.. I guess I’m just complaining again.. its funny, I usually am not
a complainer at all in “real life” in fact I’ve been told I’m a bit of a
pushover.. but, I’m a heart over head person by far so matters of the
heart weigh heavily on me. Thus.. in my blog.. they just tend to spill

Anyways in order to balance out the overall feel of this blog my next
entry will be all happy and sappy about Tokyo! Yay! I hope the weather
is nice.. I love love love October and November!! So happy I was born a
fall girl!

oh by the way go red sox!!!!! I went to university in Boston so I am a
pretty big Sox fan!! I want to catch a game but with the time difference
I think its going to be pretty hard. Also.. I am so ready for Starbucks
to start putting out the fall/winter drinks.. America already has the
Pumpkin Latte, hurry up Japan!!!!

October 2006

Its time that I typed something
about my wonderful, wonderful guy. I still can’t believe how lucky I was
to find someone like him. So.. in celebration of our anniversary I think
I will spill his praises here, and wonder if someday he will find this..
(and hopefully be able to read it)

I love Ryohei because he is so kind. Apparently he wasn’t always, his
friends from when he was in university always tell me that it was
meeting me that made him nice. I think hes always been a nice guy
though. He is so caring and patient was me all the time. No matter how
many times I cry or get upset or anything hes always there and he I can
count the times he’s raised his voice to me on one hand. Whereas.. in my
case it would take a few limbs… damn my slight temper 😦 Even though
we live decently far now, Tokyo to Kobe, he always finds ways to stay in
touch and let me know that hes by my side.

Every morning and about 7:45am I get a mail from him starting with
Ohaiyo and ending with Aishiteru and like 6 or 7 little heart marks. The
content between the 2 greetings may be long or short and maybe be about
a great number of things. But always, those two words are there. They
help to get me through the day. “Good morning” “I love you”. I get my
second contact a little bit afternoon as usally he will mail me on his
lunch break, at that time it could be anything from “Im off to my sales”
to “I miss you!” to who knows! Occasionally we will talk during lunch
time, but its so expensive to talk here that we’ll just exchange an
email. After that sometime during the afternoon he will email me again
and tell me how his sales went and anything else. This isn’t all the
time, and I don’t expect it, but its always nice to take a bathroom
break and find a mail with something, anything from him. At night..
being in the wonderful salaryman job that he is, he gets home between
10:30 to 12:00 everynight. But even then he usually can find 30 minutes
between eating, bathing, taking out his contacts, and sleep to just talk
and wind down. I know that both of us are lonely, so this little break
before sleeping is so helpful just to relax and talk.. or in my case cry
(I get so emotional sometimes.. *sigh*) If about 2 weeks pass and we
haven’t seen eachother it starts to get really lonely.. Sometimes if its
a really lonely night we’ll leave our video chat program on over night. And
his alarm will always wake me up the next morning and I can just glance
at his computer and hes there. Today in his morning email he told me
that the pigeons on my balcony woke him up.. I of course slept through
them. hehe.. but it helps.. I hate sleeping alone in my apartment so
maybe once, twice a week we’ll do that. Espicially Sunday nights since
after the weekend sometimes its so hard to sleep.

I guess that I should be thankful that I met Ryohei when we were both
still relatively young and still had a lot of time to make choices. When
I met him he was still in University and even though his job (in Tokyo)
had been decided we spent a lot of time together, His first few months
working (from this years April) were so incredibly hard on me. Not only
did we have to live apart but I just couldnt get used to the long hours,
NO VACATION days, and working on every 4th Saturday. I had planned to
move to Tokyo to live with him next year, but every time I went to visit
him I was so miserable and although I loved him so much, I didn’t think
that I could make a relationship, let alone a marriage as we had begun
talking about at that point, work in such a situation. After about 3
months of this.. to me.. cruel and unusual job, he told me that he
planned to quit the next year to move to Kobe and study for the public
servant exam.


(work situation)
The nice thing about being a public servant or koumuin is that its a
goverment regulated job with little to no overtime (depending on the
location), actually holidays, and other perks such as free tickets to cool
places etc. (Im actually doing what would be considered a public servant
job now, and I love it) He has always wanted to live in his hometown in
Niigata and although he chose to join a company in Tokyo he always
wanted to go back. He told me when we first met, he wanted to make a
branch of the company that he works at now back in Niigata, but obviously thats an
idea that didn’t work well. Ryohei, like me, is definetly not a
salesperson. I can see him much more in an office setting like the one I
work in presently, even though he’ll be making much less per month then he would in the business world. But
thankfully since I am a native English speaker there will always be some
English teaching job that I can use to get an extra income for us. Of
course since I’m doing translation/office work now, the thought of going back to
being an English teacher is not the most appealing, but moving to
Niigata, there aren’t as many opportunities as there are in a big city
like Kobe, Tokyo, or Osaka.

Of course since the Japanese job system is (IMHO) messed up, public servant
jobs are in high demand and there is an annual exam with only about a
16-20% pass rate. In other words, my boy has to study his butt off at prep school to
get ready for the exam. I really believe that he can do it, hes a smart
guy, but Japanese University isn’t the most challenging so I think that
hes forgotten a lot of the skills you need for the test. He’ll begin
studying in Kobe next April and the exam is June 2009 so I am
crossing my fingers that he can do it. Even then, he won’t start working
until April 2010.. so I am the main breadwinner until that point which
is a little scary. However my work is stable, and my salary is way more than enough for two people to live on economically and I intend to stay at my work saving money
until summer 2010 before (knock on wood) moving up to Niigata to join
him. (He’d have to leave in April 2010 for work.. so we’d be apart again for maybe 4 months..)

(Family situation)

We’ve already talked about the kids thing a lot.. I guess it can’t be
helped, we’ve both wanted children, and to be relatively young when we
started having them. I really wanted to be in the place to start having
a family around next year, but due to the above circumstances its going
to have to wait until 2010. But, I think once(if) he gets the position
which we will know by fall of 2009, we will start trying for a baby
then. So.. if all things go to plan.. which they don’t always tend to
do.. we will be welcoming our first child about this time in 3 years. We
want 3 children total…

It really does feel early to talk about this knowing that its something
that won’t happen for a while. But I’ve always dreamed of having my own
family so its nice.. I guess it doesn’t help that one of my good friends
with a Japanese husband is married and expecting their first child
anyday now. I just really want that homelife.. I wonder what it will be
like to reread this post in 2,3 years.. I always enjoy reading my old diaries and seeing how things really ended up working out.

Anyways.. I’ve written way more than I planned to! But I killed an hour
of doing nothing at work!

October 2007

Happy Anniversary Honey!!

So I celebrated my 24th birthday on Monday. Sadly the day wasn’t that
eventful. In fact it was just like anyother Monday morning, boring with
nothing to do. That night two of my JET girlfriends threw me a
mini-dinner/party with just the 2 of us. It was nice.. having a big
party is fun and all but I like just being able to have an intimate
thing with people that I feel comfortable with. It was an ok birthday
all and all.. I’ve gotten to the point where birthdays suddenly aren’t
as fun 😦

My personality can irritate me sometimes. As in, I irritate myself. I
have some charactheristics which I know are positive but at the same
time so negative. One of the biggest benefits/flaws is that I absolutely
hate to dissapoint anyone or upset anyone. A lot of this has to do with
planning. And going out..

A lot of time people will ask me to do something and go out, and I’ll be
on the fence about it, but I’ll say yes just because I don’t want to
hurt the persons feelings, or I just flat out am too chicken to say no.
And then.. as the event approches I suddenly don’t want to go or etc.
etc… and then I try and get out of it and just end up looking worse.
Im trying to get to the point where I can say no to things, but the
pressure of being asked is so hard. Im a people pleaser by nature, which
is one of the reasons I think I try not to get too close to too many
people at once. The more that I like someone the more that I want them
to be happy as well like me. And the more I will go out of my way to do
stuff for them. And it can be exhausting, espicially as I get older.

When I was in junior high school this proved to be the point of many
fights.. My friends would have fights or say stupid things and I would
try to play both sides and get them to either make up or be friends
again. Lets just say meddling in those things didn’t help much and it
seems like I was the one who always ended up getting in the brunt of all
the anger. Needless to say I really don’t do that now.. but I really
hate having to choose a side or pick or something. I hate having to
dissapoint someone, espicially someone who I care about. Little things
like how I can arrange my weekends/time to accomodate everyone worry me
for hours..

I think that at first I appear very shy and reserved, but after I feel
comfortable I open up and am silly and bubbly and.. I hope fun to be
around. It seems like people usually get such a bad first impression
because they say I am so quiet.. but I think its just because it takes
me a while to access and procede with each persons personality type.
Once I feel comfortable I can talk for hours. I read somewhere that
means I’m introvereted.. I used to think I was an extrovert but now as
Im getting older little by little I think that I’m introverted… or
maybe just shy. Large crowds or groups or parties just overwhelm me.

Sometimes I just wish I could change, and some parts of my personality
have over there years, but this.. almost dog-like quality remains. It
can be so frustrating.. *sigh*

So.. this past 3 day weekend, (thanks sports festival day!) I went to
Tokyo to visit my lovely boyfriend Ryohei and also to celebrate the
coming of year number 24.. (that number just keeps getting higher.. o.o)

Anyways we spend the weekend typically enough. Lazy, lazy lazy..

Friday – Got in late at night from the bus. Ryohei met me at the station
and we rented Greys Anatomy Dvds from the local video store. When we got
home we SAID we were going to bed but we ended up watching a DVD. So I
was pretty exhausted.

Saturday – Woke up, cuddled, ordered pizza hut (we both love pizza hut
so we have to order it at least once while Im there.. it may be adding
to my little blubber problem I’ve been having lately, but its sooo yummy
I can’t help it.. once, twice a month.. >_<) finished off the dvds and
pretty much laid around the house all day talking etc. That night I was
begging to have yakiniku so we went out to this cheap shop we had been
to before only to find that it had closed 😦 So instead we had
monja/okonomiyai. Which was fine! On the way home we rented another
movie (Music and Lyrics w Drew Berymore and Hugh Grant) and watched
that. The movie was decent, I liked the 80s pop sound track.. may have
to find it somewhere! Anyways after that was sleep of the dead.

Sunday – Got up decently early with a pretty full day ahead of us.
Ryohei is obbsessed with Ramen and looked up some Ramen ranking online
so he dragged me off to eat it.. I ended up getting a miso one which was
really oily and made my tummy a little upset. Ryoheis tasted so good..
so.. yup next time I’m letting him pick mine. (I’m not a huge ramen fan
though.. but hey we make allowences for the people we love right!) So
after that Ryohei took me off to Yasukuni Jinja which honors all the war
heros, it was pretty interesting to see all the memorabilia and we
watched a bit of a documentary. Afterwards we went to the WW2 room and
Ryohei bawled as he read all the letters that dead soilders had written
to their families. I read a couple too and did feel kind of teary eyed,
espicially the dads writting to their young kids.. there was one that
really stuck me in the heart. Poor kids.. losing their parents like
that.. Anyways, moving on, we went to Shibuya and Ryohei bought my
birthday present! A ring! Its not necessarly my engangment ring, but it
might end up being it.. we are both pretty poor so its nothing great or
big, but he had our names and my birthday engraved on it and Im wearing
it on my ring finger. It comforts me to have a little piece of something
that he gave me at all times. While we were waiting for the engraving I
wanted to go and give blood to give something back to the world. lol But
since I had been in England between 1980 and 1996 (thanks dad) I am not
allowed to give blood to Japan. Oh well.. I still don’t know my blood
type, and I was hoping I could find out.. Anyways we got the ring, went
back, cuddled, and the sleep of the dead again.

Monday – Was once again pretty lazy.. to be honest I’ve already forgot
what we did.. oh wait! We went to go see a movie in Shinjuku. Shiawase
no Recipe with Catherine Zeta-Jones. It was cheesy but cute 🙂 After
that I was feeling grouchy and my tummy hurt again so we went home.
Ryohei made curry and we watched some TV specials. It was so nice, I love just spending the night with him at home alone.

Tuesday – It was time for both of us to get on with real life aka work..
So we got up at the normal time.. early early and he headed to work and me to the airport to go back. Its always so hard to say good bye on the train but having people around makes it easier not to cry.

Anyways this post is way late! But it really was a good weekend. I can’t wait to see him again for our anniversary at the end of the month.

So here I am at work… I can’t sign into blogger because of the
restrictions so I have the pleasure of mailing myself my entries and
posting them from home. Last weekend (3 day weekend) I went to Tokyo to
celebrate my birthday with Ryohei. As always seeing him makes me feel so
much more. Sadness feels more sad, happiness feels more happy, sleep
feels much more satisfying, food (usually) tastes more delicious. It
sounds like such a sappy and pathetic description but it really feels
true. When I’m here in Kobe by myself, life gets this dreary glaze to
it. Going home to an empty apartment, turning on the television and
while half-watching mindlessly web surfing and eating dinner really have
little satisfaction to me. Of course going out is fun, but it can also
be so tiring. Espicially on weeknights, I feel like an (almost) 24 year
old grandma for saying this, but I just want to be able to go home and
relax and not worry about anything.

Its funny, Pretty much everyone I know will be leaving in a few months,
it makes it so hard to really put a lot of effort into realtionships
with people I know I will probably see maybe only one or two more times
after they leave Japan. Compounding this is I got way over the party in
Japan after meeting Ryohei last year. A lot of the other foreigners
where I live are very much on the whole in Japan for a couple years so
lets party, make hook ups, and have a great time. Believe me.. I know
the feeling aka my study abroad 4 years ago. But now that pretty much
I’ve decided to stay here, at least for the foreseeable future, my
desire to go out and party with a bunch of other foreigners has
signifigantly decreased. Like others in a situation similar to mine
(getting married, starting a family), I want to put down roots and make
lasting realtionships that I won’t have to say goodbye to in less than a
year. When I go out with my friends that I made before I decided to get
married and stay here, I feel like there is an invisible wall in between
us. Like both parties feel that I’m not really one of the gang anymore.
In addition, because I have to financially support both Ryohei and
myself while he is in school next year, when I hear them talk about all
their trips and plans I feel a little jealous, but know because of my
choices that I can’t join them. I wish I was one of those people who was
truly ok with that, but at the same time I still feel lonely about not
really fitting in anymore. It feels like such a juvenile mindset, but it
is a little hard to see everyone moving on and finding their way back at
home while I contiune on, but at the same time I’m happy about my
choices and have no regrets about staying here. I guess, it just feels a
little harder to relate and without Ryohei here to reaffirm WHY I am
staying it is espicially hard to stay positive ALL the time.

I’m thinking about joining an association for women married to Japanese
men in Japan in hopes that its not just me feeling this isolation, and
that I can meet people who will be around for the next few years and
that if I do become close with, I won’t have to say good-bye so
soon.(Notice this trend.. I think that I’m not big on having to say
good-bye haha) I have a couple friends now who I think will be here for
a while and it is a great comfort to me. Espicially not having Ryohei
here now I feel like the extra support that I get is so important. To be
honest I’d love to have a deep and fulfilling friendship with a Japanese
woman here as well, but I haven’t had the opportunity to meet anyone
here who I feel like I’ve clicked with. I feel like maybe its beacue
most women my age are working or either married/child raising and I have
little opportunity to meet them in either situation. It was so much
easier as a study abroad student. I made several relationships that I
treasure still but as they are all in Tokyo its hard to keep as close as
we were 3,4 years ago. It seems like pretty much everything I want is in
Tokyo, but I don’t want to be there.

I really don’t think big city life is for me, espicially Tokyo big. I
like Kobe big, having lot of places to go, but not feeling as though I’m
packed in a sardine case. In the case that one day I live in the deep
dark inaka, I think that will be a challenge as well. I’m hoping that
eventually Ryohei and I end up in Niigata City as opposed to the
isolation of his relatively small hometown (watch as 2 years from now Im
eating my words).

Anyways I think the theme of todays post is isolation. I’ve just been
feeling it so much lately. I guess it doesn’t help that pretty much
everyone I feel close to lives so far away. Even my best friend here
lives about an hour and a half away in Southern Osaka. I guess that I’m
still used to life in Boston where within a 15 minute walk I had all of
my closest friends. I hope that eventually I have the opportunity to
meet more people in the area who will be here permanently. More
importantly.. I hope that once Ryohei comes here in 5 months that I
won’t feel so alone. I was planning to make this entry about my trip to
Tokyo to see him and since it was such a happy and positive experience I
don’t want to stick it in this gloomy post, so I guess I’ll make that a
seperate entry once I feel a little better.

Sorry to be all rant-y, but I guess thats what a blog is for..