Once Upon a Tanbo

Sort of down again

Posted on: November 13, 2008

Once again my creativity has been stripped and the days of boring and hum drum posting resumes. It marvels me just how boring my life has become. Despite being completely and utterly exhasusted the last few days due to work, at least it was something to do – although it wouldn’t make really exciting reading material.

Besides that its the same old – work, eat, sleep. Weekends are better because at least I can see people then. Most of my weekends to come are filled with exciting plans with friends.

Its all very bitter sweet though, when I think about moving now I get so sad. Even about 6 months ago I hardly had any friends in the area, so the prospect of moving seemed pretty good to me, a fresh start etc… now I’ve met so many people in the last half year that the thought of leaving and maybe only being able to return once, maybe twice a year is so sad.

I’ve made my peace with going to Niigata (at least for the next 2-3 years and then we will see) and most of the things that I need can be found within Nagaoka City… I just get so jealous reading about people going to English/Billingual playgoups and having foreign wive lunches etc in the area knowing all the while for me to join in any of those activities it will take at least 2-3 hour train trips and 2000 or so yen. I guess I’m really going to have to have some kind of income coming in just so I can keep myself social (aka sane)

I don’t hate Japan, and I don’t mind all the “foreigness” that it takes to live here… as long as I don’t feel like I’m the only blue fish in a sea of red ones.

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14 Responses to "Sort of down again"

As someone who perversely enjoys my blue periods (even while feeling utterly despondent!) I want to say wallow, wallow, wallow and eat lots of chocolate and simple carbohydrates! But there’S an extra 2kg of me hanging around as proof that that doesn’t relly work. ;P

As for playgroups and stuff, don’t give up hope. Yesterday I took the girl to English playgroup. Yes, it was a 30 min drive away but really, work is a 40 min drive away, shopping 25, nearest AFWJer 30, you get used to the different lifestyle. And the playgroup is run by missionaries and I’m the only foreign mum but you know, it’s still English and it’s still hanging out and talking to people for a morning.

While we tend to be buried into our communities and not stick out as much there are foreigners (and foreign minded people IYKWIM) even out here in the sticks. More likely to be working in the local biscuit factory than in international finance but the upside is we tend to be here for good so no finding your soul mate only to have them jump on a plane 3 months later!

Take care and take it from me- wallow in moderation! πŸ˜›

TheFukases – Thanks. Your post is so cheerful it makes me feel a bit better. I think I am wallowly today, maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

Everyone always says just wait until you go because you have no idea what its like until then…. but its still so far away thats its just like those huge cloud of doom to me wandering on the horizen. If I had to say, move tommorrow, maybe I wouldn’t be as forlorn… I’d just have to suck it up. But the slow and steady ripping off of the city life bandaid is painful and sucks.

Granted it sounds like I’ll be quite a bit more urban than your situation… maybe if I learned how to drive I would feel better but due to various situations thats probably going to have to be put off for at least the next 2 years or so…

Hi, I am a friend of “Gaijin Wife” and have been following your blog and others silently for a while now. I completely agree with “The Fukases” – I live in the middle of a rice field in the middle of nowhere, yet there are so many international couples living less than a 30 minute drive away in all directions. Although I don’t actively seek them out I keep meeting more and more and our gatherings keep increasing. It is wonderful for the kids to mix with so many different nationalities – something that wouldn’t happen in my home country. There are many wonderful people out there it just sometimes takes time to find them and work out how they can fit best into your lifestyle.
The area you live in is what you make it – not what other people make for you so I’m sure if you are positive about your move you will have a great time and quickly meet new people. The countryside in Japan is a great place to live!

Wallow away for a little while. We all have our moments!

I think I`ve mentioned my 3-year stint on a teeny island down in Kagoshima prefecture, no? Well, I learned so much when I was there (about myself, the kids, my hubs and us as a family) that it was worth the relative isolation and lonliness. I know that isn`t a very uplifting sort of thing to say but it is true.

Here`s hoping you have many fun and interesting neighbors!

Before I moved to Japan I prepared myself to be totally alone (except for my husband and kids, of course!). After we moved I searched out other foreign women and was totally disappointed. Then I relaxed and took life as it came and I’ve made a ton of awesome Japanese friends. I use my blog for the occasional vent and I save my money to be able to go home every year or so.

My advice: Prepare yourself for the worst because then the good stuff that happens will be overwhelmingly appreciated!

I know that moving to Niigata isn’t exactly what you want at the moment, and leaving all your friends behind is really scary, I know! The thought of losing contact with A san (that I have only met once) kind of terrifies me. Knowing that I have friends in the area really helps me get through those ‘blue’ days…

Don’t forget that I am just a train ride away – I will come and visit you as much as possible. Possibly so much that you will get sick of seeing me, lol!!

If you want to chat, just skype me!

It is kind of funny, I’m in this massive city, one of the biggest in the world, and I still feel isolated. I mean, the place is crawling with foreigners, but they’re not *my* friends. Moving sucks, and I feel like it sucks more the older you get because making new friends and new connections is not as easy as it once was. No matter where you go, it is going to be hard to leave people behind, and making new connections will be a challenge, so I would not get so set on the fact that it will be harder in Niigata, but just allow yourself to grieve about moving in general. I didn’t really realize how set into my lifestyle I was until I was faced with the prospect of leaving it, and then it sort of hit me how much I would miss everyone and everything about that place. So I think it is natural to be conflicted, it is a big change, no matter what. I cried and cried in the cab on the way to the airport coming to Beijing. Moving is just crappy, and I hope it goes smoothly for you guys.

It is good you are in Japan, I think. It seems that Japan is loaded with foreign wives and mothers and I am envious of that! I don’t actually personally know another foreign wife in all of China. You have associations and playgroups and message boards … seriously, I’m jealous! πŸ™‚

Jo Tomooka – Thanks for your comment! Its always nice to find out people are reading me πŸ™‚ Wow – thats great that you have so much access to other couples without even looking for them. I must admit I went on a crazy search of people living around me and sadly most of them seem to not be on the internet – or not in exsistance! I do agree that the international people you meet here are such a great blend. Despite growing up in the melting pot of America I have met more “different nationality” people in Japan than ever before.

Tigermama – Ohh a three year stint in Kagoshima? I’m not sure if I had heard of that. Gosh at least we aren’t going to an island (lol) I think that would be the last nail in my coffin! I am jealous of you thought because you seem to get to move around quite a bit! Maybe once you have kids its differnet but I’ve always enjoyed moving around and living in new places!

Sarah@MIJ – Hahaha its quite easy for me to prepare for the worse. I’m just hoping I’m proven wrong and then everyone can say “I told you so” However being in the Kansai area now, it must be easy for you to find foreign friends now if you would want them. I have a lot of trouble “connecting” with Japanese women unless they are “returners” or have lived abroad as students for a while. I do have a few but I just get so sick of hearing and speaking Japanese all the time, esp. once kids come along I don’t really want to be speaking to much Japanese in front of them either. Its very easy for me to fall into that pattern, every time I try speaking English with R we fall back into Japanese within about 5 mins. (sigh)

Nay – Yah of course I want to see you as much as possible!! Its just very frustrating to have friends who live about 30 mins to and hour by train that costs me less than 500 yen a pop and then have to move to a place where not only is transporation slow (no fast trains) but expensive (only JR so no competition) I’ve been so happy just to survive on public transportation for now, and the fact that learning to drive and getting your license for Americans is like pulling teeth here…

Its so frustrating 😦 Oh well… trying to stay postive… trying!!!

Jess – It must be like a whole different world for you!! Is there really nothing for bilingual families in China? Wow – I don’t know how I would feel if I had absolutely no foriegn wife friends. Like I said in an earlier comment I actually like moving – this is the first time I am not looking forward to it. I think that theres a lot of me that just feels this is “it” since Ryoheis job is basically “until retirement” this is the last stop on the Sarah Express… and thats a lot of stop for me. That and the stop happens to be in the middle of a rice paddy… Hopefully I’ll be too busy to notice… hopefully!

I live about 2 and a half hours north of Niigata city, and I love Niigata. It’s a really nice city, has at least two good bookshops (or did last time I was there), tons of great shops and lots of foreigners.

I realize you aren’t moving there for the shopping, but I think you’ll find that it is a nice place.

You have easy access to Sado Island if you need a quick (but expensive) getaway, you have the shinkansen and an airport all right there.

Where in Niigata-ken will you be moving to?

I live about 2 and a half hours north of Niigata city, and I love Niigata. It’s a really nice city, has at least two good bookshops (or did last time I was there), tons of great shops and lots of foreigners.

I realize you aren’t moving there for the shopping, but I think you’ll find that it is a nice place.

You have easy access to Sado Island if you need a quick (but expensive) getaway, you have the shinkansen and an airport all right there.

Where in Niigata-ken will you be moving to?

I think we all have our down times- and like the fukases said- wallow wallow wallow! And then when you are all wallowed out things pick up…

Honestly, there are so many more foreigners and foreign couples around than there used to be- I think you should start your own playgroup and you will meet a great mix of people both foreign and Japanese…

Plus Nay & I will be visiting you in Niigata alot!

Wallow away!

It’s not so bad though. My two close friends moved away this year and although I miss them, I don’t feel lonely. Having a career helps, I think. When on maternity leave doing translation from home I did feel lonely though.
You never know what kind of people you will meet. I don’t have any English-speaking friends near me, but I have a close friend who owns her own craft shop and she is great. I’ve had a hard time breaking into the housewives circle. Working Japanese moms are also vilified by the housewife set though, so if you can find some working wives you are golden!

Besides, when we do go all the way to meet up with friends in other cities it means more! I had the best visit with two other foreign moms this week.

Ganbare Sara!

Helen – I’ll be in Nagaoka for the first little while. I’ve been to Niigata for a couple Obons and New Years now and I don’t hate it… I’ve just never lived in a place that has less than a million people so its quite a shock for me! Glad to hear that you love it!

Lulu – I hope you’ll be coming up! I know that one of my main reasons for trying to find a job is to save up $$ for travels!

Medea – It must have been really hard having your friends move away. I’m trying to stay positive although sometimes it doesn’t help. I do think that I will end up working but for the next while thats probably going to be not so possible.

I guess its just going there that I need to get used to… thanks for your support though, its really important to hear other people thriving in similar circumstances.

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