I’m still having trouble adjusting psychologically to the fact that I am in Japan. I walk around staring with big eyes at everything and think to myself, “Am I really in Japan?” Because the trip sped by so fast my brain thinks I am only a few hours away from New Jersey. But I really am halfway across the world. I am overwhelmed with this sense of how small the world seems. When I went downtown the other day and saw all the fancy buildings, felt people rushing by me, heard the sounds of the subway, and saw the girls dressed so strangely it really hit me that I am in a foreign country. Sometimes forget that I am…just sometimes. Perhaps it is because I live in such a small , quiet, little suburban town here in Japan that doesn’t feel all that “foreign” or strange.
Right now I really miss Sendai where I used to live. To be honest, Sendai feels a lot more like home than Nagoya. I lived there from 2001-2003. Sendai is about 10 hours from Nagoya by bus or car, and it is located in the northern part of Japan. It is sooooooo different from Nagoya. Sendai is full of natural beauty such as mountains, trees, lakes, and parks. I also had a car there so I had the freedom to explore and take lots of little trips to nearby places. I had a lot more Japanese friends there to hang out with and see on the weekends. I have a few Japanese friends here but not so many. I was teaching a lot of English classes in Sendai so I had a lot more connections with my students and their families. I went to Japanese people’s homes all the time and had tons and tons of opportunities to speak Japanese. Not many people there speak English so I was forced to speak Japanese all the time; many people in Nagoya speak English which is a shock to me. If I ever were to live in Japan again I would live in Sendai, hands-down. The area is much more provincial than Nagoya and the people are extremely generous – amazingly kind, giving, and thoughtful. Nagoya people are nice, too, of course but since this is a big city there is a totally different feel. How funny to feel homesick for another part of Japan. I would love to go there in April if possible to see the cherry blossoms bloom! Oh, I miss Sendai soooo much! I need to run now. It’s time to start my day. I will post photos on here soon, I promise!