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Thinking...

So, I was reading my JET handbook the other day, and it had warnings about reverse-culture shock in it. Since I spent the better part of the first 2 weeks here curled up on the floor wondering what kind of insanity led me to embark on such a ridiculous journey, I figure that my reverse culture-shock might be pretty severe, too.
One of the things that the all-knowing CLAIRsters recommended to do was to write down everything/anything that I will miss about Japan, what I expect will have changed at home, and what I'm looking forward to. So... here I go. I don't think this is any particular order, just what pops into my head.

Things I will miss about Japan
1. Food (this one isn't so bad, since I'm pretty sure I can get most of this stuff at an Asian food market!)
a. Natto
b. Ume, including umeboshi and ume flavored things
c. The combination of corn and mayonaise
d. Sansai
e. Takenoko
f. Onigiri
g. Seaweed of all sorts, but especially kombu
h. Tamago-yaki
i. Tsukemono
j. Mochi
k. Kinako
l. Anko
m. Pocky
n. Various flavors of Kit-Kats
o. Hi-Chu
p. Chu-hai
q. Soba
r. Nori
s. GOOD green tea
t. Mugicha
u. Kaitenzushi
v. Japanese style curry
w. Senbei
x. Exotic ice cream flavors (an, macha, kurogoma)
y. Mikan
z. Nashi
aa. Kaki
bb. Those clear noodle things
cc. Kabocha
2. Eating with chopsticks, especially things like salad
3. Ridiculously nice store-persons
4. People I've made friends with
5. The incredible diversity and size of the insects here
6. Walking everywhere
7. Sidewalks everywhere
8. Endearingly bad drivers
9. My students
10. So much free time
11. Learning 235234 new things a day
12. The school bell jingles
13. JUSCO and related tunes
14. 100 and 500 yen coins
15. Narrow, winding streets
16. How much people care about their flowers
17. J-pop
18. Expressions like "goro-goro suru" and "shippai shita!"
19. Emphasis particles, yo!
20. AWESOME snowboarding
21. Mountains everywhere
22. Cute things

Things I will NOT miss about Japan
1. Food
a. Tiny bits of meat in EVERYTHING
b. Tiny dead fish in EVERYTHING
c. Squid
d. Abalone
e. Konnyaku
2. People smoking EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME
3. My stupid neighbors
4. Mopeds
5. The vicious, super itchy mosquitoes
6. Drunkeness to absurd levels
7. How hard everyone works
8. The fantastically crappy weather
9. No insulation
10. The stink of kerosene on everything during winter
11. The numerous, mysterious stinks
12. Dangerously stupid drivers
13. Being bored out of my skull at work
14. Being asked the same stupid questions all the time
15. Being confused / frustrated way too often
16. Intense, noisy oral hygiene
17. JUSCO and related tunes
18. 1, 5, and 10 en coins
19. Garbage truck jingles, turning warnings on large vehicles
20. Political loudspeaker-clad vans
21. That kyuushoku smell
22. Female advertisement / announcement voices
23. Sexism
24. Racism
25. Head-in-the-sandism

Things I am looking forward to in Aus/the US
1. Food
a. Peanutbutter
b. Oats
c. Vegetables that don't cost an arm and a leg
d. Fruits that don't cost both arms and both legs
e. Crumpets
f. Tim Tams
g. Natural Confectionary :)
h. A variety of breakfast cereals!!
i. Granola
j. PIE!
k. Raspberries
j. Blackberries
k. Kale
l. Ricotta
m. A variety of cheeses
n. Beer that doesn't suck
o. The delicious water at my house
p. Falafel
q. Whole grain foods
r. Tomato-based dishes
s. Italian food
t. Mexican food!!
u. Greek food!
v. Indian food!
2. Understanding what is going on nearly all the time
3. Seeing family and friends
4. Critters
5. Plants
6. Beach
a. surfing
b. dunes
c. non-trash heap beaches
7. Endearing patriotism
8. People who care about the big picture
9. Environmental awareness
10. Clothes that FIT!
11. Multiculturalism
12. Swimming lots!
13. Sunflower Cafe
14. Familiarity
15. The Appalachians
16. Salamanders
17. So many choices in the grocery store... all of which I can understand!
18. Being able to be sure I'm not eating any fish or meat products
19. The Discovery Channel and the Food Network

Things I'm NOT looking forward to in the US / Aus
1. Having to drive everywhere
2. Worrying about a job
3. Not being able to relate with people that haven't ever left the county/state/country
4. Not feeling so safe
5. Scary politiking / willful ignorance
6. Environmental ignorance
7. Rush Limbaugh

Things I'll have to get used to again...
1. People being direct
2. The lower standard for service people
3. Not thinking super hard about everything
4. The lack of public transport
5. Not being the only white girl in the room
6. Pets
7. Having to earn compliments

This list is by no means exhaustive, but I think it's a good start. Maybe I'll add to it later.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
bit_bit
Jun. 5th, 2009 01:29 pm (UTC)
Sunflower! I haven't been there in ages, but it was where my husband and I had our first date.

And yeah, a lot of the foods on your list are available at the Asian markets here.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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