Thursday, October 22, 2009

Old Photos

Everyone asks me, "Why you come to Japan?" Leave me alone, I have no answer for this.

My first trip abroad was to the Czech Republic. I was 17. I lost my virginity, got drunk, fell in love, looked out over Prague and knew I'd be in foreign cities for the rest of my life.

I agreed to go to college first, a decisions I'm still not sure about. The main reason I did it was so I could have a degree, which I knew would make it easier for me to get jobs overseas. I started studying Japanese randomly, and in 2005 I did a homestay in Japan.

When I got back home I made some Japanese friends. I volunteered as a tutor and conversation partner for Japanese students at my university. My friend Miu invited me to stay at her apartment in Tokyo the next summer. If my mother had known what I could see from the window of that room in Shimo-Ochiai, she'd have just said goodbye.

All of these photos were taken from that room. I was like Heidi in the Alps when she couldn't sleep because she kept opening her eyes to look at the stars. I fell in love with Tokyo. I'm still in love with Tokyo. I don't know why. What do other people say?


selena said...

I don't like this question too. But I take the easy way out and just say it's because I have family here. Or I say, dude, I'm half. Because then people feel bad for questioning my right to be here. But they should feel bad anyway. Without me having to make them. Also, do you like bread or rice?

Beth said...

hahaha! the best part of bread or rice is how "both?" is obviously not an acceptable answer.

of all the things i hear repeatedly in japan, i am maybe most unreasonably exasperated by "i think japanese is very difficult. because! we have THREE WRITINGS: KATAKANA, HIRAGANA, AND KANJI." i just don't think this makes very much sense. katakana/hiragana are not at all overwhelming for everyone. just say kanji is hard if you want but like, THREE TYPES OF CHARACTERS is not that big of a deal per se. but also why does everyone make this comment almost exactly the same way every time? is it taught in high school textbooks? i think i'm being nitpicky though. the real reason it annoys me is probably because it's usually the symptom of an extremely boring conversation.

Jen B said...

Also amused by the "Japanese is difficult" comment (although admittedly struggling a bit at the moment).

I don't mind the question but I never answer the truth because it would take too long. I just say I was bored and needed a change. It kills the conversation every time.

I love Tokyo too. Not sure why, always dreamt of living in a metropolis and I love the look and feel of the city.

Also, I love bread much more than rice :-D

Beth said...

always dreamt of living in a metropolis and I love the look and feel of the city.

this is exactly my reason, i don't get why it puzzles anyone. "what about the look and feel?" DUDE I DON'T KNOW

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

RE: bread or rice, I like seeing the reactions I get when I tell Japanese people how much I long for rice when I am overseas, they get this look on their faces like, OH maybe you're not such a bread-munching freak after all.

Love the pictures, they reminded me of the view I would see from the Chuo line and from the top of my dormitory roof in Koenji...back in the days when I was less jaded and more content to sit on the roof and just stare out at it all

Beth said...

green-eyed geisha -- i feel like a geek for being stoked to get comments from you, but i love your blog so much!

i hope i'm never too jaded to sigh at the skyline but honestly, as much as i adore tokyo, i sort of feel like every day i understand a tiny bit more how so many people end up worn out by it. i'd talk about that more often if my snark were as eloquent as SOME PEOPLE'S

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

You give me too much credit. I live for big cities so it's not Tokyo itself that tires me out...just everything else that goes along with it. I walk around at night a lot, which I love, it's so anonymous.