Friday, November 18, 2005


A lot of living in another country is about driving to and from work every day, going to the grocery store, taking clothes to the dry cleaners and getting your car's oil changed. I had a glimpse of this before I left the U.S., at one point thinking -- so much of my day/life is taken up by the mundane, and I guess that's not going to change if I live in Japan.

It hasn't. It's not a complaint at all, but it is reality. I'm driving on the other side of the road to work, but I am driving to work. I'm passing up the squid crackers and going for the Asahi at the grocery store, but it is the grocery store. I have to guess when my clothes will be ready at the dry cleaners because we don't speak the same language, but it's not that difficult to point at a calendar instead of discussing it. And every car appointment costs triple what it used to, but it's still a car appointment.

It's weird in a way. But I think it's comforting, too. There are lines that I can draw from my old life to this one. It does provide a sense of continuity at times, especially when I feel slightly confused and without roots. Same stuff, different place.

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