Thursday, January 17
It has occurred to me that jumping into a new city, culture, and language is similar to becoming 1 year old again. You have to be taught everything. How to eat, how to use the bathroom, how to get around, what to say, what not to say, what to do, what not to do – everything! Someone shows you or tells you, once, perhaps when you’ve done it wrong or you don’t know how. Sometimes you remember, sometimes you have to ask again. But little by little, in baby steps, you start to be able to take care of yourself, without everyone’s help. If this analogy holds true, I took another tiny step today! I got myself home from work without getting lost or getting on the wrong train, or standing in one place looking like a hikachi (idiot). I went with a friend to work (Hicky), and did get lost trying to find my way to the changerooms. Takemori-san was away this morning, so at lunch time (my first lunch at work), three people I met yesterday came to get me. The showed me where the cafeteria was, and how to pick my food and get it. As usual, their English was just okay, and my Nihongo was terrible. But we had such a fun meal! We talked about the different foods in Japan and Canada. I told them about Canadian sushi and they asked questions about different pasta noodles and a dish that I don’t think we have. There was lots of laughing and giggling (some Japanese men like to giggle - it’s the cutest thing, ever!) and smiling and shrugs. After work, I got myself home and stopped by the Supermarket. I didn’t really feel like it, again, but when I got there, I was glad I did. It was like finding a little slice of heaven down the road and around the corner. There was fruit, vegetables, bread, butter, cheese, sliced meat! I haven’t had any fruit since I got here, no vegetables that haven’t been deep fried or cooked with many other things, or bread and butter, etc. I bought bread to make toast for breakfast (I wish it was breakfast, already), tomatoes for my toast, and – apples! I think the apples excited me the most. I didn’t realize how much I missed fruit. It’s funny how much we take for granted. I’m going to have to make myself a grocery budget so I don’t buy the store out of fruit and raw vegetables. I floated home and managed to get my supper (another baby step) by myself. I’ve also discovered that I’m not too bad at eating with chopsticks, and improving, fast! Now here I am – revived. There were a couple times today when I wanted to scream “I want to go home!”, but between my encouraging baby steps and the Supermarket, I’m almost ready to tackle another day in Nihon. But it’s only 8pm, so I think I’m going to go attempt my first Japanese-style bath. Wish me luck!