Thursday, November 23, 2006

Canada - into the unknown....

So I keep thinking about how weird its going to be going back 'home' for a holiday. I have tried to assimilate into the Japanese world and feel quite comfortable here now. Sometimes I feel as though I am living in a bit of a bubble - a gaijin girl surrounded by asian people, a language that I only sort of understand, strange customs, a culture that I am beginning to understand but know that I must reach much farther into the barrel to TRULY understand. At the same time, the bubble sort of protects me here. A simple 'wakaranai' (I don't understand) can fix most situations (even if you didn't know you were in one). I bow when talking on the phone, mumble the correct phrases when bumping into someone and enjoy the level of politeness here - even if it is on a surface scale only. Its amazing how smooth life can go if one even pretends to be OK with something. As a foreigner I am given alot of leeway to interpret the rules as well as obviously I cannot possibly understand the complexity of many situations. I like my apartment (cold though it may be), and my job here is good. I am a little afraid that when I go back to Canada, it will not be the fantastic dream that I remember and spouted off about to my students. 'Canada is a wonderful place! Beautiful and the people are so nice...etc' . I hear the stories from my shell-shocked friends that have visited their families and returned disheartened at how rude and noisy everyone was. I am sure that I will go through a reverse culture shock no matter how much fun I am having with my friends and family. Well, off I will go, into the known and the unknown, to explore a world that I thought I knew, but may discover that I really didn't.

8 comments:

Lakeic said...

Oh you'll definitely go through reverse culture shock but you're trip back to Canada won't be long ^^ So you'll be back in Japan before you know it.....and of course I will be jealous.

I can't wait till you guys come back. I have sooo many questions to ask you, especially as a gaijin and your experiences :) I've learned so much about japanese culture! Although I haven't been practicing japanese :S I shall do that before you both get back ^^

Charles said...

It is true you can never go home again in the sense that the way we remember our home town, home country is always in an idealized form. We tend to leave out the negatives and remember the positives. Not to say that you won't have a good time, but the expereince you have will not be like what you think it will be. It may be better or it may be worse, but it will definitely be different from what you think it will be. Even though I still live in Canada, I did move 1000s of kms away from where I grew up, and I find it bitter-sweet to go back. Have a safe flight and a fun time.

Ookami Machiavelli said...

um, when are you guys coming?? And when can I drive up to visit? I probably can only do it on the weekend. E-mail me!!

karaoke queen said...

I arrive in Vancouver on the morning of the 12th. Then we have to head in to the Okanagan the next day or perhaps the evening of the 12th after visiting everyone. Uhmm, I have to check with T and T and see if they are driving us, or if we are taking the bus. Because that determines when we leave. The fam is a good 5-8 hours away (car-bus) so we can't spend alot of time in Van. We have to leave Vancouver on the 21st around noon to head back to Osaka.

karaoke queen said...

If you could get a long weekend, you could head back with us for a few days to the Okanagan :) It would be fun to have a few friends to party it up with! Thats what T and T are going to try to do.

Ryan said...

Well, it will certainly be a bit of a shock when you get back...but the jet lag was worse than anything else for me anyways.

It was odd that I didnt have any going there but coming back I was dead for almost a week.

karaoke queen said...

The time change may throw us for a loop. Coming here isn't so bad I think, because you just make yourself stay awake, then crash. Do it a few times and you adjust very quickly. However going back, it will be the opposite problem....trying to go to sleep early...which I am not so good at in the first place :(

How did you deal with it?

Ryan said...

Well I didnt really. You could try to get some stuff called "No Jet Lag" sent over. Its an herbal thing and could be found in one of those health stores.

Mostly I just ended up going to bed at 2pm after only being awake for 4 hours. I think I was hit pretty hard tho. Seriously, it took me at least a week or two before I could function on regular hours again.

My advice? Pray to the jet lag gods.