However, I was trying to enjoy all the moments I could with my girlfriend. And when I wasn't doing that I was busy studying the Japanese language, which you can guess, is not that easy for native English speakers.
So, again, I apologize.
However, I do want to keep you updated on some of the things I have done in the past to make up for it.
I kept a memo on my cell phone, where I would write and list off things that I observed and wanted to write about Japanese life.
This is my attempt to write about those notes now:
One of the first feelings I noticed in Japan (but I don't feel so much now) is that you are walking around on eggshells.
For the most part, it seems like many Japanese people are too, because they value so much keeping the harmony and being polite.
So no one wants to say something that might upset someone, or behave in a way that will upset someone.
As a foreigner, and an outsider, if you truly care about being polite and conforming to Japanese culture's values, and also not making a bad impression of your culture, then you too will feel this "walking around on egg shells" feeling.
I remember, because I was new to Japan and did not know the customs and what was polite or not, I always was caring not to be rude. And I always felt like I was walking around on eggshells, for the most part.
Now, that I have been here for awhile, and feel more comfortable, I don't have that feeling. But I think it still is there, just a little bit.
If you want to come to do what I did, live in Japan, and study the language I think there are some things you must realize as truths:
- You will feel like a fool sometimes. You will make a fool of yourself at other times.
- You will make mistakes. Just deal with it.
- Do not be afraid to make mistakes.
- Do not be afraid to ask for help.
- People will stare at you sometimes.
- You will get lost.
- You will miss many trains.
- You will get frustrated from the transportation.
- There will be times where you will just pray for people to stop coming, and for some peace and quiet alone, but it will not happen. This is why I suggest taking some time to visit the countryside every once in awhile (in order to feel open, spacious land and nature, as well).
- There will be one time where you will be mad at Japan for it being the way it is. But this is pointless. It's not Japan's fault. And you must realize it, and accept it for the way it is.
There's probably more, but I think these are the things that nobody tells you.
You will be a fool sometimes, you will make mistakes, and you will get frustrated....sometimes.
For the most part, if you are like me, and if you allow yourself to be completely fascinated by all the new experiences around you you will constantly be surprised and fascinated by Japan.