My Love Affair with Japan

My Love Affair with Japan
xiaoxiong Sep 22, 2013 21:20

I remember the first time I stepped foot in Japan. I was mesmerized by all the neon lights, the different styles of clothes that people were wearing, and just how different life seemed to be in the world's largest city compared to my countryside villlage that no one had ever heard of. 

Living in Japan really transformed me, and in that brief year, I lost 100 pounds (45kg), had the biggest heartbreak of my life, discovered a new spiritual side of me, and truly went through a self-renaissance that I have never felt before or since. 
Yes, this period time was very magical for me, but finding a good paying job in Nihon, proved somewhat difficult. Because of this, I concentrated on finding a job in China, and soon after, I was offered a job in Beijing at a large training school.
I went through massive culture shock in China, life seemed so much different than in Japan. Despite them being neighbors and sharing many cultural ties, when it came to living as a foreigner in these countries, it was very much a question of Yin and Yang. People spitting in the streets, lacking the ability to line up properly, the noisy streets, stinky bathrooms, and  the sometimes arbitrary and out of the blue decisions by government departments were enough to make this hillbilly a little overwhelmed. 
Despite these negative feelings and a feeling that maybe I made the wrong decision, I decided to take up Chinese, start dating, and   try to make the best of my "year" in the red dragon.  I never lost connection with my first overseas home, and when the 2011 earthquake struck, I truly felt as if a piece of my heart had been torn out of my chest. 
Because of these strong feelings for Japan, I am always excited to travel to The Land of the Rising Sun, and a few weeks ago, I embarked on a two week trip to Osaka, Kyoto, Yokohama, and Tokyo. I imagined the land which I left, filled with convenience, polite residents, and a peaceful vacation. 
What I came to experience was a little different than what I had imagined. Life seemed a little different to me, and I had no idea how much accustomed I had become to the Chinese language and general way of life. I could only read the signs using the Chinese pronunciation, and I generally felt alone, traveling without my Chinese fiancé. 
I did have a good time in Japan, but one thing I did realize,was how happy I have become living in the Middle Kingdom. I have found that living in China,I am able to save a great deal of money, speak a language that is easier ( for me) to learn, and immerse myself in a culture that has many facets.  I have also found that- for me- the Chinese people that  I met are a little bit more personable and easier to befriend. All in all, I found that I am in a better place in my life, and I have living in China to thank for that.
I am in no way saying that China is better than Japan, or that Japanese people are terrible. I am just saying that I am grateful for the experiences, friends, and quality of life that living in China has brought me. I will continue my love,affair with Japan,but  I think I will stay married to China for a bit longer.
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Tags:Language & Culture Expat Tales Lifestyle

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