28 days…and sorry about the delay.

28 days and I’m back in the USA! I’ll be returning to NYC on Dec. 19th and I’m simultaneously excited and nostalgic, even though I haven’t left yet. If anyone has any ideas for what I should do when I return, I’m all ears..er…eyes.

My bike has been officially stolen, so I bought a new one last weekend. I’ll sell it, and my VCR (and all the tapes), to the new teacher when she gets here.

As to the “gaijin” phenomenon, I know I’m hesitant to approach someone else because, honestly, I assume the worst about the person until proven otherwise. My first thought is, “Why are they here? Something must be wrong with them to be here.” I find, in general, the people I’ve met here are either really interesting/eccentric and I want to hang out with them or pretty strange and I don’t want to talk to them. I’m not sure where I fall in the mix, but I’m lucky that the people I work with all fall under the “interesting” category.

This weekend, Ben and Jon Lackman are coming to visit because I’m turning 30! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Okay, more pix from Paul and Deb’s visit:


6 Responses to “28 days…and sorry about the delay.”

  1. Fusao says:

    Hi Marc,

    Here is the telephone number for that ryokan in central Kyoto: Kitanoya 075 771-1488


  2. Aunt Dahlia says:

    yup. Time to finish kissing those twenties Gbye. Btw, how many of us r meeting u at the airport? Will be back to comment again when u r over the hump.Love u :)

  3. Aunt Dahlia says:

    (one has to yell when we r at such a distance)
    Hope u r celebrating…+ having a wonderful time:)

  4. Drew Robbins says:

    I’ve been following your blog for a couple months. I travel to Japan about once a year – following your blog has been a good connection back to Japan. Is your trip back to the US a vacation or are you moving back?

    As for the “gaijin” phenomenon, I have a similar attitude – however, I’d have to say it has to do with our own self-perception more than any stereotype that might hold true about foreigners.

    I remember escaping to an onsen in Hokkaido earlier this year. At the time, I really needed to get away from any reminders of back home, which would result in thinking about work and stress, etc. I was doing good until my wife started giggling and pointed out one other foreigner (probably the only other one in the whole town) having breakfast a few feet from us. Oh well – he was probably equally as dissapointed. :)

  5. Haniko says:

    hey I just found your blog and have been reading through it. did you ever put the fan dance up? I am doing a school project and need a japanese fan dance movie. I think it’s awesome that you’ve gotten to be there. I would love to. But then again, that would cost money, something that eludes me for a moment.
    Kimi o honto ni, baka doyu boku wa?
    I think I got that right. Dir En Grey is awesome.

  6. peterv says:

    Hi Marc,
    Stumbled across your blog today. I went to osaka in 1989 and stayed for almost 4 years. I also lived in Osaka and taught at a large school.
    Reading your chronicle of almost one year brought back a lot of memories. It’s interesting how similar it is for most of us. The combination of bewilderment and intrigue. The “partying until first train”, toilet flushing, strange english signage and of course the gaijin who are often the strangest of all.
    Looks like you’re leaving so you’ll probably be departing while things are still new to you. It took me about 2 years and then suddenly nothing seemed that new to me anymore. In fact, it was more predictable than being in the States. The only interesting question was how did it get that way?

    I ended up traveling around asia for 8 months after i left so most of my 3rd and 4th year were spent saving up to travel and have money to acclimate back to the States. But by the 3rd year, the rose colored glasses had warn off and the negative aspects of Japan became more difficult to deal with. However once i got to the States, suddenly I loved japan and couldn’t get enough okonomiyaki.

    One funny story, before I went to Japan, I read this book about teaching in Japan. It totally sold me on going there. When i came back 4 years later, i saw a new edition of the book but now it had a warning section at the back. The section said something to the effect that going to Japan is a great personal experience but you will not return with any directly marketable skills and you should prepare yourself for a rough re-entry. As you’ve only been there a year, it won’t be too tough for you. But I wish I’d read that before. It took me two years to get completely readjusted.

    Overall it was a great experience that I wouldn’t change for anything. Reading your blog sparked some old memories. Thanks for writing it.