Sunday, March 30, 2008

Phase Three: Acceptance

I've been here a little over six months, so I think I'm right on schedule. First, there was the "euphoric phase," where everything in Japan was new and exciting and I was impressed with myself for taking the train.

Then there was a slump, or "disenchanted phase." This could have easily been confused with my general outlook on life, dim, depressing, annoying, not worth the time... but if we subscribe to the phase theory (which we do even though Ive never read about it, only heard about it from a girl at a party in Montreal), most of my unhappiness was with Japan and it was to be expected.

I think I probably got jipped out of a few weeks of "euphoria" after my company went bankrupt and every night was a drunken bitchfest followed by days of hungover boredom. With no money.

It could be a temporary manic state, but if it's not, I think Ive plateaued into a stage of loving and hating Japan simultaneously. Im used to it. A lot of it still sucks, but Im over not having tacos or cheap produce. There are a lot of good things about my situation here. I have my own apartment, I dont drive, I go out a lot, my job is easy and entertaining, I have peach popsicles with gooey insides...

The society is wicked bizarre and interesting, too. It's so unlike anything Im used to. Although Im not in the group, watching the way the society works as a whole being is amazing. Accepting yourself as forever an outsider is key.

I think what helped get me to look at the bright side with no regard to my poor retinas was the offer I had to go back home. It was like a "get out of jail free" card. I could have left here, no questions asked, to start a new life in America doing something I would have probably really enjoyed. But I stayed here and I dont regret it.

Thursday I had another Japanese lesson. I learned how to say "This is my book."

Who's blog is this?
Kono blog wa dare no desu ka?

This is my blog.
Kore wa watashi no blog desu.

And check out that photo of my homework. I can read and circle the answer!

Off the subject (I dont feel like starting a new blog post), last week Lauren sent me all my Simpsons DVDs. I watched the episode where Homer quits drinking beer for a month and thought to myself hmm, if Homer can do it... I think it's a Japan thing, but I feel there is always an occasion to go out drinking. And with me, there's always an occasion to stay home and drink, too. And drinking usually involves nomihodai [のみほだい] and after hours trips to the yatai. Too much.

Maybe it's just the hangover talking, but Im afraid I may marry some random Japanese dude one night. Last night I came very close. In Japan, I have the perfect pick-up line, "O-namae wa?" [おなまえは] or What's your name? That would never fly back home. I'd also like to quit drinking for a month to see the kind of results Homer got. He saved money, got in shape, and was less depressed.

And I wanna blog and bitch about it.

So it's settled. I'll quit drinking for a month April 1st! While Liz is here (a true test of strength). I can be that guy, you know, that guy. The guy who sits at a bar drinking Giner Ale and claiming he's having a good time. I'm so him.


Jazzophile said...

I'm so impressed that you can read the question, let alone circle the right answer!!!!

Afreud of Myself said...

You're going to quit while your friend is there!?!

If she's a non-alc, fine. But otherwise, isn't the point of friends that you go to a bar and drink stuff with them and maybe get completely off your head and have a semi-lesbic experience which you film and post on youtube.

When you do, please send me the url, btw.

Jeannette said...

She's not really a big drinker. She's not really very bi curious either.

LSL said...

God, your Japanese kicks the shit out of my Japanese, and I was there for 3.5 years.

Good for you for progressing through the stages. I wonder what the next one is. Or maybe this one lasts a long time. Either way, it's great to read about. Good luck on your month!

josh pincus is crying said...

but what is the status of the shop?

Ellis Nadler said...

i'm well impressed

josh pincus is crying said...

I went to see eels in concert on Friday night. Every girl in line looked like you.

Frederik Jurk said...

tl;dr (but will soon)

Just sitting here at a internet place in Bologna, Italy. Yeah, I am in a foreign country too! We are supposed to visit the childrens book fair here but we usually drink wine all day and sleep on park benches. Happy happy fun time!

I am already looking forward to read what the marriage kind-of photo is about. Have to go now (get new wine I guess)


Frederik Jurk said...

Mmmh. I learned about the "phase theory" from the Simpsons.

I feel like I go through all these stages considering my drawing each day (IF I actually get to draw, that is).