Japon, je t’aime! or, 涙の中ゲラゲラ

That’s right fellas, I have made it to Japan. I am a married man with my beautiful Japanese wife, we got a new apartment with a great landlord and things are looking up for this guy. But how did I make it all the way here?

Our story begins back in the summer of 2016 when I went backpacking in Europe. A millenial rite-of-passage, if you will. I went to work and meditate in a meditation house in Hamburg and I met an American zen-buddhist/basketball coach named Lee. He was a real character, as he loved to talk mainly about 3 things: sports, cars, and Thai women. He had been to Japan before and he said, you know, maybe you should go to Japan. Just work your ass off and go to Japan. You’ll love it.

Hell yeah, I thought. I will go back home, find a job and earn money to Japan in August 2017. What followed was that I couldn’t find a job all summer, but a ray of light came in the form of nepotism as my friend hooked up a job in his mom’s company. I also found a new penpal from Japan whom I fell in love with. We got married, I moved to Japan on March 2017 and here I am now writing this blog post.IMG_20170404_152735.jpg

Japan – the Modern and Ancient etc. etc. etc.
All pictures rights are on this fella, OC pls donutsteal

So what have I experienced so far?

  • Japanese bureaucracy is all about middle-men. Why? There are 100+ million people in Japan and that means you need bureaucracy to keep things in check.  You need offices to work as fast and as efficient as possible. However, due to the population size, if you had a modern computerized government, this would put a whole lot of people out of work really quick. So instead of fast computers, you got a horde of tiny Japanese worker ants with fast legs.IMG_20170324_133935.jpg

Lunch time!!

  • Japanese is number one. If you don’t speak much Japanese, it’s English-teaching, recruiting, or KKK (Kigen, Kitsui, Kitanai = Dangerous, Demeaning &/or Dirty) work. Well, like in the great Irish Ballad Finnegan’s Wake, the song goes – He had a brogue so rich and sweet, and to rise in the world he carried a hod. Gotta start somewhere, fellas!
  • Speaking of Japanese, thank GOD I have studied Japanese because this paperwork in the city hall would’ve been a straight-up nightmare. Not to mention that when they screw up your name in the documents despite writing it all perfectly, you gotta go back to the hall in person and. Of course the ladies and men will bow and say things like 申し訳ありません, which doesn’t really help shit and serves only to waste your time, but hey, at least you can practice Japanese!!

IMG_20170322_130929 Hahahaha good luck finding a trash can though.

  • You know the secret of keeping the streets clean? It’s not having a lot of trash cans, but it’s the exact opposite. There are no trash cans ever. Not in the public toilet, not in the office lobbies. You make waste, you make haste and take it all home with you. Or you dump it next to a vending machine can-collecting box. Or in a smoke area.
  • Also you’d think that if they want to keep their island clean and pretty, then they would minimize the waste when you buy crap from the store, right? WRONG!!!! Individually wrapped ham slices? Bread sold by the slice inside a plastic bag? Half-empty candy bags with individually wrapped candies with paper inside to separate the two pieces? It’s a plastic hell and god forbid if you put it in the burnable-trash bag. No. You gotta recycle that thing like it’s going outta style. Seriously, dudes, lay off the packaging already.
  • They take recycling seriously though, so that’s a plus.
  • So many coins. Coins everywhere. Coins. Coins. Coins. Buy something, get coins to buy more things.
  • POINTO KAADO IRASSHAIMASU KA?????? NO DUDE I DON’T WANT ANOTHER POINT CARD, I GOT 20 ALREADY EVEN THOUGH I’VE BEEN HERE FOR 3 WEEKS!!!
  • The weather’s been so nice. But it gets damp inside homes and that means mold. Mold is your worst enemy, be smart about it.

So how do I like it here?

I feel just like in home. Best damn place on Earth to live in once you get past that people don’t speak their mind and avoid all confrontations at all cost (AKA. not rocking the boat even though your ass is hurting so bad that you’re ready to kill the poor sap in front of you to take his place). It’s like my dear friend and ex-co-worker said: “People are all the same everywhere. It doesn’t matter where you are, they got the same problems and they want the same things. The important bit is to know this and go without illusion.”

IMG_20170326_103858.jpg

People think Japan is a paradise. But like with all paradises, they got their own vices.

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