one week down

The biggest thing I realized after the first week in Japan, is that I HAVE  to learn basic Japanese.  I can’t point, smile and nod  my way through the dozens, hundreds (probably not hundreds) of weeks that I’m going to be here.  I feel like an idiot and I probably look like one.  Greetings, numbers, foods, directions, basic conversation is a must.  No one speaks English, but at least all of the menus at restaurants have pictures of every food item they serve, otherwise I’d be really screwed.   The second biggest thing I realized is that there are a lot of Japanese people here.  Obviously, right?  But, I mean A LOT.  I can walk around the city of Yokohama, a city with millions of people, for hours, and not see another non-Japanese person.  What other major cities in the world can you walk around and see only one nationality?  New York, London, Rio de Janiero, Hong Kong, I don’t think so.  Japan is not a melting pot like the US, it has less than 1% non-Japanese people inside the country, and it’s obvious.  I’m certainly not blending in, but I had no delusions that I ever would.

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