Well, I’m in Japan! Not what I thought it would be, but it’s definitely a learning experience

After all the worries and doubts, I persevered and moved to Japan. It’s the 17th of September tomorrow and will be one month since I’ve left the UK. I won’t lie, it hasn’t been easy. If anything, it’s been harder than I could have expected.

I won’t go through everything that’s gone wrong or different that I expected it to be, but I will mention some things. I don’t know what I was expecting exactly Japan to be like, but it wasn’t this! For a nation that has a stereotype of being very polite, I find Japanese people can be very rude. Yes, people tend to be very kind and helpful when I’ve been lost, but on the whole, Japanese have not been as friendly as I thought they would be.

I thought I was going to live in the bright lights of Tokyo and was worried it would be too overwhelming, too much for me to handle. No concern was needed since it’s practically the opposite! I live in Higashi-Funabashi, which isn’t even the city of Tokyo! I live in the prefecture to the east of Tokyo called Chiba. I call it rural, but it’s really the suburbs. It takes me between 40-60 minutes to get to anything interesting Tokyo, so I have to travel a lot if I want to go into the city. It’s so quiet where I am.

On the second day, I found a cockroach. I’ve never seen one in real-life before, but I knew straight away what it could be and had to kill it. I went overboard on anti-cockroach sprays, ‘hotels’ where they can get stuck and cockroach ‘food’ that will kill them. So far, no more have been seen.

I knew that Japan had earthquakes and only found out before moving to Japan that they are quite common. I’ve so far had 2 earthquakes. One was last Saturday and was 5.3 near Tokyo bay area, which is where I am based. This morning, there was a smaller earthquake, that only lasted a few seconds. It can still be scary though.

It’s been hard so far away from my family. I love them very much and am very close to them. Unfortunately, my aunt had a serious car accident at the end of August. I still don’t have all the details (my family were being very sparse in giving me details because they didn’t want to upset me), but it seems she has had damage to her neck/spinal cord. She has movements in her arms and can feel if someone is touching her legs, but I don’t think she actually move them herself. It’s difficult to know if this will be a temporary thing or permanent. It’s so sad to hear since my aunt is such a kind lady and spent many years looking after her mother who was in a wheelchair and now it seems that my aunt may be wheelchair / paralysed herself. I do feel bad I’m not there to support my family, but try to help from Japan with supporting my family members. I don’t know the whole situation, but it sounds like she is in a very bad situation. She can only lie backwards and has a permanent neckbrace on that prevents her from moving. It’s not something I could deal with and it’s amazing to hear that she has been in relatively good spirits. If it was me, I would just cry and moan.

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