Sunday, June 24, 2012

Frustrations and Realizations

Being in a country where you know very little of the language is quite frustrating.  Many of the signs I can't read because they're covered in kanji, and the ones I can read in hiragana and katakana I don't know what they mean.  Shopping is embarrassing because the most I can say to the cashier is hello but I can't understand anything they say to me that isn't the total of my purchase so I just nod and make affirmation noises like I know what they're talking about.  I attended a meeting at church where I could barely follow along based on the Engrish and a few Japanese words, and the one lady who could speak English would only give me the basic premise of the conversation every once in a while.  I got lost on my way to the store once but didn't want to ask for directions because I knew I wouldn't know what they were saying.

But although I am constantly frustrated I believe that the frustration will push me to learn more.  I want to be able to read basic street signs.  I want to understand the cashiers.  I want to understand what's going on in meetings.  I want to be able to take directions.  I want to know more Japanese, and since I am in Japan I cannot give up when it gets hard.  I can't throw in the towel and focus on something else because the reality is that no matter where I go there will be Japanese.  My sensei or the church translator can't follow me around to let me know what's happening.  If I really want to live and work in Japan one day I'm going to have to do it on my own.  It's a scary prospect but I must get over my fear of the unknown.

Japan is a whole new country full of different food and places worth exploring, and if I'm to have a proper adventure in the land of the rising sun I'm going to have to "buck up mister" and "put [this] big brain of [mine] to work."  I'm not going to learn Japanese by beating myself up over my current lack of knowledge. That's almost the stupidest thing I've ever heard.


3 comments:

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSS5dEeMX64

    ReplyDelete
  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKPQYp_F1Z8

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's the spirit!! You can overcome this tiny bump in the road. After all--it is tiny and you are big! ;D

    ReplyDelete