Twice today, I've said the same thing to different people, I thought I'd share it with everyone.
Living in Japan is at times amazing, at other times really, really difficult. The culture, and the thinking, is so different which brings about both fascination and frustration. Add to that that neither my husband or myself is fluent in the language and we can read little.
There are days I love living here. I love my students, I love having easy access to the fabrics and the papers. I love the tranquil temples, the energy of the festivals, the amazing things you can buy. For the most part, I love the people, their kindness and generosity.
Other days, this place just makes me cry. Trips to immigration, the racism (they can be a terribly racist country), the bureaucracy, the unwillingness to think outside the box and being surrounded by ugly concrete. Yes, most people have this image of Japan being a beautiful country and in areas it really is, but a lot of areas are just down-right ugly and lacking in character.
I desperately miss space and nature. I miss beaches, trees and animals. I miss my family and friends. I miss so many foods. And I miss my creative community. I do have a wonderful small community here, but not a creative one. As my under-graduate degree is in visual arts, I have many close friends in Australia who are creative folk.
But the wonderful thing is, I feel now that I am part of a creative community. I can't sit down to a cup of tea with any of the members, because they are all people who I've met online. It is through blogging, Flickr and some of my wonderful eBay customers that this community has built.
Really, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that I've met, that comments, that communicates with me online. You make life in Japan so much better!