Monday, November 12, 2007


Well, I decided that I should probably just put an update. I think the last few things I have posted have been about something in particular (ie. trips, "boyfriends", places, etc.). So, I decided to make this my 2 month update and just tell you about life in Japan so far. I hope you enjoy! Warning: This might be long...I've had lots of caffeine! ha ha

Well as of November 7, I have officially been in Japan for 2 months! Its hard to believe in some ways, and in some, it feels like it has been longer! Many people (here and at home) have asked me if I am actually enjoying it here. My first reaction is always yes, and it is true. However, some of the other Gaijin (foreigners) here, continue to ask..."do you truly like it here or do you know yet?" It definitely makes you think more. Unless you are here it is hard to understand, but I will try to describe the feeling. It is most definitely possible to like your job, like the people, like Japan, etc. and to still not actually truly enjoy living life here. It is like anything in life, you can like something without truly enjoying it. I must say that after the questions I began to think about it more. As I have pondered it more, I have come to the conclusion (at least at this time) that I am truly enjoying my time here. Sure, I have my bad days just like anywhere! However, for the most part I am enjoying the time that I have here. At times it is still VERY overwhelming and frustrating, but even so I am having a blast.

Warning: That was just the intro, this could continue to be a long blog. However, I have cut off the caffeine so it MIGHT end at some point! ha ha!

I have come up with a list of things that I never would have appreciated as much as I do if I had not come to Japan! Some are from home and some are from here. These are in no particular order, as they say at all of the pageants that I have been in! ha ha

1. Route 44 Drinks! This is pretty self explanatory, but just in case it's not, I will explain further. The drinks here are quite small. A large in Japan, is a small/medium drink in America. They don't drink very much here, and when they do, its tea. Granted, I love the tea as well, and drink a ton of it, but seriously! A Rt 44 would be fantastic every once and awhile!

2. No Tipping! Ok, this is a huge plus in Japan for foreigners! Not only is the service in Japan amazing, but there is no tipping! Amazing, is NOT an exaggeration either, it is truly amazing! When I say there is no tipping, I mean it. If you try to leave a tip on the table they will run after you to give it back. They see it as part of their job...hmmm what a concept! I'm telling you, the servers better watch out when I get back home!

3. Authentic Mexican food. They do have some Mexican restaurants here. The one in Mito that I know is called Mamasita's. Its not bad, but when you come from a country that is getting over run with Mexicans and you have pretty good authentic Mexican food...yeah Japanese Mexican just isn't the same! Oh well! I have authentic Sushi!

4. Authentic Sushi!! Yes, the Sushi is amazing and cheap here! Granted you can get some more expensive Sushi too, but the cheap stuff here is really good! Oh yeah and the Sushi comes out on conveyor belts! I love it! Mmm...raw fish! Oishi!

5. Mom's Home Cookin'! I knew I would miss this, but I am realizing it more and more. Mom you spoiled me on this, but watch out when I come home! ha ha

6. English TV! Again this is pretty self explanatory. However, it is definitely worth mentioning!

7. Pete (my scooter)! I am really enjoying having my scooter! Its so nice even though it is getting colder and raining a lot! It gives me a lot of freedom and the gas for it is soooo cheap!!! I filled up completely today for 600 yen, about $6. That is will last me almost 2 weeks! Believe me, I don't conserve! I drive everywhere, and I get lost! So once I know my way around more I will really save more gas!

8. Grid-like streets! If you are wondering...I am most definitely NOT referring to Japan on this one!! I am pretty good with directions and rarely get lost....back home! Well, Japan is a completely different ball game! It is amazing and I honestly can not describe it! Please just know that if you get lost in the States, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DRIVE IN JAPAN! Oh, and you might be asking, "why don't you use a map?" I do! I forgot to tell you that the streets are not labeled here! No street names and an unbelievable amount of alleys! Ready to drive in Japan now?

9. Long sleeves! Ok, you might say to yourself..they have those both places! Yes, you are correct....sort of! When I say long sleeves, I am referring to sleeves that are long on ME! The long sleeves in Japan are more of a 3/4 length sleeve on me. There is a Big & Tall store here...I call it the American store, but its expensive and more of a suite type shop. Definitely not for me! Oh well..I will just order online if I need something!

10. My job! I am going to end my list with this one. I must say that I am the happiest I have ever been in a job right now. There aren't too many jobs that you can go to and get tons of smiles, huge hugs, lots of high fives and play like you are in Kindergarten again and get paid for it! Best of all, I rarely get complaints (that I understand) and when I do I can usually solve it by picking them up above my head and tickling them! If only all jobs could make you feel this good. I can be having a bad day, but one of their smiles and hugs makes it all better. Yes, I know it sounds cheesy, but they are definitely softening me up quite a bit. Its difficult to be a hardened person with kids so full of life around you!

OK, so I think that list tells you a bit about where I am at now and how things are going. I am truly in awe of the fact that the Lord has brought me here. This is a very unique time in my life and am learning a lot about myself and what I thought was myself. It is a humbling thing to realize that who you thought you were is not set in stone. I am so very happy that it is not because I am beginning to see that God has a bigger plan for me than I could have ever imagined! My kids always ask me how old I am. In Japan I am ni-ju go. I am 25. I know to some, probably most, that is very young. I don't think it is old, but before I came here I felt like I was getting older with out accomplishing anything. My outlook has changed. I think ni-ju go is my starting point.

I hope this gives you a bit of insight into my heart right now. I am not one to go deep and divulge a lot on my blog, but I think it is important for my friends and family to know what I am learning from this experience. I thank you all for your prayers and support and love any emails or comments that you send.

Sayonara for now!


Aunt Lori said...

Howdy Elaina!

I LOVED this blog! It was really great, the way you went into so much detail. I'm so happy that you are enjoying yourself, and are learning so much about your inner self. I know how it feels to be a long way from home, but you will be glad for the experience. I love the pictures of your precious children in your kindergarten class. Their sweet smiles show so much love and oneryness.

Please excuse any mis-spelling. I just had oral surgery yesterday, and I'm laying in my recliner in ice bags, etc. I love you bunches, and look for your updates every day. You are constantly in my thoughts and prayers.

Love and Hugs,

OK Chick said...

Do you also love that in Japan they bring your food out as soon as it's finished cooking???