Japan – 6 months in

This is the “he” part of the blog team. My wife has made the last several posts. I haven’t been contributing my share. Working to be more regular with my posts going forward.

We have now passed our sixth month of living in Japan. Looking back, we’ve done a lot…and the time has flown by.

I have been very pleased with my job here. The company I work for is truly multi-national. In a typical day in my office, I work with Koreans, Pakistanis, Indians, Russians, Chinese, Spanish, British, Japanese…and even another American. Throughout the worldwide organization, there are others, all communicating with various levels of proficiency in our company’s official language, English. At first, I found all the accents and unusual pronunciations very difficult. Six months in, it is getting easier…although I still occasionally have to ask someone to repeat what they said so that I can decipher it.

Since moving here, I’ve had an opportunity to travel more than I have ever done before. My job has taken me to Argentina, Germany, Korea, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States. I find that I love to be in other places, but getting there – the travel part – can be a real pain.

Life in Tokyo has been great. The people here are so friendly, even though I can’t communicate well with my rudimentary Japanese language skills. We live in a tiny apartment, about the size of our family room in the United States. Yet strangely, this little place now seems like home. Someplace I look forward to being every day.

What I didn’t expect is the odd feeling I have when going back to the US. We are very fortunate that our daughter is leasing our house, so we have a place to go when we return. But that’s part of the oddity of returning. We go to our house, which contains all the possessions we’ve accumulated over 30-plus years of marriage. Our daughter is doing a great job of taking care of the place. But when we go there now, it is different. Now…for the next year and a half, at least…it isn’t our home. It’s an oddly disorienting feeling, that I find I really can’t describe.

So, six months in, am I glad I took this opportunity? You bet! It isn’t always comfortable, and some things are downright frustrating. But it really is the opportunity of a lifetime. We’ll see what the next year and a half has to bring. Right now, I’m enjoying the experience, and look forward to all it has to offer.

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Rainbow Bridge over Tokyo Bay

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jhawknga

My husband and I were both born and raised in Kansas, but for the past 20+ years we have been living in Atlanta, Georgia. Now, with our children grown and out of the house, we have the opportunity to spend two years living in Tokyo. My husband will be working with the Japanese counterpart to his American company.

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