The truth about living in Japan

Beyond the picturesque mountainscapes and vibrant red Tori gates lies a world of concrete skyscrapers and fashion victims.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Odd one out

Sometimes when I hang out with my Japanese friends I can't believe how fast they talk to each other.

Usually I can catch about 1 word in the conversation that I recognise, every 2 minutes or so. Or I might hear a word I don't know, but it's the only word I can recognise as being outside the general pedepedepedepedepedepedepedepede that is the super-fast conversation.

It makes me wonder how long one needs to live in a foreign country before they can actually partake in group conversation. It seems to me it must be years.

My friend, Alice, lives with Japanese people and has been in Japan for a few years. Her Japanese skills surpass mine tenfold, but still she tells me how lonely she sometimes feels when she's sitting in her living room and can't understand a word of conversation.

Sometimes I feel so disheartened. Yuki can't read Kanji, Alice can't understand conversation, so what chance is there for me?


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