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The Things I’ve Missed August 11, 2013

Posted by soratobuzou in Travel Log.
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Well, it’s the end. It’s bittersweet – I will probably never see most of these people and places again, which is sad in a stronger way than just goodbye, but the comforts of home and family beckon.

I could write on and on about what I’m going to miss – the conbinis and vending machines that put cheap food at my fingertips everywhere; the trains that get me to the next city in less than an hour, and for less than five bucks; the cleanliness of public spaces; the timeliness of public transport; the temples and shrines and traditional houses; the crowds and colors and sounds; and, of course, all the people that were in my life, for however brief a period.

But I’ll have the rest of my life to miss those things, and I don’t think I’ll forget them any time soon. What I might forget are the things I’ve missed while I’ve been in Japan. Once they’re a part of my daily life again, will I revert to taking them for granted? I hope not, but just in case, a list of four things I’ve missed in Japan:

Family, Friends, Home, etc.

Pretty obvious, pretty straightforward.

Diversity

Figured I’d get the big one out of the way early. There’s a reason Japan is known for its homogeneity. Not that the people I met were not individuals – there was definitely a wide array of personalities and interests – but there is the fact of ethnic homogeneity and the sometimes surprising lack of awareness of other cultures. I won’t say it’s bad, but I’ve always lived in relatively diverse places, even by American standards, and I miss it. There are all the ivory tower reasons for the desirability of diversity, but honestly, it’ll just be nice not to be stared at everywhere I go.

Wi-Fi

Oh, Wi-Fi, how I have missed thee and thy lovely coverage. Honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be – I had wifi in my room and at the big conbinis, which ended up being enough to get what I needed done – but I have developed a renewed appreciation for having phone access wherever I want it.

Mexican Food

It was a big joke among us in Japan that the one thing we wouldn’t be able to get in Japan was Mexican food. And at first it was just that – a joke. But I realized just how much I’d been craving Mexican food when my heart leaped at the sight of taco-looking things being prepared at one of the food stalls of Gion Matsuri. Alas, as I was rushing to get in line, I realized they were just okonomiyaki, but I vowed then and there that I would get myself some Mexican food as soon as I could back home.

So that’s it. Four things I missed in Japan. And now, home!

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