It should go without saying, but for those of you unfortunate enough NOT to live inside my brain, the worst portmanteau is “cronut.” My spell check does not recognise the word and I absolutely will not add it to my dictionary.
The other worst portmanteau is “Japanniversary.” Yes, this is a thing. People talk about their Japanniversaries. If were such a person, I would have written a celebratory blog post on August 1st. I didn’t.
I will, however, take a bit of a break from my busy schedule (of sitting directly under my air conditioner and looking at pictures of grown-up Neville Longbottom) to tell you about my life in Japan after two years.
I suppose language is the obvious place to start. The best way to think about my language capabilities is to think of what a two year old child can do with language. I can make two or three word “sentences” with nouns and verbs. Ask me to use the appropriate article, however, and I will panic. I can also understand some of what store clerks, etc. say, assuming they speak slowly and use simple language — as though I were a toddler.
Carrying on with the toddler theme, I am starting to have issues with rules. The simple knowledge that I am not supposed to do something makes me want to do it so badly. After two years of mostly following all of the arbitrary (not really) rules of Japanese society, I am craving a bit of individualism these days. In other words, I JUST WANT TO WEAR NAIL POLISH!!! Thankfully, I do have the impulse control of an adult. This might be the main reason why not many toddlers make it past the JET programme’s intense screening process.
I suppose the biggest difference between my life now and two years ago is that I no longer have anxiety about doing normal activities, like paying my internet bill or sorting my trash. I have that all figured out now. In fact, I am partially responsible for teaching the newly arrived ALTs how to do things like pay their internet bills and sort their trash. That’s a bit strange.
On that strange note, I shall conclude. Life here is good. It is frustrating at times, as I continue to adapt to Japanese culture, but that will always be the case. Overall, life is good. Now I will let you all go on with your daily lives. I know that you all, like me, have very important responsibilities to tend to.