places i've called home

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people i call home and some more


i grew up here. i'll be the first to say my experience is not an accurate representation of what it's like to live in this country – i lived in a bubble, in short. i still do i think, but i'm inching my way out of it by meeting more people and having a life outside of just being at home lol.

i've noticed a lot of people from here want to get away, to countries with more opportunities and better systems in place. i don't blame them, and i'm no better, but i guess i'm still at a time in my life where i entertain the idea that i can do something about the stuff i complain about. (i also am maybe more acquainted with the worse parts of the countries people idolize, having lived there, so i romanticize them less.)

still, i don't think i'll stay here forever. i don't want to be too far though. gah. a person's relationship with their home country is always a bit complicated...

love: being at home!, my family and friends, long drives to the beach or mountains, milk tea, cuisine variety, little conveniences

don't love: the commute, how everyone knows everyone, the heat, the government, big inconveniences

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i feel super pretentious putting this here, since i only lived there for a month in high school lmfao, but this was a Pivotal Experience. it was my first trip without my family, and i lived with a host family that did not speak english, which was good motivation to not phone in my language studies – AKA what i was there for.

living here gave an extremely shy teenage me some much-needed confidence - it taught me that i was more capable than i thought, and probably could thrive independently/living abroad. it remains one of my favorite countries to visit! i'd love to live here again someday. (...although i hear the work culture is kind of terrible.)

love: the FOOD, convenience stores, cute mascots, cherry blossoms, the style (clothing, beauty, jewelry), taiyaki

don't love: clothes sizes, gaijin treatment, crowded subways, foreigners who live here and make it their whole personality

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i was here for all of college. it was hard at first – harder than expected, even. i didn't think culture shock would happen to me, but it did, despite my speaking the same native language and consuming the same media. lol and lmao. eventually i figured it out though.

living here taught me a lot about communication and people, since i got to meet a greater variety of folks than i'd ever met before in my life. i ended up loving the experience and came home a better person. while i'd never choose to live here again, i'm thankful for what this place gave me!

love: the post office, general friendliness, fall and spring, queer culture and celebration of difference, the nature

don't love: racist / culturally ignorant people, the food, lack of bidets, being far from my family, the style...

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i did a semester and a summer here. i approached my time here with the knowledge that it was temporary, so i didn't waste time on things/people i didn't care about and literally just did whatever i wanted, and it was excellent. outside of school, i spent a lot of time alone or with the few people i genuinely wanted to be friends with. what's nice about the city is no one gives a damn!

my language studies also helped me feel more at home here. i did so many things (maybe too many?!), and spoke to a lot of people as a result, even if i wasn't the most social person in my classes. if i visit again, i'd love to explore regions outside the city.

love: transportation, banana milk, nail salons, specialty stores, the tattoo artists!, my cat shelter, artbox

don't love: clothes sizing, weird ancient computers, old people who push in the subway, needing a phone number for everything

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