Jul 6, 2017
Moving to Japan and taking things as adaptable as possible to get accustomed to our new, new life. We had a great and a fluent English speaker who was also Japanese english teacher from my husbands contracting organization. She was appointed to help us to go to the city hall and translate documents to get registered for the city on the 3rd day of arrival. (Legally, someone staying in Japan longer than a week has to register to the local area in 2 weeks)
However, we were exhausted. Doing things on the first week of arrival was not easy.
We managed to present omiyage to coworkers.
I had to make as many friends as possible to get by with my child in a foreign country while husband’s at work. Kanji was new to me. Japanese language and culture were new to us.
My husband’s contracting organization was flexible. I did not want to interrupt them for my own benefits. (But on the other side, Japanese coworkers were eagerly wanted to help us. “Help” is weird sometimes. I personally can not manage to do it right. In Mongolia I need to be ready to help without asking some help in return, but in the US, it is all complicated. I get different, pleasant and unpleasant responses, if I drop the word “help”.) Now I am confused, US and Japan are only countries I live more than a year. Whenever I hear a word “help”, I do not quite trust it. I have to admit that it is just me, not the other people who want to help.
Fortunately now I get to say this: “do what your friend or coworker tell you to do between you and others to keep safe business etiquette because it is safer than trying out things on your own”. (This does not work for me, because I am unemployed. I work around the house so I do not need help for cleaning and grocery shopping, etc.) Second of all, try to accept some help when it is offered––for example, if you can not read the kanji, or you need to figure out winter supplies to keep your house warmer. For me, my Japanese neighbor is a good friend in terms of help. I do not mind my neighbor dropping by unnoticed, but I do mind it when other people drop by without telling me beforehand.
Adapting to life in Japan is exhausting, especially in rural areas––such as when I learned what to choose to do, who to talk to, what to like, what not to like, and when to agree and to disagree. I get to choose when and what and how to do things, with whom and in what circumstances. I make time so I go out sometimes to exercise and to walk. I make time to photograph and to write. I spend my time for things, I love doing. I spent a lot of money doing these but I understand that I need to be little careful about my spending.
A mother who is interested in taking photos, hiking, and traveling. Favorites are sewing, knitting, sipping coffee. I am very happy to be found city-cost expat community in Japan, to dedicate it to improve writing skill.
Not always easy settling into life in Japan, is it? It's great that your neighbours are willing to help you out. In all the time I've been in Japan (Tokyo) I've hardly ever met my neighbours.
@DaveJpn , my neighbor is very friendly.