In looking back over my posts so far, I am concerned that I may be romanticising my experience.
There are awful days. Days when I am convinced the neighbors opposite me hate me; days when I feel like I will implode if anyone speaks any more Japanese at me; and, days when I would give my right arm for a full-English breakfast.
I just can’t really allow myself to dwell on these things. Having to go into work and make myself useful definitely helps. More than that, interacting with the students makes all the rubbish days dissolve away. Like when I get them popping up outside my kitchen window, peering in and asking what it is that I am cooking for dinner.
Acts of kindness from neighbors and colleagues are wonderful, but they are not accidental. I continually have to throw myself into the most awkward situations possible, grin and bare it and not allow my self to start wallowing in self pity. I think that this has helped me to earn some respect by showing that I want to be here and be a part of the community.
I guess what I am saying is that anyone can have positive experiences doing something like this. You just have to get on with it when the inevitable not-so-good days roll around.
Failing that, going on an osake sampling night would do the trick…