Amparo Bertram (spacealien_vamp) wrote,
Amparo Bertram

That dreaded question

There is one question that I'm asked constantly. I always dread it, because I never know what to answer.

Q: When are you going home?

Now, I could be honest and say, "Not until next year." In fact, I've tried giving that answer. That's not what they want to hear.

Q: No, no, I mean, when are you going home this summer?

Me: ... <sigh> I'm not going home this summer.

The person always looks at me as if I just said I would be vacationing on Mars.


Me: No, I'm not going home.

Q: Don't you miss your family?

Me: Not particularly. I talk to them on email all the time. [I love you guys, but I don't need to go running home every couple months...]

Q: You're REALLY not going home?

Why is this so hard for Japanese people to comprehend? Do they think that Japan is so inferior to America that anyone would want to get away at any possible opportunity? Or do they think that Japan is such a difficult place for foreigners to live that we want to take a break from it whenever we can?

Let's just say that I did take a two week vacation to go back to Michigan. Here's what I envision:
  • I spend ~$1000 for a round-trip ticket and cry just thinking of how many books I could have bought with that money.
  • I endure the hellish ~12 hour flight back.
  • I suffer jetlag for days.
  • I mope around the house for two weeks, feeling out of place, with absolutely nothing to do except possibly eat real pizza.
  • Flight + jetlag: lather, rinse, repeat.

    Why the HECK would I want to put myself through that? And yet, I have been asked "When are you going home?" countless times, at every school vacation, by Japanese people who can't even figure out that they should be asking "ARE you going home?" instead.

    Today I dropped by the school to pay my rent. On my way in, I ran into a teacher who was shocked to see me. "You didn't go home?" she asked, dumbfounded. She went on to explain that she had been to a tea ceremony earlier, and she had thought to invite me to give me a chance to wear my yukata, but she assumed that I had gone back to America and so hadn't bothered to call.

    Oh, well.

    I ran into another teacher on my way out. She was surprised to see me also, but she took the opportunity to ask if I would be free on Monday. She wants me to show her how to bake a cake. She said, "A plain sponge cake is fine..."

    ^_^; I never make plain sponge cakes. I like chocolate better. I'll bring a couple different recipes and see what she likes best.

    As for progress on wednesday_10_00's yukata, I finished sewing on the collar and I'm slightly more than halfway done with the tomoeri. After I finish hemming the inner side of the tomoeri, all that will be left is to attach the sleeves and it will be done. I probably could have plowed through and completed it today, but I pooped out.
  • Tags: culture
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