Well ,like a lot of you, one word was hard, but mine is...
Anyone who lives in Japan will relate to this I think. Although impersonal has negative connotations attached to it, but in all honesty, I like a bit of removal from human contact for most things. And in Japan, impersonal = efficient.
You want to shag your secretary without your wife finding out? Go to a love hotel where a curtain separates you from any eye contact as you hand over your bills, dripping with guilty pleasure.
You need a fanny cam? Again, no interaction here, all behind a curtain!
You want a cheap curry from your local all-night restaurant? Line up and push a button for your ticket buddy, service with a smile ain't happenin' in this establishment!
The list goes on, and not all of them are good, the only reason that customer service is so damn good in Japan is because nobody actually gives a fuck about who they're serving, they're serving a customer and their robotic mind has been programmed from day 1 in Japanese society that they have a duty to perform, nothing more, nothing less.
Another huge thing that makes me sad about the impersonal nature of Japan is the lack of human... contact? I am the only mother at kindy that gives my son massive sloppy kisses when I say goodbye, most of them give high fives or just say "onegaishimasu" to the teacher, but I want my kid to know that I still love him despite palming him off on complete strangers for 8 hours a day. I hate the fact that there's no hugging within families, no comforting pats, no touching. Although dog-fucker likes to give random creepy massages bordering on sexual around my bum area and that really freaks me the fuck out...
Am I becoming one of them? A cold fish? Never wanting to take on a human heart but stick to the impersonal shell that works so well for me in so many ways?
I don't think so, not yet anyway.
I ALWAYS feel most homesick at Christmas time, I'm not sure why because Christmas at home usually ends up in being hot and bothered (literally) trying to cook Christmas dinner and a big fight at the end of the day. But at least it was real, nitty-gritty family stuff. It also doesn't help that Ryota always manages to fail spectacularly in the present/Christmas spirit department and ends up blaming me for not telling him what I wanted as a present. I've gone all out for Ash and Ryota, but that's because I like giving presents more than I like receiving them too.
So merry Christmas, I will no doubt end up crying in to a glass of fake champagne!
Thank you for all the 'one word' comments, I could relate to a lot of them!