Friday 23 December 2011

My one word?

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!


  1. Wow, your Japan is the one with the good customer service. I've had meat removed from my platter after the lady went into the back and then realized she gave me a few of the 'choice' cuts. She used her tongs to pick through what wasn't already on the grill. Anyway, that's another story for some other place.

    Yeah, holidays can be tough for some people. That's usually when all the drama happens. I'm just glad I'm not working retail or driving an ambulance.

  2. That's why I wrap myself in elaborate School I can pretend I'm not even here:)

    Merry Christmas!!! ;)

  3. Cori, Merry Christmas, I enjoy reading you blog.
    From Phoenix

  4. I don't feel particularly homesick around Christmas. I think it's because Christmas hasn't been that special anymore as it has been when I was a kid. I do like everyone coming together, but as you said, most of the time that actually ends in fights or at least is very stressful. So this year I will enjoy the quiet time away from family.

  5. Just had a minor spurt of panic as it says my comment was published on the 24th of December.. whoa, did I miss Christmas!?!?!? Stupid time difference...

  6. It can be very cold and such a lonely place sometimes too. At first I thought it was maybe just me who was feeling it, but I have met a lot of lonely people so far, including some that go to work to forget about it on their days off.

    Christmas is a time where you miss things the most, I miss standing around the barbie with the old man and uncle, having a beer and a laugh while we cook lunch. I have by a miracle managed to tee up a lunch this year with some nice people, which is great, but I miss the booze-fest that is Christmas day at my place. No fights because everyone is usually asleep by about 4 o'clock full of grog and food. I will get a bit blotto and chuck on the santa suit this year, which I am looking forward to.

    It was too hard for me to come up with one word to be honest.

    Anyway Merry Christmas, I hope Santa brings you something nice!

  7. I have given up on Christmas this year. Not that I ever celebrated it (wrong tribe), but secretly always somewhat enjoyed the mood. Hope next year will be better.

  8. This must be a difficult time of year for you when half of your family's on the other side of the globe, but it's great that you still bring the celebrations 'round for your family in Japan! I hope you'll still have a wonderful Christmas and maybe Santa, or even Ryota, will even leave something nice for you under the tree. ;)

    Merry Christmas Corinne!

  9. I'm about to sit all alone in my living room and open presents.
    "Guilt" doesn't begin to cover it!
    Friends send stuff for me. Nobody sends stuff for Yujiro.
    So it's easier to open them after he's gone to work....

    (P.S. Keep up the good hugging/sloppy kisses work!)

  10. Yeah, the area of impersonality I liked in Japan involved going to the gynecologist. They shut implement the curtain separator in the US. It's a bit awkward to have a chat with your doctor about their vegetable garden while they're making sure everything is splendid.

    Have a wonderful Christmas! Your family will love the presents :). They always do...

  11. He he he. Well, I thought I could do Christmas without becoming crazy and fcked up but Miss Daisy wound up accusing me of being 'bored' with my life so I made problems out of was like, 'fck all this fcking family crap....' and went and sat on the golf course and got hammered on some jazzed up whiskey.

  12. i think it's easy to get depressed around Christmas in Japan, because the "real" spirit of Christmas, that makes the holiday so magical, is just not there... so don't beat yourself up too much.

    i think you're doing awesome as a mom, and Ash is a lucky kid to be getting all those sloppy kisses! lol.

    actually, this reminds me of a story... one time when i was... well it can't even be qualified of dating since we never even kissed... but i saw this guy a few times... it was just after i'd come back from celebrating the holidays back home and he insisted on seeing my pictures so i showed him. there was one photo of my dad holding me in this huge tight hug and he went "iiii naaaaa..." and i was like "what?" so he explained "Japanese families aren't affectionate like that. when i have a family, i wanna be like you and your dad" and i remember that really shocked me. i mean i knew that the japanese weren't a really touchy bunch... but i hadn't stopped to think about it more details than that... i think maybe that guy's comment means that the younger generations are wanting to change?? FIGHT-O!!