A Japanese friend asked me this today. He’s not the only one – recently I’ve been getting this question from friends and family all over the world. It’s been two years already, since the plane landed and I stumbled out into the infamous Japanese summer heat, and a new chapter of my life was waiting … More Do you STILL like living in Japan?
It’s the first morning of being back in Germany this Christmas break. I’m walking through a small town I’m not overly familiar with, trying to find a Café. Since it’s pretty cold outside, I’m wearing a face mask I brought from Japan. Even though I’m aware that it looks weird to people here, I prefer … More I was called a foreigner. In my home country.
Friends and family ’back home‘ keep asking me how much longer I’m going to stay in Japan. I think for them it’s just a well-intentioned and rather logical question. Someone who leaves inevitably needs to come back, right? It’s not that simple. At least not for me. In the past ten years, I moved houses, … More So when are you coming back?
Recently I read an article that accused white people living abroad of calling themselves ’expats’ instead of ’immigrants’ and thereby emphasizing their superiority over other ethnic groups living abroad (“Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants?“ by Mawuna Remarque Koutonin, 2015). This issue has been on my mind for years, … More I am an Immigrant.
A wise friend told me the last time we met: “Moving abroad, I’ve always compared to being a fish in a tank when the water gets renewed. In the beginning, there might be too much oxygen in the fresh water, so the fish feels like suffocating. It’s like that when you, as a human, have … More The ‘Fish in the Tank’ Metaphor, Or: My Early Struggles of Living Abroad
Until now, this had seemed like a boring topic to write about because I don’t like stating the obvious. Of course I miss my family. Of course I miss being able to communicate without language barriers. Of course I miss my favourite pizza. Lately I have been realizing though that there is something else I … More What I REALLY miss about my home country
Growing up, I felt like everything and everyone was against me. Like I’d been dealt all the useless cards in the game called life. My thoughts and feelings didn’t matter to a lot of people in the microcosmos of my childhood and teenage years. This could have broken my spirit unless I hadn’t found an … More Why I Write
“Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. / Wherever you go, you’ll top all the rest./ Except when you don’t. /Because, sometimes, you won’t.” – Dr.Seuss For the most part of my first year in Japan, I felt exactly like this. I didn’t top all the rest but fell far behind for a while. But … More My First Year in Japan (In a Nutshell)
“Why did you move to Japan?“ To be honest, I don’t particularly like that question. Not because I don’t have an answer to it, but because I feel that people don’t want to listen to an answer that’s probably more complex than what they expect, or they simply wouldn’t understand it even if they did … More Why I moved to Japan
Since this is a sensitive topic, let’s put a big, fat disclaimer in the beginning: Neither do I nor will I ever claim to know what Japanese people in general are thinking. What I’m going to talk about are my very own observations, experiences and thoughts. I am aware that those are only a very … More St.Patrick’s Day in Tokyo, Or: A foreigner’s view on a “Xenophobic Japan“