gr0002790dfI live in the suburbs of Tokyo, the most densely populated urban center on earth. In twenty minutes I can step off a train into a Blade Runner-like cityscape where three-story-high television screens greet me from the surrounding buildings. But when I’m home, I see our small creek from my kitchen window, and at night I hear ducks. Ducks are chatty at night, apparently.

As you might imagine, living on the opposite side of the planet from my home in the US has had its challenges. I became a child again, having to be helped (at least at first) with every aspect of my new life. Over the years, I’ve been utterly stumped by simple machines, hopelessly lost more times than I can count, and have been reduced to charades with hapless strangers who become unwitting victims of my failed attempts to communicate (more about that in my first post!).

I now look with new respect on the millions of people who have immigrated to the US, braving our language, our culture, and making a new life. I am not the same person I was eleven years ago before embarking on this journey. I look at the world differently, now, having lived on the other side of it, having experienced another way of life—another pace, flavor, set of values—and a whole slew of comical blunders. I’d like to share some of my experiences from time to time, as the inspiration hits.