Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Today I had the day off because of the school festival during the weekend, so I woke up late and rode my bike to the grocery store. On the way there, I passed some kids, and one of them whispered frantically to her mother [Foreigner!!].

The other day while going to the Japanese version of Bed, Bath, and Beyond + Home Depot, I passed another child with her mom. This one looked at me with such a sense of wonder and awe and complete bafflement, while also saying something to her mother about me, but I didn't catch what. She couldn't take her huge eyes off me at all as I passed them, and it was like she was staring into the eyes of a big green alien.

It's funny how kids react to foreigners here. While most people don't care, maybe kids haven't seen any foreign movies yet. (Though sometimes old people stop me on the street and ask a bunch of questions in super polite form. They always seem friendly and genuinely interested.) I can imagine this is something like what Indians felt when Columbus landed. But I do like being such a source of awe for some people. It's funny to think that just the sight of me can put some people in such a state of shock that they can't control themselves. Like that would ever happen in America. I bet if a Japanese kid were to go to the States, they'd probably poo themselves with their inability to comprehend all the non-yellow skin.

I spent so much money this week. At least it was mostly on things I really need. I bought a pair of jeans at the Gap. (I was so excited when I found it! But disappointed when I found that all the fashion was Japanese and there wasn't anything that screamed America. But at least their jeans were labeled the American way.) I also bought some leggings, earrings, a necklace, work jacket, and fancy top. Today I bought boots. Oy. It's not like I can't afford it, I'm only supporting myself, and it's really really nice to have a steady paycheck, but I also am amazed how fast my money goes. Thank God I'm not in the States. I read the tales of fear and doom and gloom in the newspaper. Is it really like that over there? Are people genuinely worried, or am I just getting a higher concentration of it in the paper?

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