Montag, 16. Januar 2012


Maybe this text seems selfish and weird. But I think, that I should write down everything as I felt it. Open-hearted and honest.

It is now about 5 month ago I left Japan after a wonderful year. And the first time it seemed that I had no culture-shock. I thought it would hit me directly when I leave the plane. The last days in Toyko I cried as much never cried in my life. I didn't want to leave my friends, my university, my dormitory, my life I bought up there. I was, and still be, afraid to see noone again. So I expected a lot of emotios when I come back. But no. Nothing.
I went first to my family's house, I organized my new old life in Halle. Saw my old friends again, could make sport in my old gym. Many people were happy to see me. More people than I expected. Sure my real friends should be happy, but there were a lot of people I just meet on an party once or my trainer in the gym or other people I had didn't call my friends and had never contact in the time I was in Japan, because we didn't have this before. So this was quiet refreshing after a time of ignorance in Japan, where people who definetely know you, didn't say "Hi!". I got used to it, but it is nice to be liked.
So I started to live my old life. Planed my new schedule, meet old friends and looked around and wanted to discover what changed.
I noticed, that I started to watch around a different way. that I saw some differences between Japan and Germany immediately Like "Wow, Germans are fat, ugly and blowsy"! Not everyone, but I recognized that unemployed people, especially in East Germany, don't care a lot about their lookings. I noticed, that this thought wasn't a nice thought, but what shall I do? It came up to my mind. Also that Germany is dirty. We have so many trashboxes everywhere, but nearly noone uses them, graffiti on the walls....things you have to search for in Tokyo.
These thoughts were not that new to me. I had this the different way round in Japan, too, I was impressed by the clean city and people. And these toughts were never dominant, just came up when I saw a new example.
But one day. I drank a coffee in the city, sat there and looked at people. I always do this, it's fun for me and sometimes it works like a mirror for me. But on that day it exploded in my head. "Germans are stupid, undfriendly, don't care about each other, never smile in public." Nothing especially new, but in that moment I was ashamed by my own country. I didn't feel like a German, I didn't want to stay there any longer. I wanted to go back, wanted to feel safe and liked. I wanted to be smiled in a Konbini, I wanted to here a "Irrashaimase~". Things which drove me sometimes crazy but became my normal life. From one moment to the next I felt anger and an endless sadness. I felt homesick.

Now, I see this as my first re-culture-shock. It happened after ~5 weeks, when my new/old life became normal again.

After this sometimes a sadness came up. Sometimes out of nowhere, sometimes when I read blogs of the German girls at Musashi or their facebook-notes. I wanted to experience this too. I wanted to be back again. I wanted to be part of the Japanese life again. Maybe this was the most important point, because I started together with them, but made the second semester alone and build up my own friendships. And now, they are befriended with MY friends. A stupid feeling. For sure everyone can has friends as many he wants and I can't dictate who likes who. I don't care about this in Germany. It's the opposite, I try to connect all my friends to have more possibilities for fun.

The sadness- or jealousy-attacks became less, when I started to make my photoalbums. Now I could preserve my memory -as I did before in my blog- I could remember everything again and put it down. I showed my album friends, told them about it. Suprisingly I am not so dominant in my Japanstories as I was directly after the earthquake. I think I could finish my life in Japan. Said "Bye!" to everyone and prepare for my German life. Sure sometimes I had to tell a stupid story of Yoann an me, how we did this or that. Or I tell about you or about some guys, my sport whatever...But I don't loose myself in neverending stories of a country where everything is better than here.

I get used to these short attacks of sadness. Then I listen to special music or make a work-out. It doesn't affect me that much.

But than christmas came up. Last time I spend a really wonderful christmas time in Tokyo. All German girls were there, Tabea's mom made a nice meal and even Yoann joined us for this. I felt like my family was around me. A healthy little family. I felt so right and for me this was the best christmas I can remember. My parents are divorced and even they don't quarrel or something, it is always a little bit weird at christmas. Both of my parents want to have my brother and me. And the since three years my father has a new girlfriend and priorities changed. No problem, it was normal. But my Japanese christmas was perfect and for sure I remembered that time and wanted to have this feeling again, as before blogentries, photos and notes on facebook made me sad. I wished to be alone, but for sure I visited my family for the holidays and spend 2 weeks in the north of Germany. There it was alright, not perfect, but as always. I showed my complete family my photoalbums and tried to explain how I experienced Japan. Since I am back in Germany, I feel more comfortable with my aunts and uncles. There was a time I ignored them. "They don't care about me, I don't care about them", I thought. But now, maybe because of the earthquake and their fear about me, we became closer to each other. Or is this normal? I was never a family person, except for my brother. But now it changed.

All these reculture-shocks were okay. I were just one day out of line. The second day my mood is normally okay. I write sometimes postcards or mails to my friends in the whole world. I am happy to have them. Something I recognized before: I am the person who contact them. But I could understand. I left Japan and started my new/old life again. I didn't miss my friends as much as I thought, because they don't fit into my German life, they belong to my Japanese life. And all the people who are still in Tokyo, for them normal life goes on and I was just a little part of it. Not a part of a special time, like it is for Yoann and me. We stayed the same time together in Japan and we became special persons for each other. Or contact is still fine. When we skype we are as silly as always. We met each other in a time where we discoveres a culture and through this ourself. I think this makes us to really good friends. For people who live in Japan, they don't learn about themself like we did at that time, so we couldn't be that important for them.
It is difficult to explain. Fo me it is logical, that we exchange students had a special connections which will live longer than the connection to Japanese or foreigners who still study there (like all my Brazilian friends). And so it is okay for me, that my Japanese friends are also more important to me, than I am be for them. As long we are still friends and noone ignores my mails.

So the New Year started. I survived my christmas down, had to do a lot of work for a presentation, made my regulary sport (it always helps me, when emotions are becoming too bad. I work out, organize my thoughts and feel better). But than I had a dream. I dreamed, that I am in Tokyo with my roommate and our train stopped at Kotakemukaihara -you know, in dreams everything is logical and right- I freaked out, that this I my station for the Musashi and that I want to visit everyone there. The Kokusai-Center, some teacher and for sure my gym. And at first I jump into the gym. My lovely trainer was there and I start to talk in horrible Japanese to him. "Hissashiburi" and this stuff. He was also happy to see me. But he was still working and has to correct some students. They were not able to follow his instruction and he mumbled in German something like "you are too stupid for anything..." It was perfect German and I was suprised and asked in German, if he spoke my language "Yeah, sure. I can speak a bit German!" I was shocked. I remembered all the stupid and dirty things I told in the gym to the girls and was ashamed. .... How the dream went on ist irrelavant. The Japanpart stopped and the setting changed.
I woke up and the dream was totally clear. I told my roommate at breakfast and we laughed about this stupid dream. I wanted to share it and decided to write a mail to my trainer (long and embarrasing story: I asked for his adress once in Japan, because I wanted to date him. Didn't work as I wanted and I thought the whole time it is weird to write a mail from Germany). But I wanted to tell. I wrote him in Japanese what I dreamed and pushed the send-button. But I made something wrong with the mailadress, it couldn't be send. I rewrote it, but it was the same. Did I wrote it somewhere elso wrong? I couldn' t find the mistake. And my emotions started to be mean.
I needed to write Nicole my problem with the mail and asked her, if he could ask him for his adress again or if she might give him my mail. It was necessary for me, that he knows about this stupid dream, that I think about him. I was totally out of line. The whole day I felt bad. Do I love this trainer? Why is this important for me? Why? I didn't see him for 5 month. He is not interested in me. Later I started to see this as a new form of "homesickness". The fact, that I couldn't contact him let me think, that he could forget me. And when he forgets me, whole Japan forgets me. A absolute logical thought in this moment. I was affected by Japan, but I didn't affect Japan. And this is horrible for me.
I started to think about my friends there, and how many people in Japan think about me and contact me, without I start that conversation. There were just 3 people. One of them is no Japanese (and no Musashistudent) and one of the Japanese is no student. So there is just ONE person who thinks about me once a while. How could this be? -I didn't count the other foreigners, because as I tried to explain, there is a special relationship-
My luck, that I finally could send that mail to my trainer. One hour starring at the adress didn't let me find the mistake, but a little look while I was phoning solved it. And he answered me the next day. For sure he didn't forget me, he wrote and yeah, it was a crazy dream. Also I received a package from my friend from Shizuoka with presents from her and her family. I was so happy. That showed me, that my fear was causeless. The family met me just a weekend, but always send greetings.
Nevertheless, this attack stayed for three days. I felt at the wrong place and were emotional instabil. I have now contact to some people in Japan again, just asked for attention, and I am fine again.

I need to organize my life here. Than I think about a return to Japan. Honestly. It was a great time, I was happy and learned a lot. I meet a bunch of nice people and want to see them again. I dont want to let the fear that I could never see them again come true.
I honestly miss that time.

1 Kommentar:

  1. In vielen Dingen, die du so beschreibst, finde ich mich selbst ganz genauso wieder, in der Zeit nach meinem Auslandsjahr an der Sophia. Vor allem auch dieses beklemmende, sich irgendwo falsch anfühlende Gefühl, dass da jetzt andere Freunde aus Halle in Japan sind, die in denselben Freundeskreis reingekommen sind, an denselben Orten Partys feiern, wo ich früher mit ihnen war und so. Da ist mir schmerzlich bewusst geworden, wie einfach die Zeit da drüben auch ohne mich weiterläuft.
    Und die Phase dieser Angst und auch Resignation, vergessen worden zu sein, war auch echt übel. Bei mir waren es auch ganze zwei Japaner, die wirklich eng Kontakt mit mir gehalten haben und auch von sich aus mal geschrieben haben. Eine hat mir auch immer mal Fotos geschickt. Zu Weihnachten z.B. von der Illumination in Roppongi. Das war einer der Momente, wo mir dann einfach die Tränen gekommen sind. Auch weil mein Eindruck von der Illumination vorher, in Japan, extrem stark war, weil ich da mit meinen Kursleuten, mit denen ich am engsten befreundet war, grad unterwegs gewesen war und wir alle einfach überwältigt gewesen waren.
    Was die Freundschaften hier angeht, war ich, als ich das nächste Mal hier war, ehrlich gesagt überrascht, dass ich plötzlich wieder so lieb aufgenommen worden war. Auch von vielen Leuten, von denen ich seit meiner Heimkehr nicht ein einziges Mal gehört hatte. Als ich wieder da war, haben plötzlich so viele gefragt, ob ich Zeit hab und ob wir uns treffen können, dass ich das in den zwei Wochen, in denen ich letzten April in Tokyo war, kaum geschafft hab. Die haben mich nicht vergessen. Die halten einfach nur nicht so engen Schriftkontakt wie die meisten Europäer. Komisch war diese kulturelle Eigenart dann zwar immer noch für mich, als ich es verstanden hatte, aber es hat mich irgendwo beruhigt. Da wusste ich dann, dass sie doch an mich gedacht haben, genauso wie ich an sie.
    Wenn du das nächste Mal nach Japan kommst, wird dir das sicher ähnlich gehen.