Saturday, November 25, 2006

Those Love-Hate Days

I haven’t written for a while, I have had blog posts running through my head but have been really busy.

Most of the time I love living in Japan. I love how simple and healthy life can be over here. I love the innocence of most of my students. I love the lack of aggression. I just love the standard of service no matter where you go.

There are days however that I hate it. Last Sunday was one of those days. It had been a bit of a rough week proceeding it. With the birth of Mel’s adorable little boy, Wayne’s and my thoughts had turned to the more logistical side of our future family plans.

We had always thought that in a number of years, we would start our family over here. We love the idea of raising children, at least for a number of years, in a bilingual environment. Once they were coming up to school age, we would decide how and where we wanted them educated.

But recently, a deeper fear and loneliness seems to have set it. I joked to a friend that it seems I’m going through post-natal depression on Mel’s behalf. I have started to worry about my low level Japanese and dealing with doctors. I have worried about the difference in attitudes to childbirth here. But mostly I have worried about the lack of support and being isolated. I have some really dear, giving friends here, but everyone has their own lives to lead as well. We also don’t want our friendships to change into something else because we lean too heavily on people for help.

So a week of nutting over plans, different ideas and late night talks had exhausted us. On Sunday, doing even the simplest of tasks just seemed so difficult. We had a form to fill in and be faxed off, something that would be done in a flash had we been dealing in English, but instead saw us screaming at each other, tears of frustration flowing and doors would have been slammed had our paper sliding doors been up to it.

I’m just not sure how we’d go raising a child over here when we can’t do the basic things. We’ve had an eight month drama of trying to order a computer, I’ve had problems with my visa and hence haven’t even been able to get a bank account and then there was all the stress with dealing with doctors and the hospital while Wayne was sick.

Monday luckily brought an upturn to our feelings. That night we had dinner at a sweet, kind friend’s house. She has us over every few weeks. While she and her husband don’t speak English, we always have a wonderful night and leave feeling loved.

We still haven’t decided what the best plan of attack is for baby plans, but we have a little while yet to think about that. Now I suppose, its time to go back to loving this place…..


michelle said...

I think most foreigners feel a lot of ups and downs while living in Japan. I go through periods of (anger? shame? depression?) that my Japanese isn't up to scratch. Some days I understand everything that's said to me, then I even understand most of what's on tv, and I feel amazing! Other days I can barely order a coffee without humiliating myself! The support and understanding of friends is the main thing that gets us through those days, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I'm just wondering what would make you send a child through that horror japanese education!! I'm an aussie woman married to a Japanese woman and could never think of sending my kids through that school hell that they have over there. Even getting into Kindy over there is a big deal, which ensures which elementary, high school and college you will end up in. Luckily, my husband likes living in Perth, so i don't have to put my kids through that trauma.