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  • Miss Japanese life and my girl

    I just got back to Canada to start law school about a month ago. I lived in Japan for two years in the Okayama region.

    I am now in Vancouver and dont get me wrong, the people here are nice, and the views are wonderful, but I just feel like the "feeling" of the life doesnt match me.

    When I first got to Japan I didnt like it so much, but after a while it grew on me, and then I met my girlfriend, who I fell in love with. I obviously miss her terribly, but even more I miss just the Japanese feeling. I wish I could be satisfied with the life of a teacher, but I just need some more rewarding work in my life.

    I dont know the feelings of others who have returned. I miss Japan terribly, and If I could go there after I complete my law education I would in an instant. Do any of you folks out there have a success story of trans-Pacific relationships that worked? I know of lot of bad stories are out there, and believe me I have heard them.. Anyone beat the long distance bug?
    Last edited by Mello-j; 2004-09-19, 02:20 AM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Mello-j
    I just got back to Canada to start law school about a month ago. I live in Japan for two years in the Okayam region.

    I am now in Vancouver and dont get me wrong, the people here are nice, and the views are wonderful, but I just feel like the "feeling" of the life doesnt match me.

    When I first got to Japan I didnt like it so much, but after a while it grew on me, and then I met my girlfriend, who I fell in love with. I obviously miss her terribly, but even more I miss just the Japanese feeling. I wish I could be satisfied with the life of a teacher, but I just need some more rewarding work in my life.

    I dont know the feelings of others who have returned. I miss Japane terribly, and If I could go there after I complete my law education I would in an instant. Do any of you folks out there have a success story of trans-Pacific relationships that worked? I know of lot of bad stories are out there, and believe me I have heard them.. Anyone beat the long distance bug?
    mello j

    I spent 2 years separated from my girlfriend for 2 years while she worked in Australia. We got married in the end and it hasnt been plain sailing.

    I am still in Japan and have a professional teaching career at a university, but if you dont plan to teach here there are other issues you would have to work out such as what you would do here, what she wants to do, even if she would live in canada, long term goals, kids etc.

    As for the short term, cant offer much except "gaman" and e-mail. setting up a blog or keeping touch by email helps. A lot depends on how strongly you feel about this lady, becuase one way or another, if you marry and have kids etc one of you will have to live in a country they were not born and bred in.


    If you need more specific info you can post or mail, but 2 years apart is not something I wish to repeat again.

    Paul

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    • #3
      I hear ya, Mello-j!

      Mello-j,

      I was in Japan for 4 years, and now I'm back in the US. Lemme tell ya, I feel the EXACT SAME WAY that you do about leaving both a loved one and Japan behind!! I'm busy with Grad School and so on, but it really sucks for the first few months, as everything is so different (and not in the "new and funky" different way that Japan was when we all first arrived...)

      All I can say is, focus on finishing your degree and stay in close touch with your sweetie. If you both want it and work hard to maintain things, it can happen. Consider visiting Japan (like I am) once you get that nice Pension refund, or have her visit you. Time and circumstances may indeed change things, but you gotta try!!

      I hope that helps. Like I said, I'm going through it myself, and it really blows some days...

      Drew

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      • #4
        Whenever I leave Japan and go back to my home country, I feel that same feeling of emptiness. Face it, DrDrew, you have been hooked by Japan. Come back. It is your destiny. You might think that you should stay in Canada to advance your career/etc. This is practical, but when Japan has an emotional hold on you, emotion always wins out over practicality. That has been my experience, at least.

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        • #5
          Totally

          I do want to return to Japan, once I finish here. I dont know how likely it is, but I want to pursue a career in law there once I finish up my school here.

          We will see.

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          • #6
            I am in the same situation. Been in Japan for 3.5 years (professional work, company relocation). Now moved to Switzerland.

            Two feelings: craving for Japan and dislike of Geneva. Hokkaido urchins, Kobe chocolate, Osaka nighclubs, Tokyo architecture, universal customer service, friendly neighbourhood shop keeperes, gaijin bars... but of course, most of all, that special feeling that surrounds you in Japan. Jaa, shikata ga nai.

            I am also obviously separated from my girlfriend. Several things which have helped:

            - Commitment to the relationships
            - She came here twice and liked the lifestyle
            - We both acted and found her a great job so that she could relocate here with confidence
            - Daily internet chats, phone calls, and at least weekly video chats - sometimes virtual dinners - by internet (last weekend it lasted for 9 hours...).

            In total, our separation is expected to last 6 months (1 last month to go). I think we managed it well; and it DOES test the feeling.

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            • #7
              I don't think I am idolising Japan...

              It's just that Geneva is unfriendly, refers to me as a 'non-Swiss', highlights my non-Swiss 'uniqueness', even my colleagues sniff at my poor French (and I f*king speak Russian, English, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese, and understand Italian, Portuguese and French... let alone the Slavic languages.... do they?) everyone expects me to be grateful for being here, athorities think I dream of immiration, streets are dirty with dog____, there are rats in the streets, waiters in the restaurants stink of unwashed bodies and do terrible service, and the food is mostly attrocious and over-charged. If you as much as fart in your house after 10 pm friendly neighbours call police.

              Other then that, no real difference with Japan.

              All our world in inside our mind, no?

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              • #8
                I liked London when I lived there. I actually lived in Twickenham, near the Rugby stadion. Mind you, my points of reference were Phnom Penh, Tashkent and Moscow at that time...
                Last edited by The ONE; 2004-11-06, 09:43 PM.

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                • #9
                  Gaijin de Moscu: You mentioned that your girlfriend found a good job...just wondering what kind of job it was, and how good her language skills were?

                  Although I may sound like I am idealizing Japan to unrealistic levels, I fully appreciate that there are many things wrong especially the treatment of foreigners.

                  However even given that, I still liked my life there, and felt happier than ever before. If only I had the language skills to get into the business world.........

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                  • #10
                    Mello-j, she was offered several jobs within the company we both work in; all in her business area. She is, basically, a unique specialist and so it was reasonably easy for her to find a job within that business (only!).

                    She was ready to look for a job outside, for which she got help of professional resume writing person, and was ready to pay the career counselling agency. But it's tough in Geneva, even though most foreigners eventually find jobs.

                    For her language skills, she speaks Japanese natively and English fluently; nothing else. In her case, she will need to learn a bit of French now...

                    She was also considering other options - French classes, MBA, complete change of industry and entering Hotel Management training... luckily, she did not have to!

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                    • #11
                      I guess that is what I'm having real problems with at the moment - I'd expected to be integrated by now, but I'm still as much on the outside as I was the first day I came here. Kinda depressing really...

                      Integrated with what?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Basil Brush
                        Integrated with what?
                        I'm sorry, but are you special ed? Obviously he's talking about integrated into Japanese life/culture.

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                        • #13
                          Relationships

                          Yes, there are cases of relationships that do work, it does require alot of effort and planning to say the least.
                          Like what PaulH said, there are issues that you will need to think through.....

                          Unfortunately, most of the jobs in Japan are in the education sector and it's tough finding employment outside that line. Think: How good is your Japanese and why should a Japanese boss/company hire you and not a Japanese person?

                          If you want to live in Japan, you may or may not have to give up your desired employment options. I have heard the stories of people that say that the "Gaijin Feeling" can be different when a more permanent relationship is founded with a Japanese woman. Ask yourself, what factors about living in Japan bring about that "Gaijin Feeling?"

                          Talk it over with your girlfriend and plan.....meeting the parents (if you haven't already) can be a tricky one. The usual case is that one of you will have to give up alot of things to make life realistic in the long run. It is not necessary a bad thing but one that needs to be noticed and discussed over,

                          Keep us posted!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Basil Brush
                            Obviously he's talking about integrated into Japanese life/culture.

                            What exactly does that mean? Please define.
                            Don't you guys mean 'assimilated'? Do you mean like 'becoming one of the locals?' No idea how you integrate into Japanese culture. Class lessons and curriculums are integrated with each other, but not people.

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                            • #15
                              Integration is the new ingratiation, get with it, Paul.

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