It's been a while since I last wrote...my posts while in Tokyo will be infrequent as there's really not much to write for me from this city besides comment on my day. I've lived in Japan for a total of 3 years; one year as an exchange student almost 13 years ago, and two years working in southern Japan. It's almost like coming home for me where I know where things are and where to go. I am in a complicated state though when I'm here as I am an outsider that is often times mistaken for a local....well I suppose it depends on who you ask...
I guess at first, most people would assume that I am Japanese BUT if you *closely* observe how I walk, or how I dress, it's a dead giveaway that I did not grow up eating the same rice and drinking the same water. Clearly, I was fed a different kind of feed as I'm probably 40 pounds more than the average person my height here; sadly even when compared to most guys here! I think when I speak, most people will also quickly assume that I am Japanese but must think I ask the stupidest questions. The other day, I had to ask about a pre-paid card and the whole time I could SEE the guy laughing at me under his breath with this 'are you really asking me this?' look. One thing I can't stand about the Japanese...A majority of the population conforms here, so if you don't, obviously you are not Japanese. When you act out of place, you are quickly frowned upon or ridiculed. When I studied as a student, I often purposely stuttered so they would know that I was not a native; I think this had a negative impact on my progress in the language.