Monday, March 19, 2012

The Monster Inside

I have never been one for confrontation.  Call it middle child syndrome or a naturally peaceful disposition or just plain cowardace, but when something gets on my nerves I almost always hold my tongue.  Sounds perfect for living in Japan, the passive aggressive capital of the world, does it not?

I hadn't realized it, but the extreme passivity of Japanese culture is too much, even for me. All the complaints that I have bottled up have begun to vent themselves... without my permission.

Just in the last month I have snapped on at least three occasions for offenses ranging from the extremely menial (persistent reminders in a facebook game) to the more peeving (America stereotypes) to the truly obnoxious (extremely loud neighborhood announcements at 7 a.m. on a Saturday. Screaming back at loudspeakers doesn't make me insane, does it?).
In almost all of these cases, I would normally just suck it up, keep the peace, say nothing... but there's a monster growing inside me. And if I keep feeding it all of my frustrations, irritations, and disappointments, I'm afraid it will take over completely.

I need guidance. How can I remain culturally sensitive and peacefully disposed without totally losing my marbles? Because, at this rate, the next sweet little granny who pats my belly and asks when I am due will be able to examine the contents of my stomach from the inside.
...'cause I'm gonna eat her.

The End.

*Chigaou is a Japanese expression which literally means "it's different" but is used in place of "no" because it's less confrontational... See what I did there?


  1. I made the illustrations on Also, I know I am not the first to illustrate with paint drawings, or anywhere near the best, but I had so much fun. :)

  2. Hi! My name is Lena I just had an interview with JET :D
    I used to read your blog some time ago, because I have a huge interest in Okinawa.
    Now I decided to stop being shy and say 'helloo'.

    I'm sorry about your frustrations. Have you tried some indirect venting activities (such as martial arts)? You could also scream at the ocean. Hope all goes well for you!

    1. Hi Lena! thank you so much for the message. :) Sometimes I think I am just posting into a vaccuum... ;)
      I actually HAVE yelled at the ocean before! haha! It's great on a quiet night to head to the beach and try to compete with the roar of the waves.
      I hope you get into the program, and especially hope that you get Okinawa!! I requested it and am so happy here. I think it's the best place in Japan. If you have any questions or just want to talk about Okinawa, please let me know!

    2. I will most definitely let you know my outcome! I don't recall where I requested to be placed, but I think at the last moment for some reason I switched my Okinawa to... like Fukuoka or something random like that (I guess I thought I wouldn't get placed in Okinawa). But if I do get a spot in JET, is it true I can switch my location after a year? I hope things are going well for you now ^_^

    3. It's surprising how few people request Okinawa, actually. I think a lot of people have the same idea--that they won't get it. haha :)
      Actually, the JET program makes it pretty difficult to switch... unless you get married, have medical issues, or your Board of Education cancels their JET participation, you are pretty much stuck where you are placed. Good luck, though!! I really hope you get Oki. And if not, you can travel here a lot! :D

    4. Hi!! I got shortlisted!! ^_^
      I'll let you know where I get placed.

    5. No Okinawa, but I'm in Oita-ken :D

    6. Not too shabby! I am hoping to visit Fukuoka in September for a salsa festival. Do you dance?

    7. Haha I am not the best at dancing. But I like to boogey and have fun :D