East Meets West Meets East

My time in Tokyo.

A Seychelloise-English-Pakistani-Kenya girl and a London boy got on a plane ...

To Tokyo.

It really does sound like the start of a joke. Potentially a really bad one.

I am not a UN-child or army off-spring, I've just been the casualty (or winner) of convenience relocation. Parents who needed to move, or perhaps, wanted to move for one reason or another. 

And I have seen a fair amount and I have spent a lot of time curbing nerves and crushing panics. So I was totally ready for a surprise move to Japan....right?

I mean, I'd say I was a pretty astute at moving now. I know how many suitcases I'll need, how many boxes to pack, how to be brutal and get rid of things I don't need, but mostly I'm a seasoned pro at saying goodbye. I basically don't. It's all about avoiding leaving parties and just having casual lunches, brunches and dinners and making sure you see everyone you need to before you go. Maybe have a cry on the plane, but none of that emotion in front of people. Just the parents, obviously. And dogs, if you have them.

How wrong I was. I said goodbye to the same people about 5 times in 'unofficial' leaving get togethers and then we managed to severely over-pack. I don't mean a little bit over weight. I mean buying-an-extra-suitcase-at-airport situation. After having already paid for extra luggage allowance online, we then had to pay for another at the airport and buy a new suitcase. We were over weight on every suitcase.

Bear in mind we had only sent off a load in air freight just a couple days before, and were laughing at how little space we had used after panicking that there wouldn't be enough.

So this is why parents deal with all of this ....

What's so scary about moving to Japan? It is, quite literally, like no where else in the world. I can't speak or understand, never mind read the language and learning it is like trying to figure out why I get paid less than an accountant (please, stifle you laughter). Let's not forget the earthquakes. But we'll talk about that later.

Then there is the quiet female-inferiority in existence in Japan. It terrifies me more than earthquakes, because I am a loud, noisy and outspoken person, never mind being female. 

However, they love Hello Kitty, hot sake, sushi and Anime, so I'm not complaining.

I've completely accepted that I won't be staying in a flat as cool as Girls' Shoshana. We'll be staying in something akin to a rabbit hutch no doubt. A bathroom that comes out of the wall and a dining table that comes out of the floor. They are, after all, a very efficient society.

This time I'll be moving with someone who is living somewhere new for the first time. I might do things differently this time round, and everything could easily going on - but you know, positivity and all that jazz.

Watch this space for some entertaining, potentially terrifyingly bad choices and some euphoric moments.

Sayonara London!

Maxine Cheyney