I was reading a forum I found yesterday, for foreigners living here, and got to thinking about how very many people have written about living overseas and such. There are a lot of foreigners here, a lot more than you might think, and not just obviously white folks, but Koreans, Chinese, and so on.
So, of course, nothing I'm saying is really new. Other folks have described, mostly better than I have, their experiences learning about the different cultural practices, trying to figure out kanji, walking around and such. And I've read some of their writings, even.
And yet, even having experienced things as a Peace Corps volunteer, what I'm doing now is really new for ME. And I'm writing to process things, to think out loud, as it were, and to remember things for myself. But I'm probably more boring than usual, especially for folks interested in teaching writing, academic stuff, or Shakespeare studies. Of course, anyone who's truly bored isn't reading, so that solves that!
I'm a little anxious about going to Hiroshima this weekend. It's far away, and I need to write down some basic stuff, figure out what to take with me, get cash. I'll be taking my first ride on a bullet train, spending the night in a hotel (I have reservations, but I'll have to find it in the city), finding my way to other places to visit, and then getting myself home. One of the faculty folks here takes students to Hiroshima, and I'll be tagging along. So getting there should be fairly straightforward. I hope.
And the cool thing is that I'll be able to join the class to see a speaker who's a survivor of the a-bomb there. The survivors are, as you'd expect, fairly few now, and mostly quite old and unwell. Yet somehow it seems important to learn and remember, like learning from my aunt's in laws who were Holocaust survivors.