Jumping Into the Deep

“I’m from Trinidad and Tobago, which makes me a Caribbean girl. Even though anime and manga were my gateway drugs to Japan, I’ve always been interested in how other people lived their lives. And since Japanese culture is very far from Caribbean culture, I found myself drawn to this country. That and the fact that my best friend would not stop talking about her experiences here when she studied abroad in Japan.

“I used to work as a professional copywriter for Abovegroup Ogilvy, an advertising agency. At some point I wanted to become an Emirates flight attendant because they get paid really well, they live in Dubai, and their routes are some of the best in the world. My mom encouraged me because she’s such an adventurer but it didn’t happen.

“I’ve already had my taste of culture shock when I lived in the States for five years. What’s different is the language was no problem. Here in Japan, there’s a barrier.

“But I’m not easily deterred by things like that. I’m OK with jumping into the deep. After coming home from the US, I felt myself changed and grown. And it made me see my own self, my people, and my country differently. So this is what traveling and spending time in a different country does to you. Especially if it’s long term, that place becomes a part of you and you take it with you wherever you go.”

Zia4.jpg
Getting ready for a cruise

“I grew up in a bohemian family. My father was an actor, film director and producer. My mother was a dancer so they met on stage, while doing a production together. Mom’s sister married an Iranian man. And since my parents are very hippie, when my mom was pregnant with me, she went to him and said, `You want to name my kid? Go ahead.’ So I actually have a Persian name which means `light’.

“It naturally followed that I was a total theater and dance kid, performing with Lilliput Theatre Company in Trinidad since the age of four. So I connect with Japanese people when it comes to theater and dance, or anything pertaining to the stage. It’s beautiful because with any aspect of performance, even if it comes from completely different traditions, you can always relate to the other actors, players, or dancers. Performance is its own spirit.

“Now I’m an English teacher in Japan, but I used to be a TV Producer back home before I got here, and I specialized in scripting. I’m a writer at heart so sometimes I work on personal projects here and it’s really fulfilling. Hopefully, I can professionally pursue screenwriting in this part of the world in the not-so-distant future.”Zia5

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tokyointerlopers

Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

One thought on “Jumping Into the Deep

  1. My 13 year old son is presently learning to speak and write Japanese. He wants to live and work there when he finishes school. Any suggestions on how he can achieve this?

    Liked by 1 person

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