Homeward Bound

“After eight long years, I’ve decided to pack my bags and head back to Vancouver because I feel as though I will never go beyond being `the foreigner’ in Japan. Initially, I came to Japan as a game designer. But due to a high burnout rate and my inadequate Japanese, I taught English, instead. From here on, I’m going back to my creative roots, say maybe launch an indie studio.

“It’s going to be reverse culture shock though. I came to Japan as a child. When I got here, I was 22. I didn’t know how to do my laundry or pay my bills. I had to learn how to do all these grown-up stuff in Japan. I gotta learn the whole system again. So that’s what I’m gonna miss about Japan—being an independent adult.

“The fact that I can pay all my bills at a combini (convenience store) is magic. I don’t know how to pay my bills in Canada.

“I ask my friends, `How do you do it?’ and they’re like `online’. Yeah that teaches me nothing. Where I come from, banks and post offices close really early. Here, you can do everything from combinis. You buy a meal from 7-11 in Canada, you’re going to get food poisoning.”

Hiking Mt. Takao on a drizzly Sunday afternoon

“On a different note, the Japanese are good at reading situations and adjusting to social cues. So if you make an ass of yourself, no one will point it out, letting you to get away with a blunder scot-free. But at the same time, no one will point out or defend a poor girl from perverts on the train because they don’t want to stand out or make a fuss.”

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

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