“My father was screaming at me on the phone a few weeks ago. He said, ‘Get back home to Egypt! I don’t want to see you in a body bag or coffin.’ So I told him I’d be safer in Japan even if I got infected with the coronavirus. Medical treatment is better. Plus I’mContinue reading

“I was born with a disability. I don’t have part of my leg because of a malformation below the knee. It’s like an amputation. So growing up, my parents would always push me to challenge myself. They wanted me to live an active life. If I wanted something, I had to go pick it upContinue reading

“I’m not in the best place in my life right now. I would say I’m blessed, but I don’t feel the best. And now I’ve decided to leave and go back home to Taiwan, partly because of the virus. I came to Japan on a working holiday visa because of my boyfriend, who lives hereContinue reading

“I was babysitting for an American couple when the outbreak happened, and it turned into a two-week, all-expense-paid trip for me. They were based in Shanghai but in Tokyo on holiday. So the lockdown in Shanghai forced them to stay two more weeks and work remotely, while I showed their kids around town. One ofContinue reading

“Am I afraid of coronavirus? Hell yeah. I make it a point to wear a mask on crowded trains. Am I gonna let that stop me from serving kebab? Hell no. We’re always open for business, come rain or shine. People still gotta eat after all. Although I realize I’ve been working so much sinceContinue reading

“I’m from Lithuania and he’s from Nepal. We met while studying in Japan. We never thought we’d stick around after graduating from university, let alone start a family in our adopted country. It’s kinda weird raising what people these days call ‘third culture kids’. Our eldest attends Japanese school and it can get tricky sometimes.Continue reading

“I must have done five internships in total before getting hired by my company now. I sent dozens of cover letters and resumes to lots of different hiring managers, telling them, ‘Hey, I’m a foreigner and I can only speak conversational Japanese. But I’m willing to work for free for up to six months.’ MyContinue reading

“I used to get called ‘dark’ or ‘dirty’ and it would bother me a lot. It made me shut myself inside the house, away from people. You see, my father’s Japanese but my mother is Malaysian, so I look this way. Growing up, sometimes random people would say, ‘She’s a foreigner!’ even though I canContinue reading