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An opportunity, A fear.

My mom was telling me the other night that there's a chance Connie will have to go to Japan for a week sometime in the next couple months. She's been struggling to find projects to get in on, a lot of her work having been disrupted and piecemeal thanks to the dual maternity leaves. While having to go to Japan would be a downside for her, seeing as she'd be separated from her husband and kids, it's an unexpected opportunity for me. I've entertained the idea of visiting Japan one of these days, if for no other reason than to actually engage in some of the cultural items I've read/watched on the web and in anime/manga. I could, in effect, tag along on her business trip, paying for a plane ticket and then mooching off of her accommodations wherever her company sends her.

The fact that I might want to visit anyplace outside of the US is saying something given my dislike for travel in general. A large part of that is a personality quirk which leads me to prefer the stable and the familiar but it's become more practical as well thanks to the medical issues. Traveling becomes a real bother when you have to deal with things like wound care, chronic pain, and all the other multitude of accompanying problems and inconveniences. In the past I've said that about the only place I might actually be interested in visiting is England since at least they speak English and I'm a fan of shepard's pie and fish and chips. Not to mention I've got this masochistic urge to find out if English food (as opposed to simply the US version of it) is as horrible as I've been lead to believe. Besides, who wouldn't want to have the chance to see a Spotted Dick for the first time? Well, maybe scratch that last bit. I've never really had any desire to go to a non-English speaking country before, having passed up the opportunity multiple times in the past. My family has gone on European vacations as well as multiple trips to China and Taiwan and I've passed on the chance to tag along each and every time. All of that being said, I'm giving serious thought to Japan and weighing the pros and cons in my head.

The pros are probably pretty easy to come up with and it's the cons that are dominating my thoughts.

1) I don't speak Japanese. I know I said I was going to learn and all that but so far I've actually put no real effort into it. At this point I probably have about as much comprehension and ability to express myself as a deaf mute. I'm not really one of those trailblazing sort of people and the idea of just being more or less left to my own devices in a place where I don't speak the language scares me a bit. It's not even that I'm worried I'll get lost or mugged or suffer some horrible fate due to the language barrier. I'm also worried that the language barrier will just make it impossible for me to actually enjoy the trip, and then what would be the point of all the fuss and bother? There are plenty of things I would love to experience in Japan but how would I even find something like a takoyaki stand just wandering around randomly?

2) The trip will be expensive. On one level, cost shouldn't matter to me since it's not like I really have a future to save for. It's not like I'll ever have to pay for a family or a mortgage or worry about anything along those lines. I already live in a financial limbo that's supported almost completely by my family due to my condition. That said, I still don't like the idea of blowing money when it can be saved. I break that thriftiness (my sisters have always thought cheap was a more fitting word for it) in some cases, but a trip like this would be the definition of discretionary spending. Hell, I've spent trips to conventions where to save the price of having to buy overpriced food I would drink free packets of salad dressing to get my daily allotment of calories.

All of this is exacerbated by the fact that everything I've ever heard tells me that shit is outrageously expensive in Japan and the current exchange rate sucks. Taking this trip will be a pretty good sized financial hit to someone, even if it's not me, and using money that could be put to more useful purposes.

Feh. Just thinking about the cons makes me want to forget the whole idea. Maybe I'll just put this whole thing off into the hypothetical future where I'll have actually learned Japanese and also won the lottery.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 23rd, 2010 12:11 am (UTC)
You don't need to know Japanese to stay/live/holiday in Japan.

Things like train stations and airports are clearly sign posted in English.
Most Japanese speak some English and lots of people are happy to help.

With food it is a lot cheaper to eat Japanese food.
If you like Japanese food and know the different things you like by looking at them then that helps a lot. Vending machines and convenience stores are everywhere (some Japanese live out of convenience stores) so it's easy to get food.

You could buy some noodles for a meal at a convenience store - about 200 yen and a can of coke 150 yen.
If you want to be cheap you could find a 100 yen store.

Fruit is expensive, western food like cheese is expensive, department store food courts are expensive.
Basically.....eat like a Japanese and it's cheaper.

If you want western food you could bring some with you to Japan....once you have eaten it you would then have room to take a few gifts back.

Please excuse this badly written comment - I'm at Milan airport....and no - I don't speak a word of Italian.
Jul. 23rd, 2010 04:38 am (UTC)
Ya but I'm not a jet-setting, trend-setter like yourself. I also expect that strangers are a lot more friendly if you have boobs.

Edited at 2010-07-23 04:40 am (UTC)
Jul. 23rd, 2010 11:57 pm (UTC)
I think you should go for it....it wouldn't be as hard as you think.

You know lots of Japanese girls go for Asian men.

Sadly my boobs are not so amazing. :(
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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