Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ranting, oh the ranting.

I got a lovely comment from Megan on my last entry that left me wracked with guilt that I hadn't 'come clean' with you all a week ago.

Things have been very, very bad, and I'm a little depressed. Possibly (now I look at it) not in that order.

If any of you have lived abroad for an extended period of time, you'll know exactly where I am. That point where the honeymoon is over, and everything that seemed exciting and new and wonderful seems is just hard. Usually I try and keep non-food related Japan things in my other blog, but given where my head's at, it's all related.

Little things set me off. I walked to the store to get groceries and I couldn't get money out of the ATM even though it was open (Japanese ATMs are a rant I will save for my other blog but God...). Annoying, but no problem because I have my credit card. Half way through my shopping I remember that Japan, arguable the most technologically advanced country in the world today, seems to have some sort of objection to anything that isn't cash, which means that I'm going to have to ask if they accept cards. The store was really busy and I was going to have to ask one of the people at the cash register, which was painfully embarrassing because it meant I couldn't find a quiet corner to spit out my pseudo-pig-Japanese (and accompanying mime act). The closest I could manage to the sentence I needed to say was karedito karedo... ii desu ka? (credit card, is it ok?), which made me feel even worse because I've been in Japan almost 4 months and I can't string together a basic sentence? How fucking stupid must I be?

So I interrupt the woman at the cash register and it's worse than I imagine because she starts babbling at me and the only word I understand is genki (cash), and I'm hearing ka a lot which means she's asking me questions but I can't answer them, and eventually I have to be rude and just walk away from her else I'll burst into tears in front of the people waiting for her to get back to her job.

Eventually I call my friend, have a meltdown over the phone, get the proper sentence (Karedito karedo de haruii imasu ka Can I pay by credit card?) and manage to catch a kind loking older employee who is returning the baskets. After a smile and a karedito karedo ja nai from him, I abandon my cart in the corner and leave the store. Because of course, the large, chain-store, 24 hour supermarket doesn't accept cards. Of course, what was I thinking? AARRGH!

Food has been ridiculous. I have eaten myself to the point of sickness almost every night this week. A few days ago I was feeling especially bad because it was the first day of my period so feeling sick and over full felt even worse, and I actually had to stop talking to a friend on IM because the slightest mention of food was going to send me crawling to the bathroom.

On top of that the temperature dropped really quickly and I was completely unprepared in terms of clothes. Which led to me having to order things online because I'm too fat for Japan. I do realise that this is true for pretty much every westerner, but it's not good for my poor, already bruised ego.

This morning I woke up and the world had settled into a strange and uncertain calm, the same as you get after you've had a huge fight with someone and now that it's over you're left sort of circling each other warily, unsure of your reception.

I bought a nice cleansing face wash to help my recent (but given the circumstances not entirely unexpected) terrible skin. Bad skin always makes me feel so ugly, especially as I have trouble finding the right shades of make up here so I can't cover it. I am going to make special efforts to use it, and remember to take of my make up and moisturise before bed. My new coat arrived today so hopefully the walk to school won't be so miserable from now on. The Japanese also don't believe in insulating their houses, so it's been bitter cold in my apartment too. The walls shake a little when the wind blows hard, it's not reassuring. I've decided to focus on just heating one room of my apartment and then running very quickly to bed at night. The heater is dehydrating me so I'm going to try and drink more water. I need to clean the house again today, I always feel worse when I let it go to seed.

I have no idea what's going on in your blogs because I stopped checking them when I stopped updating. I'll check them after finish this novel/post.

I'm OK I suppose. I don't want to leave, and having lived abroad before I know this will pass. I'm just so tired of every little thing being so difficult.

So tired.


Christie said...

I'm so sorry that you are having such a rough time. I hope things begin to improve and you become more comfortable there. If you need anyone to talk to, I am happy to listen!

Tully said...

I am glad you decided to share this with us, it makes you feel a little better doesn't it?

I am sorry you are feeling so down. I have never lived away from my country, but from my 10 days in Japan I can understand a little. I must admit after 10 days I was ready to go home because of the same problems you were talking about (supermarkets are crazy there!) and I was feeling lonely because there were days I didn't talk to anyone in English and I just wanted to talk to a friend or watch TV in English.

I know what you mean about little things setting you off, for me it was trying to buy a coke from a vending machine and it wouldn't accept my money and I couldn't understand what the message said. Eventually someone came over and told me that it needed exact change. I could have cried with relief! It was such a little thing, but it was the last straw of a long day.

As for the cold, do you have an electric blanket? Maybe your parents could send one over, that might help a little. The clothes situation must really suck. I think i've got it bad here in Australia, but I know how hard it is over in Japan!

Keep blogging I think it will help you feel connected. We are all here for you.

I hope you're feeling better today. :-) Big hugs from me!

Love Tully.

Grumpy Chair said...

Hey, I'm so so sorry you had a bad time of it. But you survived! Meaning, here you are. Not there. Here.

Unfortunately, our complexions bear the sins of what we have eaten. (Still happens to me in my 40's).

Lots of water, a good mask - like Queen Helene's Mint Julep and rest will help.

Hang in there.

Princess Dieter said...

I've been MIA, and had a very bad week--not at all helped by Thanksgiving piggery--so I wanted to come online and get re-energized with my pals.

But my pals is sad. :( This makes me sad.

Okay, enough of this group sadness. You will be having water, and your face will get better (I have crappy skin, had all my life, so after serveral dermatologists and decades of using all sorts of medications and cover-ups, I just accept that I will never have perfect skin, except in my resurrected body come the Kingdom). We will get our happies back. We will get our plans back in line.

You poor thing. I wish I could hug you, a real hug, Zanitta. We could sip tea, drink water, and commisserate together.

The blues suck. But you, you rule!

Me loves you.

The Princess

honib1 said...

wow you have been having a rough time... but you mention you have been through this before.. so try and focus on that you have survived this before.. the shakey walls are a bit scarey but.. I guess thats the way things are there... keep yourself warm.. and be good to your tummy.. take care of yourself .. I always feel that when i take care of myself I look and feel better...
Be well

Megan said...

I'm so happy that you wrote this. Not happy that you're feeling depressed, of course, but happy that you let this out. I hope writing all that helped ease at least a little bit of anxiety. I'm so proud of you for doing all this. You are so strong and courageous, even if you may not always feel like you are. It takes major guts to live in a new country, especially one that speaks a different language than your native one. You will one day look back on this experience and be so proud of yourself for having done it. Sure, that doesn't make the current experience any easier, but one day you'll see how much better a person you are because of this.

In the meantime, find things that make you happy, even if they only last for a moment. Is there a place in your city that you've found that can be like a little place that exists only for you? Find your place, wherever it may be, and remind yourself that it exists just for you. Having something that is yours might help it feel a bit more homey.

Keep venting, girl. We're hear to listen. Here's a big hug coming all the way from southern California.