Basically this is a post about why i love Japan.
I have been wanting to write this post for a long time, but keep procrastinating it because i couldn’t seem to find the right tone and angle to fully express what i wanted to say (also every day i find a new reason to love it so it become very long). Also because i potentially might get stoned to death by patriots, because even i feel like i’m betraying my own country. So it also involves a lot of complicated feelings.
But they are good rather than bad feelings. Sort of like a piece of nutella flavored bacon. Something like that.
But today i decided to just go all out wtf. It’s like confessing for the first time.
Here’s a little background story.
15 years ago there was this Japanese drama playing on TV. I was stunned to see how beautiful the actress was and how romantic the story was (last time la). I was hooked and started to want to know more about this whole Japanese thing. Then there were songs, Sailormoon, Ayumi Hamasaki, Sushi King (last time la) etc etc.
I was hooked forever.
Before i knew it, i started buying Japanese language books and speak random Japanese with my best friend. She called me Ringo (means apple) and i called her Ichigo (strawberry). It was our dream to go to Japan together one day. It was a far far far far away dream.
At one point i thought that i would never ever be able to travel to Japan. It was extremely expensive and i was poor wtf. But i continued to lived in my own dream. I continued going for weekend classes to learn Japanese and imagine one day i would be there. One day.
Then i also discovered lolita fashion and i was like sweet mother of god how on earth can someone be THAT CUTE?!?!? It was my dream to save up RM10,000, and one day i will travel to Japan and buy ALL the lolita fashion that i loved.
And then in 2008, i finally saved up RM5k to pay for a homestay in Nagano. The moment i landed at Narita airport i teared. The airport ground staff bowed to our airplane when it touched ground. In my heart i thought, this is my dream come true.
And then the rest is history (or rather in the archive of this blog wtf). Indeed it was a dream come true, and something more than that.
Sidetrack a little, today i watched this documentary recommended by Xiaxue and QiuQiu called “The Secret”, which is about positive thinking, law of attraction and crap like that. The normal cynical me would have been all, don’t bullshit me la. But when i thought of it, a lot of things make sense. So from now on i am going to sound all megalomaniacal and narcissistic (but that’s supposed to be the way apparently. I say one. lol).
Japan is just one of the examples. I have loved it for such a long time (15 years is a lot!!!!). And now it loves me back, for all the love i’ve ever poured for it. It keeps wanting me to go back. It’s true. Now it’s almost like i’m holidaying in Malaysia. I’m going there again this month 21st. For both work and holiday. And love.
(Ok I can’t believe that was the intro to this blog post.)
Anyway here’s the real post. Now about why i love Japan.
Everybody loves Japan in some way. The food, the people, the fashion, the hospitality, the professionalism, all the cute shit, anime, pop singers, fast internet, fresh sushi, sakura, and porn idols wtf.
You all know it. I love all of them. Except porn idols maybe. But this is something more on a personal level.
The true reason why i love Japan, is that i recently shockingly discovered that in Japan, i have become this person who…
It’s weird to say this, but I have become someone i like.
I become someone even *i* actually like. And that is coming from someone who seldom like people. Including myself. My default button for a newly met person is dislike wtf. It takes a lot of trust for me to like someone. There was a phase in my life where self-loath was so intense i wished the of the world happen sooner so that i could disappear.
But i am becoming the person i wanted myself to be. In Japan. I become this disgustingly optimistic, genuinely helpful and polite, and most of all, shitlessly happy person i never imagined myself ever will be, or deserved to be.
Every minute i feel happy. Everything i do it makes me happy. Eating a convenient store onigiri makes me happy. Watching cute girls with cute fashion on the street makes me happy. Saying thank you to a shop staff makes me happy. Maybe even touching a Japanese stone make me happy wtf.
Maybe you’d think that’s because i’m experiencing it from a tourist point of view and through sakura-tinted glasses so of course everything looks cute, happy and perfect there. And also it is too soon for me to pass a comment because i don’t live or work there. Also everyone gives me that “grass is greener on the other side” nonsense.
Bitch please. Sakura is pinker on that side.
So on a honeymoon with/in Japan i might be, but i have watched news, learnt about their culture, recognized how hard life is for most people there, and many many other big social problems. So i pretty much also know the not so perfect side of Japan.
I love Japan enough to go back there 9 times (this coming trip in May is my 10th visit), and i have experienced enough to conclude that it is the best fucking place i have ever been to.
For things that i didn’t quite like about Japan, i get used to it.
Sure now i have to make my bed every single morning i wake up, i have to be extra careful and use polite speech with new people or people older than me, i cannot talk too loudly or sit anyhow i want in public places, i have to separate all the freaking 9000 types of garbage, i have to clean up after my food and tray in Starbucks, and now my latest hobby is folding toilet paper into triangle shape.
But you know what i think?
If you can deal with bribery, traffic jam, taxi snatchers and hair in your pan mee in KL, these are nothing.
Maybe after awhile, everywhere becomes sort of the same, you start complaining about your government, your neighbor, your neighbor’s dog. It is too cold. It is too hot. (In Malaysia it is just it is too hot and it is too hot.)
But generally i would still think that i’d be happier in Japan due to the simple fact that everyone takes things seriously and is ultra polite there so chances of me getting tulan and annoyed are lower compared to me living in, say KL. Idiots are everywhere and they irritate you, but at least idiots there (if exist) apologize and bow to you wtf. (Ky said maybe that’s the reason why they invented Yoko Yoko because of all the bowing lolol.)
Anyway, most of the things that i initially didn’t like turned out to be the exact things that could make me a better person (now i will end up sounding like not just a narcissistic, megalomaniacal but a condescending elitist wtf). Because here i learn about manners, politeness, social responsibility and pure kindness. It’s like starting Pendidikan Moral lesson 1 all over again.
It’s like a cult, if i must put it this way. I was shocked to find myself carrying a paper cup for 3 hours just so i could find the right dustbin to throw it in. That i politely smiled to someone who stepped on my toe. That’s something i could never ever do back home in here.
And finding myself doing that makes me happy. Being kind to people and receiving kindness from people make me super happy.
And being there makes me realize how insanely lucky i am to be able to see, smell, taste and touch all these… insanely awesome… stuff. And in return i appreciate every single thing i do or happens to me.
Especially after Tokyo Kawaii TV, i have been getting sooooo many comments from Japanese followers who thank me for loving Japan, which makes me love it even more. (if a foreigner tells me that he/she loves Malaysia my first response is, why ah?!” wtf) A few told me that thanks to me they have re-discovered their own culture, and good things about Japan.
This is so strange if you tell me this is what’s gonna happen, to the young me 15 years ago. I would have been like, what have you been smoking?!
So, shit. Now i am all having messiah syndrome thinking that it’s my calling to promote ALL the good stuff about Japan to the whole world.
Which i am gonna. lol. Because i want everyone to LOVE JAPAN so it will become an even more awesome country for the world.
I’m ending this post with a letter i received from a 17 years old reader.
That’s all. That was the story of my love for Japan. If you have any story to share about your love for Japan too, please leave a comment. I am really curious and i’d read ALL of them!! And share it with everyone!!!
Oh before i forget.
Sakura is pinker on this side.