Sometimes (but not as often as I used to), I get this feeling of, “Oh shit! I am in Japan!!!”
And I feel a little like I’m in prison.
Yeah, I know I am VERY privileged and Japan is a wonderful country with lots of kind people and delicious food and I could really be in prison maybe even a North Korea prison but I’m not so I really should not be complaining.
Nevertheless, I’m like, “Wait? Wasn’t I supposed to live my life in America? How did THIS happen? I’m in Japan. Omigosh. Weird.”
I supposed many immigrants feel like this. Maybe not all, but a lot.
I think immigrants in the U.S. don’t say it publicly because then it will be like, “You thankless vermin, you don’t appreciate all the freedom and wealth America has graciously bestowed upon you! Swim back over to where you came from and see how you like working in a factory for two cents an hour!”
I think it’s an immigrant thang. All of us immigrants can imagine what would have happened if life had gone a different way, if we detoured at a different fork in the road…….Somewhere in an alternate dimension there’s a woman who looks just like me driving an SUV and picking the kids up from soccer practice. She’s listening to NPR on the car radio and driving through a Chick Filet. She hands her debit card to a person with an accent who is also imagining an alternate dimension in which her life is completely different.
I wrote this post way back in spring but didn’t publish it at the time. Still feel this way. Like, Ohmigosh, I live in Japan…how did that happen?????