Japan? Really?

I’m really excited about this move to Japan. I’m telling everyone. Like, really, everyone. I went to get my hair cut the other day, just so I’d have a whole new audience.

I find with all my travelling, but this trip in particular, that I will get one of three responses when I mention it.

The first one, which usually comes from my mother, is a total lack of comprehension.

“What? Japan? Why? Are you a bit mad?”

The second one, most often from friends, is respect and enthusiasm.

“Japan? That’s awesome! I hope you’re going to write a blog and post pictures!”

The third one normally comes from total strangers—like my hairdresser—and is my favourite reaction.

“Japan? Oh my mum’s best friend’s sister went there for a week four years ago! I think she went to Tokyo or Osaka, or somewhere near there. Do you want me to give you her email address? She might be able to help you out!”

This one’s my favourite because it’s so indicative of the little kindnesses of people. Ninety-nine per cent of the time I won’t call my hairdresser’s Aunt Susie, or go to visit “that temple up north, you know, ha-something, with the statues?” but it’s very reassuring to have that offer when you’re doing something a bit mad like moving to Japan.

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