Why did I come to Japan?

My sister had lived in Japan as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) some years ago now. She had mentioned at the time that her Japanese coworker had told her that she had eaten too many bananas and would gain weight. And, after a few years being here myself, I have achieved a similar experience!

Back home, various fruit sits in a basket on the table and each is selected similar to a pick-up sport game where each team’s captain selects players one by one until the least skilled or, more optimistically, least known players are selected by default at the end, out of good sportsmanship. The critical difference with this comparison is that the least wanted fruit in the basket may never be selected and rot in the basket. You may have to wash or discard the basket itself due to the rotting fruit over time. Two weeks later there is fresh fruit in the basket and the process starts all over again in an infinite loop (love you mom). Fruit and family alike will appreciate you gorging yourself on as many remaining fruit as you like! Frozen banana shake? Three bananas at least. It’s the sour plums and peaches that will quickly find themselves pressed by gravity against the basket of fate.

One of my earliest memories about Japan is seeing a book of failed Japanese inventions as a stocking stuffer for Christmas. The shock of seeing each of the silly inventions was surely a page-turner! I had more enjoyment flicking through this book than modern-day social media. An umbrella that you wear on your head or a full length umbrella with the dome extending down to your shoes… I mean we didn’t even have or use umbrellas where I’m from due to too much wind! Rain came at a 45 degree angle. One time, my friend bought an umbrella at the mall and it broke in the wind on the walk home. That was the first and last time that I had seen someone use an umbrella in the span of 15 years.

It seemed that Japanese people must use umbrellas frequently for such improvements to be conjured up! Or was it all a joke? Well, looking back at it now, it looks like a big joke. But, maybe it seeded the idea of giving this country a closer inspection.

Well, I guess I can’t put my finger on my exact curiosity draw to Japan for now. It certainly wasn’t Godzilla, ninjas, geishas, Nintendo, anime, nor anything to do with sushi, cameras, or tentacles.

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