Three and a half months later, I'm not the same Blakewell.

It amazes me the adaptability of the human spirit given the right attitude. Now, not to rag on my American readers (is rag still used in the English language?), but those living in America have got it made. Basically everything your heart has ever desired is at your disposal. Every type of food, every first run of any movie (Star Wars comes to mind here), and having a bedroom twice the size of my apartment is easily available to any American.

Yet, when you move outside of America, your whole world begins to change. First, one of the most basic needs according to Maslow is food, and boy does that ever change. We're not talking about eating seaweed, squid or even octopus as a neat "International" experience. We're talking about eating seaweed as a way to survive!

However, that is merely one side of the coin. One of the things that has really amazed me is that you become content with what you have, not with what you think you need. If you have a car you are blessed. No longer is the fact that you would like to have Mr. Honda important; a car with a steering wheel on the right-hand side will do just fine. If you get ice cream, and it tastes pretty close to vanilla for 300 Yen (roughly $2.85) you're also doing good. Forget the gummy bears, birthday cake ice cream, and sprinkled-covered cone.

Also, going from a house with probably has over two thousand square feet to an apartment with maybe a bit more than two hundred square feet is also not as bad as it sounds. The old hallway at Dimaggio's house has probably more room than my shower room, toilet room, kitchen, and entrance combined. But you learn that is also survivable too, and sometimes you wonder what to do with the extra 50 square feet you are currently doing nothing with.

All that said to briefly harp on two things. One, if you live in America, realize how blessed you are. No other country in the world has it so good, not even a country so affluent and technologically advanced as Japan. Japan's biggest advantage over America is the toilets which will spray you with water after you're done with your business, make a noise to prevent you from being rude, or create a nice scent if you're getting a little out of control. Two if you do live in a foreign country realize how much God has blessed you in any situation. And enjoy yourself! The seaweed really isn't that bad!


Jessica said...

The toilets make everything else bearable if you ask me. Warm toilet seats (especially useful in the winter time in unheated buildings), a little noise maker so no one hears you actually doing your business, and a little spray of clean water when your finished almost (let me say that again - almost) makes even the seaweed bearable.

MattL said...

Great post Blakewell! We miss having you here at the house. Things havent really changed much around here, although the hall bathroom is almost completely redone now. Thanks for reminding me to continue to be thankful for ALL my blessings. Have a great day!

kari said...

great post... thank you for the reminder...but i still don't like seaweed.

Lindsy said...

Japan has the coolest toilets! When I was in Japan my family's toilet had bubbles instead of water.

terra said...

Thanks! It is always nice to hear the positive side of a new experience. I am glad you are doing well. Take Care!

Court said...

So in Japan it's seaweed? Here in Germany it's pickled herring and/or blood sausage. Yum.
Oh, and the Japanese toilets sound like a blessing from above. Many German toilets come complete with a little "shelf," which enables you to get a great view of your business before you flush. ;o)
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Mgam said...

I can't speak to Japanese toilets but Courney is right on with the German toilets. I really miss admiring my work like I can in Deutchland!

Court said...

Matt, you are so creative. :oP