WAIT! Please don’t kick me out of Japan!

I could be embarrassed but I’m not! Living in another country is far from glamorous. Yes, there are those moments that amaze you and make you say “This is why I moved here!” Then, there are moments when you say “What in the world was I thinking!!” These days, I am just glad they have not kicked me out of the country yet! So, let me just tell you about some of my “blooper” moments since my Japan arrival…..




This may seem like a stupid question. Yes, I would have thought so to until I moved here. I mean, how hard can this be?? I was in the subway one day on my way to do some sightseeing, feeling good and confident that I made it to my destination. Well, please don’t live in the celebration! I decided it was a good idea to stop at the TOILET before leaving the station. (Let me add, if you ask someone where the “bathroom or restroom” is they will look at you in complete confusion! So, get use to using the word toilet.) Back to the story…I did my business and looked around to flush the toilet. I saw one button and one leaver. All writing was in Japanese! Oh boy! So, I took a chance and pushed the button. Nothing happened. I looked at the leaver and said, “This doesn’t look right but I’ll try anyway.” Nothing happened. I decided to just forget about it and began to walk out of the stall when this loud alarm sounded! I went to the sink to wash my hands and I thought… “Hmm, I bet that was me that did that!” I began to hurry and I quickly walked out as a guard was walking in yelling in Japanese!! He passed right by me when I realized that the leaver was probably the “I’m falling and can’t get up lever!”  LOL!! As long as I make it out of here without being stopped I’m safe! SEE YA!!!



sendai bus

Many may know that living in China and queuing don’t go in the same sentence. I had become very accustomed to pushing my way through subways and gathering in a bunch to get where I needed to go. That behavior is not gonna fly in Japan!!! So, I know not to push and skip line. I’m ok with that. I’m actually great with that. However, things are sooooo organized and systematic here! There is a line for everything, and I sometimes forget. I was waiting on the bus one day and I was the only one there. I was listening to my music having my own little concert.  After about 10 minutes of waiting and upon the arrival of the bus, this old lady taps me on the shoulder and points behind me to the loooong queue!! What?? I’m completely defeated! They looked like they were ready to call the police! Not only are all these older Japanese people glaring at me, but I now had to get to the end of a line that wasn’t even there when I arrived! What do I do? Bow in my ignorance and keep bowing and apologizing until I get to the end of the God forsaken line!



Let me tell you, the guessing game is no fun when you are spending money and you are trying to eat! Trips to the grocery store are always so much fun! Hooray! I get to analyze foods by smelling them, moving them around in the bag, pulling them close to my eyes, pulling them far from my eyes, shaking them, pairing them with something else, or whatever ridiculous tactic I can use to figure out what the heck it REALLY is!! Some, and I do mean just some, things have some English on them. Others absolutely do not! I really believe someone is getting a kick out of watching foreigners like me who don’t know much spoken Japanese and no written Japanese try and grocery shop each week. Well, I was doing ok until this week. I wanted to buy a small bottle of cooking oil because I wanted to treat myself to a meal that I rarely have, hamburgers and fries! I generally use olive oil to pan sear vegetables so I didn’t want to use my olive oil to fry potatoes in.  This shouldn’t be hard, I just need a small bottle of cooking oil. Well, after reviewing the selection I decided on a small bottle of cooking oil and went home to start cooking! I poured the oil in the skillet and immediately I thought things were looking a little funny. When it started heating up, it began to bubble and I mean bubble like suds bubble! I knew something wasn’t’ right but I had come too far to give up now! I put in the potatoes and waited. After a few minutes the “oil” began to disappear! Huh? Ok, I don’t know what this is but this is not oil!! UGH! I removed it from the heat and let it cool to be thrown away. As I looked at potato masterpiece, I decided to taste whatever this mystery oil was…..CORN SYRUP!! I had just boiled my “fries” in corn syrup!! The joke was definitely on me!




To the citizens of Sendai: I am sorry if you hear me running and screaming some mornings, things like: “Please don’t take my life it’s not my time!” or my favorite “Go, go gadget go!” as I sprint through a host of human size crows lined up along the power lines above my head! Hoping that my tennis shoes will burst into turbo action and take me far away from this madness!! I swear these crows are out to get me. Their hawk sounds like a human crying and their claws are as long as my forearm! I JUST CAN’T!! I’m sure the daddy one calls more of the family over when he sees me coming. I often imagine myself being scooped up by one or two of them just like in the movie The Wizard of Oz! They may not have to kick me out, the crows will carry me out! Just take me to my momma! JESUS FIX IT!


8 replies
  1. Elaine O . Dillard-Spencer
    Elaine O . Dillard-Spencer says:

    Oh my goodness..that is hilarious..Thanks for sharing Ty..really enjoyed the good laugh. Be save,,stau blessed. There’s no place like home?

  2. Derrick B.
    Derrick B. says:

    This is awe-inspiring for a future expat. I just hope my stories are just as funny as yours when my day comes. Thanks for sharing Tiff. I gotta get over there soon before you leave.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *