IN MY OWN WORLDto look back upon
It's been almost a year since I've been back from my student exchange programme at Keio University, Tokyo, Japan.
Right now, I'm already 8 months into working time, yup, time really flies. Looking back, SMU has given me many travelling opportunities, to see the world and to experience life overseas. Spending nearly half a year in Tokyo (aka the Paris of Asia) was a good getaway from life in Singapore. Really, I enjoy being in "my own world", literally.
Just gonna share about my experiences at Keio University and living in Tokyo in general.
To be honest, Tokyo is quite a live-able place, well, that's one of the reasons why I chose Tokyo in the first place. haha, versus Europe where I think it's better to just do a backpacking / holiday trip. It's more for travelling and touring the European states, not so much of staying in my opinion. So yup, living in Tokyo felt a lot like home, in fact, I don't really miss being home that much.
After 5 months, I've grown to be stronger. Mentally and Emotionally.
Besides that, I confidently took care of my needs, for example, learning to pay bills on time (for rent, and some compulsory health insurance, beats me?), settled things with the bank, do the laundry, clean the house, buying daily necessities and sometimes, cook when I feel like it. Okay actually not a big deal, because back in Singapore, I manage my own things in life too. Just that I feel a little more independent doing these things here because I'm alone in a foreign land. Oh, and did I mention, I did all the above without knowing how to speak Japanese! Yes, you can get by living in Japan without learning Japanese! If I survive, you can as well. Trust me on that, people here actually can speak a little amount of English... or at least some hand-sign non-verbal language.
I consider myself to be rather independent, especially in terms of being very comfortable being by myself. But, by now I have officially taken it to a whole new level. I am okay walking into a restaurant to dine alone, as loner as it sounds. Actually, no not really. Cause in Japan, generally it's a common culture to dine by yourself you know! Like when I walk into sushi belt restaurants or even ramen stores, individuals seat by the counter, order their food, finish eating and simply walk out. Well, monkey see monkey do. At first, it was quite awkward, but as time pass, I grew acquainted to it and thus, did the same. It was actually okay! Awkwardness is judged by yourself, honestly, no one else would be judging you please.
So yup, life goes on... happily to be exact!
Missing the hanami season, all the sakuras I could ever want - witnessing it's bloom from the beginning to its withering to the changing of seasons. Glad I managed to participate in an English camp for local children at the countryside area, serve in Hope Church Tokyo, kimono wearing, tea ceremony, local school festivals, and hunting down many many different types of Japanese food!!!
All in all,
I have grown to be more open to the different people around me, especially in terms of cultures. Don't compare, just understand and adapt.
I'll definitely want to be back. I'm sure it would be soon.
Till then, see you Tokyo!