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I do enjoy myself here in Japan. I've been here for more than half my life. It's a crazy concept to wrap my head around sometimes. Over half of my life has been spent in a foreign country, trying to understand a foreign culture and master a foreign language. I haven't understood or mastered anything. The unfortunate truth about Japan is that there is a great barrier beyond which it is nearly impossible to penetrate to the deeper side of Japanese culture. There are some things that you can never master if you were not born here. There are also some things that society will not let you in on because you were not born here. That's not true for everyone. A small few do manage to break through. In America, after spending half of your life there, it is pretty much assumed that you will become Americanized. There would be no part of the culture, language, or society you would not have access to. I'm not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing. Some parts being Americanized certainly are not good (racism) while others are absolutely great. That's human nature, of course.


We all carry our good sides and our bad sides, regardless of where we are from. One of the great things about living in Japan is that many people from all parts of the world come here to visit and sometimes live, as I have. My range of friends is truly international. I have friends from Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Findland, Romania, France, Italy, Germany, Scotland, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, and Jamaica. All of these people I have met while living in Tokyo. I don't think I could have met so many people from so many different parts of the world if I had stayed in Cleveland Ohio, where I was born. In this picture, which I took several years ago, there's a happy group of Jamaicans enjoying their time in Japan as well.

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