Commuting, in a Foreign Country

An enriching experience in your life, living abroad, translated…

Back then, when my husband was stationed to Japan to work, my two best friends and I started living abroad for the very first time in our lives, and so, we’d decided to sign up for the Japanese language courses together.

The courses in the schools started at eight in the morn, we’d lived far away, and we’d needed to commute by the electric trains for half an hour to arrive, walk for twenty minutes, to finally get to the school. The hardest time was during December, when the snow came falling, and, even IF there’s snowstorm out, with three degrees below freezing, we’d still needed to, leave our warm beds at six in the morn, used the icy cold water from the faucet, to get awakened, and, in the gray mornings, we’d, set out on the electric trains, and, each and every day became, a huge challenge in itself.

There’s the freezing cold that greeted us on the platform, but, once we got in, the heated up boxcars felt, much more comfortable, and, the snow white world, outside of the trains were, a surprise to us.

Inside the trains, there are even more interesting number of things happening. The high school students in miniskirts, putting on makeup, hairspray, and perfume, with a total disregard, of the gazes of the working class. Of course, there are those, who are, so focused in reading too. If there’s a test that day, we’d, joined in with them, used the commute time, to cram up on the vocabulary words, the grammars; without the exams, then, we’d sit, and listened, to the conversations of the Japanese passengers, to train our listening skills, or, talked amongst ourselves on how to make the fried pork chops, fried shrimps.

the commuter train that’s similar to what the writer took, photo from online…

Living in a foreign place, I’d missed that taste of home every now and then, like wonton, dumplings, fried pork ribs, Chinese noodle served cold………but, how can I find these ingredients in a foreign place? As we’d gotten very much into the discussions there came, an aroma, a fellow classmate was too close to the heater vents, with his bag of bread, and that, was where the scent of “freshly baked breads” came, it’d made our mouths watered.

And now, we can read books by Murakami and Higashino Keigo too, and, we’d, also set up a simple Japanese course for adults, our cooking skills, improved. I give tribute to all of it, to my days of commuting, living in Japan.

So, going abroad to live was an enriching experience for you, it’d not only opened up your field of vision, made you more accepting of things in the different cultures, you also improved in the language, and, learned to cook a few dishes from a foreign world that you’d once, lived in from before.


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