Living near a small suburb has its benefits. I don’t have to deal with huge crowds and an endless push of cars, but it does mean I stand out more. There are other foreigners here, but most are other Asians who don’t come to attention simply because they have light hair and blue eyes. Since I’m a woman it seems to be even more “strange” but for the most part my neighbors are a friendly bunch who are simply curious about the weird American woman who decided to marry a Japanese and move out to a place that while convenient enough, is certainly not Tokyo.
- Where are you from? Usually asked in English, but occasionally in Japanese, after all, every white person speaks English 😉
- Is your husband a foreigner too? This comes most often when my daughter is at school and it’s just me and my son. Both my kids got my hair and light brown eyes, but my son does look a little more Western I suppose. Personally I think he looks a lot like his dad but I’ve gotten this more times than I can count so I guess by Japanese standards he doesn’t look too Japanese.
- Do you and your husband speak Japanese or English? TBH, it’s mostly English. His English is a lot better than my Japanese, but if he’s feeling lazy he’ll speak to me in Japanese which I understand a lot better than I can speak. Also somethings just work better in certain languages.
- What school does your daughter go to/will go to? This is roughly translated into, can I get some free English lessons for my kid? I try to be polite about it, but I’m not gonna force my kids to play with yours if they really don’t want to.
- What kind of food do you cook? I think this comes from the confusion of me being American but not being 500kg, they seem to assume we eat all Japanese food. I do cook some Japanese food, but plenty of times I’m missing me some Mexican or Southern food and that’s going on the table too. My kids love ikura and tofu as much as pasta and guacamole.
- Do you know person X? They are a foreigner too! Yes, we meet in our monthly secret foreigner society club but I can’t give you any more information or I will be killed.
- Why is your daughter’s hair so long? She is deathly afraid to cut it and putting it up in a ponytail isn’t that big a deal. I’ve got bigger shit to worry about.
- Do you like living in Japan? It’s got good points and bad, much like any place. I hate feeling like I stand out everywhere I go, but I don’t know how I can live without conbinis any more. Plus the restaurants are amazing whenever my kids behave well enough for us to go out.