I’m Back Nihon… Did you miss me?
It has been four months now since I arrived in Tokyo from Manila. As it is my second time to travel here, I really was not expecting much.
Three years ago, I was sent here by my company to undergo training in our main office. Our office then was in Shin-Yokohama. My apartment in Yokohama is about 15 mins walk to the office or a 4-minute ride to work by train. Things were different then. I can go sightseeing and buy stuff without worrying about cash. We even had a Japanese co-employee who treated us to different sight-seing places on weekends. We would seldom go to Tokyo because it was far but we had lots of fun in those times.
Now I am back. I now live in Tokyo, my office has also moved to Tokyo, I had to be careful with what I spend my money on cause right now, I am here as an employee and not as a trainee anymore. It would take me weeks to decide if there is something I wanted to buy. I’ve done a few sightseeing at my own expense, opted to have home-cooked food for dinner and lunch to save a bit more. In Manila, I hardly cook on weeknights for my lunchbox the next day. Pressure at work was more intense since I am a senior now. And responsibility towards my fellow Filipino workers also added to my daily stress. I fight my way through the crowd of people going to their destinations every morning. The famous rush hour scene of Tokyo wherein you see station employees pushing people into the trains is almost an everyday experience. Long commutes to and from the work, cold nights and tired nights. I have missed my stop several times on my way home too.
I run too. I still do. There were times in last autumn where I would run around 9-10pm in the streets. It is quite difficult to run during winter but as soon the temperature rises, I am ready to go.
I have experienced one of the coldest winters in Tokyo. I am lucky to have Filipino companions here who knows “pakikisama”. I am not sure if the word camaraderie is sufficient enough to cover that word. I have good Japanese friends and bosses. I have also met a few new ones.
This oppurtunity here is something not everybody had been given a chance to experience. I am making use of this deployment to a foreign country where people are honest, safe streets everywhere, hi-tech things, and independence as a chance for me to grow and have peace of mind. Don’t get me wrong. Of cource I miss my family and friends back home.
It has been only 4 months and just the thought of me leaving this lovely place is breaking my heart. I still have 2 years and 8 months to go. And as they call this as the land of the rising sun, I face my future with the sun rising brightly ahead.