Not in a Long Time

Some things you’d never imagine going long without and others you didn’t notice were gone become absent from your life when you move abroad.  Now confronted with them once again, I’m relearning how to do them.  I haven’t driven a car in about 8 or nine years.  For most Americans that seems unimaginable.  It is equally difficult to explain to a Tokyoite how an American can be homeless but still have a car.  After all, cars are often parked in garages bigger than a Tokyo apartment. When I lived in Los Angeles, I would drive 25 minutes from central LA into the San Fernando valley for work each morning, and depending on the day two plus hours on the way home.  My typical thirty minute Tokyo train commute with a book, newspaper or ipad erased any regret I had about being a strap hanger.

So this is more of a list.  One that will grow as it occurs to me… damn I haven’t done that in a really long time.  I’ll update this as they come up.  Some of these, I’ve done here or there, but in general in the past 13 years in Tokyo I haven’t…

imageDriven a car.

Taken a shower standing up.

Had an American bank account.

Had a US phone number.

Worked in an office with more than one or two other non-Asians, if any.

Attended a work meeting in English.

Read an American newspaper.

Watched English language TV not gotten through a torrent site.

Used a bar-b-que (Ok, I did twice in 13 years)

Gotten a haircut in English.

Had any type of medical or dental procedure in English.

Not had to carry identification to prove I’m a legal resident.

Called customer support in English.

Gone to any number of America only fast food places.

Always known what I just ate.

Sung karaoke in front of strangers (it’s only done privately with friends)

Hung out at a friend’s house rather than at a restaurant or bar.

Shoveled snow, raked leaves, cut grass or cleaned gutters.

Eaten fritos, twinkies, heath bars… (Wow… that list could be endless.)

Had neighbors who speak English.
Will update as more occur to me.
Watched Saturday Night Live… Live.

Another time I’ll have to come up with a list of the things one misses most when abroad, and those things I miss from Tokyo.
Any thoughts on the thing you’d miss most?