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【Note on Homesick Discussion on July 21, 2015 – No. 2】

(Contributed by Takashi)
Here are short comment paragraphs I made to complete, edit, expand or summarize what we talked during the above dated discussion. The purpose is solely for your English learning – this is not a transcript. The passages are highly edited for you to experience various expressions and words. So, they no longer reflect the people who made the original comments. Hope this will help – Takashi
I was young and very eager when I spent a year abroad to study English. I was completely carried away at first. All I was concerned was how I could absorb as much English and local culture as possible. As such, I had no time for missing Japan.
Yet, a funny thing happened to me later. The more familiar I became with the local culture, the more appreciative I became of Japanese culture. I wondered why, and here is my conclusion – as I stayed longer in the foreign land I started to obtain something working a standard against which I could evaluate Japanese culture. The international comparison helped me make judgements on Japanese culture objectively.
I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t miss Japan even if I had to immigrate to a foreign country now. That’s because I have experienced enough homesickness before as I was becoming independent from my parents in my late teens. That doesn’t mean there would be nothing about Japan that I would probably miss. For example, I can well imagine I would miss the kind of food I grew up eating like Japanese curry.
If for some reason I had to go abroad and live alone, that will be, in fact, my dream coming true – I’ve always wanted to live abroad. So, why would I miss something? Oh no, on the contrary, I must be feeling euphoric! I would go on adventures, attend a language school and also teach Japanese to local people.
Having said that, I can well imagine there will be a void in my mind if I went abroad alone. I would definitely miss my daughter. Honestly, I cannot think of a life without her.
The thing I would miss most is the distinct four seasons we have here in Japan, particularly if I were to live in, for instance, Southeast Asian countries, where their climate might be nicer, I would suffer from the monotony of repeating summer and the rainy season and summer again.
I know summer in Japan can be atrocious and its winter cold enough to make you quite miserable, but the changes in season always come with dramas –just think about the cherry blossoms in spring and the turning color of autumn leaves. During summer, we have many local festivals and the National High school Baseball Tournament, and in winter we have bounenkai, ohmisoak and oshogatsu. If you list these events, I can’t help thinking how culturally rich Japan is.
If I get to choose a country to immigrate to, I think I would pick Australia. I’ve been there and, in fact, had some frustrating experience. I remember clearly how I was always stressed out by the busses I took because they were always delayed. They were so different from Japan’s reliable public transportation.
Curiously though, that is also the attraction of Australia to me now – people are laidback and don’t get flustered by things like being a little late for something. That’s why I want to live in Australia and acquire their easygoing attitude. I want to learn how not to fuss about things you can’t control.
I know I don’t have a good fashion sense. This has been bothering me for quite a while. So, if I could, I want to move to Paris, France. Then, hopefully the fashion sense of Parisians rub off on me.

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