That's what I hear from a lot of people. "Whoa, living in Japan would be so cool!" I hope that this comic strip shows that it is cool living in Japan but also challenging and crazy in many ways. Yes, some of my characters are a bit over the top but you have to remember that most of this stuff is based on actual events and people. I'm making a lot of jokes about how difficult it is to learn the Japanese language but, to me, that's one of the COOL things. After years of studying Spanish in America and not really retaining any of it, studying Japanese while living in Japan was amazing! It was so cool to study a new word or phrase and then hear it the same day over and over again. Maybe I'm just a geek but I actually love the sound of Japanese being spoken. Listening to the many ways people express themselves with it is fascinating to me. I think the fact that it is so difficult, with many levels of proper speech and a complex writing system makes it all the more exciting to study.
Unfortunately, that excitement does not get me over my fear of saying something incorrectly and looking foolish. Fear of failure, or embarrassment, makes it difficult for me to confidently go out and speak Japanese. I want to speak with ease and not have to pause and think about the next word. Of course, people in Japan do not expect for me to speak fluently but because I look so different I want to prove to them that I can hang! This fascination with the language but fear of speaking it is probably something I will have to deal with for many years now. It's tough to imagine a time when I will be able to confidently hold a complex conversation in Japanese and not sound like a cave man. If I continue studying, maybe one day it just might happen.
Do you guys feel me on this? Please share any stories or feelings you have about learning a new language in the comments section. We might just cheer each other up!