I first came to the US in 1995 for a homestay program through my high school. I spent three weeks in California. After that, I had a few trips to NY before I spent a year in Boston in 2002-2003. After a year in Japan, I moved back to Boston, spent a year and a half there. I was in Japan for six months after that, but I came back to the US and moved to Michigan in August 2006. Since then, I have been here.
I never expected to live her permanently. I always thought I was here for education and would eventually go back to Japan. Getting a job, however, was a good reason to stay here. Buying a house was another. Getting married, of course, was another good reason. If these are not enough, I want to be a good father for our son, Dr. Obie (aka our2-year old sheltie), so I’m definitely staying here. All this transition and progress are nice. But what I had never imagined doing was the very kind of life I am leading now.
I spend a few hours moving a sprinkler from one spot to another around the house. I make sure Dr. Obie is let outside to do his duty. I spend extra $3 to get a brand-name weed and feed because now I know the generic version does not work as well. Cleaning the house that is not large by American standard but immense by Japanese standard. Using a ride mower. Grilling as I sit on the tailgate of our truck. These are the things I would never experience if I lived in Japan.
Thinking about all of these makes me wonder how everything started. Probably the day my mother had her first English class when she was only 13. She hated the class and never learned how to speak English. So she always wanted her son to be able to speak some English. That was how I was exposed to it when I was four. From there, I studied English, wanted to know more about countries where people spoke English, etc. Just something interesting to think about once in a while…