First Impressions of Seika
Having lived in big cities like San Francisco and Tokyo and never having had even one minute of fame, I am used to a life of complete anonymity. I don’t know if any of you have ever had this experience but it is strange to be recognized by people I have never even met before. In a small town like Seika I feel like a celebrity. At first it was alarming to hear that people actually read the articles I wrote and saw my pictures in the paper, but now I am starting to see how close of a community I live in and that I actually have a position that people take notice of.
So this is the Japan I always heard of: Not the glitzy buzzing frenzy that is Tokyo, but the small town where people know each other and actually say hi on the streets when they pass. Everywhere I go people are friendly and are happy to help if I have what seems like a random and possibly stupid question. For example, I actually stopped a women in the market to ask which was the best type of rice to buy. She seemed pleased to take 5 minutes to explain to me all the different types of rice and how to prepare them. Also it seems like it may be impossible to actually pay for a meal when I go out as I always end up having a lively conversation with an unknown person sitting close by who ends up treating me to my meal. These are things that I heard happened in Japan but never actually experienced having lived in Tokyo for a year.
Seika Town seems to represent the essence of small town Japanese life and is truly a great place to live. Now I am really starting to see why my predecessor said that I was lucky to have gotten a job in this town.