I am Atiya W. Townes, and this is my blog. I will be documenting my transition from sailor to civilian. Follow me as I go through the ups and downs of reentering the regular society. And fight a serious addiction to alcohol. No health care no extra pay, no free meals. Wish me luck…
December 8th Sometime around Lunch time
On the train this morning on the way into work, there is always a big crush between Keikyu Kurihama and Yokosuka Chuo station. This train goes all the way into Tokyo and out its poo shoot. I noticed that people chose who's bubble they invade. In the integration class they put every service member an their dependents through here n base, they make it sound like a chaotic mashing of people seriously determined to go from A to B regardless of who they suffocated in the process.
Sounds pretty horrifying right, that's because it is. But this morning commute is nothing like that. Commuting here is the same as commuting in the states, only when people fall asleep they actually lean into you. The rocking to the train quietly sending you to La La Land much to the displeasure of the person you're drooling on.
The crush is swaying to and fro with the trains movements and my leg is killing me.
Sure it hurts, but not in the respect that I damaged it. This pain is from something completely different yet and could have been prevented. As a gift to myself I got a large tattoo. One so large and colorful that it violates every policy regarding uniform and civilian attire. It spans the length of my calf from my knee to my ankle. It took three sessions, over 8 hours of mind jarring prickling along every nerve in my leg and due to the exchange rate of Yen to Dollars almost $1200. I'm waiting for someone to brush my leg accidentally so I can scream bloody murder with indignant pain.
I wish I could speak the language. Being an American in a country that will speak English as a courtesy to you is kind of pointless. If they always bend over to accommodate my handicap of their culture I'll never learn it. After a year and some time I've only comprehended a few sayings. Hello, Good Morning, Excuse me, I'm sorry, Where is the milk? None of these really express the inner workings of the intelligent mind, unless you really just want some milk.
My cousin Steve recommended the book Making out in Japanese. It was a book on how to pick up chicks using the language. Myself being a female of rather generous curves, brown skin and a confident demeanor, has no need for this book. The African American female is invisible. Our Skin it too dark, we're too thick in our thighs and we are not submissive at all. Needlessly, I purchased the book off Amazon.com. When It came I called Steve to tell him it came and promptly placed the book on the book case never to be opened again.
As my time in Japan comes to an end here and I start packing for the inevitable. I realize how much of the culture I've completely ignored. I wonder if I'll ever have the chance to return here and actually look at how beautiful this place is? I wonder, if I will miss the little tremors , or the sound of the train and the ocean at once. Will I miss the designer dogs, and the cats with super short tails?