Living in Tokyo was different this time. I got the chance to live with Japanese students and young professionals that were amazing in all possible ways.
For me, I had goals set in advance that I want to learn more about Japanese daily life in addition to learning the language. I have the confidence to say that I learned much more than that. TOBITATE house was a unique mixture of experiences. Some of my housemates studied in the US, others in Canada, Australia, Russia and more! Japanese student studying in Russia?! Man! How can I not be excited to talk with him and listen to his stories? I asked my other roommate about his job to figure out he's a blogger! Naturally, I asked, "what do you write about?" We kept talking for hours. Even more, I learned for the first time about theories of the origin of Japanese people. One theory indicates a connection between Japanese and Hebrew, hence Japanese and the lost 10 tribes. Isn't that cool? For me, it is super cool! "I'm a civil engineering student," she said. I was excited because we have something in common. That's what I thought until I realized that I'm way behind. My housemate was ambitious. She is finding her way to put her knowledge and experience in a good use. I asked where in this world she'd like to visit and her answer was Africa! South America! Hmmm.. I personally don't have much interest in Africa so my natural reaction was why Africa?! And the interesting conversation continued.
I'm an engineer so I don't know much about business. Yet I've got the chance to learn more about it! It's not a bad thing like what I used to think it was. I had a discussion with a Japanese engineer who works in the field of business. He was a guest at TOBITATE. Him wearing junbei and me wearing my yukata while having this kind of conversation was out of the ordinary, for me at least. Not to mention, it was a sumidagawa fireworks later that night. I wouldn't say this was a perfect experience with no challenges. Of course, there were some challenges but it was a good learning experience. This is what I was looking for! Challenges!! It was my first experience of this kind in Japan.
There were also things that I'm not used to. However, My housemates were kind all the times. They taught me things with patience. It's almost well-known that houses in Tokyo are very limited in space. You would expect to have problems, difficulties, and inconvenience but it wasn't the case at all. I was surprised to see how smooth it was. There was a great understanding among the people living in the house. After spending sometime in Japan, I realize the negative individuality has no place in the Japanese society. It's in their nature that they are cooperative. I lived in a share house before (in another country and for a shorter time). I can say these two experiences were so different. I'm glad I've got to have this experience in Japan. My time at TOBITATE house is priceless. I made wonderful friendships. I'll treasure these memories and will definitely come back again!