Bicycles and Wet Feet

It rained.  And rained.  And rained.  Whether the sky let fall it’s unadulterated bounty of incarcerated liquid or if it only let it fall with the most extreme torpid flutter.  It still rained.  Trapped inside a 15 X 36 foot locker of an apartment.  (It’s not as big as it sounds.)  So much rain.  Three days passed… four…five….  A slow descent into something not quite akin to a healthy existence.  Did I mention rain?

No car.  Bicycles and wet feet.  Wet feet.  Can’t figure out how to order a taxi.  No phone anyways.  Cold feet.  Wet feet.  No, no, I’m all right.  Thinking about a wedding?  Not quite.  Did I mention wet feet?

Did you know it’s illegal to ride your bicycle with your umbrella in use?  Maybe I should get a rain jucket….

Yup. That’s a Rain Jucket.

No matter the excuses, beware of becoming a shut-in.  It is far too easy to do when you are in an unknown space.  So many variables are against you.  Line up the usual suspects:

Lack of Language

Unfamiliar surroundings

Few friends

Lack of transportation

Uncooperative weather

Don’t forget the draw of video games and the web.

It’s so easy to just stay in when all of these variables compound.  So easy.  But it is not healthy.  I am fortunate to have a caring wife that spotted my um… issues.  It’s great having people there for you to give you a hand when you are down.  My wife knew I needed a pick me up and she helped organize a karaoke outing and an exploratory bicycle ride.  Both were a blast!  And they pulled me out of my funky mood.  But it’s also a great nod to the caliber of people that we have found here so far.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned from this experience is that electronic communication can not replace face to face communication.  You’re still alone.  Social networking sites are great but they cannot compete with flesh and blood interactions.  The only solution is to get out there and explore and try.  It’s scary, I know, but you always feel better afterwards.  It’s like dreading a workout that you know you need to do yet you feel so good afterwards and wondered why you dreaded it in the first place.  Living in an unfamiliar place has it’s challenges but overcoming them is part of the fun of the experience.


About Matthew J. Durocher

Matthew Durocher is a graduate of Michigan Tech University. He acquired his BA in English along with a minor in Music Composition and a certificate in Writing in Spring 2012. His style is one of passion and musicality. One foot is firmly rooted in tradition while the other slides dangerously close to the clouds.
This entry was posted in Culture Shock, Japan, Matthew Durocher and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Bicycles and Wet Feet

  1. peeledonion says:

    Hi Matthew, it’s an interesting coincidence that I discover your blog today reaching out for some poetry. I am French and Iranian and live in Switzerland – as far as it can get from Japan but I happen to spend some days in Tokyo at this very moment and just smiled reading through your lines.
    It is raining at this very right moment and I find Tokyo beautiful under this summer mist.
    Nice meeting you!
    wishes, Sahar

    • Awesome! I’m glad my words brought a smile to your day. It’s a goal I strive for. The rain sure is beautiful but the Hita area just got hit by a little too much and there is some serious damage from flash floods and the like. Nature sure can be powerful. And so can words. Your words have brought a smile to my day as well. Thank you, Sahar, for checking out Nihon i Go. Nice to meet you as well!

  2. ideasexplorer says:

    Electronic communication cannot substitute face to face communication, but it is such a good complement. Specially for distant people or when you are in a unfamiliar situation. I guess that difficulty of communicating is also part of the challenges you are talking about! 😉

    • So true! It is a great complement to other forms of communication and I have been trying to access and engage it more since becoming a blogger. What I have noticed is that electronic communication seems to use a slightly different part of the brain, almost like learning a new language! (Which is something my mentor, Dr. Nancy Grimm of the Michigan Tech Multiliteracies Center, would say is a different literacy.) Thanks for chiming in and checking out Nihon i Go! I like your ideas!

Let's communicate...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s