Today, I met two Dutch tourists at Bar This Way and the girl was all excited about Japan. She was asking loads of questions and I was answering honestly: The culture has its downsides. She kept asking questions and being really surprised (NO, Geisha’s REALLY AREN’T prostitutes. No really. Really. Why are you asking me how do I know and how I can be sure, how can YOU be sure? Don’t be arrogant) (Edit: I also asked Wim “Was I like that?”. Fortunately, he said no 😉 I tried to be more neutral about stuff, even though it’s still exciting to be here of course.)
At some point she asked Wim some questions and he said, pointing at me, “she can tell you all about the good and bad sides, she knows by now”. He also said that by now, my way of looking at Japan had changed. I immediately asked him “how have I changed?” because I still feel like me. I did expect that my opinion would change, but I didn’t really notice that I changed, but apparently I have, because I’ve now really experienced Japanese culture instead of reading a lot about it. I asked him how he thinks I changed and though he didn’t answer it specifically, it’s just that: instead of reading about it, I’ve experienced the ups and downs of living here. But he also confirmed that when I just arrived I said “I expect that in four months I’ll see things differently”. Boy, am I glad I said that.
Also, to all Dutch people, especially the girl just now: Freedom of speech doesn’t mean you have the freedom to start bitching to me that I should have voted. Especially if I just told you I don’t care about politics. Having a right to vote doesn’t mean I have to. No really, it doesn’t, even if you think so. No really. Save me the details, that kind of conversation is just plain annoying, especially if you then continue to state that a) you agree with my point of view, but b) I should still have voted. Either agree with me or don’t, sheesh.