On 12th November, my mother hosted a small gathering on the occasion of the 6th death anniversary of my father ("nana-kai-ki," meaning the seventh memorial of the person's death) inviting his cousin sisters and brothers as well as close friends. Most of the guests were around 70-year-old, and sharing "kindred spirit." They were indeed very kind and open-minded. Thus I enjoyed talking with them until one of the uncles told me that my way of speaking in Japanese was no longer like a native Japanese. I asked him what did he mean, and he was not able to explain me reasonably. However, his tone was like somewhat complaining. Anyway, that could be a natural discovery for any person who had never come out of his small town to the other person who had lived outside Japan for so many years!
The other day, I visited a shop my friend worked and one of the staffs was talking to a foreigner, seemingly an American. The customer from overseas was accompanied by a friend who could help him conversate in Japanese. The staff attending asked him what his height and weight were, and compared him with the tallest colleague and told him, "you know, his weight is XX kg, yet his height is YY cm." I was a bit embarrassed by hearing odd personal questions followed by the comparison that does not bear any meanings; could it be polite attitude or even an acceptable treatment to your very first customer to your store, moreover to the person from outside the country?
Mother was watching TV this evening. It was a typical so-called educational program where guest personalities were made sit on a podium style of arrangement (which, I often fail to understand the significance of it) and share their health or physical problems. I spotted a couple of transgenders among them and could not believe my ears when the facilitator and other guests frequently giggled by referring to their gender, gave inappropriate comments and even made fun of them. As per my knowledge, the matters surrounding transgenders are increasingly getting crucial globally, and each one of us must acquire correct knowledge and understanding of the subject.
In three days after returning to Japan, I know these are just the beginning. As a half-alien to Japan, these are just my flat observations. I will leave them to my readers now...