I’ve been living in Japan, this time, since 2006. A time of change to say the least. I say “this time” because there was another time (duh), in the 1990’s. But that’s another story. Being outside your home country means you miss a lot of things. In both senses of the word. I miss home. I wish I had better access to my friends and family. But it also means that I don’t see things, or I’m not aware of them when they’re happening.
Back in 1989 ( I know, I was talking about Japan, bear with me), I spent a year abroad in Taiwan. That was the year after the Tiananmen incident, and the only place to study Chinese at the time. I go there in the early summer, and by the end of the year, the Berlin Wall had crumbled. When I came back to the states, the Cold War was over.
And The Simpsons was everywhere. You couldn’t go down the street without seeing a Bart Simpson T-shirt. Cut to now, and The Simpsons is the longest running animated show in America. But I wasn’t there when it started. I had no clue the what a cultural phenomenon it had become.
And that’s what it’s like to live abroad. You miss these things. Some are important and earth-shattering. Some are just the end of the Soviet Union.
One thing I’m glad I missed was the Trump era. Of course the country and the world are still dealing with the aftermath, but I’m glad I was away from the hate, and didn’t need to experience it first hand.
I missed the Kardashians, Kanye West, lady Gaga’s meat dress, Fifty Shades of Grey, Girls, The Ice Bucket Challenge, Hamilton, Caitlin Jenner, Me Too, and Black Lives Matter.
There’s a lot I’m glad I missed, a lot I wish I hadn’t. I know about it, of course. I wouldn’t know to write it here other wise. But there’s something to be said for being a step removed.
2 thoughts on “Late to the Party”
Sean some of what you missed really does continue on..for example, Caitlin Jenner is just starting to hit the headlines yet again. She is running for governor in California. When asked what made her qualified to be the governor of a state like California — which, if it were a sovereign nation, would be the fifth-largest economy in the world — Jenner pointed to her past as an “entrepreneur.”
I know, right? It’s like the world is upside down.