10. Lack of variety of food
On occasion, I like my French toast, my bacon and eggs, my Texas BBQ, my Mexican food...
9. All the mayonnaise
I can bite into a sandwich without fear in the states.
8. Train conductors
I know what the next stop is. Let me sleep, stop asking to see my ticket. Can't you change the chime once a year?
7. Getting sucked into seeing discriminatory behavior
There are real instances of racial discrimination in Japan, but once you flick that switch, it's hard to stop seeing anything else... not everyone feels the same way.
Only happened once, but that's all it takes...
5. Being an American abroad
It's helpful to my soul to hear reminders of what the rest of the world thinks of "us", but it wore me down after a time.
4. Angry foreigners
Gaikokujin who have become so withdrawn and bitter with their Japanese experience they feel compelled to complain to anyone who speaks English. Avoid them at all costs.
Japanese culture is so tightly controlled, from the conformist attitude instilled in children to the precise measure of concrete to be used on sidewalks. When I first saw the open highways of Thailand after leaving Japan I had never felt more free.
2. Octopus porn
Do I really have to justify this one?
1. Standing out, or being alone in a sea of people
I do miss this, and yet I don't. I'm special, but I know I'm not. I'm taller than average, bigger than most, and appealing to the ladies. But Japan isn't the world. Don't forget where you came from, how you acted, if you grew as a person rather than let yourself fall into the category of "celebrity foreigner".