Don’t call it a comeback. I’ve been here for years.
No, literally, I’ve been in Japan for 13 years now. 13! How did THAT happen? Seems like just yesterday I was a doe-eyed English teacher, running away from 12-year olds trying to poke me in the asshole. …I wonder how many times in my life I’ll ever get to use that sentence again?
Anyway, to give you some perspective, I came to Japan in 2003. In that time…
- George W. Bush was still president. America has since elected a black man as president. Twice.
- There have been 6 different prime ministers of Japan. The current guy originally took office in 2006 and fucked things up so badly that his entire political party lost power. He quit, took a few years off, then came back in 2012 and apparently was like “Okay bitches, I’m back.” How does that even work?
- Justin Bieber was 9 years old and YouTube hadn’t been created yet.
- 5 years away from Breaking Bad, a full 8 years away from Game of Thrones on TV. Incidentally, I have not seen an episode of either show.
- A child that was born my first year in Japan is now old enough to be poking the current generation of English teachers in the ass.
All that to say that I’ve been here for a really long time.
I still live in Kyoto. Still not an English teacher anymore, have not been for a long time now. And oh! I have another daughter.
Her name is Karin. She’s six months old and enjoys all the things that six month old babies enjoy – putting things in her mouth, pooping without recourse or remorse, and long discussions about why Street Fighter will always be a better fighting game than Mortal Kombat. …Maybe that’s just me. But she doesn’t really have a choice in the conversation topic, and occasionally she smiles which I take as a sign of agreement and not that she just pooped her diaper and it feels rad.
So now you’re the only man in a house full of women? Good luck with that!
Meh. You gotta understand, for awhile I was one of those friend-zone kinda guys. So I’ve been through hell. I’ve been dragged to 4-hour shopping trips where she ultimately bought nothing. I’ve been the bodyguard when she wanted to twerk at a club with some random dude and then got annoyed when she said goodbye but he kept following her and wouldn’t take the hint (you’d think humping the shit out of his crotch would be an entirely different hint, but apparently not so in Womanese…). I’ve been forced to watch the shittiest movies ever and not even been rewarded by getting some action afterwards. So I’m prepared. I have been forged by fire, tempered through strife and agony.
Motherfuckers I simply walked into Mordor. I’m not scared.
Why’d you stop writing?
Part of the reason is that life kind of caught up with me. The bigger reason though is that I didn’t really have anything to write about. The original tone of Outpost Nine/Gaijin Smash was me being freaked out by the cultural differences I experienced in Japan. But the longer I lived here the less I got freaked out by things. Plus I was no longer working as a teacher and living a pretty routine life. I can’t write about work (hello non-disclosure agreement!) and I didn’t one to be one of those people who don’t seem to have a life beyond their own children. And I didn’t want to just throw up something for the sake of posting content.
…Though I have been paying attention to the web content game, and I could have totally gotten away with that. Just go buzzfeed-style and find a way to post as little content over as many pages as possible. So be sure to check in for my next update, “You’ll Never Believe the 10 Wacky Things Japanese People do on Tuesdays!” in a convenient 15-page slideshow. Then I can sit back and do the things that other aggregate news sites do for the other 23 hours in a day. Smoke cigars and drink cognac? Watch all the Bond films in alphabetical order? Bet shares of stock in Angry Birds tournaments? I honestly don’t know.
Why are you coming back?
I like writing. I always have. I worked on the original editorials when I was at sort of a bad place in my life, and writing was a neat escape. Then they took off and for awhile I was trying to give the people what they wanted. Now I’m at a point where I’m more content with life in general and can just write what I want to. Some of it may occasionally be about Japan even!
But you know now there are, like, literally a billion blogs about Japan now.
Yeah, I know…
Don’t forget the vlogs!
…The fuck is a vlog?
It’s like a blog, but in video form. The blogger records themselves talking to YouTube and then uploads it. Hey, why don’t you do that?
How ’bout no? Look, I know how the world works. I’m not a cute girl and I don’t have a sexy Morgan Freeman voice (much to my deep, deep regret). I don’t even like taking pictures, much less video. I’ll stick to text, thank you.
And I know that’s totally all “grumpy old man shuns the new ways”…you’re damn skippy it is! I’m going to continue to write this here text while listening to Michael Jackson and Pearl Jam on my walkman and sipping on Crystal Pepsi. If I’m feeling frisky I might even downgrade my internet to 56k and then go download some pictures of naked women on the internets! If I start now I may be able to see a nipple in twenty minutes!
Well then, good luck old man.
…Wait, am I talking to myself here? I have been in this country for far too long…