Foul-weather Friends


Some expats bemoan the loss of friends when their compatriots move back home. I don't mind at all when friends come and go from my life; it seems quite natural. I think I'm well suited to being a long-term expatriate.

Despite that, it's comforting to have a few friends who I know will stick around. I don't see them all that often, but I know they're there.

I had dinner tonight with Greg, who is actually a newish friend, but has been in Japan for more than a decade. He's applied for his permanent residency, so I think he'll be sticking around for a while. We talk about creativity and organizing our lives. We swap movies. Greg introduced me to Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and loaned me the Edward Tufte book that I hadn't read. He came to Design Festa in November. We made nengajo together. I taught him about CSS and Movable Type templates.

Also among my long-term resident friends is Elizabeth Andoh, who has lived in Japan for more than 30 years, teaches Japanese food culture and writes for the New York Times and Gourmet. Various colleagues from Tod's office and MJ, of course, are here for the duration because they've married Japanese nationals.

Which is something that I wish I could do, too. Not that I want to give up darling Tod (never!), but couldn't I have a Japanese husband, too? Sure would make the visa issues easier...


There are also the Northcott's who are here for the duration as well. Well, big bruvver and me anyway.

It is important to see the people who move in and out of your life as a good thing. Often people appear in your life for a reason - perhaps a lesson for you to learn or to teach - and then everybody moves on, changed and hopefully a bit wiser for the experience. But then there are the lifetime friends - so matter where you are, there will always be a connection no matter how poor a correspondant.

But Blogs are a great way of keeping in touch. ne?

True, I sort of forgot to mention you guys! I know you're here for good as well.

I love having friends who I can see just once in a while and fall into comfortable conversations as if no time as passed at all since we last talked. Blogs definitely help that a lot... at the Blogger meetup s there's no preliminary chit-chat, we jump right in with comments on one another's lives.


Tod's not Japanese???

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  • Jim OConnell: Wait... Tod's not Japanese??? read more
  • Kristen: True, I sort of forgot to mention you guys! I read more
  • Tracey: There are also the Northcott's who are here for the read more