My entry in my little journal where I jot down notes about my experiences here in Japan reads thusly for August 19:
“Internet voucher @ tourist ctr. ran out (2 weeks). Still no internet @ home, no phone plan b/c no bank card, + no money in the bank b/c Credit Union is dragging its feet. My coworkers are amazing. Everyone else sucks.”
Once my two week free wifi offer expired at the tourist center, my world kinda came crashing down on me. I was unable to contact my people back in the US any way other than email on the communal work computer. I went to the tourist center, discovered the problem, and deflated. I sat on one of their benches and crumbled at the edges. I went to work and explained my situation very simply and calmly to my coworker, Hiroko-san, who could not have been more sympathetic. As I write this, almost a month later, the Credit Union still has not gotten in touch to figure out how we can transfer my funds without chatting over the phone (and they wouldn’t call my work number for some reason, the issues went on and on). Eventually I stopped thinking about it for my own mental health, and haven’t heard from them since. I couldn’t believe they wouldn’t even so much as lift a finger to help me.
I got officially depressed. I was totally isolated, but more than that, I was powerless. I couldn’t contact the outside world from anywhere but work. If I ran into trouble or had an emergency at home, I was on my own. I couldn’t see the faces and hear the voices of people who would move the earth itself to make me happy. Like my first days here, I started stepping away from my desk to cry in the bathroom now and then, not because I wanted to, but because the tears were coming, and crying at work in front of coworkers is a distinctly female behavior of which I totally disapprove. I’ve grown quite fond of my coworkers, and I trust them. It might be because of this that I simply refuse to emotionally unload on them.