• I was walking from my apartment to my car one morning and heard a toddler talking in Japanese. Of course I couldn’t understand her. But she was just talking away. When I looked up, her feet were planted in the spot she was standing and she stopped talking. Then she just watched me. She didn’t take her eyes off me for one second. I’m not sure if all Japanese children do this, but I think many of them who are old enough to recognize physical differences are fascinated by “foreigners”. She was so cute I had to snap a picture. Then her mother shooed her into the car.

    Then one afternoon when I was in the spa, paying for my massage and pedicure, one of the young women (Japanese) at the desk looked at me, then looked at her friend…said something in Japanese and then motioned her fingers cascading down from her head like spirals (to describe my hair), all while making a noise…”scchhhhhhhssshhhh” (I guess that’s what nappy would sound like if it had a sound). I asked the young woman she was talking to what she said, and she politely informed me that the other young woman wanted to get her hair like mine. I said “Uhm, yeah, no…I think she’ll have to do a roller set or get a permanent”.

    Japan has been amazing. The way people dress, the way they gawk…it’s been an experience in embracing oneself. Watching the way women dress in whatever way they so desire is inspiring. Awesome. And I’m going to be my awesome self.

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