24 December, 2009

Christmas contrasts

Last Christmas we were in cold Toyko. No snow, but still close to zero degrees outside. We ate a baked dinner with friends we'd known less than six months. The closest we got to family was on Skype. When we looked out the window we saw one or more houses very close by. This Christmas we are in rural Australia. Sweltering in heat hot enough to make running around outside under sprinklers a fun activity. We're spending it with family - most of whom have known most of us since birth. Cold ham, salad and pudding is on the menu. When we look out the windows of the house we're staying in, we cannot see any other house. No tarred road in sight, in fact. No internet access either. Lots of contrasts, in fact the two experiences are about as far apart as is possible. However, there is more than one similarity. Of course we are celebrating the same event, the birth of Jesus Christ our saviour. But there's another: a small degree of loneliness. That might be obvious for our life in Japan, but here in country Australia there is very little understanding of our life in Japan. Our passion for the Japanese just seems odd to most. We do our best to fit in with our family, but we really are the odd ones out. Nevertheless, we are really enjoying this Christmas in Australia. There is much more familiarity to it than we usually experience at Christmas time. We're relaxing and having a good time. I won't be back online for a while, so here's wishing you a happy and very special Christmas.

1 comment:

Tim and Susan said...

I agree...no fun to feel the odd one out, often how we feel during a lot of our HA. Merry Christmas.