While walking back home from the train station the other day I had an, “I live in Japan!” moment. Those have been happening less and less over the years. Most of the shininess of Japan has worn off and I've become jaded. Watching sumo on the jumbo monitor outside the station, though, I remembered a bit of what I felt when I first came here. Okay, so it’s not like sumo itself is cool (though it is quintessentially Japanese) but the fact that I was watching it on a huge screen on the wall of a building. Outside a train station. In Japan. That was cool.
I guess the real problem with sustaining enthusiasm is that eventually stuff like taiko groups doing a show outside your apartment, or matsuri parades filling the streets get in the way of real life. Walking through a crowded market, with touts yelling greetings and sales at the top of their lungs is fun the first few times you do it. Later on, it’s just annoying and noisy.
But I’m glad that every once in a while I still have one of those moments where I stop and smile and say to myself, “I live in Japan!”