Returning to home country is not always a feeling of relief. Especially for us, people who lived in Bombay for several years. Japan is not a same country any more compared to the time before we had left Japan to India. We, at least, I know how much Bombay changed me.
There were dozen of moments I felt “I hate India” when I was in that chaotic city. Things never went well as I expected. Fighting was a necessary to make things go through whatever I wanted. Oily Indian food, fake Chinese food. Dirty street. Flooded road in monsoon season. Annoying bankers. Skinny poor street cats. Sudden visit on Sunday early morning. (Mostly strangers rang the bell by mistake.) Sleepless nights during festival… Well, it happens for everyone but not only for foreigners though, whoever living in Bombay were required to deal with these things.
Now, coming back to Japan. Marvelous foods. Clean street. Cashier never wastes your time by chatting with his colleagues, customer first service. Fatty street cats. People, transportation reach on time. Silent nights. Neighbors never play loud music at midnight… How perfect my country is! (I felt especially I was having food.)
I was satisfied with this perfect country first few months, so were the others who came back from India, I guess. But one day we have started to talk “Is anything wrong here? Why can’t we fit this country, people, same with before?” We barely insist among people, required to worry about future like 30, 40 years later, No conversation about politics, religions, culture differences. Black and white city. (Where is the color we used to see on clothes? ) I don’t remember when I had fight last time…
We call this “flat” or I would say “emotionless”. After spending so many days in Bombay, I have been programmed to live such a “rough” “emotional” life. Then, we started to say “When we were in India…” with a kind of homesick feeling “I miss Bombay” surprisingly.
4 years were enough to change the way to see my home country. This is not a just home country but became one of the other countries as well. I am not fitting the system in Japan. However, it is perfectly fine. Roaming in Tokyo is giving me opportunities to remember the moments in Bombay. The other day, we seriously thought why Rikishaw wasn’t here in front of Tokyo station. We were drunk and wanted a ride took us to the entrance of our home directly. Such a Japan-India comparison is fun time.
Dear Bombay, I still expect unexpected things happen to my life and hopefully I will be able to deal with sadness and happiness. You showed me how the life should be. Bombay made who I am. So I will try being myself wherever I am.