Trying to Fit In

I think it's just my luck that I can hardly go unnotice wherever I go. I'm talking about being brown-skinned with almond-shaped eyes in Japan. I always get stare from people whenever I walk. The stare ranges from the most polite ones to the obvious ones. I call it obvious when somebody turns his/her head 180 degrees just to be able to see me. Of course Papap and Hikari don't get this attentive attention as much as I do, for obvious reason: both are white-skinned with slanted eyes. They will only receive attention when they speak other languages than Japanese, or when they are seen together with me. Am I complaining? N-O. In fact, I feel awesome. I feel unique, indeed. It's like I'm walking on a catwalk and everybody is admiring.
Wake up, dude?! Get back to earth! :)

Anyway, now, I understand how those bules must feel when they walk around in Jakarta, being white and all. No matter how civilized a race is supposed to be, different is different. Period. Now, the problem comes when somehow I realize that no matter how understanding I am about this mental being, no matter how confident I am about my being, I still feel the urge to fit in. Yes, to fit in among the Japanese, so that I can feel nearly at home. Moreover, people say, when you are in Rome, do like the Romans do! Mission impossible?
Well, actually, I've got some things on my side. First, my size -height and weight- is exactly the same with the majority of women here. It is so heavenly easy to find clothing or shoes that fit me. I don't have to cut the length of my jeans, for example. Surprisingly, this doesn't happen in my home country. Back home, the clothes are either a little bit too big or too small. The pants are either a little bit too loose or too long. The shoes? What a nightmare! I seldom find my size easily. But here? It seems like every woman is my size. I am not too big or too small in Japan! I am just the average Japanese woman... (so, shopping is my middle name now)
Next, I fortunately can speak, write, and read a little bit of Japanese. Just a little bit, but enough to survive. This skill helps me a lot. The people here seem to draw closer when they know I speak their language. Another thing which is the same in Indonesia too, I think. I still can't figure out why, though?!
Then comes my hair. My hair is so helpless that no hair stylist can do something good about it. I am talking about having a nice hairstyle which the hair actually follow the line of the brush. My hair is so stubborn -like me- that it never shapes like I want it to. Every time there will be a lock that goes inside or outside. It always looks like I just get up from bed! It is always messy. It is always irregular. One of my colleagues used to say I needed to use strong gel to make my hair stay wherever I wanted it to. She said that just to make sure I got the message: do something with your hair! It looked so messy! But, that's in Indonesia. The sweet thing about hairstyling in Japan is the messier the style the better. And one more thing: black pitch hair is not considered fashionable here, so my not-so-black hair is okay. The people here mostly dyed their naturally black hair, anyway.
So, why is it still difficult for me to fit in? Is it because of my obviously brown skin? Is it because my hair is not dyed, but sunburnt instead? Is it because, although I definitely love tempura and soba, I can't stand eating sushi? (Yes, I can't stand sushi. Is it a crime?) Or is it because my Japanese proficiency is so low that it cannot be considered a proficiency?
Na-ah. I think I've figured this out wrongly. I am not in Rome, so it's no use to do like the Romans do.
Finally, I want to make the moral of the story like this: I cannot force myself to fit in anywhere in the world, even in my own country. My too-long-jeans story shows you that. So, I just make myself stand out, then.


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