ok, i don't know the official delurking day for 2011, but it's about that time of year again, and instead of being one of the last to figure it out, i'm just going to go ahead and make today my delurking day!

um, anyone out there? i know i get plenty of hits during the day, but not many comments. not that i'm complaining! i know that (right now) my blog is just run-of-the-mill, nothing exciting or controversial here. not much swearing, either. i am going to try to take more pictures this year. last year was really bad!

so, please, if you're lurking, come on out and say hi. ask me a question, if there's anything you'd like to know about me (ha!) or my life in japan. even if you're a regular commenter, i'd love to hear from you, too!!

to get things started, i did get a question the other day (but for some reason, didn't show up on my blog...) from Japan: Home Sweet Home

"Hi Illahee,
I posted a comment on your old blog. I’m not sure what I was thinking I was catching up with all your posts. You seem to enjoy yourself in Japan. Even though I am Japanese and grew up there, I feel I have a lot to learn about the culture. So, how do you like living Japan and which parts are causing you to struggle?"

this is a tough question!! i do like living in japan, but sometimes i hate it, too. the toughest part is being so far away from my family in the US. it's also difficult when people around you don't understand your situation at all and have no sympathy for you. (the roughest part is when it's your own spouse!) i also struggle with language. speaking a bit but mostly with reading. being illiterate has been one of the hardest things to adjust to in my adult life. i hate it! i have also reached a stage where i know enough to get by and it's hard to move on to the next level. for me, anyway.

i've been in japan since 1999, and i'm really glad i came here on my own, and lived alone, first. i'm not saying this is the best way to do it, only that it was good for me! i learned a lot the first few years, about me, about living alone and about japan and about people who come here. it was very interesting, but sometimes lonely and even boring. being a wife and mother as an expat is so very different than as a single person!!

anyway, thank you to erika for her question, and good luck to her and her husband for when they move to japan!

ok lurkers, i'm waiting for you!