• eli

honeymoons and shocks

ハネ―ムーンとショック

Hi everybody! This is Eli.

みなさんこんにちは! エリーです。


I am back in Japan after six months in Italy and this time I’m based in Sapporo, Hokkaido. I’ve seen snow in April. Recently me and my friends here have been rejoicing about the fact that spring is finally coming, and the temperatures have been getting warmer.

六か月間イタリアに帰って滞在したあと、日本に帰って、札幌に引っ越した。4月に雪が降っててびっくりしたよ。最近はやっと気温が高くなったりして、春になった感じがして、とってもいい気分だ。


In the period between the third year of my bachelor’s degree and the second year of my master’s degree I have been traveling back and forth from Italy many times, often for long periods. This is the fifth time I’ve had to move countries in three years, and even though I am slowly getting used to it, it’s still very tiring.

大学三年生と大学院二年目の時に、イタリアと日本の間で生活してきて、実は今回で異国に引っ越したのが五回目なの。段々慣れてきてるけど、最初の時期はやっぱり疲れちゃう。


Those of you who have been abroad might have seen this graph before:

留学したことや、外国で生活したことある人はこのグラフを見たことがあるのかもしれない。

(Source : Finding Your Feet - Cultural Adjustment)


Yes, it’s the infamous culture shock curve. I first saw it when I was studying in Tokyo for six months in 2015. Back then, mine had been a very rocky start. Even though all of my friends were also studying in Tokyo I missed how we could not see each other as much as when we were in Italy, and it was a little bit hard to adapt to the new environment. However, I met the boy who would become my boyfriend a few months later, and from there my (very appropriately) honeymoon phase began.

いわゆるカルチャーショックのグラフなの。初めてこのグラフに出会ったのは、2015年に半年間東京で留学した時だ。その時は、最初のころが結構大変だった。友達はみんな東京にいたけど、前みたいに毎日会って遊ぶことはなかなかできなかったのがすごく嫌だった。それで日本での生活に慣れるのがかなり時間かかったの。だけど数か月後、彼氏に出会って、いろんな意味でのハネ―ムーン時期が始まったんだ。


It was then that I decided that I absolutely had to go back to Japan again. After staying a year in Italy with frequent visits to Japan, I moved to Tokyo again for another longer period of exchange. It was then that my “culture shock” phase truly began.

初めての留学経験が楽しすぎて、また留学する!!って決心した。一年間イタリアにもどって、またすぐ留学した。今回も東京だったけど、留学期間が前回よりも少し長かった。カルチャーショックを受けたのは、この時だ。

When I was in Tokyo in 2016, things were really different from the previous time. For starters, I lived in a share house. The dorm I was in before was pretty terrible - we had to be back by 9.45! However, life in the share house somehow turned to be worse. The house was horrible and the people were not always so nice.

2016年の留学経験は、最初にきた時と全然違かった。住んでるところは寮じゃなくて、シェアハウスだった。寮って夜9時45分までに帰らなくちゃいけなくて、すごく厳しかったけど、シェアハウスはそれより遥かにひどい経験になってしまった。家も古かったし、人と親しくなることもあまりなかった。


University was kind of shocking as well. The zemi I ended up going to had nothing to do with what I wanted to study. I ended up taking a lot of classes from another department, but it was hard to make friends there since we didn’t really share a lot of time together. I joined a club, but everybody was younger (1st to 3rd year students). And while age itself might not be a problem, the fact that I was a master student and not a bachelors student made me feel kind of weird. Also, the other foreign students were pretty much focused on travelling and having the most “Japanese” experience possible while I didn’t really care about that, because I already had some kind of experience. All I genuinely wanted to do was to make some friends.

大学も悪い意味で刺激的だった。私の入ってたゼミがやりたいことと全く関係のないテーマを扱ってたの。それで違う学部の授業をしばしば通うことにしたけど、その学部の子たちと重なる授業が少なくて、友達はあまり作れなかった。サークルに入ってみたけど、私より若い人が多く、自分一人が大学院生っていうことを結構気にしてた。周りの留学生たちは旅行とか、異文化体験とかすることが多かったけど、私がもうそれを十分にやってきてたから、あんまり興味がなかった。そして進学のこととかも考えてたから、本格的に勉強したいことしか思えなかったのかも。友達を作りたかったんだけど、いろんなことがあってなかなか成功しなかった。



I also started working, since I wasn’t receiving a scholarship. I had never done any part time job in my life, and I began with a very hard one in a French restaurant – which I dropped after only three months. Luckily, I soon found another part time job which was way more suited to me. It took me a little but eventually I got used to it and I started liking going to work. Towards the final period of my stay in Tokyo I was doing two part-time jobs and I was really satisfied with my life.