I just met a man at the Post Office whose mad English skills took me by surprise. I even dropped the Engrish and talked at a normal speed. He’s Japanese-born but an American citizen, as he proved with a flash of that shiny blue passport that looks just like mine.

He lived in America for 30 years, and wouldn’t you know it, moved back to Japan in July, just when I arrived. Even more uncanny, he lived in Atlanta for a chunk of those years, in Smyrna. He knows Newnan, too, and pronounces it, “Newnaan”like the Japanese “a” and the delicious Indian bread.

He has friends in Riverdale and Marietta.

“Why did you move back to Japan?”

He took on a pained expression and motioned eating with hashi, chopsticks.

“I missed the food.”

One person’s steak is another’s sushi, I suppose.

I nodded my head empathetically, a fellow countryman, as it would be, that feels that similar pain.

But inside, I was shaking my head and thinking there are some cultural divides I’ll never understand.

~ by C on April 22, 2010.

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