Japan vs the United States

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Japan United States

In this article I'll compare my living experience with Japan and the United States.

Why My Husband and I Want to Leave Japan

a woman
Okay, truthfully, I have been wanting to move for quite some time. Since last year, I've thought about moving back to the United States. I however did not move because of my husband's visa. It is quite difficult getting a visa for your spouse if you are already married.
If you get married within the United States, it's a lot easier that way. But getting a visa or Green card takes times and MONEY. I would have needed to work in the United States for six months before my husband would have been able to move there. We weren't willing to do that so that's why I just had a visit.
It's no secret, but I HATE working in Japan. It is way too stressful. You can't just live your life and get along with coworkers because they are too petty. Yes, I know that in the United States people can also be petty and gossipy. However, I think they take it to a whole new level in Japan. They will bully you until you quit. To me, that is just unacceptable and dare I say, INSANE.
I would prefer to work at home to be honest. I also miss being able to work in healthcare. Right now, it's a blessing that I'm not working in healthcare... But still. The language barrier also annoys me at times. I would still prefer to live in Tokyo as opposed to where I am now. It's dangerous with the pandemic of course, but I would still prefer it. I don't like living in the country PERIOD.

What About Going Back to the United States?

As I've said before, I HAVE honestly thought about moving back to the United States. But that was BEFORE the pandemic happened. NOW, I feel that there is no place for me there once again. Yes, I miss my family, and I ADORE my hometown. But it's so so violent in the United States.
There was that runner who was killed by those white men just for being black. There was an African American woman in Montana I believe, who was murdered by the police in her home. I believe her name was Breona. The racism seems to be never ending. Not to mention that I'm a woman, a black woman at that. I know that I have no protection in the United States.
And then there's this pandemic. The pandemic has showed the many issues within the United States. People are one paycheck away from being in ruins. People are living paycheck to paycheck. Even though you can get unemployment, sometimes it is not reliable. Sometimes the system has errors, or it may be difficult to get unemployment.
In the United States we have no national health insurance. If you want to go to the hospital, regardless of whether or not you have "good" insurance, you could end up paying an arm and a leg. And then there's the issue with me being a black woman AGAIN. They ignore black women's pain at the hospital, and they LET us die. Regardless of your social status, i.e. Serena Williams and Beyonce.
In America, at the end of the day, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. For me, that has always been the system. And the racism there is too much. The violence, in general, there is too much. I used to have anxiety leaving the house. I had to pray before leaving the house. I had to pray while driving. I would hope to God that nothing bad would happen. Because honestly, anything could.

So Where Do I Want to Live?

a man
Obviously, I don't want to live in either country. In Japan I can be safe. I can eat good food…at times. In Tokyo, it's very convenient. We can save money in Japan because the rent isn't crazy expensive like in the States. We have health insurance. Going to the hospital is usually less than 100 dollars, even when I got a mammogram.
Japan is not all bad, I know this. But working in Japan, the hours you have to work are not good. The dirty looks that I would get from my coworkers, for leaving on-time, would astonish you. But of course, they gave me those looks, because they COULDN'T leave on time. They HAD to work more to seem like a "good employee". At least that's what they thought in their mind. The prison in their mind that they built for themselves.
If you work with foreigners and Japanese people at the same company, you will always experience tension and stress. As a foreigner, I can leave work WHEN I'M SUPPOSED TO. I get paid more for "doing less". But instead of the Japanese staff telling management, or simply finding a new job, they chose to take it out on the foreign staff. Even though we have no say in what their salary, job description, or hours are.
It's an endless cycle of stress. It's not good mentally. If you don't know how to say no to their demands, they WILL work you ragged. No matter how tired or sad you look. I've seen it, and I've experienced it. Japan is not good for your mental health, and therefore, you can never truly be happy. At least that's my experience.

The United States has good food. My old job had great pay; I could work from home if I wanted to. AND I liked my coworkers. I had an amazing job. If I did move back, I don't know if I could actually replicate that scenario. However, I certainly would have tried. My family is also living in the US, along with my close friends. I can go wine tasting and have a lot of leisurely activities to choose from. Unfortunately, that is where the buck stops. The bad far outweigh the good.
If I were a white man or woman, I could have a good life there, but I'm neither. If I want to live in the United States, I need a gun. I need to learn karate or some form or self-defense. I need to carry mace. I can't call the police if I'm scared, but I also can't rely on anyone to help me since I'm a black woman.
Just thinking about it makes me so sad. I wish things could be different, but this is the reality of my situation. It's something I constantly have to think about. That's why I don't think I could live in the US and be happy either.
Therefore, I'm still debating about what country I can move to once this virus is over. I do have some ideas. I will write an article or two about what countries I have contemplated.
Good luck on staying safe and finding a great place to live, no matter where you want to go in the world. Until next time.