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The Joy of Being Odd

By Jamie Isabel Rosado


            As I entered Sanomiya Station I came to a sudden and liberating conclusion in my head I didn’t look like anybody else, and there was nothing I could do about it. People were going to look at me, some discreetly and some not. I could be wearing a Big Bird costume or a kimono or anything in between and it wouldn’t matter. As was mentioned in Takeyuki  Tsuda’s article " No Place to Call Home," even the Japanese Brazilians were noticed and I don’t remotely come as close to passing as they do.

          As I was riding the train to Takarazuka all these thoughts were running jumbled through my head till one really sunk in and that was about the semester of high school I spent in Madrid, Spain. Everyday I would wake up early and agonize over what I would wear to ride the buses to school, as long as I didn’t open up my mouth most thought I was Spanish, more often than not I would get downstairs and be told it would be in my best interest to go back up and change because everyone would stare and talk about me. I found that part of my visit in Spain the most depressing until a month and a half later I decided I didn’t care and started wearing what I wanted. Comparing it to my realizations on the trains of Japan I was blissfully liberated of worry about being an outsider.

          I was still musing over my various realizations as I returned to and left Sanomiya Station and headed to the mall. I was fingering some clothes and a little old Japanese lady came up to me and said “No clothes fit you, you too big here” she then gestured to her bust. I thanked her for her help and moved along laughing, on the inside. As I sat down to write this I realized that had I been any place where I had the remote chance of fitting in I might have taken that lady’s helpful gesture as an offense. I am suddenly and very happy to be liberated.         
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