I’ve never been quite at ease with the fact that I’m both Japanese and Jordanian. From not being able to speak Arabic when I first came to Jordan, and having this proven by my first-grade teacher (who told me that I would never be able to speak or write Arabic), to the relentless Fridays of each week, when I had to go to a Japanese school in Amman; or the occasional looks I get in Japan, because I do not quite look like the other Japanese people, especially where my grandmother lives, in a suburb where people are not used to seeing many foreigners.
I felt that I was caught up in a war of two cultures: Japan was my enemy, and kept firing volleys at my identity, telling me that I did not belong, whereas Jordan became my ally, though I gained its support only recently. At first I couldn’t speak the language, but with the assistance of my father, who taught me Arabic when I was still young, I became better.
You could quite imagine the disaster of throwing a child to fight in a war. But I finally survived.
I remember walking with my sister to a shop to buy a wallet that she wanted. My grandmother did not quite like it, so of course I had to go back to the shop with my sister. Once I reached for the money in my back pocket of my jeans, I realized that I had lost the money. We went to the information center, and we found the money. I guess a lesson that I learned is that karma will really hunt you down (especially if we are talking grandmothers), and I had to buy a wallet to keep my money in.
Another incident occurred in Hiroshima. I lost my phone on the last day of our three-day trip there. My mother, sister and I decided to keep this hidden from my father—sure that he would get so mad, we told him we were going to buy water. That is when I pressed Find my iPhone, but that was in vain because my phone had to be connected on Wi-Fi (Apple should seriously fix this!). I had to go down my memory lane, and remember every moment of my day. The first thing that popped in my mind is that perhaps the phone fell in the train, so we went there and did not find it. The second step was going to the restaurant, where we asked about my phone, and they said we should go to the information center. When I went there, they asked me to describe the cover of my phone, and put my Touch ID.
As strange as it might sound , I am thankful for these nerve racking, and heart falling incidents, that happened since they are what made me feel proud about the morals of Japanese people. Because, they decided to make an action when they saw the money and the phone instead of just passing by them as if they did not exist. Then, they made the right action; by giving them to the information centers, that are almost around anywhere in spacious areas.