I celebrated my first ever birthday abroad. I always hoped that would happen one day but I’m still shocked it’s a reality. Surreal. I feel like I say that word at least once a day.
I started the day at school. In my self-introduction class, I told my students I liked the Miyazaki film “Spirited Away”. So for my birthday, they drew me cards with characters from the movie and surprised me in the teachers room. My heart melted, I thanked them, and I was so excited I said a bunch of things quickly in English that they probably didn’t understand. I think they got the sentiment though.
My birthday is also Mexico’s Independence day so I usually like to have some form of Mexican food. After school, me and some of the other ALTs went out to the one Mexican place in town called “Freedom Tacos”. This place is just south of Shujitsu University, in the middle of a residential street. The decor of the building was really cool.
Now I wouldn’t say this is the best food I’ve ever had…. but it is the best Mexican food I’ve had in Japan. You can’t be too picky when you’re across the Pacific.
We ordered the “taco set” which is this sampler plate that cost us 1880 yen (about $15). It came with six brown tortillas that tasted like the bread you get at mass. We also tried a few of the other items on the menu.
I’m so happy to know there’s at least one place in town I can go to when I really need a taste of home. And I’m so thankful to have all these wonderful people who came out to celebrate with me.
I’ve lived a lot of places now and it’s never the place that I fall in love with. It’s the people. Good friends can make anywhere feel like home. Even when home is over 6000 miles away.