I miss the human connections

Each day that I’m at work with my Japanese colleagues there are constant reminders that I can never be part of the give and take, the banter, the camaraderie. So I’ve given up trying.
That’s the part of my old job at DoL that I miss the most: the friendship. The feeling that people talk to me and go out of their way to include me in their jokes. That they go out of their way to listen to what I have to say. To ask my opinion. On all sorts of matters. Yes, work-related matters — that’s important, and I don’t what to understate the degree to which it’s important to feel that one contributes in a sub-stantive way to ones workplace.
But it’s also the friendship, the bonds between equals, that became so important to me, and which I now miss the most about my old job.
Here, I’m … well, I hesitate to say that I’m not an equal. I certainly don’t think my workmates are shallow enough to look at me and think I’m inferior to them.
It’s not a question of whether I’m equal or higher or lower. Rather, I’m just … different. I’m isolated here at the end of the desks. Ignored, most of the time. That galls, certainly. But it’s not really their fault that I can’t understand what they’re say-ing.
I guess what gets me down even more is that they have no interest in my life. I’m just the foreign guy at the end of the tables who checks the pages.
Well, anyway, enough of that. Time for me to go to lunch and try and get maybe half an hour of japanese study in.

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