I don't about other expats living in Japan but one thing that makes me homesick is movie-going or actually *not* movie-going. When Chikara and I were dating and then married, we used to go to movies all the time. Even after we had Emi, it was so easy to get a babysitter and go out when we wanted to. Since we moved to Japan, this is hardly the case at all. A few weeks ago, a Japanese friend and I were commiserating over how much our lives have changed since having kids and suddenly it hit me. We should trade babysitting so we could each go with our husbands to see Pirates of the Caribbean. We've been friends since I moved here and I don't know why we didn't think of this earlier. She came and babysat for us last Saturday and we're going to watch her kids next Sunday. Hopefully everything will go well and we can do this again every so often.
But it's still more work than it needs to be. I miss the concept of babysitting. I know we have four kids but when we go home and visit my brother's family, they get a babysitter (or two) who easily watch all eight of our kids and by the time we come home, all the kids are in bed and the babysitters are watching TV. I used to babysit when I was in high school and it was so much fun. I looked forward to watching other people's kids and relaxing. Plus the money was pretty awesome, too.
Another thing that really makes me realize that I live in different country is release dates and availability. Two years after we moved to Japan, we finally got internet service. That was four years ago and since that time, I had the ability to read about movies that were coming soon and see trailers. I was so excited. I felt in touch with my own culture. When I talked to friends and family, I actually knew what they were talking about. I soon realized that it was one more way to make me feel farther away. The movies I would read about wouldn't come to the theatres until a few months after they did in the States and again the video/DVD release date was even later. Also, some movies never made it to Japan. I guess someone thought that there were movies that Japanese people wouldn't appreciate so it wasn't worth the effort. Irritating.
I know it's just movies and not starving people in Africa so in the grand scheme of things, really not that important, but it was and still is frustrating for me.
Anyways, I still look and I recently found two movies that I hope to see in Japan.
Waitress with Keri Russell - I don't know if this movie will come to Japan because it's not really mainstream but I can wish for it.
Stardust with Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert DeNiro, Claire Danes and a lot of other people. I saw this today and I hope to watch it within this year but I don't think that's a reality.
Oh, well. Life goes on. What movies are you waiting for?