I’ve discovered from first-person experience and some back-of-the-envelope calculating that there are way more Australians living in Japan than Americans. We’re also outnumbered by expat Canadians, unless I miss my guess. I can’t understand why this is. There are a lot more Americans, in the net global sense, than there are Canadians and Australians combined. Six times more, in fact. But in Japan, not only am I a minority among the native population, I’m a minority among minorities. Recently, I’ve taken to asking people where they think I’m from, rather than telling them outright. It never fails: first guess is always Canada. Canada? It boggles the mind. But you can’t blame them. They’re just playing the odds. I’ve met more Canadians and Australians in eight months in Japan than in my entire life previous. I even live with an Australian. It’s having a subtle effect on me, too. Lately I’ve taken to calling people mate, and I’m catching myself using the adjective “bloody” to describe situations and things that have nothing to do with actual blood.

Incidentally, not that I ever doubted that I’m sharing a house with a native of Oz, but if I had, spotting this in the pantry would have erased all doubt:

Somebody stop me before I start saying “Bob’s yer uncle.”