The Briefest of Re-orientations

4:00 pm

We got dressed in suits. We walked past the stone-splitting cherry tree and to the prefectural office. We were to meet important people and present ourselves as new JETs. We were divided into two groups: the prefectural and the municipal. We municipal JETs visited the eighth floor where we sat round a table and had a very informal question and answer period with the people who have already been leading us through the prefecture already. Why were we wearing suits again?

The prefectural group, apparently, were interviewed on television and a few of them even got to see the subsequent broadcast. They received certificates, presumably from important people. They had reason for suits.

I always hated wearing suits. I can’t think of an occasion where it hasn’t been a bother to wear the dreaded jacket and tie combination. I always felt a tie was a noose or, at best, a leash. I always loathed the superficiality of making my appearance count for people. I always wanted to be noticed for my character, not for the shine of my shoes. I suppose, when the language barrier is so impenetrable, however, that looks become the default standard for human evaluation. I am a closed book with a pretty cover.

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