On the return home, I occasionally pass another foreigner. Sometimes I see him going in the opposite direction in the morning. Our commutes cross one another, if I happen to be going to or returning from HPAC at a particular time. It's funny to see another regular on the bike path that isn't Japanese. Seeing a foreigner in the train is far more likely, but to be on the bike path means that you have a fairly established life in Japan. Foreigners in Japan–because I know a few–are generally somewhat curious about one another. What are they doing here??? We all just seem so out of place and feel it, too.
And this evening we crossed paths again only this time I noticed that he had an Ohio State Buckeyes shirt, which means that we may be two Ohioans commuting along the same river in Japan. What are the odds? Two people with midwestern backgrounds trying to find a place in this country thousands of miles from home. We pass by one another's understanding every so often and never touch it. Maybe we're always surrounded by familiarity but just moving in opposite directions.
Perhaps one day I'll talk to Mr. Buckeyes, but far more likely there will be a span of the normal two weeks between passings when I won't be there, and then a month, and then three or six months or perhaps never, and he'll realize he hasn't seen me for awhile. And we'll be gone, on to new familiar misses.