Expats in Japan write their own experiences about the Land of the Rising Sun
After the big success of a funny post about too much in Japan, some expats friend of mine have sent some additions which I am posting them here with their permission! To clarify something, Japan is great country and most foreigners whoa re there love the country and the people, especially their amazing qualities. The post is supposed to see Japan through the eys of people who work there but are not Japanese.
The country has a very low ratio of foreigners, known as gaijins(or flyjins) who have to go through an immigration service, designed to keep them out. I had the honor of working for a 100% Japanese company where White people were such a rarity that the security guy was stopping at the entrance for my first 2 weeks at my job. funny times indeed.
So how does one change when he has been long in Japan? How long is actually long in the country that never ceases to bewilder? to the main post:
One has been too long i n Japan ( by Claire Ghyselen)
- when you seriously think that there is a personality behind all those black suite and white shirt young people looking for a job
- when you stop wondering how and when a young and stylish young Japanese man switches into a bold and unfashonnable middle aged man
- when you stop wondering how a Prime Minister can be selected without any election
- when you do not wonder how ladies can wear stockings even in summer, even with sandals
- when you do not realise anymore how noisy an electronic shop can be. Waow, the bi-ku-
- variation of the taxi: if “abroad”, when you are suprised that the taxi driver gets angry at you for not closing the doord
- if “abroad” but especially in some European countries or cities that I do not dare to name, you think it weard that the staff of hotels, shops and metro does not smile and when you do not understand why you feel that you are disturbing them
- when you think that it is absolutely normal and good for the employment that there is an elevator lady in every department store that you visit
- when you shout to the waiter when you cannot place your beer order fast enough
- if you actually like all those dresses and clothes for your dog and you think that 10 000 yen is not so expensive for your loved little ones (but the husband gets uniqlo clothes of course)
- when you love those foot and neck massage places: 1500 for 15 minutes. Why do they not have it in Europe? It is such a good business to develop
- when you love going to the hairdresser and are not afraid spend at least 2 to 3 hours there;
- when you feel happy to get a small tissue on your eyes when the hairdresser washes your hair, and do not feel shame with the ear plastic protection when they do the color.
- when you think that shocking pink and bright red or red and violet are nice colors to put together.
- if you understand that neck and feet can be sexy
- if you actually think that “bas resille” as we say in French (it looks like fish nets) and visible garters (on purpose with the goth addicts) are sexy;
- when you think that dressing like a Barbie or the Ingells family in the Little House in the Prairie is absolutely normal
- when you think that a kimono looks crispy and fresh, even in the heat of summer and yes, you really would like to be able to wear them too
- when you are looking forward to some karaoke under the sakura flower and you do have your blue plastic sheet to do the hanami efficiently
- when you feel “mono no aware” and life futility when looking at the red leaves
- when you are not disturbed by the 1000 visitors in front of you in a painting exhibition
- when queuing is no longer a pain
- when you always carry a mini towel in your bag to dry your hands in the toilets.
- when you always carry a antiseptic spray to clean the toilet even though it does not need it
- when you are disgusted if someone blow his/her nose in public (instead of sniffing and eating everything back…)
- when you think it is normal for a mum to ask kindly to her kid to please stop hitting her wildly and don’t be angry, pleeeeeease, I am sorry.
- when you actually enjoy Noh. It is actually moving to the tears. It is really the drum rythm and the shouts that are so emotionally charged!
- and a variation of the car’ kleenex box and fluffy thing: when you think a car is not appropriately dressed up without the immaculate lace cover of the seats.
By Oliver Salvy
- when, back home, you wait for the taxi door to open,
- when you are surprised if the taxi driver does not wear white gloves,
- when you find yourself at 6:30am cleaning in front of your house and consider that normal and actually, a good time to discuss with the neighbours,
- when you can spend more than a week never wondering yourself in which trash box a rubbish should go,
- when you wake up early on holidays to get your trash out before 8am,
- when you consider normal that trash are collected during bank holidays
1. When you feel a sense of joy noticing that the toilet you entered is a washlet.
2. When you feel agitated that the other foreigner in the restraint poured soysauce on
3. When you start to feel embarrassed when someone tries to high five you
By Sven Van Stichel
When you thinks it’s normal there’s a free public toilet anywhere you go
- When you can easily tell which train car will squeeze you to death and which one won’t
- When you automatically put your hands up when a lady is squeezed in front of you on the train
- When you feel uncomfortable holding your umbrella on a train because some girl might accidentally think you groped her
- When you know you will get a hot steamy bowl of gyuudon within a few minutes upon entering the store
- When buying lunch tickets through a vending machine is a walk in the park
- When you got used to the stickers store clerks put on your plastic bag, even though you have to tear them off each time to get your purchased article
- When you can go to a train station and know there will be a train available every few minutes
- When you start putting salt on your watermelon
- When you think it’s normal to eat cooked potatoes together with rice (as it is a vegetable)
- When putting mayonnaise on a pizza is actually a good idea
- When you keep on using point cards at supermarkets without actually knowing what you can do with the points
- When you think it’s normal to drink beer that has been kept in the freezer of an
- When you are surprised that European toilets still do not have heated seats
- When you are satisfied with small, thin pieces of meat on a BBQ
- When you know which side your should stand on an escalator throughout Japan
- When you say sumimasen and bow slightly when somebody holds open the elevator door
- When you automatically tear the labels off your pet bottles, wash them and get rid of the caps before recycling
- When you keep a bottle of water to wash away the present your pet dog left on the street
- When you expect a space above the urinal for your suitcase and a hook for your umbrella beside it
- When you expect every semi-large truck to talk to you every time it tries to take a left turn
- When you feel relieved that a voice tells you your bath has been automatically filled up
- When you feel good about burning 25 calories with a karaoke machine