When you live in a new environment, it can be very exciting. However, life in a different culture is not exciting all the time. In fact, there can be times when you find certain things annoying.
Here are some examples given by foreign people living in Japan from an article in MADAME RiRi.
– Loud voices coming from megaphones (Man from Vancouver) “There seem to be people’s voices blaring from megaphones or microphones all over Japan such as JR and bars. It is annoying. The words, ‘How was it?’ and ‘Thank you’ stuck in my head and I cannot get them out of my mind.”
– Repeating similar adjectives (Man from Brussels) “‘Oishii’(Tastes nice), ‘Kirei’ (Beautiful), ‘Samui’ (Cold), ‘Atsui’ (Hot), ‘Sugoi’ (Awesome)…If foreign people understand these words’ meaning, they can understand at least 25% of Japanese people’s conversation.”
– BGM at shops (American man) “It always seems so loud and sticks in my mind afterwards.”
– School students on bicycles (American man from Canada) “I often see students commuting to school, lined up across a road, and they don’t pay any attention to cars coming behind them. I get irritated that they seem to think they own the road.”
– Endless waiting for traffic lights, especially when I am in a car (Man from Cambridge, England)
– Cannot read kanji (61-year-old American man) “I cannot read Japanese newspapers or signs with kanji. It’s not Japan’s fault; it’s my fault.”
– Japanese people praise me when I use chopsticks (Westerner living in Vietnam)
– Compliments that my Japanese is good, sounds when customers come into and leave convenience stores, loud BGM at supermarkets and department stores, speeches before election (Woman from Scotland)
– Impersonal life (Chilean woman)
“Bosozoku” motorcycle gangs (Man from the U.S. Midwest) “Motorcycle noise is so loud. At noon, it might be OK, but late at night or early in the morning, it is really annoying.”
– Lack of critical thinking (American man)
– Early morning sun in summer (Canadian man) “It gets light at 4:30 a.m. There must be a better way to optimize sunlight efficiently.”
– I haven’t been to Japan yet (I’m going to, soon), and I am scared that Japanese people will ignore me and that I’ll have some troublesome experiences there. (American woman)
– Poor insulation (Norwegian) “Japanese winters feel 10 degrees colder than Norway. I’m always freezing because the inside of homes is not warm.”
– Crowds (Man from Latvia)
– Japanese people cannot speak other languages well, they wear suits in the hot summer, perverted old men on trains. (Dutch man)
– I’m often the tallest in a crowd of people, and I get stared at when I practice karate (English man)
So there you are. Still, if you find some things troublesome, it means you know Japan better, says MADAME RiRi.
SOURCE: MADAME RiRi© Japan Today