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What habits have you picked up from living in Japan that you sometimes have to try and stop yourself doing when you go overseas because you don't think it will look right?

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Praising others, “You're Very Good at Using Chopsticks”

-4 ( +12 / -16 )

Sitting there like an idiot when the taxi door doesn't open automatically.

26 ( +26 / -0 )

Not making small talk at supermarket cashiers or saying thank you to restaurant staff when they bring your order.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

being cleaner and more polite in general as well as being more considerate of others. It does go a long way

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Waiting for automated doors, restroom faucets, saying sorry , bottling up feelings , not screaming at dopey octogenarian drivers, ....did I mention not screaming ?....living with Mother in law in tiny unit and forbidden to speak about the inconvenience...did I mention not screaming ?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

bowing at people, bowing when talking on the phone, looking for the bidet button thinking it's going to be washlet, separating the plastic label, plastic cap and pet bottles from bottles, and separating all garbage based on their categories

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Eating/drinking soup etc. directly from the bowl. If you've spent years being given chopsticks with your bowl of soup ....................................

4 ( +5 / -1 )

My time living in Japan as made me a better person and I would not allow myself to fall back into not being patient, not honouring Tabimasu, not talking on my phone when travelling on a train etc when back in my homeland.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Bowing on the phone, sniffing instead of using a tissue,not making eye contact,folding the toilet paper with triangles, riding my bike on the pavement (sidewalk),or salmoning(riding bike against oncoming traffic),just putting all plastic in normal bin,instead of separating conscientiously,not saying 'thank you'to shop or restaurant staff, looking for the push button instead of signalling to waiting staff to take my order,etc ad nauseum.

Mostly not thinking on my feet and being constantly baby coddled.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Dropping Japanese words into a conversation with other English speakers when the Japanese word is more convenient or accurate.

Apologising unnecessarily to keep the harmony

Slurping noodles

Calling the ground floor of a building the first floor.

Riding my bike on the footpath, not wearing a helmet most of the time

Flashing the hazard lights in the car when someone lets me in in front of them

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Speaking Japanese.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Removing my boots before entering my Leo 'palace'...

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Avoiding middle-aged white guys.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Yes, bowing on the phone is a good one. I don’t care.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Bowing when greeting someone.

Some yearr ago I went to my old dentist in my home country, and when I said “Hello! I made a small bow. The three receptionists there all laughed.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Inadvertently saying "Sumimasen" when accidentally bumping into someone.

S

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Eating with my mouth wide open like a pig.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

I ignore people whenever they sneeze. Don't think I want to change that. Now I feel it's dumb to tell people "bless you" whenever they sneeze.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Driving on the left.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Avoiding middle-aged white guys.

That's brilliant

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Sneezing as loud as a cannon shot.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Little things like saying 'dozo" or using chopsticks in a restaurant that isn't Asian or taking my shoes off when I visit someone. There are other little things. It took me months to readjust culturally. But my friends had a good laugh once and again, so, even slightly embarrassed myself, I had to laugh along with them.

(I've stopped taking along travel chopsticks with me.)

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I remember feeling very amused to see Japanese people bowing on the phone. But what was even more amusing was, six months later, to discover myself doing exactly the same thing!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Not holding the door open for people coming in (or leaving) behind you.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Motioning to myself by pointing at my nose, and not my chest. Also doing the "come-here" motion Japanese style with my hand facing down, instead of motioning with my fingers facing up.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I have to remind Japanese friends that when abroad, it is customary to thank the waiter/waitress when they bring food, and generally acknowledge their presence, rather than treating them like something you just scraped off the bottom of your shoe.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

awkwardly bowing while leaving a conversation instead of waving my hand and say "good bye"

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Mocheake

Sneezing as loud as a cannon shot.

I did that before coming to Japan. And, I expect I'll continue it if I ever move back to the US, as well.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Aly Rustom

Not making small talk at supermarket cashiers or saying thank you to restaurant staff when they bring your order.

Not making small talk with cashiers is a beautiful thing. I remember the culture shock when I moved from NYC to California, standing in line, while cashiers and customers ahead of me would chat like idiots. That nonsense wouldn't be put up with back in NYC. It's ring up the merch, and pay. Badabing badaboom, so to speak. I'm so glad cashier chitchat is not done here.

As for thanking waitstaff, I do it here, as do the Japanese folks I eat with. We also thank cashiers and store clerks, too. It's just polite. I have a feeling it's because I live in Kansai. I have noticed Kanto people are much less friendly and outgoing than here in Kansai.

piskian

looking for the push button instead of signalling to waiting staff to take my order

That's what the button is for. I will miss that convenience if and when I move back to the US. In fact, I'm annoyed now on the rare occasion I find a restaurant here that doesn't use them.

Bad Haircut

Slurping noodles

Luckily, I never picked up that habit. My JP friends and family sometimes laugh at me for eating noodles so quietly. (I do slurp soup, though. Bad habit.)

Calling the ground floor of a building the first floor.

What else would you call it? In the US, on rare occasion, there may be separate ground and first floors. But, it's rare. Most of the time, they are one and the same, the terms interchangeable.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Urinating wherever I want.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I have none.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sneezing as loud as a cannon shot

Lol.

Visions of a salaryman with a pack of Seven Stars in his top pocket manspreading on the Chiyoda Line.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"What habits have you picked up"

I feel able to urinate in more public places than I can eat in.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

garypen

Driving on the left.

For me it is confusing the wiper and turn signal switches.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

That nonsense wouldn't be put up with back in NYC. 

I lived in Brooklyn/Manhattan for 20 years - Small talk, a thank you to a cashier was the same there as anywhere else I lived in the states. Mostly positive, rarely negative and the rest indifferent. The idea people in NY(C) are rude, and or impolite is a bit of a stereotype.

Living here in Japan, no one ever seemed to be taken back by and thank you. Maybe a bit surprised coming to them in Japanese.

Not making small talk with cashiers is a beautiful thing.

Actually, Not making small talk it is a no thing.

It is a beautiful thing when people can be kind to each other.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ask Trade

"Driving on the left."

For me it is confusing the wiper and turn signal switches.

It's happened to me a number of times since moving here. My first car here was a domestic brand, which does swap the stalks. That took me weeks before I stopped turning on the wipers when I went to signal a turn.

My next car was/is and import, which has them on the proper side, as imports do here. But, because I had been driving a domestic for a number of years, it took me weeks to get used to the correct stalk placement again. Unfortunately, the transmission is operated from one of the stalks, so my wife and I would often shift into neutral when attempting to signal. (Luckily, it has a safety mechanism to prevent shifting into R when moving forward.)

Then, when taking the driving test on the test center car, a Toyota, I had to get used to the wrong-side turn signal again, just for the test. And, as most people here know, especially foreigners, the test is designed for failure, with only a small number passing the first time. So, it was vitally important not to make any signalling mistakes. (Thankfully, I didn't, and passed.)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ask Trade

I lived in Brooklyn/Manhattan for 20 years -

So? I lived there for 40.

Small talk, a thank you to a cashier was the same there as anywhere else I lived in the states.

"Small talk" and "thank you" are two different things. A thank you is basic politeness, and takes all of one second. Small talk with the cashier is rude and inconsiderate to those behind you in line.

The idea people in NY(C) are rude, and or impolite is a bit of a stereotype.

There is nothing rude in pointing out other people's inconsiderate behavior. Ignoring it is what is weird, and seems to be the norm here in Japan.

Actually, Not making small talk it is a no thing.

I don't know what that means.

It is a beautiful thing when people can be kind to each other.

Not being inconsiderate to others waiting in line, helping them get on with their busy day, is a very kind thing to do. And, I expect that kindness from others.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Oh geez,

My top three would have to be:

Bowing (ojigi) when I want someone to move out of the way, or when I want to show thanks.

Being more passive and quietly waiting for someone to notice me and then moving out of the way instead of just walking in front of them when I am shopping.

Being apologetic when I accidentally get in someone's way.

Wait, are Japanese people generally well-behaved, and Americans are just kinda rude? Hmm...

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Ahh also we can't forget day drinking or having alcohol in public!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Avoiding middle-aged white guys.

I think I get it, but, just in case, why? Being a middle-aged white guy, it would be helpful to know.

Anything I’m doing wrong?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Avoid middle aged white women.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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