In 2014 in Tokyo (2014 mind you not 1974 here) I had people stand on black vans, wave big national Japanese flags and direct racist abuse at me about "foreigners" etc (so my Japanese girly at the time said as she got ready to have a pop back...she rocked!)
In Germany I've never had any abuse at all... and I come from England a country that bombed Germany to bits and "beat" them in two world wars. There is a massive difference between German and Japanese attitudes towards 'foreigners', which in my mind is directly related to the second world war and the attitudes that both countries took after the second world war. And for the record the Germans are much more open minded than the Japanese and given the choice of sitting in a bar with a bunch of Japanese or Germans I'd take the room with the Germans any day.
14 ( +19 / -5 )
After living in the Tokyo humidity of hell last year this is the first ever UK summer that I've truly loved and truly appreciated! Perspective hey! :) Ahhh no humidity, 10 degrees lower, bright nights until 21:40, that thing called a breeze! Hehe! Erm..sorry peeps! On the other hand you lucky people don't have to deal with the hell and rudeness of London buses, awful customer service etc etc (I could go on for ages LOL) so it's swings and roundabouts! See you again one day Japan..you can count on that!
0 ( +1 / -1 )
I was thinking about something similar this morning in London actually. I was laughing at myself at how terrified I was of asking girls out when I was younger. My younger day tactics were: just be easy going, silly and most of all just make the girls laugh. I used to always wait and let the girls 'attack' me..and YEAH I missed many good opportunities of course back then....but a few did grab me woohoo! So it sort of worked..at least with this tactic I gained some confidence! In fact my (ex) Japanese girly grabbed me in London 3 years ago so woo again..it worked! But yeah dating in my teens and early twenties...that was scary back then. There's a great Simpsons sketch when Abe Simpson is trying to ask Bee out and says "You'd think this would get easier after 80 years" LOL Now I'm 43, I'm still cheeky and silly and I have no fear of being rejected, which is so nice! Man it's great to be like this. These guys have just got to a) relax, b) be silly) and c) crash and burn a few times to realize nothing bad is going to happen.
BTW I'm single and available mature Japanese ladies! Come and get me! :)
0 ( +0 / -0 )
I had to buy a pair of trainers (sneakers to the US peeps) when I lived in Tokyo as I arrived wearing a pair of Lucky Stars that laced up to the ankle. What a pain in the butt that was taking them on and off all the time! I also stopped wearing slippers during the summer due to the pong! Humidity and cheap slippers = pooeee! hehe
0 ( +0 / -0 )
I lived in Tokyo last year, I loved the country and the people but the summer killed me, twas the humidity and a few times it hit 37. It was horrendous. I'm back in London now, ahh it's so much nicer (humidity wise) and I also love the long summer evenings staying bright until 9.30pm. That was hard for me last year in Japan, no summer nights! I'm learning how to copywrite so I can work location free, definitely going to be Hokkaido on my return to Japan (during summer!)
1 ( +3 / -2 )
Yup I did all 3 as well when I was in Tokyo last year, although helping mothers with stuff tended to freak them out a bit so I stopped doing that one! The funniest was in my local Lawson. I was in there almost everyday. After every purchase I always said thank you to the Chinese staff. At first they just stared at me as though I was an alien but one day the woman employee was coughing so I asked if she was alright and she was shocked that i even asked lol. After that all the staff began to lighten up and say hello to me when I went in. In the 6 months I went in I was the only one saying thank you. Like the poster, I'm from the UK so it's just engrained in me. Personally i found it very fun thanking konbini staff. In one 7/11 I said "sugoi service" (it was!) and the man almost wet his pants hehe!
0 ( +0 / -0 )
I'm just sitting here in London reading all these comments and for the first time ever I'm seriously beginning to question why I'm even bothering to learn Japanese when it seems foreigners are simply not wanted. Pretty depressing when you think about it actually. Maybe I should just jack it in and not bother anymore and go learn another language?
2 ( +3 / -1 )
I have just returned from 6 months in Tokyo. I speak pretty bad Japanese :) I lived with my Japanese girly and her 11 year old son. When I first started speaking my bad broken Japanese to him he would simply look to his mum for confirmation. He genuinely didn't understand me. This was because in his 11 years of living he had never ever heard Japanese spoken by a non Japanese person. Hard to believe for some us who come from cities packed with immigration but for his ears, it was just weird. I however come from London, a city where 50% of its inhabitants are immigrants. I have grown up with West Indian English, Pakistani and Indian English, Chinese English etc etc etc. By his age I had heard many many different dialects of English. As a result of this I am very used to English being spoken to me in a million different ways. This however is not the case in Japan where at a very rough guess (I'm probably wrong here) 98% of population all come from one race. There just isn't the same number of people speaking Japanese with an accent. It reminded me of a conversation I had on this same subject with an old work colleague. He went to the Czech Republic and asked for "two beers" from the barman in the bar, he even showed two fingers when he ordered and though he spoke bad Czech the barman just couldn't figure it what he was asking for. He told me it was a simply a case of the barman not being used to hearing Czech being spoken from a non Czech person. I also lived in Denmark for 3 years and Danish TV did (and still probably does) subtitle foreigners when on TV even when they are speaking almost perfect Danish. For me some of this is definitely a case of just not being used to hearing Japanese spoken by a non Japanese person. Sounds so silly to us but sometimes us foreigners forget we live with much higher numbers of immigrants and we are simply accustomed to "crap English" My Irish cousins struggle with my London accent, sometimes I have no idea what they are talking about "That yoke, it's in the press" (That thing is in the cupboard) and that's because we're not used to each others English and we are both speaking English..man alive try going to Newcastle! hehe! Anyway to sum up, by the end of my stay my girlfriends son became used to hearing Japanese spoken by a non Japanese native and he even helped me when my accent went rather out of control LOL. Now that I am not there (boo) he is once again only hearing native Japanese. So what’s my answer to this problem? MASS IMMIGRATION BABY! Lets flood Japan with loads of us all speaking many many different variants of Japanese! LOL! Hey I need a job! hehe!
2 ( +3 / -1 )
This is my first ever Tokyo summer. I'm from London. I'm unemployed so this summer I have spent a lot of times indoors. I always remember my mum telling me that when she lived in Australia many moons ago her friends always had the windows closed, curtains and blinds down. They opened them up in the evening. I mentioned this to my Japanese girlfriend and she said 'oh no we can't do that here because this is not Australia' so after melting for a few days I tried it (only i kept one window slightly open behind the curtains due to the humidity) and all i can say is closing the curtains and blinds really reduces the heat in the room so much so that i don't always have to use the AC. Finally i showed this to my Japanese girlfriend who at last accepted it was cooler having the room this way (but she still didn't get why I didn't always use the AC) anyway she still won't try it during the day! I am amazed that she has lived her whole life through Tokyo summers and just keeps the curtains open and fires up the AC. She suffers much worse from the heat than me (and i come from a much colder country and have never ever used AC) so maybe relying on the AC all the time isn't the best? Anyway that's what i do during the day here now and it works for me.
2 ( +2 / -0 )
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