Top 3 - Reverse Culture Shock Fun

I can't help it sometimes. After Japan I always notice small differences here in Canada and there's always a certain duration upon return where my body instinctively does "Japanese" things. Here are my top three.

1. I keep bowing

 Kailey Performing in her Doshisha mini-Concert
Kailey's mini-Concert at Doshisha
I get back to Canada and I can't stop bowing. Thanks and I bow. Sorry and I bow. To put it into context, I'm not getting down prostrate on the ground because the Starbucks barista gave me my change back no, just a simple almost exaggerated Western nod. 
  • bow and let someone go in the door first as a polite gesture, 
  • get change from Starbucks vendor in the airport and bow as a quick thanks
  • accidentally cut in front of someone and bow as a quick apology
  • receive criticism for something and bow as a sign of understanding and apology
  • receive a gift from someone and bow as a sign of gratitude
  • receive a small something like a pen, pencil, pepper and bow as a quick sorry for the hassle and thanks for the thing
Same things happen in Canada and elsewhere but when they happen in Japan you do a quick bow. I like it.

2. Things aren't packaged or presented as nicely

When I buy something in Japan, you can bet it'll will be packaged beautifully. It almost seems as if crumbs are even carefully packaged individually. Personally I find that because they're packaged so nicely I value each one more. Consequently, I end up not eating as much. Contrast that with many bulk buy packages in Canada and the States where the food seems to be thrown into the bag to be fed to livestock, us. 

Japanese Packaging and its Attention to Detail is Amazing


(Unfair) North American Packaging Comparison -
There's no Art of Wrapping here..

Meanwhile in Japan somewhere there's a factory of gnomes, professionally trained in the art of wrapping, bustling day and night to meet quota's and to ensure your sweets arrive delicately and carefully packaged. It elevates the whole consumption thing to another level and I don't know about you, but I get more satisfaction out of the whole process of anticipation of looking, buying, opening, and tasting; rather than simply eating it.

3. Japanese fail...

I guess this is a sign that I'm not bilingual yet. But my instinct is to answer in Japanese when someone says hi or how are you. I end up starting to speak, stopping, finding the right words in English, and only then responding with my hello in return. This always happens in the airports on my way back. This especially happens with a 'sorry' that Canadians are notorious for saying that the Japanese also say (すみません).

That's all for now. Send me blog post ideas! What do you want to hear? Thanks for reading and see you next time! Lately I've been programming a lot - Check out my websites for Practicing Japanese and another for Chinese Pronunciation

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The Ancient Capital of Nara - Doshisha Exchange Blog
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Ben and Kailey lived in Japan not too long ago and also visit Kyoto every year.

Ben built the following sites to help himself learn Japanese.
1. Online Japanese Drills
2. Online Japanese Flashcards