Welcome to part two of: How to tell you’ve been Japan too long!
How many can you check off?
How well have you assimilated to the Japanese daily culture?
- You take your shoes off in the dressing room of a clothing store.
- You look for people in front of a train station who distribute paper handkerchiefs/tissues.
- You make a loud “haaah” after each sip of hot tea.
- You mutter “yosh(i)!” when lifting heavy objects or reaching the top of the stairs.
- Bakeries are your best friend
(and you’ve probably gained about five kilos from all their chocolate muffins and character-shaped melon bread).
- Even when in your home country, you have the urge to pour your neighbour a drink when their cup is empty, before you can even think about getting your own.
- You are more scared of police officers on bikes than police officers in cars. Or worse, those just standing on the side of the road with their
- You don’t pull over when a police officer behind you has their car lights flashing.
- You are tongue-tied to find your words in your mother tongue.
- You wonder what 「お土産」omiyage you’ll bring back to your colleagues and friends before leaving for your holiday/vacation.
- You point to your nose when you say/ask “I”.
- You say ‘「すみません」sumimasen’ whenever you want to apologize for things that might happen or maybe not.
- You buy gifts for classmates or co-workers whenever you leave town, even if it’s just for a few hours.
- You hide from the NHK (TV) man routinely.
- You know that you will probably never actually pay for your NHK/TV service,
unless of course the NHK guy decides to break into your flat and verify that you “do not have a TV,” ,and no longer worry about not paying it.
- You read English words and start reading with Japanese pronunciations (e.g. ‘date’ rhymes with ‘karate’ and not with ‘plate’).
- You actually dream in Japanese at times.
- You return to your home country and drink soup directly from the bowl when you think no one is looking as it’s so much easier.
- You select shoes based on how easily you can get them on and off.
- You can name all the members of SMAP.
- You aren’t afraid of someone stealing your umbrella at an office when you leave it in the holder on a rainy day.
- Even if they stole it, you have, like, seven more umbrellas at home. :p
- You expect all shops to have umbrella condom (plastic bags) dispensers.
- You have a collection of Purikura at home.
- You answer “「はい」hai!” even when speaking English to non-Japanese friends.
- You can fall asleep on the train and wake up at your stop.
- (Men) You don’t even need an actual restroom to pee in public, but only an outside ‘urinal’. (
Even in places like parks)
- You believe no party is complete without a trip to the karaoke.
- Someone says “mansion” you picture a one or two bedroom flat in a 400-unit apartment building.
- You can convert katakana back to English without having to first sound it out ten times slowly.
- You start wondering if the policeman in front of you will check you’re bicycle registration just because you are a “「外人」gaijin (foreigner)”.
- You go back to your home country and are surprised to see so many “gaijin”.
- You explain the difference between a Shintō shrine and a Buddhist temple to your Japanese friends.
Check out Part 1, Part 3, and Part 4 in this series!