How to Tell You’ve Been in Japan too Long…Part 4

How many can you check off?


  1. Paying two months of 「礼金」reikin (gift money) for a new apartment doesn’t bother you.
  2. You enjoy cooking your own food at restaurants.
  3. You don’t pull over when police flash their lights.
  4. At the first sign of a cold you wear a mask.
  5. You can sing 「演歌」enka at Karaoke.
  6. You run for the train in a panic because there won’t be another one for 1 minute.
  7. You no longer think it is rude to yell “sumimasen” at a restaurant when you need to order.
  8. You get the urge to yell “「すみませ」sumimasen (excuse me/sorry)” at restaurants in your home country.
  9. Sometimes you will have a couple hundred Euros/dollars of cash in your wallet, since you can’t really use credit/debit cards.
  10. You can sleep standing up on a train.
  11. You’ve fallen asleep on a stranger’s shoulder on the train.
  12. You know the timetable for the last train/bus to your home by heart.
  13. You only know the size of your apartment in 「畳」jyou, instead of feet or meters.
  14. You started to think that noodles are an ok filling for a sandwich.
  15. You drink corn soup from a can.
  16. Your friends back home ask you what 「元気」”genki” means, because you always throw it into a sentence.
  17. You look for umbrella condoms when you enter stores outside Japan.
  18. You think it’s normal for people over 30 to read manga/comics on the train.
  19. You think there’s food in the basement of all department stores.
  20. You complain about the dangerous lack of vending machines outside Japan.
  21. You don’t know the English equivalent of certain words (especially food names).
  22. You speak “Janglish/Japanglish,” a mixture of English and Japanese, where you substitute words like “genki” and “mendokusai” into every day conversations.
  23. You sometimes have difficulties communicating with people who can’t speak any Japanese at all (like family members, friends from abroad, etc) when skyping or messaging, because you insert Japanese into the conversation without realising it.
  24. You have purchased eggs or rice from a vending machine.
  25. You don’t hesitate when you put 10,000¥ (70€/100$) into a train ticket vending machine.
  26. You believe that there’s an onsen to cure all aliments.
  27. You think that corn & mayonnaise is a perfectly reasonable topping for pizza.
  28. You know the theme songs for most of the products at your local conbini.
  29. You think stoplights are red, yellow and blue.
  30. You’ve come to realise mayonnaise or ketchup goes good on everything (even pizza, plain rice, bread, fish, and sandwiches)
  31. You bow when meeting someone (even if they aren’t Japanese), shaking hands with someone, while apologising, or while thanking someone.
  32. Crowded trains don’t offend or bother you much anymore.
  33. You’ve come to realise trains are always on time; if they are late, you start to get nervous, thinking you might have misread the schedule.
  34. You bow while talking on the phone and see nothing wrong with it.
  35. You know your blood type, and what it “means” more than your horoscope.
  36. You have eaten fried chicken (From KFC, of course.) on December 25th/Christmas/Xmas Day.
  37. It’s perfectly normal for a manga/anime character to be in advertisements, even for things completely unrelated like makeup, sports, or lingerie.

That’s the end of this series! How many in total were you able to check off?

Check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3!

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