The story usually goes like this: People plan to work in Japan for a year but end up staying far longer than originally intended. As with living in any other country, long-term expats start to unconsciously develop habits and ways of thinking from their native neighbours.
I took the liberty of creating a short list of the traits which I think are relevant to people living in Japan. Of course not all apply to every foreigner living here! So without due…
You’ve been in Japan too long when…
…you find yourself bowing while you talk on the phone.
…you don’t hesitate to put a £50 note into a vending machine.
…you see a gaijin (foreigner) get on the train and think “Wow, it’s a gaijin!”
…you start thinking can coffee tastes good.
…when you squat while waiting or just want to relax.
…you think the natural location for a beer garden is on a roof.
…you ask fellow foreigners the all-important question, “How long have you been here?” in order to be able to properly categorize them.
…the TV commercials make sense to you.
…you’re taking a leak in the public toilets and are not in the least bit disturbed by the two old ladies who are cleaning and chatting within aiming distance.
…you think wet umbrellas need condoms.
…when you think children should have to walk around in the freezing cold with only short sleeves and skirts (to make them strong!).
…you fully understand the concept of “kawaii” (cute).
…when you believe that the perfect side dish to eat with a juicy, deep-fried pork fillet is a pile of raw, tasteless, shredded cabbage.
…you think that “Lets SPORTS yOUNG gAY CluB” is a perfectly normal T shirt logo for a middle aged lady.
…you run for the train while pushing people left, right and center because you know there won’t be another one for at least a minute.
…you go to a book shop with the full intention to read all the interesting magazines and put them back on the shelf.
…when you stupidly wait for a “kampai” (toast) at a gaijin party.
…you use the “slasher hand” and continuous bowing to make your way through a crowd.
…back home you patiently wait for the rear doors of a taxi to spring open for you.
…when it all seems normal…
Any of these truths hit home? Which ones sparked an interest?