wingblossom: [she_rockstar] (fandom (gilmore girls))
[personal profile] wingblossom
A continual Work In Progress.

Since I started thinking about this during idle moments at work, it starts off general and gets more specific as the list continues.

1. Travel is expensive -- to the point where I won't begrudge the $2.50 I pay on the MTA back in New York all the time.

2. Stitch (as in “Lilo and”) is ridiculously popular.

3. Work hours are long. The list of Events-Not-Necessarily-During-School-Hours-But-Expected-To-Attend-Nonetheless is even longer. This is just something you accept, because everyone else in Japan accepts it too.

4. Fashion in Kobe and Osaka, particularly Shinsaibashi, is more fun than it has any right to be.

5. Having someone compliment you on your ability to use chopsticks at least once is pretty much inevitable.

6. Kobe is an amazing placement: large but not dense, elegant, and right up against the coastline. It’s also in close proximity to Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara, and not far from many other interesting places. In fact, I heard that someone coined "the three Cs" to describe the major Kansai cities. Kyoto is cultural, Osaka is commercial, and Kobe is cosmopolitan.

7. Butter pancake-flavored drinks are, I am sure, one of the worst (most disgusting) things ever.

8. As far as schools go, there's no AC during the summer, and no heat used for classrooms and hallways in the winter.

9. Going to an enkai will cost you upwards of 4000 yen at minimum.

10. Anyone who describes being an ALT as “a year-long sushi party” deserves to be hoist by their own petard. I may have a personal grudge against the article writer who came up with this one.

11. Western music is represented by Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, and last but definitely not least, The Carpenters.

12. Vacation is a silly word that has no real place in the vocabulary of most Japanese schools. As an example of what I mean, during the summer, winter, and spring breaks, all of the faculty and most of the students are still coming to work, taking tests, cramming for yet more exams, and going to clubs. I'm still not completely sure how these breaks are different for them than most days.

13. Walking around in the district where you work can feel like having a little team of spies trailing your every move. “Sensei, I saw you at the bookstore! Did you go to karaoke? I noticed you walking there the other day!” Of course, these are the same students who will never say hello to your face.

14. The cost of everything, for that matter, is generally more expensive: haircuts, fruit, movie tickets.

15. Speaking of movie tickets, buying one means that you also reserve a seat in advance. Apparently it wasn't this way in the past, but policies were changed so that people couldn't sneak in to see other movies once the first one finished.

16. No matter how awful the kids are, they can’t be booted from class -- at least not in elementary or middle school. Most of the kids I teach are decent, but I have friends who tell me stories about the kids who steal money from the principal’s desk and kick their teachers in the face on their birthdays. Although possibly not at the same time.

17. Even though watching old gangster films might give you the impression that all yakuza are located in Osaka, Kobe is actually the city where the big yakuza families reside. As rumor has it, they’re actually in league with the Board of Education. The word "pineapple" is a codeword for yakuza, and at the same time, used to refer to kids with spiky personalities.

18. People will want to be friends with you solely because you’re a foreigner, or avoid you solely because you’re a foreigner. I've had people going out of their way to be friendly and start up a conversation with me while shopping, and students on the bus who won't sit next to me even when it's the only seat open and sopping wet outside.

19. There are point cards and breakfast sets, lunch sets and dinner sets for everything.

20. After being in Japan for a prolonged period of time, you fail to notice half the eccentricities anymore.
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wingblossom: (Default)
let's go exploring

November 2011


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