Appreciating both cultures (My life in Japan – part 1)

It’s been a month everyone since we arrived here.

For the most part, it’s been truly awesome, couldn’t ask for more.

But for some wee bit parts, I can’t deny and hide the fact that I really miss the Philippines. (I am still adjusting guys — in my defense) 😀

Here are some of what I have observed so far and my personal insights for each. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Everything is organized and in order

 

 

What I like

I think this is an understatement.

People here are so disciplined and orderly that they all make it a point to do their fair share in maintaining this.

Take going to the grocery as an example.

Since they don’t have “baggers” to put all their groceries in a plastic / shopping bag, people here do it themselves.

That is why people are expected to return the baskets to their proper places after, in consideration of the next user, and they all willingly and “without-a-problem” comply.  

In addition, if there are a lot shoppers, all cashiers must be open to accommodate the huge number of buyers.

Moreover, you won’t see any cashiers talking and chatting with each other. They all have their “work-face” on.

 

 

 

How it differs in the Philippines

I truly admire how Japan does it.

I hope one day the Philippines can be like this as well.

On the other hand, I think what Japan lacks is a smiling, energetic, and cheerful staff.

I am not saying that Japanese staff is not such and Filipino staff is.

(Of course, you’d also find a lot of cranky and grumpy Filipino staff.)

It’s just that they tend to be so polite and respectful that sometimes I feel it’s too much and overwhelming.

(Seriously, there were times that I wanted to say “Smile! Relax.. It’s okay, take it easy, I am not your boss!” )  

It’s as if they are robots and they are programmed to be like that.

They greet and talk to the people very politely but when you look into their eyes, they seem flat.

 

 

 

It’s so peaceful and quiet

What I like

Need I say more? Haha. In Suita, Osaka, my husband’s hometown, finding some quiet and peaceful time is not a problem.

So if you’re in for tranquility and serenity, Suita is a perfect place for you.

Since Ryo and I are swinging for the fences into our online business, there is no other place better than Suita, Osaka; relaxing environment, fresh air, safe and quiet neighborhood, which makes it conducive for what we are doing.

Those being said, we can really concentrate and focus on this. 🙂

 

 

 

 

How it differs in the Philippines

Again, need I say more?

In the Philippines, especially if you live in the city, all you can hear are; cars honking, cars engine, the sounds of building construction, and of course the people.

In residential areas, you’d hear neighbors chatting, utensils clanking during meal time, children playing outside, and the sound of the TV on and many more.

In Japan?

None of these. What you can only hear is the sound that crows produce.

Regardless of how quiet and peaceful it is here (which I really appreciate of course).

I still find myself yearning for those different kinds of noises in the Philippines.

We’ve been here for a month now, but I have never… even once seen my neighbors.

I guess chatting with neighbors, is not common here.

In some villages in the Philippines, when a household cooks something special, some families share it with their neighbors.

But here, I guess that is not being practiced.

That is why I wouldn’t be surprised to hear and find out that some people here don’t know their neighbors nor have even shared a word with them despite living next to each other for a long time. 🙁

 

 

 

Safe!! (no need to explain further :D)

What I like

Fact: Japan is one of the safest countries in the world.

People can calmly, comfortably, and safely walk on the streets late at night or even in the wee hours of the night without the fear of getting kidnapped, mugged, raped, murdered etc.

Example, as you all may have already known, Ryo’s family has been doing and providing home stay for foreigners for more than 20 years now.

2 weeks ago, we had our French guest and she stayed with us for 10 days.

There was an incident wherein she forgot and left her phone near the train station (which is a public place).

She only realized it, when she was already on the train.

It took her more than 30 minutes to go back to the place where she left her phone.

She was actually a bit hesitant and doubtful to go back thinking it was just a waste of time.

But to her and my surprise the phone was still there! exactly where she left it. 🙂 WOW!

 

 

How it differs

In the Philippines, yes you can walk alone late at night (but if I were you I wouldn’t) but you have to be very alert and extremely cautious.

But despite this, in the Philippines there are signs of life. (You get what I mean?)

Every night, my husband and I would go jogging.

Looking at the houses and seeing how quiet and silent they are, I couldn’t help but wonder if there are people inside because it looks so empty, you could barely hear anything.

Somehow, I feel that there are no signs of life.

Another thing is, unlike in the Philippines wherein you should be careful and watchful for bad people, here the only thing that you should be watchful for are ghosts.

I know it’s crazy, but that’s how quiet and empty the streets are that you couldn’t help but activate your “ghost-sensors” 😀

 

 

There you go guys! Wait for the next part. 🙂

 

 

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ABOUTこの記事をかいた人

Ivan

フィリピンのパンパンガ出身。IELTSを受験し8.5点をマーク。韓国系語学学校で1年間勤務。その後、hanasoオンライン英会話で講師、トレーナー、人事マネジャーとして5年間の経験を得たあと、マカティのPJLink英会話にてヘッドコーチ及びトレーナーとして2年間勤務。 現在はRYO英会話教室の運営とフィリピン現地駐在員の方へプライベートレッスンを提供中。