Derg's life in Japan - Culture Shock -
Hey folks! So, for those of you who don't know, I am currently studying abroad in Japan, and will be here for the next 5 months. It's something I have been looking forward to for a while, though moving to a foreign country, especially one as different as Japan, is quite a tough transition. I'll be writing some stuff about my trip here in my blog now and then, talking about how things are going, what I have been up to and stuff like that. Today I'll be writing a bit about the first few weeks here, and the things that has been tough to deal with for me.
(I have currently lived in Japan for about 2 weeks)
So, I have heard people talk about "culture shock" when coming to a country like Japan. I figured I wouldn't really experience that, because I knew so much about the culture beforehand. Well, I was wrong. That didn't help.
Japan is... different. I mean, I love it here, but man... everything is so different from what I'm used to, it has gotten to me for sure.
People here honestly look like robots to me. In Japan it isn't really normal to speak much in public at all. You are meant to be quiet to respect those around you. They also stand in nearly flawless lines on the subway/ train platforms, at restaurants, stores and so on. They stay at work and school until late at night, and you mostly see students studying, even at lunch time. They are incredibly diligent, almost to a scary degree tbh. Everyone picks up their own trash, and you won't find a single shred of garbage lying around anywhere. There is no noise like loud music or anything of the sort anywhere, (except for actual clubs and stuff like that, of course.) The buses and trains runs like clockwork, leaving and arriving exactly when they are supposed to, and the trains are filled with people sleeping, worn-out from long days at work/ school/ club practice.
It's like this country is literally run by robot overlords or something.
Honestly, it's a bit overwhelming. There are so many things you need to keep in mind. Don't do this, don't do that, make sure you remember this, never forget that, bla bla. From where to stand in an escalator to your body language when speaking to people, what forms to use when speaking to others in different social standings... My head hurts from trying to remember half of it.
Another thing that really hit me hard is the food. I love Japanese food, but eating it 4 times a day 7 days a week has taken a toll on me. I honestly just can't get the food down even if it tastes good, especially in the mornings. So, I have started looking for western styled restaurants and shops, and found a few, luckily. It's strange, but there is a certain... joint taste to all food in Japan. It's hard to explain it, but there is just a certain "something" to all of it. Without mixing a bit of western food here and there, I just don't have an appetite. It has been surprisingly difficult to adjust my body to eating Japanese food all the time. It will probably be a few more weeks, possibly even a month + before I get completely used to the food here. Until then I'll make some pretty frequent stops at western restaurants, to stop myself from starving, lol.
Ugh, and the climate. Holy crap, the humidity... please help, lol. The humidity here is constantly around 85-90%+, and with heat around 30 degrees C, it literally feels like you are walking around in an oven 24/7. You can't move an inch without getting sweaty. Go home and shower, then walk around outside for a mintue and you are already completely soaked. Not just sweaty, actually like, wet all over. You skin feels clammy from just being outside for a second.
And the bugs. They are some weird mutated monsters summoned from hell. Like, holy crap. Some of the wasps/ bees here are bigger than my finger, and the Cicadas and other bugs of that size look like they could literally eat me. There is also one huge ass spider living outside our apartments, and I am personally convinced he will some day grow large enough to take over Japan and rule as the new emperor. Luckily winter should be coming soon-ish, (heh,) so they should all die soon. As someone who is completely terrified of bugs, and who can't take too hot temperatures, I cannot wait for the winter. Please winter-san, just get here already!
Lastly, the university schedule really did a number on me. Today we were at school from 10:00 AM to 19:00 PM. In addition, each period is 90 minutes long, without breaks, and the classrooms are either way too hot or air conditioned too much, making them freezing. We will also have classes on saturdays, apparently. The club recruitment day is on Friday, and a lot of people are super excited about joining clubs, but all I can personally think about is: How on earth are you going to balance all this school work, and several hours of club practice each week? I'd die, lol. So yeah, I'll skip on the clubs, personally. They do have a few really fun looking clubs here though, like the TCG club, the cosplay club, the boardgame club, the English conversation club and so on.
The school festival is in a couple months. That will be awesome. Can't wait for that.
Anyways, this update has just been mostly about the stuff that overwhelmed me during my first 2 weeks here. I am getting used to them little by little, and there is of course tons and tons of good stuff that outweighs the bad. The next blog post I write will be much more positive