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Derg's life in Japan - Culture Shock -

Dergonu

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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 :P



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You should try curry sometime. Nan they make in Japan is amazing.

What I loved most about Japan of course was that they have Book Off everywhere, and you could buy a lot of novels/manga for 100 yen. There was also a store near my place called Dorama that occasionally sold them at 50 yen a piece. Stop by after work every night and just kinda stand around looking through them 2~3 hours. It was great.

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2 hours ago, mitchhamilton said:

takes a note. never go to Japan. O_O

It's not so much that I'd never go to Japan, but I'd never live there. It's probably still a good place to take a vacation.

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51 minutes ago, Kenshin_sama said:

It's not so much that I'd never go to Japan, but I'd never live there. It's probably still a good place to take a vacation.

Pretty much. Actually adjusting to life here is the hard part. Just coming for a vacation is great. 

54 minutes ago, Kenshin_sama said:

 

You should try curry sometime. Nan they make in Japan is amazing.

 

I eat curry at uni for lunch most days. :P 

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I don't know what to say here to be honest, but I'm glad that you managed to slowly adapted to Japanese culture there. From what I'd read I think there's a lot if you want to adjust there, but I guess you would knew better much than me here considering that you're the one who experienced that by yourself. Either way, hope you had fun living in Japan.

PS - By the way, if your appetite was plummeted because of the heat, I'd heard that eating something sour might be help to regain the appetite although I might be wrong here - but it might be worth a try though.

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I'm actually going to Japan to study starting from next week for a duration of one year, so it was interesting to read.

Quote

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.

I don't want to go anymore. T_T

Well, more seriously, I hope I'll adapt more easily than you for the food.

Waiting for the good stuff now.

PS: Dumb question, but did you change your browsing habits or take a VPN? Decided I won't download there to be sure, but I want to at least be able to browse in peace without fear. ^^'

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44 minutes ago, Riku said:

I'm actually going to Japan to study starting from next week for a duration of one year, so it was interesting to read.

I don't want to go anymore. T_T

Well, more seriously, I hope I'll adapt more easily than you for the food.

Waiting for the good stuff now.

PS: Dumb question, but did you change your browsing habits or take a VPN? Decided I won't download there to be sure, but I want to at least be able to browse in peace without fear. ^^'

Ey, that's cool! Good luck! ^^

 

The bugs should be dying in like a month or so I believe, so just hang in there for a bit! :sacchan:

I personally got a VPN so I can browse some sites you normally wouldn't be able to in Japan, but my internet speed here is absolutely trash, so I can't really download anything, just browse stuff. I do recommend grabbing a VPN if you are very concerned about privacy/ plan on visitng western websites that are blocked here.

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Arrived to Japan, it's damn hot and humid, it's horrible!

My residence isn't that great, but will do. Was lost with all the papers and the fatigue. To bo honest, the next few days are going to be hectic. Also I don't have internet, that when having shared rooms help: roommate has the wifi and share with me. But I don't have a transformer for my laptop and everything, so will have to buy one tomorrow.

Anyway, I really hope I'll be able to adapt quickly. Will be horrible for the next few days, but should be better later.

Also, nobody speaks neither French (logic) nor English, so we have to speak in Japanese, and it's very difficult to make understand one self.

Sorry to post here and all, just wanted to post it as an answer to your post, I guess. And sorry for the mistakes, writing quickly to not use too much of my laptop battery.

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37 minutes ago, Riku said:

Arrived to Japan, it's damn hot and humid, it's horrible!

My residence isn't that great, but will do. Was lost with all the papers and the fatigue. To bo honest, the next few days are going to be hectic. Also I don't have internet, that when having shared rooms help: roommate has the wifi and share with me. But I don't have a transformer for my laptop and everything, so will have to buy one tomorrow.

Anyway, I really hope I'll be able to adapt quickly. Will be horrible for the next few days, but should be better later.

Also, nobody speaks neither French (logic) nor English, so we have to speak in Japanese, and it's very difficult to make understand one self.

Sorry to post here and all, just wanted to post it as an answer to your post, I guess. And sorry for the mistakes, writing quickly to not use too much of my laptop battery.

Yeah, it's a bit rough in the beginning.

I have been here 3 weeks now, and I feel like things have finally normalized. I am used to the food, I'm used to the climate and I'm used to the people and my life at a Japanese university.

Give it some time and you should hopefully get used to it as well.

The language barrier is a problem for some, yeah. They sadly do not speak English very well here, so you are either left with Japanese, or just pointing and gestures, basically. For people like me, who actually came here to study the language specifically, that is a good thing. But, I can see how it's annoying for others who didn't come to study the language / aren't at a level where they can speak very well yet.

Luckily most people here are very nice and patient, so even with broken Japanese, some English words and gestures, you should be able to communicate with most people. :P

Best of luck with your stay, hopefully you get used to things soon.

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