On occasion, I still find myself doing things that became habit to do when we lived in Japan. It always makes me smile after I realized I did it too. And yes, sometimes, not very often, but sometimes, I still turn my blinker on when I go to turn on the wipers.
1. Assuming You’ll Have Great Customer Service
I can’t remember not having good customer service. They were always helpful and nice, even when we had translation problems.
2. Never Honking Your Horn
You never honk your horn in Japan. Ever. It’s just rude.
3. Never Locking Your Doors
4. Vending Machines on Every Corner
Vending machines are on the way out in America, but not in Japan! They are on every corner, at least. They are probably more frequent than that. You never know when you’ll be driving around in a sugar cane field and think ‘gosh, I’m thirsty’, then just happen upon a vending machine! Never fails.
5. Not Locking Cars or Bicycles Up
6. Shopping at Dollar Stores for Everything
You may think dollar stores only carry cheap crap. In America, yes. In Japan? The 100 yen store is a place of magical wonder. I’d go there to look for something before going anywhere else.
7. Flashing Your Headlights
Someone was nice enough to let you in. How do you thank them? Flash your lights! Can you imagine the looks if you did that here? It might be fun to try.
8. Bowing To Everyone
You catch on super quick to this one. You bow to everyone, even the lady at the convenience store who just handed you your bag.
9. Shoe Cabinets
Located at the entrance to every home, it holds all your shoes! You know, since you never, ever wear them in the house. Our apartment even came with a cabinet for us.
10. Opening Your Door To Strangers
I rarely open my door if I don’t know who it is. In Japan, I always answered the door. I met the sweetest missionary lady. She would stop by on occasion just to say hi and bring books for the kids. Then there were the guys who sold food. I loved the days they came by!
11. Contemplating The Garbage
We had 3 kinds of trash, burnable, recycling, and non-burnable. You’d think it was easy, but at times I had to think about it and study the chart hanging on the fridge. If I was wrong, they wouldn’t pick the bag up. We were required to use clear bags so they could see what was in it. Can you imagine? Americans would throw a fit if the trash guy refused to pick up their trash because there were a few water bottles in the recycle bag.
12. Never Fear The Public Restroom
Japan has the cleanest public toilets I’ve ever seen. Even in outdoor areas, they are surprisingly clean. If I didn’t want to sit/hover on a semi-dirty toilet, I just went the squatty potty option. Don’t have to touch anything there!
13. Carry Two Wallets
As an American, I carried two, but one was for yen and the other for dollars. With yen being so much in coin form (everything up to the equivalent of $5 is in change form), you almost need a second wallet just for the yen change.
**Also, no one in America randomly tells me I look like Katy Perry. Obviously, I don’t look like Katy Perry, but it just makes your day when a really nice lady at Lawson’s stops you to tell you that. Of course, she spoke no English and my Japanese is lacking, but with enough face gesturing to herself and my face, as well as saying Katy Perry a lot, I figured it out. I laughed, said Arigatou gozaimasu a lot and left with a pep in my step.