Ways In Which Japan Has Changed Me


1. When people say that they’ve been to a part of Japan I’ve heard of, I ask if they ate the local delicacy. If I haven’t heard of it, I ask what the local delicacy is. If I’ve actually been there, we reminisce about how delicious the local delicacy was. 


2. I no longer think it’s all that weird that kids here go to school from 8 til 4. Or even that they have to go to compulsory club activities after school most days. I do still find the going into school to play baseball from 7.30am to 5pm on a national holiday weird. There are no classes! No teachers (except the coaches) are there! It’s a national holiday!


3. When talking to superiors (my boss, her husband or people who I want to do something for me) I adopt a weirdly soft, high-pitched voice. I’ve developed hands that flap about in a girly way. When the squealing starts, I know it’s time to leave.


4. I no longer believe in boy-girl platonic friendships. With the kids, all male-female communication breaks down at approximately age 11. It doesn’t resume. At least not while they’re still in school. My friend 2 towns over has a male friend who lives way up in Hokkaido. They sometimes visit each other. I just cannot believe that there isn’t something going on, despite the fact that there has been no evidence whatsoever that there is, in fact, something going on. 


5. I now consider rice with sprinkles on it to be a whole meal. My preferred sprinkle variety is seaweed and sour plum.


6. I love to talk about the weather. I even have a song about it. It goes “How’s the weather? It’s co-old! How’s the weather? It’s co-old! It’s co-old, it’s co-old today!” If you want to purchase the CD version just send an email to humiliation@teaching.com


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