Things I’ve learned so far in Japan; 1. You can survive by only knowing arigato and hand gestures.
2. Japanese people think it’s cute if you say domo arigato (in our case an old couple bought us a round of beers and gave us plums as a result)
3. There are vending machines everywhere (seriously, in the middle of neighborhoods you can stand at an intersection and see a vending machine EVERY TIME)
4. The heat doesn’t stop them from wearing pants and a jacket,
5. Japanese people must have abnormally large stomachs because how they eat as much as they do while being so short and skinny is beyond me,
6. Meeting several French, Vietnamese, Irish, and Dutch people who are all super nice makes you realize that you can’t stereotype the rude French or drunk Irish because they’ve all been super polite and so far sober.
7. Being a minority is weird. To be honest, I find it kind of funny. Granted I’m not dealing with any sort of racism or discrimination over here, but it is just really funny seeing nothing but Japanese people everywhere you go and then when you see that one other white person in a crowd or on the street you both just look at one another and give a nod that implies “I see you, you see me, and in some indirect way we’re both in this together. We got this.” Plus it’s really funny when you’re in a grocery store and the average height is probably a little under 5 feet and you look like a giant.
All in all, it’s a beautiful country with beautiful people who work hard and take pride in everything they do and I look forward to the next few weeks here.
There are two Irish guys staying at the same international house as us in Japan. I just met one in the kitchen and his name was Patty (oh however he spells it) and he said he is staying on the “turd floor”.