Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Random Things in Japan

Random things I've been meaning to mention to you guys but constantly forget (a lot of it has to do with food...) ~

I had butter for the first time in three weeks the other day.

I haven't had cheese since I left Wisconsin. I am the saddest Wisconsinite.

I ate french fries at a restaurant that were made like American french fries and my stomach couldn't take it because I've been eating only healthy foods for a month.

Alcohol is cheaper in Japan (Handle of good whiskey: $14)

You don't shoot sake (an alcohol Japan is famous for), you sip it. Also it's pronounced sah-kay, for the love of God, not sah-kee. Also, the drinking age in Japan is 20, though nobody really checks IDs.

Most of Japan identifies themselves as atheist or agnostic, but they still participate in rituals at Shinto Shrines and Buddhist Temples (their wedding, funeral arrangements, birth arrangements, etc.)

The Japanese language does not have plurals (cats, kids, notebooks - they only have the words cat, kid, and notebook), but they have about a million different "counters" for other objects. That is to say, if you  are counting televisions, cars, or various other technologies/machineries, you would say ichi dai, ni dai, san dai (ichi, ni, and san being one, two, and three in Japanese), but if you're counting small animals it's ippiki, nihiki, sanbiki, for paper and flat objects it's ichi mai, ni mai, san mai, or for people it's hitori, futari, sannin, etc. etc. There's literally hundreds of counters for hundreds of different types of things.

The Japanese language has neither CAPITAL LETTERS, nordoesithavespaces.

It also only has five syllable sounds (ah, ee, oo, eh, oh ---> a, i, u, e, o), unlike the varying sounds english syllables have (a, e, i, o, and u all having long- and short-sounds, y sometimes acting as a vowel, and the many sounds that comes from putting vowels together. And don't even get me started on what happens when i and e get together).

Today was the first day since I came to Japan that it wasn't humid outside (it's been about 87 degrees fahrenheit everyday with humidity around 70% or 80%).

On that note, the weather following a typhoon is the best kind of weather; dry, in the high 70's (F), with nice breezes.

In Starbucks in Japan, you don't have the option to leave with your food/drink. If you go into Starbucks, there needs to be a seat open for you to order something. Otherwise you have to wait in line until a seat opens up. You sit, eat/drink, and when you're done you throw out your container and you leave.

People commonly hand out packets of tissues on the streets (they're usually advertising something on the packet).

To the dismay of my American friends, the dancing octopus (where you order octopus, pour something on it, and it wriggles around on your plate), is not actually a thing in Japan, and my cousin, Matt, has no idea where that video was filmed (couldn't find it online but it sounds disturbing anyway so I will not be linking it).

I'm still washing my hair in the sink. I still don't know why.

In Japanese homes, you take a shower, wash yourself, rinse, then take a bath (though I haven't taken a Japanese bath yet because it's more common in winter).

"Stapler" in Japanese is hochikisu. It's also my favorite word because it's reaaaal cute.

Japan clocks are read in army time (13:00 is 1:00pm, 16:00 is 4:00 pm, 23:00 is 11:00pm, etc).

Japanese people freaking love soy sauce. It goes on everything (tofu, fish, vegetables, etc) - but never on rice.

Squat toilets are still everywhere, and they still freak me out.

You can buy a good umbrella for about a dollar in Japan, in pretty much any store, anywhere.

Their milk is sweet. But it's still tasty.

Even when it's 90 degrees Fahrenheit out, girls, young and old and middle-aged, wear long sleeves and leggings and carry around parasols, because in Japan, pale is in.

Because heavy rains can interfere with train schedules and commonly flood stations, heavy rains can cause school cancelations (like today!).

Japan eats a LOT. A typical dinner includes: salad, some kind of meat, a bowl of rice, a serving of vegetables, tofu, some kind of roots, beer or some drink, fruit for post-dinner, and ice cream later, all portions of normal size, except for the ice cream, in America I would eat six of the size they have here in one serving. Also, you don't eat the salad first; you kind of eat it all at the same time. A little here, a little there. My host mother thought it was weird when I ate the entire salad first, and then went on with the rest of the meal.

Japanese people don't normally drink water. In the summer they commonly have cold tea (I drink a lot of buckwheat tea here, it's super good), in the winter they have warm tea. Also I've never seen a Japanese person drink milk. Ever.

Japan has slippers for the bathroom to keep the floors clean. Enter the bathroom, put on slippers, do your business, take off slippers, step out of bathroom.

Practically nobody has central air conditioning, as it's super expensive, but they do have air conditioners in individual rooms that you close up and sit in to cool down.

Almost all of Japan's tv shows, such as game shows or talk shows, have colorful captions.

Slurping when eating ramen or noodles in general is considered polite.

There's so little PDA in Japan that it's nearly impossible to spot a couple in public.

If I think of more, I'll add 'em, but that's all for now! <3

1 comment:

  1. A couple things:

    I, nor delaney, would go to starbucks because we get one drink and sit there for HOURS...

    I would LOVE the little packs of tissues cause i always need tissues cause i always have a runny nose. Get me some =D

    You should get me an umbrella...or 5. lol

    Are you the only one that drinks milk then? lol