Mar 11, 2016

You know you’re starting to assimilate…

You know you’re starting to assimilate… photo
Listen, I am fully aware that I am an American living in Japan.  It becomes clear from the face of the barista every time I take my to-go coffee out on the street and sip from the cup as I walk.  It’s clear in my inability to squash my giant American feet into the adorable shoe selections I find in shops.  And it’s also pretty apparent in how poorly I speak Japanese. Cause, whah, guys - my Japanese isn’t awesome.

But sometimes I find myself doing things here that I simply wouldn’t be doing if I hadn’t lived in Japan.  Things that my mum (who’s visiting Japan at the moment!*) has noted as silly.  I present said things here for fun and posterity.

10 Things That Signal You’re Officially Getting Used to Life in Japan
(things which I definitely do)
You know you’re starting to assimilate… photo
  1.   You respond to most conversations with a tight-lipped “un!” and a head nod.
  2.   You have enough packets of travel tissues stored up to stuff a taxidermic elephant.
  3.   You walk into the street without paying any mind to cars because you have the light and are a  pedestrian.  
  4.   (unless it’s a taxi.  taxis follow laws for no man.)
  5.   You have purchased a pair of collapsible chopsticks that you carry with you just in case you are at a place that has those shoddy wooden chopsticks.
  6.   You immediately assume anyone who is taller than you (at a whole hot 5’7”!) plays professional basketball.
  7.   You don’t watch the weather forecast on tv so much as you check in for the laundry forecast to say it’s a good day for your pants to hang dry on the balcony.
  8.  You have a favorite Daiso, because you know some are better stocked than others.
  9.  When you’re out and about, you ball up your trash and put it in your bag to throw out back at home.  Because you know better than to bother looking for a public bin.
  10.   You bow to everything.
You know you’re starting to assimilate… photo
I did not draw this, but I have DONE this. 
Credit goes to Ms. Mary Cagle of marycagle.com. 
Check out her comics about living in Japan!
Is there something you do in Japan that you 
wouldn’t do otherwise which isn’t listed below?  
Tell me in the comments!

today's little language lesson
Watashi wa amarini mo ōku no tisshu o motte imasu
I have too many tissues.

*yes!  mom's here, which explains the delay in blog post this week... and will likely cause a delay next week as well.  bear with me, this can only be fodder for good posts down the road.


The name is Kp or KpMcD (Kristin, actually, but for the sake of continuity let's stick with the nickname, shall we?) Hailing from the Midwest US and living in Nagoya with my husband (The Mister), my dobermutt (Mac) and an elitist marmalade tabby who answers to no one (Bubba).


  • DaveJpn

    on Mar 13

    Totally agree with point one. I met a friend of a friend who's over here visiting at the moment and he commented that I was doing just that. I've started making all sorts of noises between sentences since being in Japan. I've also got plenty of those tissues as well as plastic hand fans. I'll add that I know to wait for some kind of sign before I can start drinking when I'm out with Japanese friends/colleagues.

  • KpQuePasa

    on Mar 14

    @DaveJpn I *WISH* I remembered to do that! I am not a real big drinker, so I usually get water or juice while everyone else gets their beers. Because my order is different I'm almost always served first and manage to suck down half my drink before I realize my horrible manners and bashfully "cheers!" with the rest of the group. One day I'll get it... but knowing my luck it'll probably be at our going away party.

  • DaveJpn

    on Mar 15

    @KpQuePasa I understand though. I find it can take while to get everyone sorted for a drink over here, so it's hard to not at least take a sip if you're one of the early ones. Anyway, your going away party, your rules, surely!!