Five Things I Learned in Amakusa, JapanPosted: October 1, 2012
I represent 6.88 billion people
When I came to Japan I assumed I would represent low-income, K-pop-obsessed, Midwestern, flexitarian, art history majors like I did in the United States, but instead, I was informed countless times by the Japanese government that to the Japanese I would represent all foreigners. ALL OF THEM. So now my every action represents the lives and values of Nigerian teenage girls, Brazilian fisherman, Kazakhstani college students, and Yemeni grandmas. Already countless elementary school students have remarked “foreigners are so tall!” upon meeting me. I`m sorry I misrepresented you global population of little people!
Japanese women hate the sun
You wouldn`t want to damage/burn/make sexy your pale, delicate skin would you? Of course not. So before you go outside, make sure to put lycra long sleeves under your short sleeves, a scarf around your neck, a giant, frumpy hat on your head, pants over your shorts, a windbreaker over your shirt, and pants over your pants because THESUNWILLSTEALYYOURBEAUTYGRRL!
Garbage is complicated
If you assumed you could just throw that moldy corn-mayonnaise pizza, Hello Kitty baby-T, and house shrine you no longer believe in into the same black garbage bag and haul it to the curb, then honey it’s time for a wakeup call. Didn’t you sort your trash into the nine designated categories? Don’t even think about mixing up burnable trash, non-burnable trash, plastic bottles, paper, bound paper, glass bottles, clothing w/o buttons, clothing w/ buttons, Styrofoam, and pyrofoam because you will find that shameful mess back on your door step!
Couldn’t get it all together in time for the monthly non-burnable trash day and semi-monthly recycling days? Looks like your bedroom now doubles as your recycling storage center!
Everything is a two-lane road
But Zachary there’s no way more than one tiny Japanese car can fit through that narrow, curvy mountain road with a cliff on one side and a ditch on the — Nonsense! There’s always room for two! And just for fun let`s add a parked car on the right, an old lady on a bicycle on the left, and make the oncoming car a semi-truck. Now all you have to do to get past is not kill the old lady, drive into the ditch, hit the truck, or send anyone off the cliff. Wait, your car doesn`t have retractable side mirrors?! Good luck!
Japan has everything figured out.
Tired of balancing your bank account? Just jam your bank book into an ATM machine and it’ll take down all your transactions for you. Don’t want to bring your wet umbrella into that building? Just store it in a ubiquitous umbrellas rack or place it into a perfectly-sized plastic umbrella bag. But where Japan really has things figured out is cleaning. Through employing students as child cleaning armies, janitors have been eliminated. Why hire someone to clean the urinals every week when Miyu, Moya, and Mayu can do it everyday after school for free? And don’t’ forget about the 130 other 9-year-olds who will clean anything you ask everyday for 15 minutes. Domo Arigato Gozaimasu!