Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Stage 1: Culture Shock in Japan

During one of our Tokyo training sessions (a lecture on culture shock), our very entertaining speaker discussed the "stages" of culture shock. I thought it might be interesting to track mine so I will start at the beginning.

Stage 1: Euphoria. This is when you find everything different about the new culture to be utterly fascinating and awesome. Upon making new discoveries you may exclaim: "I love Japan!"

How Stage 1 has manifested itself thus far:

-Vending machines. Whether you want pop, noodles, cigarettes, or beer, Japanese vending machines are there for you.

Vending machine restaurant.
Push a button and get a meal ticket.
Super convenient!

-The toilets. I love the noise making feature which covers up the awkward noises that other people could be hearing.

-The city: OMG. This place is huge. Just the view from my hotel room is breath-taking... I can't see where the city ends!! I hear the view from Tokyo tower is even more startling.

-The people. Both Japanese and other. I am meeting a ton of cool people on this trip. Shout out to my fellow Okinawans!

-The signs. So bright and confusing and beautiful... I have taken dozens of sign photos. I will spare you.

-the food! Ramon, Izakaya, sushi, coffee... all good experiences so far. Except for the strange pink, grainy substance in my bento box tonight. And roe. I never like roe.

Yum = ramon

Yuck = potato chip salad with mayo dressing

-The mirror. It is heated in the perfect place so that when I get out of the shower I don't have to wipe it down or wait for it to unfog before I can fix my makeup. Sweeeet.

-The money. I am preeettty sure I dreamed in yen last night. It is so exciting to whip out a 1000 yen bill and blow it at starbucks. :P(My roommate woke up to go to the bathroom and I asked her (in my sleep) "should I buy this?" and then "I don't want to break a hundred.")

-Electronics stores!! sooooo many NIkons! Want. want. want.

-100 yen stores. Sweet selection, excellent price.

-strangely themed Izakaya restuarant... think dungeon + jail + laboratory. Awesome.

I am sure there is more, but it is time to prepare for a night on the town. Only 9 p.m. and the night is young and promising! Night!!

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