After nine months of living in Japan, I am noticing some things I am doing differently now.  Please enjoy these slight, but significant changes in my life.

  • I pick out shoes based on how easily they slide on and off.
  • I bow (head nod) at other drivers when I am in the car.
  • I wait for the walk sign to turn green even if there are no cars coming.
  • I prefer chopsticks to a spoon.
  • I always ask what train station something is near when getting directions.
  • I judge distance based on time, and not actual distance.
  • I think paying your bills at a gas station is completely normal.
  • I get unnecessarily excited when I see Mt. Fuji.
  • I take naps on the train.
  • I line up behind people, just because they are standing there.
  • I rely on road mirrors to make turns.
  • I don’t walk and drink.
  • I answer with “maybe” all the time.
  • I am not surprised when there are cartoons on our electric bill.
  • I count out exact change.
  • I put two fingers up when I take a picture.
  • I say “konpai” instead of cheers.
  • I get excited about ferris wheels.
  • I buy trinkets at shrines.
  • I don’t get confused when a stranger gives me their kid to take a picture with.
  • I will eat anything green tea flavored, including noodles.
  • I don’t drive after a sip of communion wine.

I’m sure there are many more, but life in Japan seems very normal now, so they are difficult to think of.