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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Another Worry

We just recently had a young guest from Japan. We met her through my friend who said that she had a lot of similarities with me. I was a bit frustrated with our guest while she stayed with us in Seattle. It was not her fault. She was so different from me.  I had problems figuring out what she wanted to do or liked. She did not have an opinion about anything.  I showed her all that Seattle had to offer. I cooked and planned everything. It was just okay for her, not excellent or horrible. When I asked if she wanted to go or do something, her reply was, “Shall we?” I said, “If you asked me, I don’t want to do anything. I’d rather spend time with my doggies and husband. Looking around Seattle was wasting my time and money, but if you want, I’m more than happy to do so for you. So, don’t ask me. Just simply express your feelings and thoughts.” Then she said, “Okay, then let’s try.” She, however, didn’t want to do anything by herself. I said, “I’m more than happy to read a book in the car and wait for you with the doggies. Anything you want to know, ask me. I can find everything on the net.”
I shared my experience with my aunt. My aunt said, “That’s Japanese. You don’t want to say anything bad, but probably she wasn’t satisfied or wasn’t certain of the answer. She chose the most polite answer. You have to adapt to Japanese culture and learn how to express yourself.” “Ha, ha, I can express myself more than enough,” I said. “That’s the problem,” she said.
George jokingly tells people, “Erika was kicked out of her country.” Sadly, some people believe him. I love the U.S. because I can express myself freely. I just have to be responsible with my words. I have regretted a lot for what I have said, but George always supported me. I hope he works harder for me in Japan.
Erika

1 comment:

  1. Hi Erika,
    Sometimes I think being a foreigner in Japan is easier than being Japanese. I get so frustrated with the attitudes that you described. People never express their opinions in front of others, but then spend hours expressing them behind their backs. As a foreigner they expect me to be different and don't seem to take my "suggestions" too personally and usually I have a positive reaction to my more forward way of doing things. I'm sure that once you start to settle in to Japanese society you will be able to continue your more Western ways without too much hassle. Things are slowly changing here....

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