The first time I set foot in the Land of the Rising Sun isn’t a hazy memory. It is as clear as the sky today. Thoughts are hovering above me as I hear the birds chirping at the moment. This kind of weather can help me pen my thoughts down easier.
I can’t believe how fast time flies. It feels like it was just yesterday that I shed tears as my poor body shivered with cold in a blue mini dress. Yes, I dressed that way without thinking how cold spring was at the time I landed here. For a girl who grew up in a tropical country where the weather is mostly warm and hot, spring in Japan was like walking around inside a giant fridge. That’s how I was welcomed. I was given a chilly welcome, not a warm one. 😀
In my 9 months of getting to know Japan, it’s undeniable that there are things that have given me “aha” and “wow” moments. I’ll randomly list them down here.
This was the very first thing that impressed me. Japanese people endeavor to uphold good manners. I’ve been to places like malls, restaurants, cinemas, stations and the like, where I mostly see and experience people’s favorable behavior. One good example is when in the theater. No matter how crowded and empty it gets, not a single noise will bother you. I can’t help but compare it in the cinemas back home. Especially when it’s a romantic film, expect to hear cheers, screams, and claps in every exciting scene. It’s totally different here. People seem to enjoy the movie in the most silent way. Because of this, I’ve learned to value whispering. I also tend to enjoy the films without any sort of distraction.
It’s amazing how every household religiously segregate their garbage. My husband taught me how to be considerate like I have to wash and dry the PET bottles, cans, and food containers first before disposing them. Another thing is, wrapping up smelly rubbish would be a kind thing to do. Each house is given pamphlets about the schedule and the appropriate way of garbage disposal and people are just nice to follow. I’m proud to say that I’ve learned this the hard way and behold, my garbage bin doesn’t look like one. 🙂
I guess, this is somehow connected to number 1. Because Japanese people don’t want to bother other people, they manifest it even in the restroom. They can manage to keep the toilets tidy and always equip with hygienic stuff like seat paper towels, seat cleaners, and so on. Not to mention the technology, which is commonly called as washlet. I’ve become so fond of it that I asked my husband to get one for our place. And now, I can’t let a day pass by without cleaning our restroom.
Smoking in public is certainly discouraged here. Thus, there are designated areas for people to puff on. Good thing is, even in the restaurants smoking zones exist.
Another thing that’s one way or another related to number 1 is the silence in the neighborhood. I’m a sucker for quiet places and I’ve never been so happy living in such a place. Back home, I’d wake up to the wailing babies, loud music, barking of the dogs, and screams of the neighbors. I’m not quite sure if this is true to the other places here, though. I sometimes feel like I’m the only person residing in this apartment building. 😀
So far, these are just a few of the good things I have learned in my 9 months of living in this beautiful country. They don’t only amaze me but they inspire me to be a better person. I’m sure there will be more to discover, admire, and learn. (✯◡✯)