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things you cannot get used to
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Rooster_2006



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 984

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:43 pm    Post subject: Re: things you cannot get used to Reply with quote

teacheratlarge wrote:
I noticed this thread in the Vietnam forum and tried a search in the Japan forum, but was unable to find anything like this.

I give 4 examples to start us off;


-people being shy to the point they do anything to avoid you (even my student running away from the uni elevator rather than ride with me down)

-people swinging their arms when walking in crowded city areas, especially when they do it while holding umbrellas

- wearing slippers inside (recently I don't like doing it, and my wife has to chide me to get me to do it inside my own house)

- people not trying to avoid running into you when trying to go straight to their destination, including when they pop out of doorways


I'll add one:

- apologists
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Cool Teacher



Joined: 18 May 2009
Posts: 891
Location: Here, There and Everywhere! :D

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:51 pm    Post subject: Re: things you cannot get used to Reply with quote

Rooster_2006 wrote:
teacheratlarge wrote:
I noticed this thread in the Vietnam forum and tried a search in the Japan forum, but was unable to find anything like this.

I give 4 examples to start us off;


-people being shy to the point they do anything to avoid you (even my student running away from the uni elevator rather than ride with me down)

-people swinging their arms when walking in crowded city areas, especially when they do it while holding umbrellas

- wearing slippers inside (recently I don't like doing it, and my wife has to chide me to get me to do it inside my own house)

- people not trying to avoid running into you when trying to go straight to their destination, including when they pop out of doorways


I'll add one:

- apologists


Apologists for what???? Cool
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9438
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Spiral, I know that at Meiji Gakuin, Japanese English teachers have to have a TOEIC score of 940


Actually, ours are mostly students in the field of European Studies, not English teachers. Their English is usually about low B1 on the CEF.

I totally take your point that they are likely to be atypical of the normal Japanese university student in second or third year, though.
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southofreality



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 579
Location: Tokyo

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a big difference between 'can't get used to' and 'can't live with'...

There's a lot of stuff you 'shouldn't' get used to living in Tokyo, but you can look past it and see the good stuff. Once the good stuff becomes difficult to see anymore, it's time to start rethinking your life...
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Rooster_2006



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 984

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:09 am    Post subject: Re: things you cannot get used to Reply with quote

Cool Teacher wrote:
Apologists for what???? Cool
An apologist is someone who is virtually incapable of acknowledging that Japan has faults. Whenever apologists see a Japanese person doing something wrong, they attempt to excuse the behavior, or worse, shift the blame onto America/westerners in general. In the worst cases, apologists actually try to shush/silence people with legitimate complaints, by calling them "whiners."

Ironically, most apologists I've met have been foreigners themselves. This is ironic because by constantly being apologists, they are undermining their own rights, and the rights of other foreigners.

Here are some examples:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. "I was assaulted in Roppongi."

Apologist: "Obviously it was your own fault. Japanese people aren't violent. You must have done something to piss them off."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2. "I was refused entrance to an onsen for being white. The owner pointed to a sign on the door that said 'NO FOREIGNERS.'"

Apologist: "That could have happened in any country. All countries have discrimination. It's much worse in America for Asian-Americans."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3. "I was waiting at a taxi stand and a taxi driver drove right by me. Then he picked up a Japanese person 50 meters down the road."

Apologist: "Well, you can't blame him. He thought you couldn't speak Japanese."

"But isn't it prejudiced to assume I don't speak Japanese just based on my appearance?"

Apologist: "No, of course not. This is Japan. Japanese people just aren't used to seeing foreigners who can speak Japanese, yet."

"But wouldn't it be racist if a taxi driver in America or Canada or the UK refused to pick up foreign-looking people because he assumed they couldn't speak English?"

Apologist: "No, that would be wrong. Things are different here, though, because this is Japan."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4. "I've been with my company here in Japan for ten years, but never gotten a raise or promotion. I really feel like there's a glass ceiling here."

Apologist: "Then maybe you should go home. This is Japan, not your home country. Suck it up. They can do whatever they want because it's their country."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5. "Why does Japanese permanent residency take ten years to acquire? In Taiwan, it takes five. In Hong Kong, it's seven. Why so long for Japan?"

Apologist: "Well, Japan has a rich culture and tradition. Perhaps if they let in too many foreigners, their rich culture and tradition, which are thousands of years old, would be threatened. You see, it's not that they dislike foreigners, it's just that they want to protect their rich cultural heritage. This is difficult for Americans to understand, since America has no culture or traditions since it is only 200 years old.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I cannot get used to apologists. They really get under my skin.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 578
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can`t get used to people who spend years here but never bother to learn the basics like katakana.

Also, I can`t get used to the arrogance of some teachers, whether foreign or Japanese. We are just teachers.
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OneJoelFifty



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 463

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenski wrote:
I can't get used to people making lists like this.


Zing!

I can't actually think of anything that I can't get used to.
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rxk22



Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 1107

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mitsui wrote:
I can`t get used to people who spend years here but never bother to learn the basics like katakana.

Also, I can`t get used to the arrogance of some teachers, whether foreign or Japanese. We are just teachers.


It boggles my mind when I meet people who have been here for multiple years, yet they have no understanding of the language. I mean, do they purposely try not to learn?
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teacheratlarge



Joined: 17 Nov 2011
Posts: 178
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad some people have some different ideas, both positive and negative (could be just a framing thing though Cool ).

Spiral, your students sound unusual. I have some forward thinking and speaking students, but they definitely are in the minority. Japan doesn't encourage people to stand out (and /or speak out), but like anywhere there are exceptions.
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teacheratlarge



Joined: 17 Nov 2011
Posts: 178
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OneJoelFifty wrote:
Glenski wrote:
I can't get used to people making lists like this.


Zing!

I can't actually think of anything that I can't get used to.


Death comes to mind.....
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teacheratlarge



Joined: 17 Nov 2011
Posts: 178
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, in case Chris and others thought there I had no optimistic thoughts,

delivery service - fantastic, with door to door as well as most conveneience stores offering it

public transport - convenience of going places, especially in Tokyo


work - can make a very good living here ( networking)

work hours/vacation time - I just came off another great vacation(oh well back to work)
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kathrynoh



Joined: 16 Jul 2009
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Middle aged men on the train looking at erotic pictures of underaged girls.

Cultural differences are fine but kiddie porn is (or should be) wrong everywhere.
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Rooster_2006



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 984

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

People learning Japanese who just outright lie about their listening comprehension skills.

"Oh, look at me! After only six weeks in a basic Japanese course, I can understand 50~60%!"

YEAH RIGHT.
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OneJoelFifty



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 463

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got one. The astoundingly low English conversational ability of Japanese students that have been taught English for years.
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dove



Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Posts: 227
Location: USA/Japan

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kathrynoh wrote:
Middle aged men on the train looking at erotic pictures of underaged girls.

Cultural differences are fine but kiddie porn is (or should be) wrong everywhere.


The apologists like to explain this away by mentioning Japan's long tradition of erotic art. They most likely will use a phrase like "mizu shobai." Apologists love historical references.

They explain away the xenophobia that often exists here with comments like "Japan is an island nation" or "During rice harvests communities had to become close-knit to survive." They LOVE to mention uchi-soto and honne and tataemae.

On one hand, apologists amuse me. On the other hand, I'd like to slap them upside the head.
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