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Thread: Changes to your lifestyle since living in Japan

  1. #1
    Fresher
    Join Date Jul 17, 2005
    Posts 419
    Japan-Hokkaido

    Changes to your lifestyle since living in Japan


    国際交流パーティー
    Tokyo International Party

    I'm curious to know if anyone has observed any changes to their behaviour or lifestyle since relocating to Japan. The dumber and more trivial the better!

    Personally, for example, I've discovered I have become completely dependent on tissues. When I first arrived here, I used to actively avoid the various youths hanging around street corners giving out those small tissue packs advertising pachinko parlors, hairdressers and (god forbid) NOVA. I used to think giving a pack of tissues was a rather worthless exercise. Then when I went through my first hayfever season I found myself collecting them through necessity for obvious reasons. Now several years later I actually feel slightly ill-equipped, almost naked if I'm not carrying at least one little pack when I leave the house. They literally get used for everything imaginable in our house and outside. When I run out, I suddenly find myself serverely compromised.

    (Warning: any smart remarks about my tissue use and certain types of "adult entertainment" will not be tolerated )
  2. #2
    Male
    Join Date Dec 22, 2004
    Location Sunny South Korea
    Posts 2,335
    South Korea
    Originally Posted by Silverpoint
    (Warning: any smart remarks about my tissue use and certain types of "adult entertainment" will not be tolerated )
    Hahahaha~~
    I like that last line the most. *swipes tears with one o' them tissues*

    When I run into the bathroom only to discover the roll has hit the bones, I feel terribly compromised without one. O, well, necessity is the mother-of-all inventions; I just make some tissues.
  3. #3
    Delusions of Adequacy Male
    Join Date Mar 15, 2002
    Location Japan
    Posts 9,669
    Japan-Gunma
    Keeping it tissue-related for the moment.....

    I finally gave up on having the toilet paper unroll from the back/bottom of the roll, which had always been my personal preference. Hang it that way here and most Japanese will think you at least eccentric.
  4. #4
    Fresher
    Join Date Jul 17, 2005
    Posts 419
    Japan-Hokkaido
    Oh God - they've probably been laughing at me behind my back for ages! I've never given it a second thought before...
  5. #5
    okonomiyaki=bliss Male
    Join Date Apr 2, 2004
    Location British Columbia
    Posts 308
    Canada
    the biggest change that i am sure most of us dont even realize is that we sleep on the floor :P
  6. #6
    Resident Realist Male
    Join Date Aug 8, 2005
    Location All Over
    Posts 4,282
    USA - California
    i slept on a futon for most of my life, even now I sleep on one, this one is just raised from the floor. Some of the things I got used to in my short time there was the inescapable humidity during July, saying "sumimasen" when I bump into people, and using the button to hold the elevator door instead of thrusting my hand into the doorjam.
  7. #7
    Delusions of Adequacy Male
    Join Date Mar 15, 2002
    Location Japan
    Posts 9,669
    Japan-Gunma
    I've never understood the futon-on-a-frame thing. Maybe it's because it gained popularity after I left the U.S. So somebody tell me, how is a futon on a frame different from a bed with a flop house mattress?
  8. #8
    okonomiyaki=bliss Male
    Join Date Apr 2, 2004
    Location British Columbia
    Posts 308
    Canada
    futon in north america is also a cheap couch that folds down to a bed...
  9. #9
    Delusions of Adequacy Male
    Join Date Mar 15, 2002
    Location Japan
    Posts 9,669
    Japan-Gunma
    So it's basically just a co-opting of the vocabulary and adding a looser definition to it?
  10. #10
    Resident Realist Male
    Join Date Aug 8, 2005
    Location All Over
    Posts 4,282
    USA - California
    "futon" around these parts refers to a variety of thick mattresses stuffed with all kinds of materials from types of cotton to foam, etc. the kind on frames are usually folded into a couch, and the mattress is roughly 6-8". Not really sure what a flophouse mattress is, but I don't really want to find out.

    the futon I slept on as a kid was more similar to the ones I used in Japan, which would barely qualify for mattress toppers in North America. I don't mind them on Tatami mats, but it's not very comfortable on a hard-wood floor.
  11. #11
    Fresher
    Join Date Jul 17, 2005
    Posts 419
    Japan-Hokkaido
    There's a chain in the UK (I believe it's imaginatively called "The Futon Shop"). I went there once and it appears they sell something which isn't really that much different to a bed except for the mattress is a little thinner. Basically nothing like the original.

    When I go back home, or stay in hotels with western beds I find I don't sleep so well now, because they feel too soft. It's just what you get used to I guess.

    There's only one thing I think futons are slightly less good for, but I might be overstepping the mark if I go into too much detail. I'm sure you guys can work it out though.
  12. #12
    Resident Realist Male
    Join Date Aug 8, 2005
    Location All Over
    Posts 4,282
    USA - California
    the western style futons don't have the same problem, but then again they're more like mattresses without the springs
  13. #13
    Fresher
    Join Date Jul 17, 2005
    Posts 419
    Japan-Hokkaido
    Quote from the Futon Shop website after describing their deluxe wooden framed futons:

    "If you're really short of space you can use a futon mattress on the floor"

    No kidding! I'd never have thought of it!
  14. #14
    okonomiyaki=bliss Male
    Join Date Apr 2, 2004
    Location British Columbia
    Posts 308
    Canada
    another change in my lifestyle and im sure most of you also, drinking cold tea. i drink it so much now but in canada i rarely did and it was hard to find.
  15. #15
    Fresher
    Join Date Jul 17, 2005
    Posts 419
    Japan-Hokkaido
    Another change:

    Walking into any bar and just asking for "a beer". In England you'd nearly always ask for a particular brand.
  16. #16
    Delusions of Adequacy Male
    Join Date Mar 15, 2002
    Location Japan
    Posts 9,669
    Japan-Gunma
    Originally Posted by duff_o_josh
    another change in my lifestyle and im sure most of you also, drinking cold tea. i drink it so much now but in canada i rarely did and it was hard to find.
    Being from the South, I didn't know there was any other way to drink tea except iced tea until I was fourteen years old. I still find the idea of hot tea somewhat odd.
  17. #17
    okonomiyaki=bliss Male
    Join Date Apr 2, 2004
    Location British Columbia
    Posts 308
    Canada
    how about the small bath tubs?
  18. #18
    Where I'm Supposed to Be Female
    Join Date Jan 31, 2003
    Location Virginia
    Posts 4,826
    United States
    Originally Posted by mikecash
    Being from the South, I didn't know there was any other way to drink tea except iced tea until I was fourteen years old. I still find the idea of hot tea somewhat odd.
    You and me both.

    Make my tea Lipton and sweet with a lot of ice and a big slice of lemon!

    Ok, just had to comment. Fellow Southerner. Back to your regularly scheduled program...
    i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)
  19. #19
    遠いから行きません Male
    Join Date Nov 25, 2004
    Location Tokyo
    Posts 1,205
    Japan-Tokyo
    In college, I had a couch->fold out futon thing. I mainly had it for convenience in the living room.

    I can't believe nobody has mentioned the "no shoes in the house" thing yet.
  20. #20
    Delusions of Adequacy Male
    Join Date Mar 15, 2002
    Location Japan
    Posts 9,669
    Japan-Gunma
    Speaking of feet...how about the socks made like gloves? The ones with the separate spaces for your toes. I've been wearing them so long it never occurred to me to mention them here. I even took a big supply of them with me the last time I tried living in the U.S.

    I remember standing at the fuel counter in a truck stop in Kentucky, wearing my slippers (also brought from Japan) with my 5-toe socks. A lady standing next to me said, "Your socks have toes in them!"

    I replied, "Everybody's socks have toes in them."

    Last edited by Mike Cash; Aug 18, 2005 at 18:09.
  21. #21
    okonomiyaki=bliss Male
    Join Date Apr 2, 2004
    Location British Columbia
    Posts 308
    Canada
    Originally Posted by GaijinPunch
    In college, I had a couch->fold out futon thing. I mainly had it for convenience in the living room.

    I can't believe nobody has mentioned the "no shoes in the house" thing yet.

    in canada we dont wear shoes in the house, i think its just an american thing.
  22. #22
    先輩 Male
    Join Date Apr 16, 2005
    Location Minnesota
    Posts 154
    United States
    Yeah, most people i know in the US take thier shoes off too. What a way to ruin your carpets!
  23. #23
    Fresher
    Join Date Jul 17, 2005
    Posts 419
    Japan-Hokkaido
    Scrubbing 10 layers of skin off before getting into the bath and then sharing the water.
  24. #24
    I jump to conclusions Male
    Join Date Nov 22, 2003
    Location Copenhagen
    Posts 1,350
    Denmark
    I remember standing at the fuel counter in a truck stop in Kentucky, wearing my slippers (also brought from Japan) with my 5-toe socks. A lady standing next to me said, "Your socks have toes in them!"

    I replied, "Everybody's socks have toes in them."


    Changes in my lifestyle:

    1. Always, come hell or high water, take my shoes off at the door when home in Chicago.

    2. I go to conbinis 8 times a day. I pay my bills and do my banking, and buy my toilet paper, food, personal care products, and movie tickets there.

  25. #25
    Male
    Join Date Mar 31, 2005
    Location From Kent,just outside London
    Posts 576
    United Kingdom
    I was only in Japan a very short time,but I noticed these changes...

    1) I wanted to spend more money.

    2) I had a strong urge to vandalise public phones (don't worry, I didn't)
    Next time I'm going to hire a mobile

    3) Everything felt like an adventure - I'm looking foward to going back!
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