I’ve lived in the U.S. for over ten years. Wow..time has gone by so quickly. Even though I’ve lived in Southern California for so long, I still cannot completely assimilate into the mainstream American culture.
I am not quite traditional Japanese woman (!) nor am I an American girl. So I am somewhere in between, and I was relieved to learn that my Japanese friends who have lived here for a long time feel the same way. These are the things we are still kind of uncomfortable in the U.S.
1) American people usually wait until finish peeing to flush the toilet. Some of them actually talk while peeing.
2) Ridiculous food portion sizes: Yes. American restaurants serve food very generously. (a little too much sometimes)
3) Almost all police officers carry guns.
4) Americans almost always ask “So what do you do for living?”
5) Sensitivity to race- We didn’t realize the racism in the U.S. was so serious before moving here.
6) Super Bowl fanatics but not many Americans are interested in the FIFA World Cup! The rest of the world is excited about the world cup every four years!
7) Cars cars cars..you have to drive a car in order to have a decent life unless you are going to live in Manhattan.
8)Tipping : I personally feel bad for not tipping but then why should I? especially when a server didn’t do anything. I am still getting used to tipping stuff.
9) Cool: Everything is cool to Americans but they don’t really mean it. I see some similarities between Japanese customs and American customs.
10) Americans don’t have problem touching your walking shoes: It still bothers me. Like, my boyfriend picks up a pair of my dirty sandals and he was touching the bottom of my sandals and I quickly had to ask him not to touch that because it’s dirty!
You may be able to add more to the list..fortunately, we remove shoes before getting into our house but many Americans don’t have this custom so Japanese people who aren’t used to this might feel very uncomfortable.
Also, Americans don’t usually take a bath at night everyday. Some may follow Japanese bathing custom but most Americans just walk into their homes without taking off shoes. 🙂
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