You know you've been in Japan too long when...
This was taken from the Internet. I don't know where it came from, and would love
to give credit where it is due. If you know who wrote it, let me know. Enjoy!
You know you've been in Japan too long when....
- you notice you've forgotten how to tie shoelaces
- you find yourself bowing while you talk on the phone.
- you think US$17 isn't such a bad price for a new paperback.
- you don't hesitate to put a $10 note into a vending machine.
- you are talking on the telephone to your parents and your father says, "Why
are you interrupting my explanation with grunts?"
- you see a gaijin get on the train and think "Wow, it's a gaijin!"
- you start thinking can coffee tastes good.
- you have trouble figuring out how many syllables there really are in words like
- when you wait for the first day of summer to wear short sleeve dress shirts.
- when the first option you buy for your car is a TV set.
- you don't think it unusual for a truck to play "It's a Small World"
when backing up.
- you really enjoy corn soup with your Big Mac.
- you think the opposite of red is white.
- you leave your expensive bottle of Royal Salute with a sleazy barkeeper and don't
- you can listen to the ads in FEN without falling around the floor laughing.
- you pore over the jikokuhyo looking for ways to avoid riding the Shinkansen.
- you appear for your first skiing lesson with brand new Rossignol high performance
racing skis and an aerodynamic racing suit with color matched goggles. And then snowplow
- you buy a potato-and-strawberry sandwich for lunch without cringing.
- you squat waiting for a bus to come.
- you phone an English-speaking gaijin friend and somehow can't bring yourself
to get to the point for the first 3 minutes of the conversation.
- you stop enjoying telling newcomers to Japan 'all about Japan'.
- you remember non-wanman buses in the Tokyo area.
- you think 360 yen per dollar is a reasonable exchange rate.
- you automatically remember all of your important year dates in Showa numbers.
- people stop complementing you on your Japanese, and start asking you where you
had your nose and eyes done.
- you still remember your first drive in your brand new Toyopet.
- you wonder why Prince Akihito is already getting grey hair, and why you don't
see much of the Emperor these days.
- you think Masako is beautiful and Hillary is cute.
- you spend all your time trying to think of reasons why you've been Too Long in
- you noticed 7-11 changed its onigiri wrapping houshiki for the 3rd time.
- you find a beautiful way to eat natto.
- you are not worried about speeding in the rain, because you know the cops are
only out there in good weather.
- you think birds cry.
- you think "English literature major" is a polite way to say peanut
- you get blasted by a political speaker truck and think "sho ga nai..."
- you think its cool to stand in the "Japanese only" queue at Narita
- you develop a liking for green tea flavored ice cream.
- you're talking to your mother on the phone, and she asks you what "genki"
- you have mastered the art of simultaneous bowing and hand-shaking.
- you think it's alright to stick your head into a stranger's apartment to see
if anybody's home.
- when you find nothing unusual in a television commercial for candy in which a
model dressed in a high school girl's uniform comes up behind another model dressed
in a high school girl's uniform, grabs her left breast, gives a devilish grin, and
- you think the natural location for a beer garden is on a roof.
- you have run out of snappy comebacks to compliments about your chopstick skills.
- you think "white pills, blue pills, and pink powder" is an adequate
answer to the question "What are you giving me, doctor?".
- you no longer find anything unusual in the concept of "Vermont curry".
- you think 4 layers of wrapping is reasonable for a simple piece of merchandise.
- you are only slightly puzzled by "Melty Kiss."
- you ask fellow foreigners the all-important question "How long have you
been here?" in order to be able to properly categorize them.
- when looking out the window of your office, you think "Wow, so many trees!"
instead of "Wow, so much concrete!"
- when in the middle of nowhere, totally surrounded by rice fields and abundant
nature, you aren't surprised to find a drink vending machine with no visible means
of a power supply...
- and when you think nothing of it when that lonely vending machine says 'thank
you' after you buy a coke.
- you stand before a sign on a bridge and ponder the possible meanings of "Bridge
Freezes Before Road."
- the TV commercials make sense to you.
- a non-Japanese sits down next to you on the train and you get up and move. You're
not prejudiced, but who knows what they might do?
- you are outwardly appalled to see someone pour miso shiru over rice, but do it
in private yourself (neko meshi).
- you only have 73 transparent, plastic umbrellas in your entrance because you
have donated 27 to the JR and various taxi companies in the past few months.
- when you pay over 6000 yen for a lipstick and realize a few days later how much
you really spent.
- you think that, in a crowd of Japanese, the presence of another foreigner breaks
the "wa," although for some reason your presence doesn't.
- you can't have your picture taken without your fingers forming the peace sign.
- you think rice imports should be prohibited, because Japanese consumers would
never buy imported rice.
- when you forget how to spell simple words like "wear"
- when you think one kind of rice tastes better than another kind.
- you get a "Nihongo ga joozu" and feel really insulted.
- when you pull out your ruler to underline words.
- on a cold autumn night, the only thing you want for dinner is nabe and nihonshu.
- you return the bow from the cash machine.
- when you think that coffee goes perfectly well with squid pizza.
- you can do arithmetic using man, oku, cho. and kei.
- when you believe that the perfect side dish to eat with a juicy, deep-fried pork
chop is a pile of raw, tasteless, shredded cabbage.
- it doesn't surprise you that a case of beer has the same per unit price as a
- you think cod roe spaghetti with chilled red wine is a typical Italian dish.
- "natsukashii" comes out of your mouth instead of "what you're
saying makes me so nostalgic that I must look like one of those wide-eyed manga characters
with a tear rolling out of my eye."
- you run for the Yamanote line pushing people left and right, jump on the train
holding the doors open to let your bag follow you on. Because you know there will
not be another one for at least a minute.
- you no longer pay any attention to what anyone does when you sit down beside
them on a train.
- you find yourself apologizing at least three times per conversation.
- when you let your car idle for half an hour while you go shopping.
- you find your self asking all your foreign acquaintances what their blood types
- you find yourself practicing golf swings with your umbrella on the train platform.
- you take practice golf swings on the train platform *without* an umbrella in
- you think that "Lets SPORTS yOUNG gAY CluB" is a perfectly normal T-shirt
logo for a middle aged lady.
- you think no car is complete without a tissue box on the rear shelf and a feather
duster in the trunk.
- lunch is yesterday's leftovers out of a Hello Kitty bento box.
- all of your December Sundays is reserved for Bonenkai hangover recovery
- you are disappointed when Dominoes doesn't have corn pizza, and the driver is
disappointed when you forget the tip.
- you're back in the States for a short visit you patiently wait outside your taxi
for its door to spring open for you.