It’s been a week now since I’ve arrived in Tokyo and I think I should take this chance and take stock.
Now, I consider myself someone, who can actually quite easily adapt to new situations. I can eat nearly anything, I love having conversations in different languages and whenever a problem comes up I am either able to solve it myself or don’t ever hesitate to ask politely for help.
However, today I will talk about the things I think will be impossible for me to get used to in the short span of only three months.
First things first, all the locks are not turned to the right side, but to the left when locking up. Not once in all the times I had to lock a bathroom stall have I succeeded on the first try. It makes you feel like an idiot to be honest, to fail at such a simple thing.
Then, as a central european, I have to admit it costs me so much effort constantly reminding myself to walk on the left hand side of the roads and not the right hand side. I only need a moment of not paying attention, when talking to someone or getting confused about directions and I switch back to keeping right without even thinking about that. I’m actually getting people in trouble because of this lack of concentration.
Another issue I encountered is, that some switches change their colour between red and green when you press them. In our share house we have them for preinstalled fans in the shower to keep the air from getting to humid. The thing with those is, that if they are turned on – they are red. And green means turned off. I did not know this until yesterday and always turned those things off when trying to turn them on for an entire week!
The last thing that will probably throughout these months surprise me again and again are the extreme prices of fruit and vegetables. I am not only talking about imported fruit nor about non-seasonal vegetables here. Those high prices apply just as much for seasonal groceries, grown right in Japan, like the nashi pear. Beside the fruit salad, I took these pictures in a normal supermarket, not a convenience store. (I converted the price to euros in the pictures discribtions.)
This really puts things into perspective though. I always felt kind of indifferent about german farmers being on strike for higher vegetable prices – I definately won’t be after those three months I believe.