You know you’ve been too long in Japan when…

You know youve been in Japan too long when...

Don’t worry, this is not the standard sneering about compulsive bowing, ramen slurping, or daily bathing. This is for the people who have reached the next stage.

So, you’ve been in Japan long enough to have become a part of the furniture. And as the mouldy little zabuton you are, a piece of you has forgotten what it was like to sit in a chair, or hold a fork. Here are some signs you have been here for too long.

  1. Wearing slippers that 8510 people have worn before you seems perfectly hygienic.
  2. Stealing umbrellas doesn’t really feel like stealing.
  3. You don’t blink twice when someone asks you to use the fax machine. Ah yes, want it stamped with a hanko too?
  4. You don’t reply to “nihongo jouzu” comments with “mada mada” anymore.
  5. You make strange noises when you exert yourself. Ishh! Isho! Yoisho!
  6. Not using multiple exclamation and question marks feels somewhat rude. Hi!!! How are you???
  7. Engrish just isn’t funny any more (was it ever?)
  8. You start or end every other sentence with “I think.”
  9. The constant staring doesn’t bother you any more (at least you wish it didn’t)
  10. Jaywalking is unthinkable.
  11. Using 8 days of paid leave feels like extravagance.
  12. Queuing for food two hours seems like a completely sane thing to do.
  13. Wearing sleeveless or low-cut tops makes you feel naked. Cover up, girl!
  14. Wrapping your groceries in extra layers of plastic at the supermarket seems like a sensible thing to do.
  15. Discrimination is just another part of your shoganai life. Couldn’t get that apartment? Oh well, too bad.
  16. Using umbrellas during summer feels great. Can’t get tanned, can we?

One day, you’ll wake up and realize that your exciting “Japan life” has just become “life”. Even though you will always be a little nail that needs hammering down, living in Japan is in fact not too bad. You could even say it’s quite decent. And sometimes, even great.

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