I've been in Japan for more than 2 months now (a little late with the blog) and I've been feeling a bit strange towards everything. Perhaps I'm starting to get sick of it. I no longer use chopsticks (spoon and fork are simply better) and I no longer shower sitting down (as is traditional). The trains are getting on my nerves, and I now hate being around the teeming masses of people I once loved observing.
There are so many little things that just get to me here:
Why aren't there any rubbish bins anywhere? I mean, if Japan is so obsessed with materialism, and with packaging everything in a hundred layers of plastic, and with having everything come in tiny portions, then it is inconceivable to me why there are no rubbish bins anywhere.
In the main centres there's always a sea of people rushing about. At first I thought it was a novel situation, a little funny perhaps; but now I hate it, and can't stand to be anywhere near Japanese crowds. And when you have to get on a crowded train and you know the next one will be just as crowded it gets worse.
The noise and the colours. Almost everything has to be 10 decibels too loud and in the brightest shade of pink imaginable. Turn on the TV and someone is yelling at you, walk through a city centre and there are giant TVs yelling at you, showing images of people moving really fast. Walk into a fucking supermarket and the workers yell at you (something like "WELCOME!!!! PLEASE SHOP WITH US!!!!!). And this is everywhere.
Then there are the bigger things that annoy me:
I absolutely hate the way Japanese people obsess over objects and ways of doing things (traditions, almost). For example, the obsession with always wearing shoes outside, and having a perfect barrier between the inside and outside world. Now, I agree that people should take their shoes off when they go inside a house, and that bare feet should be washed if it is dirty outside, but the extent that Japanese people obsess about this is just phenomenal. Public toilets sometimes have special slippers which you have to wear while in the room (always 5 sizes too small) and Kotomi's father told me I have to wear special shoes (again way too small for me) when I want to go onto the balcony.
There are also the cultural objects which are overvalued, such as the Japanese toilet. Why would anyone want to use these horrible relics? And why would anyone want to install them in brand new train stations? They are annoying to use, and compared to the western toilet they are idiotic devices. Perhaps nationalism has something to do with it?
There are more things, but I'll stop here.
I'm thankful Kotomi isn't a typical Japanese, and she agrees with me on most things.