51 Things I Learned and Mused On in Japan

13 Aug

1. Even the most refined things can be dirty underneath.

2. Japanese girls can have surprisingly big nipples [referencing a bathhouse experience].

3. Not a lot of trash cans. Anywhere.

4. The proper way to eat sashimi is to put wasabi on the fish, not into the soya sauce.

5. Always the slippers.

6. June is the monsoon season [we visited in June].

7. Monsoon season is really rainy.

8. Japanese guys are tall. And kind of feminine. In a beautiful way.

9. There is a difference between temples and shrines. I don’t know what it is.

10. I can read some Japanese characters. In fact, all Japanese characters come from Chinese hanzi [汉子] but some have just been simplifed even further over time.

11. Tatami mats are comfortable. They smell nutty and sweet.

12. Warm toilet seats really are great!

13. Politeness goes along way in making people like you.

14. Trees are nice to have around [this is after living in China].

15. Contrary to popular belief, not all Asians are odourless or hairless.

16. You can get sick of sushi. But luckily, it doesn’t last long.

17. The unexpected things are the best. Especially the ones that make you blush.

18. White seat covers are probably not the best choice for restaurant owners [make note of this].

19. Tofu ice cream works. Penguin ice cream not.

20. Uzu is a delightful small yet potently refreshing Japanese citrus.

21. I will almost always eat nuts which are placed infront of me [not intended to sound pervy].

22. Wear or bring a universally non-offensive nail polish colour when travelling [there is a fine line between cute Easter yellow and putrid custard pus].

23. You can eat raw chicken, raw beef, raw fish, caviar sacks, gizzards and fungus all in one enjoyable sitting.

24. Floral prints + denim + garden straw hats = too much!

25. Always go left and you’ll get there eventually.

26. An 8:30 am sushi wakeup call is an acquired taste.

27. Turtles can be trained to jump for udon.

28. It’s OK to get sad sometimes.

29. It can be hard to tell the difference between a real geisha and a regular lady in kimono.

30. Geisha are hard to catch.

31. Foreign money is real.

32. Sales clerks in hi-end department stores are required to be unfriendly, it makes the experience all the more luxurious.

33. The older you get, the more you appreciate dollar shops and second-hand stores.

34. Focus on the positive, because that’s usually what will be remembered.

35. Anyone could be a cult leader. Anyone.

36. We’re all a little too hard on ourselves.

37. It’s a good thing to be open about sex. And poo.

38. Good art inspires us to remember what we know about the world and to see what we haven’t learnt yet.

39. A bond can be built in a fleeting glance, a late night drink, a hard earned team effort, a heart-to-heart, a shopping spree, relationship advice, an unexpected reunion, a good sweat, a common love, a caring pep talk, an innocent flirt, a cry for help, a silent treatment, a shared queue, a salt shaker, the same book, a 1 hour layover, stairs over elevators, an open mind.

40. Too much efficiency is inefficient.

41. The best sleep of your life could be in a tube.

42. Ask questions. And listen to the answers. Even if you disagree or don’t care. You will learn something.

43. The best geishas come when you aren’t even looking.

44. Kids are universally cute in all cultures. Especially Asian ones.

45. Life is better when you lose track of time.

46. Even putrid pus yellow can grow on you.

47. It’s far better to be imperfect and embrace those imperfections as unique than to be near perfect yet punish yourself for your shortcomings.

48. All people have weaknesses. Most of all, those who appear strongest.

49. There is too much waste in packaging. I really don’t mind if my snack foods crumble or stick together.

50. To just be near trees or walk over grass or nap quietly on a bench outdoors is a great thing.

51. You can make ice cream into any flavour really. And someone will buy it and eat it.


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