How I Ended Up In Japan and Made A Website About Tokyo…
If you’ve come to this site, it’s because you have a passion for traveling.
I can truly relate to that, because I’m exactly the same.
Put me in one place for more than 3 months and I’m a nervous wreck.
Give me a 12 hour flight, and I sleep like a baby.
I started traveling when I was 20, and never really stopped since then.
Well…a couple of years after the babies were born did slow me down a bit.
But now I’m a proud mother of 2 keen young travelers, who have visited more countries than they can count on their fingers (toes included).
I love traveling, and I’ve traveled half the world, but Japan was very different.
I fell in love with Tokyo and the Japanese people, and decided to stay.
I lived in Tokyo, and immersed myself completely in the Japanese culture (I hope you can feel that reading my site).
I didn’t know a word of Japanese. I didn’t know how to ask for directions. I didn’t even know what was in their soups (luckily, because I was a vegetarian back then).
My Japanese Journey Begins…
In Japan I got into some of the most hilarious and embarrassing situations of my life.
Remember how your mother always told you not to make noises while eating? Imagine my surprise when Japanese people were making loud slurping noises while eating their noodles…
Its fine when it comes from a group of loud teenagers, but the real shocker came when finely groomed middle-aged ladies sporting a Channel bag and a silk scarf slurp too.
Turns out that in Japan it’s considered a compliment to the chef to make slurping noises. Years of western manners did their job and I never really learned how to slurp properly.
Toilet seats in Japan are a big thing.
I was surprised to find out that they make “white noise” if you like to mask out any embarrassing sounds. They can be heated to your favorite temperature, they will even wash and dry. A bit like the automatic car wash machines.
After a while you get so used to this incredibly pampering invention you can’t live without it.
How this piece of equipment never became a hit outside Japan is a mystery to me. I know a couple of friends who lived in Japan for a few years and took back home a Japanese toilet.
You’ll find these toilet seats everywhere in Japan: hotels, restaurants, high-end Tokyo malls and even subway stations.
Turning your back to someone in a higher status than you is a big No-No in Japan, even if you’re saying goodbye at the end of a long and Alcohol-loaded evening.
This leads to hilarious and crazy situations where people go out of a business dinner and say goodbye going backwards, bowing and still going backwards and more bowing and backwards.
Then they’ll enter the Taxi with their backside first, still bowing and very very drunk.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.