The first days of moving to Japan are complicated.
Ahhh … Japan. A country that is all manga, kindness and soy sauce. Most of those who come here on vacation fall in love with everything. When they return home, they stress you with telling all the things they did here. Practically, they kill all your enthusiasm to go, since you already know everything. #spoilerseverywhere
In my case, I missed the tourist phase. We moved here without ever having been on vacation before – thinking about it now, I think we were pretty crazy – and we had to live the reality of being expats, all at once.
Don’t you speak Japanese? Best wishes.
In this Country, English is a sore point.
All the labels of products at the supermarket are only in Japanese. The first months – in the best cases – you spend your time buying things that you don’t have the slightest idea of what they are, like shaving foam that you later discover to be a foam for hair regrowth, hand soap that is a facial make-up remover. Don’t ask me why I know. I understood that the illustrative images often deceive.
The only solution is Google Translate, which ,thanks to the photo translation feature, allows you to translate in real time.
Real estate agencies allow you to see different apartments, but then they will tell you that the owner doesn’t rent to foreigners.
It’s all true, yes. We, foreigners, have all found ourselves in this situation, and we still wonder if the real problem is the language or the fact of not being Japanese. The first two weeks we contacted various agencies and we often found ourselves at that point. Why making us spend precious time knowing already that the deal cannot conclude? #wtf
Do you have two names and two surnames? Oh my…
Yes, I know. You almost certainly have only one name and one surname. My husband, for example, has two names and two surnames. It’s a massacre.
We went to the bank to open a Japanese account. Panic. “The full name is too long”. The employee enters into a nervous crisis. Japanese people don’t deal very well in situations out of the ordinary. Oh God, “what am I supposed to do?”. “Wait, I’ll call the manager!”–Oh well, call him then. There were moments of stress behind the counter. After an hour of waiting, here comes the debit card: the second surname is cut off in half. Yes, no problem, only because, months later, you realize that every time you write the name of the account holder you must remember to write it truncated. Otherwise, operations will be denied to you, but you won’t understand a bat because communications are all in Japanese #realstory
You cannot open a Japanese bank account if you don’t have a Japanese phone number. You cannot have a Japanese phone number if you don’t have a Japanese bank account.
Beware with natto
If there’s something in this world that I would classify as repulsive, this is called “natto”. For the lucky ones who have no idea of what it is… it’s fermented soy. It looks like something innocent, except that the taste, the texture and the smell make you think about the worst choices made during your whole life. Like moving to Japan, for example. Just joking…
Our first “clandestine” encounter with this so healthy as unpleasant food, goes back to the day when we went to buy a tray of sushi – What will this be filled with? It looks like tuna. Come on, let’s try it – and I couldn’t run to vomit because I wasn’t at home.Natto’s maki
Remember. Never try natto. There are people whose lives are still marked by certain flavors… like me. #freenattozone
If you can say few words in Japanese, like “Arigatou gozaimasu” (thanks) and “Konbanwa” (good evening) they will immediately tell you “Wow, you speak very well!”
Hey, come on.