But I feel it is important because it tells us that:
We overestimate the offence taken by the person asked
Are missing out by not asking sensitive, extremely personal questions
One of the researchers, Einav Hart, is an Israeli, and when asked about the differences between the Israeli and American cultures, she could not point to significant differences.
My experience in Japan was definitely different, but I now have doubts about my takes and my behavior.
In Israel, i had many experiences in which a waitress at the Cafe started chatting with me, which usually resulted in personal questions. Where do you live, what do you do and sometimes more than that.
In my experiences in Japan, I was unsure what I can and cannot ask, i had cases I received frowned faces or questions being ignored when I asked questions which were “a bit” personal… so I stopped. Meeting and chatting with people I do not know has resulted in me waiting for them to take the lead. If they ask personal questions, I will respond and open up. And if not, nothing will happen.
Maybe it is a good way not to hurt, but it is definitely missing out on interactions and communications. How may friends or life lessons did I miss out because I did not ask more, interact more, engage more ?
I now just have to wait for Covid-19 to go away before testing it. Definitely now is not a good time to talk with strangers.
Finished reading “The Culture Map” by Erin Mayer. I was familiar with some of the concepts and information in the book, but I felt it arranged it nicely and put it in perspective with good example.
As an Israeli living in Japan, you can guess how challenging and interesting it was to experience the cultural and communication differences. I managed to adjust and learn what is allowed, accepted by Japanese and how to “Read the Air”.
An excerpt that I deeply agreed with was about trying to adapt or rather adopt a behavior. When someone from a different culture is trying to imitate and blend in, which usually does not work. For me, that was not an option. I realized very quickly that I cannot imitate the Japanese work behavior and communication. My culture was so different that any attempt to be Japanese will not pass. Cannot do it full heartedly and will always be perceived as strange. I do speak softer, I do use say things like “it is difficult”, instead of saying “no way”. Had a chance to ask colleagues and customers about my communication style, and most of the feedback I got was positive, that the customers appreciate the way I discuss and talk and do not expect me to be “Japanese” .
On the other hand, I have seen people trying to blend with Israelis, joke like Israelis, discuss like Israelis and in all cases, it felt strange. The Israeli group could not accept the foreigner as “one of the guys”.
After (almost) 12 years in Japan, I do not feel like I am doing an effort or adjusting. I have my original culture (which I sometimes struggle with), I have the Japanese culture and I usually fit in both
Or how does it feel to be (almost) the only foreigner in Kyoto.
Traveled to Kyoto last week without using the GoTo Campaign. Booked a cheap business hotel and Shinkansen and went by myself.
Although some areas in Kyoto had local tourists and school trips, some touristic spots were almost empty. I personally enjoyed it, but it demonstrated to me very clearly the financial pain that many restaurants, Hotels, Taxis and more are having these days.
But let’s describe it step by step … maybe too much information.
Shinkansen: The Shinkansen to Kyoto had more than 50% capacity on a weekday. Kyoto Station: Was quite busy. Obviously less than last year, but more than I expected. Lunch: Had lunch at Mimiu美々卯 . Probably my 4th time there and it was packed and delicious as always. Most customers were older than me, which felt quite safe.
三十三間堂 (Sanjusangendo) and 清水寺 (KiyomizuDera) : Walked from Kyoto station. It is usually not a busy street, but felt less busy than usual, less taxis roaming around the streets. 三十三間堂 had some tourists, but definitely not busy. Had lots of time to spend in front of the statues and watch them carefully, maybe for the first time. 清水寺 had more tourists, but again it felt empty compared to previous years, with many shops empty and some even closed.
Walked to 高台寺 (Koudaiji) and from there to Gion.
On the second day, I decided to go to 金閣寺 (Kinkakuji). I usually try to avoid it, since I have been there several times, but wanted to use this occasion that it has few tourists to take photos. To my surprise it turned out that it is covered and cannot be photographed.
A walk to Ryoanji （龍安寺). While I was walking from the street to Ryoanji, I was very surprised to be the only person walking there. I asked the ticket counter if they are open as I do not see anyone. She told me it is a bit early and that there are a few people already inside. Spent there about 40 minutes, when I arrived there were about 5 people which increased to about 10, which allowed me time to relax, enjoy and take photos.
From there I walked to 妙心寺 （Myoshinji). I think it was my first time there, but did not spend a lot of time and went to 二条城 (niJouJou) . Again, quite empty with one school group that kept watching me as I was the only foreigner in sight. Could not find many restaurants around 二条城 so went to a Ramen shop which was rather empty.
Obviously enjoyed my trip, enjoyed that fact that there were no foreign tourists, but I am certain that many companies, restaurants and services which grew significantly in the past few years are suffering a blow. Have to minimize their expenditures or even close. Certainly hope that Kyoto will return to be busy, but also hope I will be able to go and visit Kyoto without standing in line.
If previous series showed a vanquished enemy(?) forcing himself to do the dogeza while over-acting, this season introduced a new concept of a forced dogeza.
Story is not important, but Hanzawa was asked to do a dogeza to save the bank. He obviously refused, being the symbol of justice and not giving up to corruption. And then we got one of the most ridiculous scenes I have seen on TV; His colleague (Superior) trying to force Hanzawa Naoki to do the Dogeza.
After 11 years in Japan , I still do not understand the importance or weight of the 土下座 (Dogeza). Someone lies, cheats but it is so difficult to do the Dogeza, to humiliate yourself in front of ours. To me and my culture there is no importance or meaning to that. I can do dogeza 100 times and still not feel humiliated or that I lost something doing it.
Or is it that a culture that uses “sorry” very often, requires something more symbolic of expressing “one is really sorry”.
Looks good. Although I improved significantly in design and implementation, I still make careless mistakes. Probably due to the fact I create Lather crafts for myself, and also because I get tired during the process.