- individual achievement
- material success
- group orientation
My cousins sees their warped faces on photobooth for the first time.
Go to WalMart (or any super market In America for that matter) and you’ll find that there are so many cereals available to choose from. Lucky me, I love cereal, so I have fun trying many of them.
But I finally found my favorite:
Great Value Bran Flakes Cereal
Whole grain wheat cereal
Yeah.. I know that the uninteresting brown color and the healthy-looking-ness of it is going to turn a lot of you off. But before you completely walk away, let me show you what I like about it.
Well, besides the high-fructose corn syrup (which I try to avoid), I think it is worth trying.
If you don’t like it, no problem! There are hundreds of other options!
And with so many options, it wouldn’t be a surprise if my “favorite cereal” changed again in a couple months!
I have lived in Japan for almost a year and have had many opportunities to meet new people. I have noticed that people tend to ask me the same same questions over and over again. I can only say these questions are asked to gaijin teenagers because that is what I am. I can’t speak for you adults going on business trips, sorry! (Maybe in a few years!)
Here are the top six.
Do You Like Japan?
At first I thought this was a silly question for people to ask me. Of course I like Japan! That’s why I’m here. Oh well, this question just gives us another chance to express it even more. It’s nice to give specifics rather than just a general “yes”.
Yes! I love Japan! ..especially the convenient store rice balls. I ate one for the first time today and it was delicious.
Where Are You From?
If you are from a super unique country (basically anywhere besides America, China, or Korea) then answer with pride and they will all say “kakkoii~~” and think you are so cool. If you’re from America, just tell them which state you come from because saying “America” is just to general. (example: アメリカのミシシピ州/amerika no mishishipi shuu). be prepared to draw a map of America in the air and point to precisely where you’re from. Also, it won’t hurt to know all the states around you because they will likely ask. Most people really want a good idea of where you are from geographically. On the other hand, there are people who ask you what state you are from just to be able to tell you what state they have been to themselves. ;)
“どこから来られましたか？” Where are you from?
“ アメリカのミシシピ州です。” The state of Mississippi in America.
“ 私ワシントンにいったことがありますよ！” I have been to Washington!
“ え〜、そうですか。ワシントンD.C.？ワシントン州？” Oh, is that so. Washington, DC or Washington, the state?
“ はい、ワシントン 。” Yes, Washington.
。。。. . .
(Maybe she didn’t know that there were two Washington’s or I made her nervous. Either way, way cute. )
Why Did You Come to Japan?
Be prepared to give a good answer for this one. Not just “I’m an exchange student” or “vacation” or “for a gap year”. Give them more. Some Japanese people have no idea how we have this fascination with their culture and language. Maybe they won’t completely understand your interests and passions but they will be flattered to hear about it.
“ha~wa~yu~” or “How are you?”
Most of the time this is a question asked by random people who just want to practice English with you. It is amazing how many people just walk up to me and start speaking English without knowing I am from America. I always thought that I looked more Japanese than anything, but apparently not. I also noticed that most students are taught to answer “I’m fine, and you?” So depending on their level, they might be thrown back if you say “mighty fine, how ‘bout yourself?” or something kind of unusual like that. :)
Most people who meet you will want to know what kind of relationship you are in. But it is basically only the younger kids (younger in age OR spirit) who will ask you up front. When they ask you, they might stick up their pinky as if they want to give you a pinky promise, but that is just a gesture that means “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”. I have never had a boyfriend myself so unfortunately, I don’t know what kind of reaction I would get if I said yes. :P
Can you eat Natto?
or wasabi or sashimi or anko or anything else that is uniquely Japanese. Of course, answer if you can or can’t or haven’t had the chance. But the interesting part comes when you ask them if they like it themselves. You’ll be surprised at how many Japanese people don’t like the food they are encouraging you to eat! XD
Have fun in Japan all you teenage gaijin! (^_-)☆
If you have no clue what natto (納豆) is, I will leave it up to the rest of the internet to teach you. For the dry basic explanation: nattō (納豆) is sticky, stinky, fermented soybeans that have a very strong taste and unfamiliar texture which can be off-putting to Western palates. It’s worth trying at least once, though. But do not make the mistake of eating it plain, straight out of the package.
I think that the reason why I always hated nattō (納豆) is because I ate it like that. ⤴
Now I love nattō (納豆)! Here is how I like to eat 納豆:
Did you memorize the kanji characters for NATTŌ ?
I’m just preparing you for the next time you have the chance to buy some!