Some small differences I noticed since last time. Figured I would make a mini list. Some I have already know, but maybe other people don't, so I've mentioned them anyway. *^^*
- Going out to drink.
In Japan there is a lot more eating involved and you would usually go to an Izakaya, verses in the states it involves drinking and probably just that (if you are going to a pub or like a bar. Irish pubs are my favorite. ^^ Country bars? Not so much . . . ). Oh! And talking super loud! That's the best part! Or if you are going to a sports bar, then you're probably a guy (girls come too but it's mostly guys) talking with other guys about the american football game on the 10 TV they provide, or a baseball game, and then cheering or booing all together.
I've only been to one Izayaka so far. I SAW another one, but it seemed like that theme: chatting it up with someone while you drink and eat. There's food in US pubs and bars but it's mostly fried food or something to eat really quick (to supplement the drink).
In Puerto Rico, it's like drinking and dancing, and it's common to bar hop since there can be like 10 bars all on the same street.
- After the day is done
In Japan: go out. Izakaya or just something you and your friends like.
In US: go home, go sleep. 'Nuff said.
- Summer heat
This one really depends on the person I believe, no matter where you are. For me, heat is my friend. No. Change that. Heat is my lover essentially. I LOVE HEAT! My curly hair looks amazing and I don't need much clothes (don't need them), and I'm all prepared to have the sun soak my skin in the warmness and bake like a fish. Give me 15 minutes and I have already tanned.
Most people complain about it. "Oh my gosh it's so hot!!!! I can't deal with this."
- Crowded Trains
In Japan: It's not that bad since most people ignore your presence or are reading like. . . . a hentai manga (porno looking-manga) and he treats it as if he's reading the newspaper or something. Nobody looks you in the eye, so it's like being in a small closet full of coats. Coats that just finished work and probably are elbowing you all over the place.
People in US just don't encounter this at all. They're even very cautious of standing too close to you in the train (if you do stand).
Japan: (Tokyo) People stand on the left side. LITERALLY they will stand there. I barely saw anyone walking up an escalator. (Kyoto) People stand on the right side. You'll see people walking too.
US: you stand on the right side. people are always walking on the left side. it's an escalator . . .you become impatient when you can just walk. . .
Japan: (Tokyo) (I'm not sure about other places yet.) You park your car with the tail inside the parking space first. Pretty much all the time.
US: both ways to park are used, although parking with the front and not the tail seems to be the more popular choice.
- Vending Machines
US: Hardly any. Always inside buildings and limited choices (junk food or soda, sometimes other drinks). Pay for it, and walk away. Maybe start drinking or eating on your way walking to wherever you're gonna go. Always inside a building.
Japan: All kinds of stuff! Once I saw a banana vending machine. You WILL see them everywhere. Even on a mountain, on the side of a temple. It's gonna be there. Many times you'll see someone just drinking whatever they bought at the side of that vending machine. Everywhere (inside buildings, and the most random street in the middle of rice fields you can think of).
US: they're everywhere. But there's a lack of recycle bins. . .
Japan: they're hard to find. you will carry your own trash with you, and many times you'll just have to wait until you're at a bathroom, or wait until you go back home.
US: they're huge and they even provide "LARGE PRINT". they can be supper thick or thin, and almost always are bigger than your hand.
Japan: almost always about the size of your hand and thin. I haven't seen any japanese novel that is thick thus far (comparing with US novels). And you can choose to have a paper wrapping around the cover if you pay for it so no one knows what you are reading.
- Revealing Clothes
US: having short-shorts or mini-skirts, pants, whatever that are waaayyy too high can be considered revealing. Some people also feel younger girls these days wear tops that are too tight and/or reveal their breasts too much.
Japan and South Korea: it's ok to wear that mini-skirt or high shorts, but apparently showing the slightest cleavage is a big no no.
- Speakin' In Subways
US: it's ok to talk in the train or in a subway or in a bus. There are some designated times when within the day where people expect you to stay quiet (like if you are in a train full of working people at 7am, you shouldn't really talk that much), but as long as you are not totally loud and annoying EVERYONE it's totally ok to talk (whether the person is there with you or you are talking on the phone).
Japan: it's better to just not talk. If someone calls you, you should quietly whisper to them that you're on the train and will call them later (while covering your mouth. . . .yea. . .like I REALLY didn't see you talking :P). Sometimes you can, but it's not usual.
This goes for every country. We love it when a foreigner takes the time to learn "our" language, and it's looked as something polite and generous. Not doing so and expecting everyone to speak the foreigners language is just rude, no matter what country you are. So learn the language! Don't be a biatch. :P
US: people hide it, or at least think they are hiding it. (they REALLY try to hide the fact that they are staring at some girl or just random stranger.)
Japan: depending where you are (and who you are), most people won't hide it. For example, if you're in Kyoto and you're a foreigner, people won't hide the fact that they're staring at you like the new animal in the zoo. Say cheese! :D But usually if you're a girl and a guy is staring at you, they try to hide it (but not as much as in US).
Puerto Rico and Mexico: if you are a girl, you will be stared at! And men have no shame in letting YOU AND EVERYONE ELSE know that they are staring at you! Seriously, no joke. Don't feel uncomfortable. Think of it as you are the goddess walking on this earth whose beauty can only be admired by everyone. :P On the other hand, if you are a foreigner, nobody really cares. Unless it's like a little kid and they're thinking "omygosh it's an american!!!! they're so tall!!! why are they so tall?!!". But they know not to shout this in the air for everyone to hear.
Yes, driers. Dryers? Driers? Hahahaha.
US: people use them to dry pretty much everything.
Puerto Rico: depends on the family, but we almost always hang up our clothes to dry. You'll probably use a drier just to dry bed covers or something like towels.
Japan: no driers.