WEIRD foreigners: What shocks Japanese when dealing with foreigners

WEIRD foreigners: What shocks Japanese when dealing with foreigners


I thought he wanted money and so I looked away. And then ran away. I thought kangaroos are violent creatures… I did hear that they are slack about timekeeping. But I was surprised how bad it was. Hey guys and girls on Ask Japanese, it’s Cathy Cat. We went to the streets of Tokyo and asked Japanese people, what surprised them about foreigners, live abroad, and foreign cultures. So let’s go and Ask Japanese. Have you ever been abroad? I have.
– Share where you went! I have been to the USA, the UK, France and a lot of places. I have also been to Germany… You went to Germany you said guuurl?
– Yes I said that. And Germany was totally your favorite country ever right? The best country was Germany. It was so beautiful. I swear I didn’t pay her to say that!!! I really like the beautiful brick streets… Just walking on those streets made me happy. You haven’t been abroad?
– Not yet. Have you sometimes spoken with foreigners? In our English classes in school, we would sometimes get teachers… who come from a different country. I am no good with English though… When you went abroad what was your “Wow that’s shocking” moment? When I went on the train, a person suddenly started to sing. I was like “WHAT?” Which country did that happen in? That was in France. I went on the French metro… and was shocked that someone started singing on the train. I was surprised that was legal. I was surprised to hear that. Did he sing or did he ask for money afterwards? I thought he wanted money so, I looked down… and then I ran away. You thought he wanted money from you? I thought that yes… I mean I had to listen to it, but I tried to look to the floor. Have you had surprising moments, when speaking with foreigners? Foreigners are surprisingly good at Japanese. Maybe it was because they were teachers but when I didn’t understand anything… they would explain it well in Japanese to me. Even though it was an English class, they would teach me in Japanese. I was surprised that they were so good at speaking my language. Another shock was, that I won’t get free bags when shopping… That was probably in Germany…………… I think it was Germany or Austria…. I saw people put items into their own bags and realized I needed to bring my own. That’s why we have so many popularly printed eco bags! I was surprised that those eco bags were actually needed. I started bringing my own from then. Well done girl! 5 Stars!
– Thank you. What surprised you the most in Germany? Since I am German, I wanna hear about that the most. What surprised me? The potatoes were bouncy. I thought they were tasty but the bouncyness was surprising. Have you been abroad? I have. Where did you go? I went to Australia for one year. You went there for a long time.
– I did. And have you been abroad? I want to but I haven’t been yet. Where would you like to go to? The UK or Chile. And totally Germany. What? Uh… Totally Germany…. Totally …… Germany. What has surprised you in Australia? There is nothing on the train platforms in Australia. You mean you can just get on the trains without barriers? – Yeah. What about the tickets?
– You buy them on the train. That was shocking. Is there a machine on the train? Or staff? There is a machine inside the train where you buy tickets. Did Australia live up to your expectations? I used to think that kangaroos are violent. I thought they would punch out people. But in real life, they were all sleeping. They looked so relaxed. Did you try and eat kangaroo meat? I didn’t eat kangaroos. But they were selling Kangaroo Jerky in stores. Unfortunately. That shocked you? It shocked me.
– You didn’t feel curious to try it? Ok I was a little curious. But I couldn’t eat it after seeing real kangaroos, cause they were so cute. You’re cute, I won’t eat you. Talking with foreigners here or seeing them portrayed on TV, what surprised you or what’s different? They know more about my favorite anime than me! – Yeah they totally do! In Australia, the teachers who teach Japanese language knew so much about our shrines. I was so surprised to hear that they knew even things I didn’t know. They all knew more details?
– Yes! Anime like One Piece and Naruto… foreigners know more about those than me… I met one who knew more about One Piece than me… He knew so much about Japanese anime, that was pretty impressive. You thought you knew a lot about One Piece, but actually there are more facts? It was like that. He taught me about background settings and such… I thought “wow he knows a lot.”
– Who was that? A friend from university who was a foreigner. I could tell he loves One Piece but I felt like a rival, and that I can’t loose to him! You wanted to find out more details too?
– Yeah. Have you ever been abroad? We have.
– Both of you? We have.
– Where did you go? I went to Taiwan, Bali and Oregon. I went to Guam and China. Did you see anything like “oh no way” or “oh wth” there? In Taiwan, you can’t flush toilet paper in the toilet. WHAT? That was a real culture shock.
– Was it everywhere like that? In beautiful hotels it was ok to flush but in school…. and public toilets, you have to throw it in a bin. That was a big shock. Did you have to carry toilet paper around or was there some there? I always carried tissues with me. Without them, would you have been in trouble?
– Big trouble. When I was in China, the taxi driver was ill tempered and kept pushing the car horn. Like “beepbeepbeep”
– All the way. Especially at crossing he would keep pushing it the whole time. Sounds like the inside of the car was rather noisy then too. It was so noisy in there. Generally Japanese people drive with both hands on the steering wheel. Chinese however, all have one thumb on the car horn. Do they just leave their thumb on it non stop for ten minutes? – Nonono. That would be too much, but they still do it a lot. Beep beep beep? Was there a lot of traffic? Yes a lot. Also there are so many people crossing the streets. I first went to Oregon. What surprised you there? I have heard that people are slacking with time. But I was surprised just how tardy people are. How tardy were they? Any situation? When going to school, I have to go on the highway. But when leaving the house, we would already be 10 minutes late. And the watch in the house was wrong too! That watch was late too. I ended up being 20 minutes late for school. And what did the teacher say? In Japan they are stricter right. If you are that late in Japan… people loose trust in you. I think so. I admired how free they could be with time. Those were our questions. Thank you. The trains have no barriers, there are random people who just start singing on the train these are a couple of things that surprised Japanese people. Also… eco-bags. It seems to be a thing that you have to carry a bag around abroad… I actually think that’s good. I have… often had the situation, when at the convenience store… I was like “no I don’t need the bag” so if they already pulled out the bag… They will then throw the bag in the trash and I am like…. NOOO that’s not what…. not what it’s supposed to… I am trying to save on plastic bags….. This is one of the things that happens sometimes when you’re here in Japan. The ECO-BAG isn’t quite there yet but some stores have actually started applying that. Some Japanese are also surprised that some foreigners know more about their culture than they thought they would. They might know more about your favourite anime/manga They might know more about other cultural aspects. I think that’s a part that Japanese people are very surprised about. I think it’s the same if people went up to me and knew more about…. German culture than I actually knew… I would be surprised but also feel kind of flattered and happy about that. So guys is there anything that surprises you about foreigners when they come to Japan or the other way around. Has anything surprised you when you went abroad, let us know… in the comments down below. If you are new, don’t forget to subscribe. If you have been with us,…. please give us a big like. Cause we need the like. Give us a like. I catch you soon for more stuff here from Tokyo with Ask Japanese. Bye!