Saturday, October 1, 2011

Transportation Etiquette

I haven't done much besides class and homework during the past two days. My Japanese class has enough homework to make up for the lack of homework in my other two classes so I'm always busy. On Friday evening, most of the BCA students went out to eat and went to karaoke as a sort of going away party for Teresa, who is going home early on Monday. Nothing particularly interesting happened, but I was glad I went anyway. Today (Saturday) there was a lunch with all the host families and students at the college. Overall it was pretty normal and at the end we all went around and introduced ourselves yet again and said a little about how stuff was going with our host families while the host parents said how it was going with their students. Yosuke Nagashima helped translate back and forth so everyone could understand.

So for something unrelated to that, how about some information on Japanese transportation? Subways are pretty easy to navigate, you just find where you want to go on the map and put in the correct amount of money for how many stops it is from your starting point. If you mess up, you can adjust it later. On the subways, everyone is usually very quiet and there are signs requesting that you set your cell phone to "manner mode" (silent) and not talk on them on the subway. For that matter, people are pretty quiet when just walking from place to place too. And I think it might be against the law to smoke and walk, but I'm not sure about that. In the morning and evening the public transportation is often very crowded. Some subways also have women only cars, I believe because of instances of inappropriate touching and harassment. Such behavior isn't appropriate by Japanese standards either, but it is kind of odd that in such a polite society, groping incidents are common enough to note. Other BCA students were saying that Japanese guys often don't treat their girlfriends particularly well either, but I'm only getting that information second hand and haven't witnessed it myself. I never know if I should ignore the bad things or write about them too. I don't want to offend any Japanese readers, but I do want to give everyone else an accurate view. Japan is pretty cool but it's not perfect, as is every country (some more than others).

Anyway, enough of the negative stuff. For the most part, Japanese people are very polite in every circumstance. It's quite an interesting thing to see actually.

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