Unfortunately laptop is still in service (they had to order some special parts from the U.S.
It might be ready by Friday), so in the meantime, list of things I do like and things I don’t…
- Transport – perfectly organized, trains are always on time (but once my train was late about 10 minutes, it was around midnight – i heard that if some accident happens they delay all following trains, so they get delayed but still perfectly synchronized with each other for easy transfers).Transfers – if we are taking express train but have to leave at station where express does not stop, then we have local train waiting for us to transfer.
Gates at stations – so smart…, I actually use prepaid card with about 5000JPY on it. When the card is almost empty (especially when the amount is not sufficient to even enter through the gate) i buy a new prepaid card and put BOTH cards into the gate, it is so smart that can calculate which amount to get from expiring card and remaining from new card.
Gates again – if someone before me leaves their ticket in the gate, and I insert mine, the previous ticket hides inside (probably in a built-in trash can).
- It is very hard to get lost (especially when you lived in Poland) – everything is marked very precisely, exits on train stations are numbered – it is always written which exits lead to where. All you need is to carefully look around.
- Convenient stores, so called Convini or Kombini – 24/7 shops, where we can buy almost everything necessary. It replaces our small kiosks and other shops, often they have ready to eat food like at gas stations, it is even possible to buy ready-made dinner and they ask if i want it hot , want hashi (chopsticks) and hand tissue, every drink gets a straw included (even milk).
- Nothing gets lost. I figured out that i lost my gaijincard, i didn’t even notice that fact of losing it, someone called my office and told that i can receive it on 5th floor reception of nearby store. Losing such card is not so funny, i heard that one can even get bank debit using it…
- No need for umbrella, if it is raining then i take any umbrella from nearby umbrella stand, when it stops raining i can put umbrella back to any other stand…
- Vending machines – with drinks, cigarettes, soups and even ones that take food orders and gives out a ticket which is further exchanged for ordered food.
Most of those machines speak Japanese. Some speak Japanese and English.
- Tissues – instead of advertising leaflets they give people tissues with ads. Perfect and useful idea.
- It is warm – average 5 to 15 degrees Celsius in December!. Unfortunately because of high humidity temperature seems to be much higher.
- Wasabi paste – right amount of it really helps with eating even the least tasty food, and food taste here is very diversified.
- We do not speak your language :-( . Japanese do not speak English, those who do – aren’t very fluent. They do study English at schools but they don’t really need it and don’t use it
and they are ashamed when it comes to say anything.
- Japanese are brutal sometimes, yesterday i almost got smashed by one man while i was turning right on footwalk, in trains it’s even worse, they cram just to get into the train.
- Also in trains – there are well marked seats for disabled, elderly, women with children etc. (even phones should be turned off nearby) – NOBODY obeys this.
- Samurai country – once upon a time, in a train, crowd was so-so, one seat was free, a couple gets in (i don’t know if they were married or not), who sits on that seat? – MAN – even i my weird country man would let a woman sit, but not here…, Also, going through the doors it is a woman that let’s man go first.
- Trash cans – here really are no trash cans, it takes a while to find any – usually at nearby convenience store.
- Travel cost is very expensive – everyday to work and back i spend 1000 JPY which is about 25 PLN (9 USD) (in Poland I could afford a taxi for this much).
- No night trains, if one wants to party there are two options – either finish around 11.30 PM or party all night long, waiting for first train around 5 AM.