#199 Culture and perception

Taking a short break from my kitchen timer session by blogging here. I have been speaking to my colleagues quite often recently and I have observed that there’s really something like ‘Japanese perceptions’/’Japanese way of thinking’. Ok, it obviously exists, but it’s just that recently I have been feeling it stronger than last time. It’s probably cause I have been thinking more into things and that I am going into my ‘rebellious’ mode where I just judge everything that is different from me. But anyway, there were 2 conversations I had that left very deep impressions me.

The first one was when I asked my colleague about the newcomer who was entering the department in June cause the newcomer is his lab junior. So I was asking like what kind of person he is and my colleague replied that his junior has a gf. So I was like ‘huh?’ (what’s the link between what kind of person he is and him having a gf???) and he told me that since the junior has a gf, he should be a normal guy. And I was like oh I see. In Japan, it’s like a norm for people my age to have a gf/bf, so if you don’t have one, they see it as either you just broke up or you are just too weird to get one. And in my case, I think I am being judged for being the latter. Lol. It’s really amazing how most people around me are attached. (But come to think of it my sg friends are mostly attached too lol.)

The second one was when I told my mentor I wasn’t going to the drinking party (nomikai) and he started interrogating me about why I wasn’t going and preaching me about how I should not skip nomikais (cause they are so goddamn impt in his opinion). He started saying about how people will start thinking what’s wrong with me (and to make it not so harsh he said people will start worrying about me (like wtf he think I 3 year old kid what people worry about me <- sorry a bit too emotional here)) if I keep skipping those nomikais. To them, not attending nomikais (even with a(n effing) valid reason) = something wrong and it’s amazing how they cannot think that there might be a possibility of someone not liking nomikais. I was ranting about this to my sg friend (who also works in a Japanese firm) and she told me that she faced a similar situation today at work. #woesofagaijinworkinginjapan

I would like to emphasize the fact that we are not obliged to attend outings after work cause those outings are not listed in our job scope. If it’s a must, please write it down in black and white and don’t expect me to ‘read the air’ or ‘teamplay’ or whatever they like to call that.

Luckily instead of getting angry at such frustrating situations (I mean the second one cause I have no probs at all with the first one), I get my dose of amusement from them. #becoolandtreatthemasjokes



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