No seriously. Don’t hug anyone here.
I tried. And it was a disaster. See, in America, I hug basically everyone I consider a friend when departing. Here, they don’t hug you, they bow or wave. No touchy. No touchy!!!!!
First time I tried to hug someone it was my, go figure, host mom, when she walked me to campus the first day, and it was the most awkward moment of my life. She didn’t know what to do with her arms, I retracted mine, then felt that because I had already made the attempt I had best go through with it, kind of like got my hands on her shoulders and then pressed away… lots of “oh” and “wha” and “sorry”s were exchanged. It was… horrible.
And just yesterday I was saying goodbye to a recently acquired Japanese friend and I went in for the hug, she had her arms out for a wave, and I was like, oh wait, retracted awkwardly, walked away.
Lesson learned: DO. NOT. HUG. ANYONE.
I hugged my American friend goodbye and it’s starting to feel weird because no one here does that at all, they just bow… argh!
The streets here are pretty tiny, but every car I’ve seen has been new and in pristine condition. I note these two seemingly unrelated things because in every tiny road there is usually a hoard of pedestrians (because sidewalks don’t really exist here) en route to somewhere, and no one gets hit, and the cars don’t ram into one another. I haven’t seen a single accident occur and the cars are shiny, smooth, undamaged.
I’m sure you’ve seen or heard about those super kawaii chicks in Japan in Tokyo who just bro around looking like they’re ready for Paris runways or a tv show. Well let me tell you something - they’re everywhere. Not just in Tokyo. I have never been anywhere where the citizens are well dressed at all times. Boys and girls both, but the girls especially. Dresses all the time. Curled hair, perfect makeup, heels (on campus, at work, walking to the store, on the train, etc.), skirts, high socks, tights, jewelry, Coach bags. Classy stuff right here. Wearing jeans makes you different (if you’re a girl). I wore a tank top the other day and a guy said, “Your tank top! Super cool!” Apparently, I am edgy here. I thought it was because they don’t show their shoulders, but I think I’m wrong… i saw a woman wearing a dress with cutoff sleeves on tv so…