Russian life is like in Japan
What surprises people from Russia, when he finds himself in the Land of the Rising Sun? Shares his experience Hope Kazulin, who has two years living in Japan.
"In Russia, the cold and drink a lot of vodka, right?" - most likely, this is the first and often the last thing you'll hear from the Japanese about Russia. At acquaintance will ask you where you come from and why they had come to Japan. At the same time, despite the proximity of the countries, knowledge of the Japanese themselves about Russia really is almost exhausted and cold vodka. It is almost impossible to convince people that you have a little drink - Russian to drink a lot. One Japanese friend once confessed that all his life thought that Moscow in the Urals - the capital of the same should be approximately in the middle of the country, is not it? But there are exceptions. One day I was in the mood to dance on the concert in a club. Japanese people from the audience shouted: "Pies," "Matryoshka" and "Good-bye!". Rare artist gets such support!
The country dwarfs
My height - six meters. All my life I was very little: in school, in college, at work. I rarely jump to the handrails on the subway, and to the kitchen shelves with friends I can only get out of his chair, like a child who reaches for candy. Only in Japan suddenly everything was in my size! Small streets, small cars, small houses, in houses small tables and chairs, carriages in the metro not so small, but I can hold on to the handrail, without straining. No longer need to lift my head up in conversation - the average height of the people here only five centimeters above mine. - Why are you like a bit of a little afraid of foreigners? - I asked a friend in college.
- Well, listen, - she said - okay even you, you are nothing to worry about and talking. But actually, they're huge! All of enormous size, so even with a bunch of muscle! Anyone scared!
The language issue - is not the last in the list. Most Japanese learn English at school, ten years, and almost no one can speak freely. Mysteriously Japanese pozhivshie abroad at least a year, communicate without problems, but others firmly believe that the Japanese learn English due to the uniqueness of the native language can not. The answer is, probably not in the complexity of the Japanese, and in the school curriculum: memorization of words and grammar, cramming for tests, and almost no speaking practice. Plus, the general perception of Japan as a little separate world, where selected in a huge and terrible abroad and especially do not need, do not add motivation. Get ready for the fact that some Aboriginal people will run away and hide from you simply because they do not speak in English!
Not only our language difficulties - so no, there is also cultural. In Russia, a lot of places, people, small, convenient waving his arms or move to Siberia, if that. Fields, open spaces!
Japan's population differ from the total to twenty million. And the whole crowd is placed on a few small islands, which also have been closed for a long time from foreigners - not going anywhere, we have to learn to live together. Japanese politeness at first seems surreal. Starting from virtually, according to our notions of flattery in everyday conversation, continuing lengthy tirades and expressions like "sir" in banks and hotels, and ending with the most uncomfortable for us - it is impossible to get a straight clear answer to many questions. In particular, direct refusal. The Japanese will tell you that you have an incredibly beautiful dress color and styling today is particularly successful, but how do you say in Japanese - well better their own right! And about your request, they will think tomorrow. Try to ask again tomorrow - oh, something went rain, a bit later we decide. There is still different complexity, you know ... For weeks, you can engage in productive dialogue, but a direct "no" you do not have to wait. By contrast, most of the foreigners seem to be the Japanese are extremely rude. Here are picked up, I got up and went to where he should not bow, do not look around - will not cause any chance someone uncomfortable, did not apologize, just in case. Straight says that like and what not! How is that possible!
Overpopulation - a harsh thing, that's what.
"Gambarimas" can not be translated into Russian, and other languages are not Japanese too. "Try your best!" And "Good luck!" In Japanese, expresses the same word. As it is put in our heads, in which success seems primarily magic carpet, cloth on the ground, self-propelled oven with a supply of cakes and gray wolf, doing all the work for the hero? Nothing. The descendants of the samurai feel the need to try my best in everything. Effort - the highest value, is more important than the result.
Work in the traditional Japanese company is able to bring anyone to distraction. The effectiveness of staff in most firms are not determined by the results of his work and the time he spends in the workplace, and the degree of fatigue in the facial expression. A certain logic in this, of course, is present - but in reality, in many companies employees pants sit in front of monitors with a serious face, struggling to three hours to perform a ten-volume work. As in the "Formula of Love":
- The cart can fix?
- One day I will!
- A five?
- difficult, sir. But if you try, you can, and five ...
- And for ten days?
- Well, sir, there is time to not cope. Assistant needed. - Take an assistant!
In our culture, with a focus on the result, how much effort you have invested for the most part no one cares. In Japan, the process is important - in many places, degenerates into a demonstration of force, instead of real work. But we must recognize that the horrors of the approach for the most part appear exactly at the offices of: paper, decisions, correspondence. Japanese workers, cooks, repairmen, electricians delicious. No crooked Hanged eaves, peel off wallpaper, crumbling asphalt. All will be aligned to the millimeter and completed to the last screw. Gambarimas.
Who is the last?
Another amazing thing - the queue. Not in the sense of Soviet-era queues for bread and milk, of course. Go to the full shock of most foreigners, the Japanese built carefully before train doors before the escalators, stairs, walkways. A crowd of people in the Tokyo subway in fact highly organized - marked all the places on the platform where the train stops and people carefully constructed in anticipation of, go in the car one by one and do not overtake each other. The arrows again marked by the same passages on the stairs up and down so that streams are not mixed. On escalators, too, no one is trying to slip early, all are neat column or two, "stand on the right, pass on the left."
One day I flew to Japan via Shanghai. In the waiting room to distinguish the Japanese from the Chinese is not so easy, but once declared fit, the nation divided, like water and oil. The Chinese have fled the crowd, pushing and shoving, the Japanese immediately lined up in a column. And it would seem, is the same in Asia. Apart from the metro, there are queues at the cafe. It is worth to some place to get into the transmission on TV or something more successfully advertise - Japanese go there all at once. We have a fashion in clothes, as in Japan, there is a style to the field. Often, a few minutes walk to several restaurants, and often worse, but it is important to get the right place now, "go all". Before entering the restaurant put benches and hang waiting list, and sometimes people wait for hours to eat lunch is especially fashionable. Build, of course, all in the same neat place.
"protruding nails hammer"
Famous Japanese proverb suggests that Japan - not very convenient country for white crows. Collective values is more important than the individual, and if you are very different from others, you will try to bring to a common denominator anyway. Linguistically again one and the same word is expressed by "different" and "incorrect". Fit into the team is more important than to develop personal talents and personality. Personal freedom in general a little - for the most part determined by the requirements of the life of society: family, work, everyday environment.
Career as a whole is organized quite tough: to get a good job, you need to complete one of several well-known institutions, and to go to them, you need to get in front of this associated with them to school - to bypass this sequence is almost impossible. Abrupt changes of specialty, jumps from one activity to another - all this is difficult, almost impossible. The life of the average Japanese resembles the movement of the train on the tracks. Of course, there are exceptions. There are artists, designers, there are small private companies and studios, where the rules are his and the air more - otherwise how could we live here? But at six in the evening in downtown Tokyo, when a crowd poured out of skyscrapers absolutely identical office workers in suits, with me still happen panic attack. And I'm running in the streets, where people do not earn that much and do not take serious decisions, but they look and dress differently, laughing loudly and are not afraid of foreigners.
A foreigner you are not cease to be never - being in a way that very black sheep.