Picking up the Good Parts

“I love Japan, it is a country of my dreams, even though I suffered a little in the first year after having too high of expectations. But when I went back to Thailand I felt that Japan is convenient, clean, and easy to live in some ways. Again it’s not all good like I dreamed there is some bad here, but I can pick the good parts up and use them while avoid the bad things.

“After going back to Thailand after living abroad, I realized there are good things and bad things compared to Japan. In Thailand the first good thing is that people are very kind and willing to help you without any benefit. But in Thailand sometimes we act without considering the consequences for others, for example dropping garbage on the street. I think Japanese people have in their mind that whatever they do is going to have an effect on others. That mindset is what I want Thai people to have. If we have that kind of mindset of considering others, it will help my country grow a lot.

“I think for me it may be easier to live in Japan than other foreigners because I look Asian. People treat me pretty well because I don’t stand out. But if I speak my own language sometimes they will notice that I am not Japanese and people will stare at me on the train, in the street, in the supermarket. Sometimes I get treated bad being a foreigner, even though it is very rare. In most cases people are kind and willing to help me. I used to run into bad cases and it bothered me a lot. For example, I went to a tour company to buy a ticket, yet because I cannot speak Japanese very well they didn’t help me out and didn’t treat me very nicely.

“I actually want to try living in Japan. I have only lived here one and half years as a student not as an employee. I have heard from many people that it’s very intense and exhausting but I want to experience that for myself and see if it is true or not. I want to try, but I don’t know if I can fit in. I also want to try living other countries.”
Reality bites

“I was born and raised in Bangkok. Since I was born, my father’s business was in trading auto parts. He had to come to Japan from time to time for his business so I had a connection with Japan since I was very young. When I went to junior high school I started watching Japanese drama. I liked the way the people acted and the culture. If you compare Thai and Japanese drama, in Thailand it’s usually about two girls fighting for men or for money, but Japanese drama is totally different. Japanese drama is a bit more complicated and sophisticated.

“I chose to study in Japan for my master’s degree because it’s my dream country since I was a kid. I came to Japan with high expectations and realized that too many expectations can kill joy. I thought I would make a lot of Japanese friends and go to Nomikais (drinking parties) but this was not the case my first year.

“Before I came to Tokyo I lived in Niigata for two months. It was an international English program. In that program I met a lot of Japanese people and could make friends because the school is very small, and you have no place to go. Here in Tokyo, there is much more to do but I prefer Niigata for friendships. There is not a barrier, people are willing to talk.”

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Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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