The difference between exchange students and Japanese students


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When I was a university student, I have interacted with some exchange students. One day, I was talking with an American student in a room. Suddenly, a cleaner entered the room and the American student kind of tried to hold her bag soon after that. Honestly, I thought “He won’t steal your bag….”.

However, maybe I can relate to her. I have been to some countries. Before that, I left my bag on the chair in restaurants or IZAKAYA (bars) when I went to the restroom. But now, I have to take my bag with me when I go to the restroom. I know two Japanese who were born and raised in Japan and have stayed in the U.S.A. Both of them said the same thing.

Actually, people in Japan can be careless about their bags. I had an opportunity to talk with a British lady who had stayed in Thailand. She said “Japanese tourists in Thailand walk around, using an iPad. That’s stupid.”. Also, when I said to a Serbian person “Many Japanese people including myself sleep on trains.”, she asked me if nobody steals my stuff.

By the way, “I lost my wallet in Japan, but I got a call from the police …. someone took it to the police station….” this topic was hot for some time. Maybe many Japanese will take it to the police station when they pick up someone’s stuff. However, not all Japanese do that because when my friend left his iPhone, not in, but on the locker in the public bath, someone took it.

(In Japan, some people don’t hold the door open for others. Also people don’t let women get out of the elevator first. Those who are closer to the door get off first. These might be what exchange students find strange.)

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