Hi! I’m Cindy.
The other day I got off the phone in Indonesia and my mother told me that I had been bowing as I said goodbyes and thank yous. She looked at me in amusement and I was confused myself. Why would I bow when the person is not in front of me?
“I think I’m turning Japanese, I really think so….. “ A lyric from a pop song from the early 1980s I knew.I also find myself starting any request with the words ‘sorry, I know you are very busy but……….’or asking somebody at first with ‘sumimasen’. Phrases that ate not usually necessary in my own language. I was surprised when I got very upset or annoyed if a shop assistant tells me something without saying “I am sorry but…..” or in Japanese “申し訳ありませんが….”
I was actually putting the burnable and non-burnable rubbish seperately and fold some empty milk cartons before throwing them to the bins in Indonesian where I don’t have to do it whenever I go back home. Not feeling scared or worried about getting robbed whenever I left my phone and a bag for a while in the restaurants. I always felt unsafe about my things when I was in Indonesia, but not anymore.
Everything changes without you noticing it. But there are some customs I wish I could acquire such as Japanese patience. I could not possibly wait silently to taste a popular matcha tiramisu at Kyoto for 3 hours.