What’s Bizarre about Japan? 【英語長文練習】レベル：英検２級・TOEIC500点程度
When people talk about Japan, they would always think about how innovative and technological this country gets! Or how pretty and neat the country is! Last but not the least, fashion, Cosplay and hype beast were always a big thing in the city of Japan. Coming to Japan with the intention of tourism would have been a great experience. Different culture. You can find a lot of unique things they sell in Japan! But as you live in Japan, you interact with the locals and everything doesn’t seem the way you thought of Japan.
First thing I would like to discuss is how Japanese people are not flexible. They were taught to follow the rules and orders, which is good at some points but not so good at some points. There are always advantage and disadvantage. For example, when I crossed a small street, there were no cars at all, but people would choose to wait for the red lights to turn green. Since foreigners from all over the world start visiting Japan, Japanese people are much more open-minded. However, only certain elderly people would stare at you if you cross a small street with the red light. Not only about traffic light but customer services aren’t negotiable at times. We, as a customer need a flexibility. For example, in some restaurants we have our own positions and we are not allowed to take others. It’s great that we could focus more on our own jobs, but as the customers are waiting in lines, we should help out our teammates, but some of the staffs wouldn’t care.
Second, everybody who has their part-time jobs in a restaurant would have found out by now that Japanese restaurants love wasting all the clean leftover food. For instance, in Japan, they have different kinds of set meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As a restaurant, we need to prepare for breakfast, lunch and dinner set meals. If the meal we prepare for lunch hasn’t been sold out yet, the kitchen would definitely throw away all the leftover food after the lunch time ends. Why? Because they would like to have fresh food for the next day, not leftover food. It’s great but why not let us (staffs) eat the leftover stored in the refrigerator? I still can’t figure that out. It’s a waste of food. I know, Japan took really good care of the people so they won’t get food poisoning, but this is too much of a waste.
Many foreigners/ International students protested but no action being made. Many of us foreigners come to Japan to work and study, not to make a change in the Japanese culture or the laws. Japan is considered as one of the top countries in the world, compared to the country I was born. As Japan has much better laws, and how successfully well-developed Japan is proven, so we might have to learn on how Japanese do their jobs done.
- What are the two examples that the writer mentions as Japanese being not flexible?
- What did elderly people do when foreigners crossed the street with the red light?
- What does the writer suggest we do when your job at a restaurant doesn’t allow you to take orders from customers?
- What surprised the writer about the leftover food when working at a restaurant in Japan?
- Which of the following is the closest to the meaning of “bizarre”?
a) amazing b) strange c) surprising d) interesting
- People don’t cross the street with the red light even when there are no cars.
- They stared at the foreigners.
- They should help taking orders when customers are waiting.
- The fact that some restaurants throw away the clean leftover food.
My first train ride【英語長文練習】レベル：英検２級・TOEIC500点程度
My first train ride
Bicycles, motorcycles, personal cars, taxis, buses, donkeys and horses in the country side are the means of transportation I had ever used in Morocco before I moved to Japan. “Where are the trains, subways, tramways? ” is the question you might be asking yourself right now, right? Well, we do have some railway lines mostly connecting the big cities, so I didn’t have a chance to take a ride as I lived in a little town in the northeast of Morocco.
On the other hand, those trains were and still are so slow and not very punctual. That’s why I didn’t even think of trying them. Now we have the TGV (Train Grand Vitesse: High Speed train) though, so don’t worry if you’re planning to visit Morocco.
November the 2nd 2010 was the day I first stepped my foot in Japan. My wife met me at the airport. It was the time for me to take my first train ride since I was born. It was wonderful because it was my first ride and the scenery from the airport to our destination was astonishing, especially the Autumn colours. I still remember that like it happened yesterday.
A couple of years ago, I went back to Morocco and had a chance to ride a train for the first time, but this time in my home country. It was pretty comfortable but slow as hell.
Do you want to try trains in Morocco? As a Japanese you had better not unless you enjoy suffering hell. I’m a bit exaggerating, but I seriously don’t like them.
- Why wasn’t he able to travel by train in Morocco?
- What was bad about trains in Morocco?
- What part of his train journey in Japan was so good?
- What does the word “astonishing” mean?
- What is TGV the abbreviation for?
A) The Good Vehicle. B) To Go Vertical. C) Train Grand Vitesse. D) Trained Government Vehicle.
- He lived in a small town and trains mainly travelled to big cities.
- Slow and not punctual.
- The scenery with all the Autumn colours.
- “Astonishing” means amazing, very surprising or impressive.
- C)Train Grand Vitesse.
FRIENDSHIP: AUSTRALIA vs JAPAN【英語長文練習】レベル：英検準一級 TOEIC 700点
Since coming to Japan almost 2 years ago, I have noticed a large difference in interactions and socializing with friends, neighbours etc. There are many different aspects to this and to see how dissimilar the two cultures are in this subject is interesting to observe.
AUSTRALIA: In Australia, after work (usually around 5:30pm) I would call/message my friends and say that I will come over to visit for a few drinks, sometimes a meal with them and vice versa. Most of the time it was no problem and when it wasn’t ok, they would immediately ask if tomorrow is ok to visit them. There was barely any time during weeks where we wouldn’t see friends or neighbours and socialize. After having drinks and most often a meal as well, I would go home and go have drinks with my neighbours. Usually when I went to my neighbours they would have friends or other neighbours that we knew well and would drink and have a BBQ.
On the weekend there would always be the regular visiting friends, having drinks, BBQ and having the TV outside to watch while socializing. This was also the case with neighbours. You would walk to your neighbours, there would be a small to large gathering consisting of other neighbours or their friends and you would go there, start talking, drinking, BBQ, go to the pub together or watch sports on TV. The other thing we would do to each other is tease each other quite a lot but that’s what a normal thing to do as friends was.
JAPAN: I have always loved Japan, its people, food, culture and natural beauty as a country. As I started meeting people, it was a bit difficult being Australian as we are sometimes an overly friendly people in some cases (well maybe to Japanese people). I would meet people and greet them in the normal way I would greet people in Australia. This usually was saying “G’day mate! How are ya! Nice to meet you!” and because it was enthusiastically said, a lot of Japanese people were apprehensive about it. My wife advised me that I need to be not so overzealous with my approach. Anyway, when I contact my Japanese friends or speak to them face to face and say about meeting on the weekend or after work for a drink, they respond with I will message you or pull out their calendar. This happens a lot, then they go on to say how about in 3 weeks’ time or end of next month. It’s a bit like a restaurant but you make a reservation with friends for even an hour of time. It’s quite interesting. I have started forgetting what my friends here look like. I see them and think to myself you look vaguely familiar, do I know you from somewhere? Hahaha.
In finishing, I think that the differences between both Australia and Japan in this respect are quite opposite. I think that we underestimate the importance of friends and making time for them as they are a vital part of who we are and who we should be and I mean that for all people everywhere. Having friends you can see often is huge a benefit to us as people and helps you relax and reset from stresses in everyday life. Make time for your friends as you need them and they need you.
1) What aspect is the writer discussing in this article?
2) How often would Australian friends and neighbors meet?
3) What do Australians usually do when they meet?
4) How often would Japanese friends and neighbors meet?
5)In your opinion, why don’t Japanese meet that often?
6)What’s another word for “overzealous?” A: Offensive B: Passionate C: Talkative D: Rude
1)The difference of how we meet friends between Australia and Japan
2)They meet quite often both during the week and on weekends.
3-They usually have a drink, have a meal or a BBQ, and sometimes They go to the pub and watch sports on TV.
4)They would meet once a month, with arranging in advance.
5)e.g.*) They are busy with work and need to prepare something in order to meet their friends.