10 Japanese Travel Tips for Visiting America
(Some also applicable to Singaporeans)
This is the kind of advice the Japanese give to their own countrymen on American culture. The article was written by Therese Oneill.
However we can also extract some that are related to Singapore:
1. There is a thing called “Dinner Plates.” And what goes on them is a mighty disappointment.
American food is flat to the taste, indifferent in the subtle difference of taste. There is no such thing there as a little “secret ingredient.” Sugar, salt, pepper, oils, and routine spices are used for family meals. There is no such thing as purely U.S. cuisine, except the hamburger, which isn’t made at home so much. There is almost nothing special to eat based on the different seasons of the year. Basically, they like sweet, high fat, high calories things.
2. Beware Rough Areas Where the Clothes Demand Attention
The entire United States does not have good security, unfortunately. However, the difference between a place with good regional security and a “rough area” is clear. People walk less, there is a lot of graffiti, windows and doors are strictly fitted with bars. And young people are dressed in hip hop clothes that say “I want you to pay attention to me!”
3. But You’ll be Pleasantly Surprised by American Traffic Patterns.
Manners with cars in America are really damn good. Japanese (Singapore) people should be embarrassed when they look at how good car manners are in America. You must wait whenever you cross an intersection for the traffic light. People don’t get pushy to go first. Except for some people, everyone keeps exactly to the speed limit. America is a car society, but their damn good manners are not limited to cars.
10. But darn it all, they’re so weirdly optimistic you just can’t stay irritated at them.
In Japan (Singapore), there is great fear of failure and mistakes in front of other people. It is better to do nothing and avoid being criticised than to taste the humiliation of failure. As a result, there are things we wanted to do, but did not, and often regret.
In America, you can make mistakes, fail, and it doesn’t matter. It is a fundamental feeling that to sometimes be incorrect is natural. In addition, rather than thinking about mistakes and failures, American’s have curiosity and say, “Let’s try anyway!”
Source: 10 Japanese Travel Tips for Visiting America by Therese Oneill