In the small chance that you noticed I don't blog here very often anymore, I'm extremely sorry.
My wonderful events has happened but other incidents took place too.
Being on exchange, is no holiday.
I knew that before coming here. I also learn to expect the unexpected.
However, I didn't expect to suck so much at being an exchange student.
I have my school, my host family and AFS having a bit of trouble with me.
I'm not such much drinking, smoking, hitch-hiking, taking drugs and lashing out at my host family.
I'm just too quiet.
Being too shy and quiet in real life, that's pretty okay.
As an exchange student, it could be misinterpreted as many, MANY, things.
For me, according to my current host family it means,
I'm rude (my timing for saying thank you and sorry are a bit rough and it is softly spoken),
I'm lying (I don't realize I was supposed to say something about stuff they want to hear thus I'm not lying but I'm not telling the truth either. I just didn't know I was supposed to bring it up),
I don't talk enough (it kinda hard to have a decent conversation when your my family is already grumpy and kinda completely hates me, a lot)
i don't smile enough (in such an miserable situation, how am I supposed to smile?)
I'm just so agonizingly introverted that they hate it.
I'm afraid of making mistakes, so I'm afraid of using Japanese in front of them. I am honestly using it, but mostly around people my own level of knowledge in speaking.
I admit with my first host family, I was a bit of a jerk but we ended on decently good terms. Or at least we were smiling falsely enough.
With my second host family, it just isn't a match and my host mum doesn't really like me in the first place.
I was uncomfortable from the very beginning.
I'm not saying I'm the weak victim here. I did a lot of crappy things too. However as a host family, they tend to feel more superior and yes, you are staying in THEIR home. You MUST beyond their rules. But can't they be a little more flexible, more adjusting with each different student? I'm quiet but my host mother talks pretty loudly comparatively. I'm just saying it as my opinion. Not everyone is the same. Everyone from AFS Japan say you must change yourself 100%. I'm pretty comfortably the way I am. I accept the good and the bad parts of me.
In fact I had a call from a staff member in Tokyo today saying over and over again, "You must PERFORM as a good student'.
In Japan, I didn't get to learn much about Japanese language or perhaps much of culture either since most of the time I had to take myself or ask friends out to experience new things. They don't go out with me unless it was related to AFS.
I didn't 'learn how to give myself a full transformation in a Japanese person'.
What I did learn was Japanese people, way of life and thinking though.
Although I respected and identified it, I didn't want to join it.
Through my experience here, I learnt:
1. Many Japanese person has two sides.
The Public side which is the typical expectations of every single Japanese person to be nice, polite and showing your good side to everyone. You must smile! It is honestly no option. You can even say it isn't a laughing matter of how much you must smile. They might hate your guts but they will smile. However in Private, they do whatever they want, be whoever they be. It is a really contrasting image.
2. They tend to view in stereotypes.
For example, all white foreigners has blond hair, blue eyes and a pointy nose and probably doesn't understand anything. Japanese are immediatly impressed with foreigners saying simple greetings like "Konnichiwa, Watashi wa Tiffany desu".
All the Chinese and Koreans are here to mingle with Japanese society, pretending to be Japanese, kidnapping people to take back to their country.
All the gay people must act like women and be flamboyant and glamourous.
Every one of a specific label are just viewed as this one image, as a group, when everyone is different.
which leads to my next point.
3. They believe in working as a group and not standing out.
People who stand out get trimmed, or displined.
If you try to stand out a bit, you will be told to back down.
This can be shown in my school I guess. Everyone must have black hair, no piercings, and no make-up.
Sure, it is mostly a good thing those rules exist. Sorry, for influencing the youth, tomorrow's future, but aren't rules supposed to be broken and challenge, from time and time again? Teenagers means rebellion. Youths in revolt.
4. In times of need, "Ganbatte".
Ganbatte is a great phrase. To say try your best and go for it.
However, It seems to be a bit over-used.
You have issues? Ganbatte!
You are homesick? Ganbatte!
You arn't picking up much Japanese? Ganbatte!
It's so frustrating when I go and ask for so real advice and suggestions.
I'm not being racist, i'm stating things that I see in a few people around here.
It is just that every country has good and bad parts.
All humans are the same.
We have good and bad personalities.
It's just that with the pristine image projected, Japanese have these high expectations of each other.
I think there is a special japanese mental illness that got to do with that. Something a rather.
Well, I hope you learn a little today.
Comment if you think I'm wrong or not.
Discuss away if you please.