CONTRIBUTED BY STACI HAWLEY
After experiencing my fourth year in Japan, I’ve noticed some “blended” cultural nuances, of sorts. Sort of a random hodgepodge of Japan, Base life, and being an American trying to figure it all out. I’ve listed fifteen semi-entertaining quirks that I have noticed about myself while living in Asia. And they certainly don’t make a whole lot of sense to folks stateside (especially in the civilian world).
Picture caption: (Son Sebastian, born in Sasebo, but a blend of it all as well)
Top Ten Reasons you know you were stationed in Japan (or Asia) AND in the military:
1. Your family has at least one ever-so-tacky but delightfully comforting mink blanket.
2. You have patiently explained to those back home more than once “You can use a regular stamp”
3. You find yourself bowing unconsciously instead of saying the ever trite HI!
4. You have bought a dual-time zone clock for your folks back home, set to Okinawa time, yet they still call and say, “Oh…I don’t know what time it is over there in China”.
5. You get a letter from a pal with eight stamps on it, and JAPAN in large letters across the bottom.
6. You find yourself standing erect at the beginning of a movie.
7. Hey, can either of my kids (both born in Japan) be president? Not that I would wish that on them. Curious, nonetheless.
8. You thought you would never choose decor in an “asian theme” and now your living room resembles a Shanghai Hotel Lobby.
9.You wish that the military could insert a barcode under your skin instead of having an ID card. (Well, at least I do and have thought of this on several-lost-id-panic situations).
10. There’s an earthquake somewhere in Asia and everyone thinks you must have felt something.
11. You find yourself lazily writing “textiles” on ALL your customs forms at the post office, while scratching out some random date and signature. Textiles does cover pretty much everything though, right?
12. You sheepishly-shrug (feeling undeserving) in your seat when a young, cute Marine salutes your car.
13. You have no problem dropping 5,000 Yen at dinner. It still doesn’t really seem like fifty bucks to me.
14. You don’t lock your car off base. You do lock your car on base. Sorry if that offends anyone.
15. You can meet all your shopping needs, at 11 PM , at Family Mart. Wouldn’t be caught dead in a 7-11 after dusk, though.
Humor us dear readers. What are some other clues that we’ve all been lucky enough to call this place home?