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Life in Japan, real or not?!

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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby vkladchik » Thu 08.21.2008 8:21 am

Harisenbon wrote:Anyhow, sorry to get a little worked up about it. I've put up with year after year of JETs coming here and complaining about the powerlines. Then they get shipped to someplace without powerlines and complain how they don't have electricity.


What's worse is the common JET panic that "there's no fluoride in Japanese toothpaste!!!" and the next week the Japanese postal service is delivering hundreds of tubes of Colgate to petrified JETs all over the prefecture.

Or how about JETs' reaction in the face of the commonly held Japanese belief that washing clothes in cold water helps them last longer and gets them just as clean as hot-water washing? I have never seen sane people so easily raised to a fever pitch of national pride than JETs when defending asinine things like hot-water clotheswashers. You'd think they were fighting for human rights. :roll:

So don't tell me about JETs, alright? I spent three years as one avoiding every single other one in my prefecture. :?

About the power lines, I neither said there are none in the US, nor that there are no places without them in Japan. However, there are definitely more in Japan, and if you ask Japanese people, it is a common complaint. The only place they seem to bury them is in the centers of big cities, and they are particularly prevalent in residential areas (although since there's no zoning, there's really no such thing as a "residential area" like there is in the US). Now, this may be changing. I've been out of the country for almost seven years. If so, I'm glad, because nobody likes power lines.

Either way, I'd like to think that my other posts have given at least an indication that I'm not totally ignorant about Japan or prejudiced against the place, so if I complain about it, you don't need to jump to its defense. It's a big country. It can take care of itself. 8)
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 08.21.2008 8:36 am

I'm going to have to say that both of your complaining about JETs comes off as incredibly stuck-up. There's no reason to take this attitude of "this is MY Japan, not yours" or the high-horse belief that you've figured out Japan while nobody else has. Personally I found those type of people far more annoying than the naive or clueless JETs.
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby hyperconjugated » Thu 08.21.2008 9:25 am

Harisenbon wrote:
vkladchik wrote:And the goddamn power lines!!! Argh!!


Yeah, powerlines...

Have you guys visited Tijuana, Mexico? I saw some of the most outlandish power line spidernets there, example:Image
...and that was not the worst!
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby vkladchik » Thu 08.21.2008 11:03 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:I'm going to have to say that both of your complaining about JETs comes off as incredibly stuck-up. There's no reason to take this attitude of "this is MY Japan, not yours" or the high-horse belief that you've figured out Japan while nobody else has. Personally I found those type of people far more annoying than the naive or clueless JETs.


Thank you! I've always argued that actual fact-based knowledge doesn't deserve more "respect" than ignorance-based prejudice. I mean, who's the jerk that decided that actually knowing things is better than just believing what you want? How insensitive!
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 08.21.2008 11:20 am

Being right and being an asshole are not mutually exclusive.

Looking down on JETs for not knowing a lot about Japan is a lot like experienced Japanese people belittling beginners because they don't know a lot of Japanese. Of course JETs aren't going to be as savvy as someone who has lived there for a long time. JET is by nature a short-term program that attracts people who haven't been to Japan before. But this whole nose-in-the-air "I don't associate with *JETs*" is silly.

It smacks of self-perceived membership in some exclusive club, that you can only gain access to by proving that you're not one of "them". I see the same thing out of people that never miss an opportunity to insult and belittle people who study Japanese because of anime or manga, not so much because of personal offense but because they feel like they have to distance themselves from such people to make sure they are perceived as belonging to the "real Japanese studiers" club.
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby two_heads_talking » Thu 08.21.2008 12:06 pm

hyperconjugated wrote:
Harisenbon wrote:
vkladchik wrote:And the goddamn power lines!!! Argh!!


Yeah, powerlines...

Have you guys visited Tijuana, Mexico? I saw some of the most outlandish power line spidernets there, example:Image
...and that was not the worst!


I've been to Tijuana, and Nogales too. both places look like spider's webs.. I sometimes wondered how often lines got crossed..
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby vkladchik » Thu 08.21.2008 1:27 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:But this whole nose-in-the-air "I don't associate with *JETs*" is silly.


Call me arrogant if you want, but I went to Japan to be with Japanese people, not JETs, who tend to serve out their time in Japan in such insulated groups that you have to create one of those Melrose Place "who's f**ed who" charts just to figure out who the newcomers are. :evil:

Listen, JETs aren't all bad, but they can be clueless and (often, therefore) prejudiced about Japan. Some deploy the tried-and-true culture-shock coping strategy of pissing all over Japan (as Harisenbon mentioned), and it's pretty irritating. If someone is clueless and willing to learn, then they're okay in my book. Most people tend to adopt a very defensive stance when confronted with their own ignorance, however.

Either way, you shouldn't take everything I say too seriously. I'm just an old blowhard, without much to say. :cry:

I don't even know how to use smileys. :arrow: :!: :arrow: :?:
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 08.21.2008 2:55 pm

vkladchik wrote:Call me arrogant if you want, but I went to Japan to be with Japanese people, not JETs, who tend to serve out their time in Japan in such insulated groups


Going to Japan and avoiding all foreigners, and going to Japan and associating only with foreigners, are two sides of the same coin.

Listen, JETs aren't all bad, but they can be clueless and (often, therefore) prejudiced about Japan. Some deploy the tried-and-true culture-shock coping strategy of pissing all over Japan (as Harisenbon mentioned), and it's pretty irritating.


I find the "annoying idealist" stereotype much more annoying; the people (I'm not saying you're one) who are completely unwilling to grant that there's even the least thing wrong with Japan.
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby Harisenbon » Thu 08.21.2008 8:07 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:I'm going to have to say that both of your complaining about JETs comes off as incredibly stuck-up.


I'm curious about this "both of you" thing. Complaining about JETs is not the same as "complaining about JETs who complain about Japan." I have many JET friends. Some who can speak Japanese, and some who can't. Some who love Japan, and some who don't. The kind of people that are NOT included in my friends are those JETs (or foreigners, or just PEOPLE) who come to Japan and then proceed to complain about the fact that things are different here for their entire stay.

I have nothing against JETs. Nothing against people who don't know about Japan. Nothing against people who don't know Japanese. I have a penchant about people who come to a foreign country and then complain that it's not just like their country.

I find the "annoying idealist" stereotype much more annoying; the people (I'm not saying you're one) who are completely unwilling to grant that there's even the least thing wrong with Japan.


I find the annoying idealists obnoxious as well, but I also find that their are a lot of people who assume there are problems with Japan just because its way of doing things is different than what they're used to. And that anyone who says that "that's just the way it is" is labeled as an annoying idealist.

To me, the things foreigners usually complain about in Japan (powerlines, toilets, showers, cleaning ears at work, people not saying what they mean) are not the problems with Japan that people should be worrying about.
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby chikara » Thu 08.21.2008 8:35 pm

Harisenbon wrote:
chikara wrote:Are you trying to say that the US has as many above-ground power lines as Japan? You need to see more of the country...
......
I did not :?
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby Harisenbon » Thu 08.21.2008 9:28 pm

chikara wrote:
Harisenbon wrote:
chikara wrote:Are you trying to say that the US has as many above-ground power lines as Japan? You need to see more of the country...
......
I did not :?


That is absolutely bizzare... Will fix!
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby BrianM » Thu 08.21.2008 10:24 pm

The power line issue is a bad one in most countries. In my town in Portugal there is an issue with this mini mall they built. The power line is barely 10 feet above a cafe, dameyo. Here in America we have a bunch of power lines, and when I traveled 9 cities of Japan I found more that seemed to be entangled.

Btw, who cares which country has more power lines :-\
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby vkladchik » Fri 08.22.2008 12:49 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:Going to Japan and avoiding all foreigners, and going to Japan and associating only with foreigners, are two sides of the same coin.


Yeah, opposite sides. I can't fathom how you'd think they're related. I'd like to hear your explanation.

I find the "annoying idealist" stereotype much more annoying; the people (I'm not saying you're one) who are completely unwilling to grant that there's even the least thing wrong with Japan.


I might point out that this whole thing started with me complaining about the power lines in Japan...

What I don't understand is why there's so much posturing going on around here? (You'd think this was a yoga class or something. *cymbal shot*) I said the power lines in Japan were a problem, and Harisenbon throws pictures of power lines in the US back at me. What's the connection? Maybe Harisenbon is battle-weary from defending Japan against ignorant JETs (which he has now done an about-face on), but all I said was that Japan ought to bury its power lines. Maybe there's a geological reason they don't. I'm all ears. But to turn this into an international pissing contest is really, well, boring. We don't need to prove anything to each other, do we?
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby chikara » Fri 08.22.2008 1:03 am

vkladchik wrote:.... all I said was that Japan ought to bury its power lines. Maybe there's a geological reason they don't. ....

I suspect it's more likely to be an economic reason.

Why should Japan bury its power lines anyway? For ascetic reasons? Or is there some benefit to buried power lines (which requires more copper) that I am unaware of?

Not meaning to posture I simply interested in your reasoning. :)
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Re: Life in Japan, real or not?!

Postby BrianM » Fri 08.22.2008 1:13 am

chikara wrote:
vkladchik wrote:.... all I said was that Japan ought to bury its power lines. Maybe there's a geological reason they don't. ....

I suspect it's more likely to be an economic reason.

Why should Japan bury its power lines anyway? For ascetic reasons? Or is there some benefit to buried power lines (which requires more copper) that I am unaware of?

Not meaning to posture I simply interested in your reasoning. :)


Very bored....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_p ... ansmission love wiki:)
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