Before I receive any complaints or criticism for this post, allow me to state that I will only be discussing things I felt negatively about while in Canada. Though there are ways I wish Japan was more similar to Canada, this will not be that post. Also, I included Canada in the title, but I will mainly be referring to Toronto, ON and Campbellton, NB (the places I spent most of my time in July–August). When I speak of Japan, I’m mainly referring to major cities like Ōsaka, Nagoya and Tōkyō.
Raise the anchors!
High Sense of Entitlement
Some people really think they deserve the best of everything, though they don’t put in any work, effort nor show respect to others.
I’ve seen some really gross table manners. I’ve always been disgusted by people who lick their fingers during meals. Leaning with your elbows on the table? Don’t like it. Keeping your free hand under the table while you eat? Ditto. Though many “westerners” cringe at the idea of Japanese slurping noodles, it’s not as bad as you think. It’s okay to make some noise when you eat noodles, but you don’t have to imitate a Hoover shop vac.
Unprofessional Service Industry Workers
I have problems with tipping. I really believe tipping should be included in the price, and good service should be expected. In some stores, on several occasions, I had to interrupt staff from their Skype video chat and phone calls with friends to be served. “When you’re done updating your Facebook status, could you find me a size 9 in this shoe, please?” Though some like this, I don’t like it when store clerks follow me around like a puppy.
Goods & Food Expensive; Quality Lacking
Food can be very expensive in Japan. Some restaurants will have meals that range well above 10,000 yen (approx. 100 dollars), but in my experience, the quality and service is always great (only to be disturbed by morons smoking near my table). But, you can also get very decent, appealing and healthy meals for under 1,000 yen (approx. 10 dollars) with no need of tipping; 500 yen is not rare either. In Canada it’s more expensive. And just because you’re paying more does not mean the quality is there. The Japanese are passionate about food. Most Canadians don’t share this passion.
I ate out at quite a few places while in Canada. My best experience was at a classy sports bar in downtown Toronto. It was my friend’s treat. Free food always tastes better!
I also talked to a few Europeans who immigrated to Canada. Several complained about the quality of tools. “Even if you pay a lot, most of the tools break or don’t work properly. I never had this problem back in Scotland.” I’ve felt this way about a lot of things, too. A lot of things seem to be designed cheaply without intention of long-term use.
Younger Generations Represent Bigger Portion of Population
In Canada you can see many adolescents and young adults roaming the streets and if you go to a park you can find hoards of kids. Japan is not quite so, but it may be due to the busy schedules that these demographics have. Also, Japanese seniors are usually healthy and have free-time, unlike younger demographics, so maybe that’s why it’s not rare to be surrounded by people over 60 on a train or in a restaurant.
- Though English and French are the official languages, in bigger cities like Toronto and Montreal, you may not hear them often.
- The price of many goods has risen greatly in the last ten years, though not so much in Japan. Shopping in Canada used to be cheaper.
- Many girls are wonderfully beautiful until they hit a certain age, sometime in their twenties, when their looks take a turn for the worst. (I blame diet.)
- Though the average girl is not as attractive as the average in Japan, those who are attractive are knockouts!
- People are generally content and like to chat with strangers. (I must appear aloof.)
- Many love to debate even on topics they are completely ignorant to.
It’s interesting to note the differences between this post and a similar post I did at the end of 2006, Comparing Canada & Japan.