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41 votes

How do I deal with people who can't deal with local payment customs?

I've seen this happen myself, where tourist-friends will completely ignore local customs, and assume that the people they interact with (waitstaff, retail staff, hospitality, etc.) will bend to their ...
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18 votes

How to share a flat with people who don't speak any language I know?

If you're willing to, show interest in their culture. I faced this a few times. At 1st lunch/dinner time opportunity, I usually "share and compare": I show a vegetable, and say the word in my ...
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  • 21.5k
17 votes

How do I deal with people who can't deal with local payment customs?

With businesses where it is a big deal to pay by card then the answer to "is it okay to pay by card" should be no. If the answer is yes then it is only fair for the customer to assume that it is OK to ...
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  • 295
15 votes

How do I deal with people who can't deal with local payment customs?

I also live in Japan and have occasionally had guests who want to pay for a meal by credit card. In this situation I would say to the guest, "ah, you might not be able to pay by card - Japan is a cash-...
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  • 251
12 votes
Accepted

Love Confession by Personally Handing Over Handwritten Letter

Being an introvert is not a problem. I am an introvert. That means that talking with people makes me tired instead of the opposite. While it's true that I became uninterested in other people and quite ...
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  • 2,814
9 votes

How to share a flat with people who don't speak any language I know?

Great question WatermelonLemon, especially considering the cultural difference present in this question. I am a ethnic Chinese who grew up in the USA. Let me help you shed some light on this. I make ...
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  • 664
9 votes

How to deal with situations where Asian girls don't like me (Asian male) but want to talk with White guy I'm with?

You are actively avoiding those girls. Your friend tries to include you in conversation. It has nothing to do with him being white. It has everything to do with you feeling uncomfortable talking to ...
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  • 319
8 votes

How to deal with a runny nose in Japan?

What I did during my trip to Japan (I spent a week there) was to go to the bathroom whenever I had to blow my nose. Ideally, I tried to wait for a time when there were no other people in there. When ...
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8 votes
Accepted

How to establish boundaries with a neighbour who breaches basic privacy?

The cultural differences in your question are a huge influencing factor on any potential solution. It is difficult to tackle a problem interpersonally without any confrontation which you say is ...
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  • 26.9k
8 votes

Should I speak in Japanese or English to the "foreign-looking" kombini employee?

My current strategy: If possible, wait for the clerk to talk first, and use that language (ignoring the いらっしゃいませ salutation that they use anytime the door opens). If I need to talk first, use ...
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  • 1,225
8 votes

Dutch dating etiquette

Ok, so what it looks like is that your challenge is managing expectations from both yourself and the girl regarding dating and relationship progressing. Cultural-wise, the western society is much ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Foreign Friend wants me to go to the hospital with him in order to translate

What it looks like to me is that you have two very valid reasons for not wanting to do this, and what makes this easier is that both of these reasons are obviously reasons that limit your ability to ...
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  • 154
7 votes

Foreign Friend wants me to go to the hospital with him in order to translate

That's what friends are for. For helping each other when in need. It's very easy call each other "friends" as long as nothing really important and demanding happens (to be honest, this request is ...
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  • 1,889
7 votes

How can I convince my girlfriend that relationship and her doctorate is possible?

I want to tell her that, since I am a PostDoc researcher I perfectly unterstand the need to sometimes vanish from all other personal connections and just focus on research. I want to tell her that I ...
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6 votes

Is it appropriate for a non-Japanese person to wear a yukata when going to fireworks?

As Imus has answered earlier, the (modern) expected dresscode for anyone is usually a yukata for summer festivals. This isn't always the case, especially for females, where yukatas can be considered ...
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  • 211
6 votes

Love Confession by Personally Handing Over Handwritten Letter

Being an introvert, you prefer to write how you feel. However, a love letter could make things awkward early in a friendship. You are just friends who haven't been alone with each other yet. You don'...
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  • 7,516
6 votes

How do I deal with people who can't deal with local payment customs?

First of all I do agree that, when we speak about mass-tourism, a little bit of cultural understanding would make the world a better place. What I am about to say may sound very stupid, but in the ...
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5 votes

How do I greet someone when bowing is a common greeting among the people without being disrespectful?

As an American with a strong interest in Japan and Japanese culture I think that you will be fine without bowing. This is second-hand advice, so definitely don't treat it as the final word. Bowing in ...
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  • 16.3k
4 votes

What to do if I find a woman already waiting for an elevator?

雰囲気読めない人 Already gave an excellent answer, but I would just like to say in general if someone is frightened of you and is walking away, the best you can do is go about your business and not engage ...
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  • 3,041
4 votes

How do I deal with people who can't deal with local payment customs?

I would tell them that exactly that way. In America, pointing out changes in customs to visiting colleagues and friends isn't rude, so saying FYI, when dining out, be sure to bring cash as most ...
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  • 141
4 votes

Love Confession by Personally Handing Over Handwritten Letter

First. Don't confess yet to her. You stated yourself that you sometimes hangout and that you are friends. You like her, and with a little luck, she likes you. But that is all. It's not loving. Second....
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4 votes

Love Confession by Personally Handing Over Handwritten Letter

If you have her phone number I would ask her if you can meet to drink something or just talk. If you don't have her phone number try to talk with her when you see her at the train station. Don't ...
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4 votes

Foreign Friend wants me to go to the hospital with him in order to translate

BluePulse's answer already outlines the main points you can use. As you write that you want to keep the friendship, you could offer a compromise. The idea is that you tell him what you can offer - ...
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  • 698
2 votes

Is it appropriate for a non-Japanese person to wear a yukata when going to fireworks?

Starting from the culturally expected dresscode at these kind of events wearing a yukata is the most "normal" thing to do. Just like wearing a black (or really dark) suit to a funeral or a tuxedo to a ...
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  • 5,863
2 votes

“Reserved” seats at crowded food court? (Japan)

On this Kyoto University thread, someone describes what they do in such cases: 4人で席取りしてた奴らの机に「席取り禁止」の三角ポストを4つ置いてやったことはある。 My translation: On a table where 4 seats were "reserved", I placed 4 ...
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  • 1,225

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