Monday, October 24, 2011
I'm afraid of Americans!
1 Is he/she a drunk?
2 Is he/she a lunatic?
3 What the hell does this person want from me?
4 Is it a foreigner that doesn't understand how things work here?
Even though I have lived over ten years in exile here in Japan now, it's very hard to change how my mind works and it doesn't help that Japan isn't a particularly outgoing country either. So coming to the US where everyone is overly social (particularly those who rely on tip...) means that my mind constantly has to go through the above thought process only to deliver the answer "You are now in the US, the thought process you initiated is not compatible here".
The constant talking, chatting and socializing I have to go through in the US is mentally exhausting... In Sweden you can easily go through a whole day without talking to anyone apart from the minimum necessary exchange of words when shopping or so, while in the US I find myself having to engage each and every person I meet in small talk knowing that don't really care at all; they're just doing it because it's the thing that you're supposed to do. Not to mention how paranoid I get when in restaurants and can't shake the thoughts "this waitress is probably a major bitch just pretending to be nice to milk some tip out of me"... After a few days of this, I find myself drained of energy, but still, it's a nice place to visit and the problem is at least not that the people aren't friendly...