An ordinary Japanese mom in the US!
After a long interval, I have finally come back here!
Thank you(^o^) for reading this article!
Our family moved to Michigan in the US at the end of July because of my husband's job transfer.
We will be living here for about three years.
The first time we came here, we suffered from the terrible jet lag, especially my children!
My children fell asleep in the early afternoon because it was night time in Japan, and they woke up at night and stayed up all night!
Since I was able to sleep well on the flight, it was terrible that they interrupted my sleep every day.
I had to take a nap every day to compensate for the lack of sleep.
I would like to write about what differences I was surprised by between the US and Japan, after I started living here.
1. The different units of mesure
When I went shopping at the supermarket, I was confused the different units of mesure.
What is lb?
What is oz??
What is gal???
When I bought a bag of cherries, it was $3.99.
I thought it was very cheap because I believed that the price was for a bag of cherries.
But, it wasn't.
The price was per lb.
I ended up buying a bag of cherries for more than 9 dollars!
I don't understand Fahrenheit and mile well, either
They are still confusing to me.
2. The differences in traffic rules
I already passed the American driver's license test, but I was very scared of driving when I started practicing driving.
Because cars drive on the left side in Japan, but it's totally opposite in the US.
I often opened the right side door by mistake to sit on the driver's seat because the driver seat is usually on the right side of a Japanese car.
I often turned on the wiper by mistake when I wanted to turn on the blinkers because their places were totally opposite from Japanese one.
I was always saying "keep right, keep right!" while driving.
I was surprised that we still can turn right even the traffic light is red, if there is no car in the way.
We must wait until traffic lights turn to green in Japan.
I like this rule, it's very efficient.
I also like that highways are free!
But I was surprised and scared that cars drive so fast!
The speed limit on the highway in Michigan is faster than the Japanese one.
3. The days are longer
In summer, the sun sets around 9pm in Michigan.
It's about 7pm in Japan.
My children assumed that they could stay up late during summer.
I understood their feelings, it was too bright to go to bed at 9pm in summer.
But at a result, they couldn't wake up in the morning until after 9am.
I don't think it is a good for them.
4. Various diverse groups of peole
Needless to say, the majority of people living in Japan are Japanese.
Of course, some people are from other countries, but they are still very few, especially in rural areas.
Various kinds of people are living around here.
I realized that the US is a multicultural and ethnically diverse country.
People who live here are used to people who are from other countries.
They never seem to think that I may not be able to speak English.
They talk to me very fast and cheerfully.
Such kinds of small talk don't happen so often in Japan.
I can speak English, but it is often hard for me to catch what they say because they speak too fast.
I would like to improve my English more during our stay.
I would like to write more about the differences, but it would be too long to read.
I will write more about this over time.