October 14, 2015
And now for the last of our Japanese related videos from our last trip, here’s a video we shot with Rachel from Rachel And Jun. Woohoo! We’ve hung out a few times before, but we never actually filmed anything together. A couple of weekends ago, though, we were both in Osaka at the same time, so we finally got to filming something. Yay!
It was something we were talking about anyways. I mean, we’ve been living in South Korea for over seven years now. For us to say that it hasn’t changed the people we are, the way we perceive things, would be dishonest. When we first came to Korea we found things bizarrely different, but now they’re normal to us, and when we go elsewhere around the world is when we feel our culture shock as people adjusted to Korea. Sounds weird? It is to us as well.
And I’m sure we’re not the only ones in this boat. Rachel’s in that boat now as well, and so we found it interesting when we started talking about what surprises us when we visit each other’s country of residence. We had a lot to say, so we put it together in a video.
One of the things we didn’t get to talk about here is actually something that happened to me (Simon here) when I was out by myself. The last week we spent in Japan Martina got wicked sick. She’s still recovering from it now, a bad stomach flu, that’s lasted almost 10 days now. While she was sleeping, I didn’t want to just stay at our Airbnb and stare at her. So I went out for walks around Osaka, lots of times. Something that I found that surprised the hell out of me: what is it with Japanese schoolchildren and their love of unicycles? I swear: I walked by an elementary school and saw kids during recess rolling on unicycles, huge entourages of unicycle gangs rolling around the fields. I thought it might have been a gym class activity, but afterwards, when I came back at night, I saw lots of kids in groups on unicycles outside of school. It was bizarre. In all my life, I can say that I saw more unicycles on that day than I had in all of my other days on earth combined.
My biggest problem was that I wanted to share this with people, but how could I? Here’s an older man with a moustache, chilling in the park, and – what – taking videos of kids on unicycles? PERVERTO! No way I was gonna get yelled at for doing something like that. So I just had to ingest the memory, and tell it as a story afterwards. Sorry for not taking videos of it and sharing it here. I didn’t want to be a creeper. But that surprised me, big time: Japanese kids out-unicycle Korean kids a thousand times over.
So that’s it for my story. Check out the differences Martina and Rachel talked about in Rachel’s video as well, here below!
Otherwise, let us know if there are any things that surprise you when you visit other countries that might seem normal to residents of that country. I like having discussions like this with our well-traveled friends. It’s funny how nothing’s normal anywhere. Everything is strange to someone somewhere.