My first impression of Japan after three years in the UK (4)

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Jul 22, 2012 19:01

One odd feeling I experienced while I was in Japan was that the UK disappeared within a week into an imaginary world.

Although I spent almost three years in the UK and spoke in English to my colleagues every day, I felt like the whole thing was a mere fairytale and people I'm working with don't really exist. It was odd, but quite a strong sensation.

When travelled to New York, Paris or Athens, I didn't experienced such feeling. So I concluded that the odd feeling told me that I was totally outside the Western World. Given that now we live in the internet era, this was quite impressive.

You can get virtually any information from anywhere in the world via the internet, and you'd feel that now you've defeated geographical distances and language barriers. But I call this "an internet deception". There is still very deep gaps between cultures in reality. These gaps are invisible; You can't see them as numbers or pictures. But they really do exist. If you travel to Japan, you could 'sense' it.

To tell how far Japan and the UK are apart, I can give you an example. Although, virtually, everybody knows American people speak English, whereas quite a good number of people don't know what language English people speak (I know some examples), which I guess could be rather shocking to English people.

In my impression, it would be extremely difficult for most people in Japan to speak English fluently, a language of an almost imaginary country for them.






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