Iffat from Pakistan:
When I first came to Japan, my tutor was the one who received me. Since it was my first
time, I didn’t know about much of the etiquettes.
I came during winters so the first thing on my mind was purchasing duvets and
comforters. While going to the store, I was randomly moving on the escalator towards
either left or right without realizing that there are some rules. The tutor accepted my
initial trials of going up and down through some floors but as one of the lady was in
hurry to pass through the escalator he told me to walk pass the lady. It was when I
realized that if I must stand on the escalator, I should stand towards left side. The kind
tutor helped me in purchasing the most essential things for my first day.
With my tutor, we also had dinner at one of the restaurants after doing some shopping. I
was not able to find the spoons and asked my tutor. This is when I realized they were
always kept in a box. There are even times now after one year in Japan that I forget
spoons are kept in boxes. In my home country, spoons, forks, knives etc. are either
already present on the table openly or be served on the plate right before the meal.
I also have to pass my TOEFL test as part of an entrance exam in the university soon
after my arrival. Those were some of the scary days as the test center was close to
Shinjuku. Shinjuku station is one of the biggest train stations and finding the right train
even seems to be difficult for some of the Japanese. It is noteworthy here to mention
that on my second day I already lost my way once on the Shibuya station where station
police helped me to get to my home. I was not good at reading Google maps.
For the TOEFL test, I requested one of my international friends who have been in Japan
since long to give me a trail visit to the test center before two days of the test. I took
pictures of all the routes and exits. Anyhow, I was still not so much confident 😛
Hence, due to my confused state of mind, one of a very kind Japanese women assisted
me to the test center on the day of my test. I still remember her kindness and I must say
that I was lucky enough to find some very supportive friends.