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Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2004


Having any trouble in your crosscultural relationship?

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Masako Iwamoto
Translator, 29

Every time we stop at traffic signals, he tries to walk across when there are no cars, but even though there are no cars, we should follow the sign. Japan is the land of patience.

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Dan Castore
Journalist, 27

Some things I don't find a big deal, she gets annoyed about. Once, there was no food allowed inside a convention we were at, and I was drinking. She got upset. But America is the land of impatience.

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Fumika Abiko
Office Worker, 28

Sometimes he says bad words in public because he has picked it up off his friends without knowing the polite Japanese word, like "geroda" which is slang for vomit.

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Patrick Jonseher
Student, 26

I'm German, she's Japanese, so sometimes communicating in English is difficult, because we're not fluent. She doesn't have much time, so when she does and I have plans it can be difficult to explain.

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Shiho Ota
Govt. Worker, 26

When he talks with his friends about politics they can get really loud. It makes me a bit nervous, like they might attack me.

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Brian McGuinness
Teacher, 30

A lot of the miscommunication is cultural. I'm always late, for example. 4:30 for me actually means 4:40, but for her it means 4:20. I always have the best intentions, but for me, turning up somewhere a couple of minutes late is normal and she doesn't like it.

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Reina Williams
Mother, 31

The first time he came to Japan to meet my family, he forgot to take his shoes off in my parent's house. He walked halfway down the hallway when my parents just froze and pointed at his shoes.

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Gareth Williams
Golfer, 32

When Reina lived in England, she always said "itadakimasu" before she ate, even at my family's house. Now they say it all the time, even when we're not there.

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Tomoko Schwartz
Office Worker, 25

Love is something you feel, not something you say. That's something I had to say to him. If you talk about it too much, I think it cheapens it. Now he agrees.

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Ben Schwartz
Teacher, 32

When I come home after work, I'm full of stories that I want to tell her and talk about with her, but she really just wants some peace and quiet after work. She says I disturb the natural harmony of the house, the "wa."

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