Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008
Wendi Hailey, 28
Editorial assistant (U.S.)
I miss the friendliness of Chicago. People will often acknowledge strangers with a smile or a "good morning," which can mean a lot, especially to someone who is going through a difficult time.
Jeanne Price, 25
English teacher (U.K.)
Everyday life would be so much nicer if people held doors open for each other. When I've opened doors for people here, I've been met with bewilderment or I've been completely unacknowledged.
Financial planner, 45
In Western countries people usually pay for their own drinks, but here we always split the bill evenly at the end of the night. This is really unfair as some people drink a lot more than others.
Dept. store worker
Western people don't worry as much as Japanese do. In general, we think too much and are often nervous when we shouldn't be. We fear making mistakes and lead stressful lives.
Office worker, 34
Westerners focus on their strengths rather than their failures. I really like this way of thinking, because Japanese worry about things they don't do well instead of concentrating on what they are good at.
Parents here push kids to study a lot. I feel that in the West parents want their children to enjoy life and be less competitive. They allow them more freedom and encourage them to grow as individuals.