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Thread: Does anyone like JET??

  1. #41
    Senior Member Tyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    I agree with most of what you're saying there word, but

    Japanese people are not polite. Western cultural perceptions cause us to interpret many of their behaviors as polite, but, in fact, they're just maintaining their culture of "appearances." Many a clueless ALT has long assumed that s/he was well-liked by many folks around them, completely unaware that they were, in fact, receiving the absolute minimum permissible level of societal acceptance by their coworkers. Japanese people are just like anyone else--there are some nice folks, lots of idiots, a few cool
    people, and a bunch of assholes.
    isn't that was politeness is?
    Even if you think someone is an utter moron you still treat them with respect.
    Being polite and being nice are pretty different imo.

    Life in Japan is not magical fantasy kimono-land. It can be every once and a while, but mostly, life is just mundane and typical--with more kanji, green tea, noodles and such. I think this is the depression that people feel--and I've seen it in quite a few new ALTs. Life in Japan is great--but it's generally not what people expect. They're expecting it to be "special" somehow--and it's not. It's just life. You'll spend the vast majority of your time just doing normal sh*t--working, eating, sleeping, maintaining your household, studying, etc. JET isn't a vacation in awesome anime Japanland; it's a job, like any other, and you'll be living a normal, relatively mundane life, just like you would anywhere else. Yeah, you get to do some cool Japanese sh*t once and a while, but for the most part... it's just like living and working anywhere else.
    Definitely.
    This is kind of the same of a lot of big life changes really. You finish middle school and look set for high school which will be just like on TV, all those beautiful people and parties and adventures!.....no, its just middle school except now you're a dumb midget rather than the man about town. But university! That will be better! .... no it's just high school except people are drunk all the time and everybody seems either very poor or very rich.
    As I said, if life is shit then merely changing your surroundings won't be a cure all.

  2. #42

    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyr View Post
    From a European perspective the challenges we face in Japan are utterly different to those Americans get. Culturally Japan really isn't so crazy to us; the whole modesty about everything, not wanting to say no, etc.... thing isn't too alien to Brits.
    The things I found most difficult to adapt to in Japan- the vastness of the countryside, so much of society being based around the ability to drive absolutely everywhere, 'dating', decentralised towns, etc.... aren't things that would faze most Americans at all.
    I've often felt this but it feels arrogant to say so... but I think it's a fair statement if you do acknowledge that there are equally things about Japan which Americans "get" more than we do. The whole patriotism/enthusiasm/do your best mentality is something that often weirds me out here. But American friends have found it totally normal where I think most British people would be very uncomfortable. On the flip-side I think a lot of the social interactions, the kind you described, are things that are more similar to Euro/British society (though of course not completely) and I've had North American ALTs describe conversations/interactions to me that has really irked them which doesn't seem that strange to me.

    I don't think I've really experience what a lot of people call "culture shock". If anything I felt I prepared for a more extreme situation than i ended up in. People are far less alien in their perspectives than I expected they would be, since I expected beforehand Japan would constantly be forcing me to readjust my viewpoint.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandbear View Post
    Maybe studying abroad would better suit what I'm looking for.
    To be honest it might well be. I really think you need to be someone more than a tourist for JET or at least that's what I'd like to think. I think it's a little disingenuous to come over here with the mission statement of teaching English and exchanging culture and then just kind of show up to the job and otherwise only help themselves. I'm not saying that isn't what plenty of people do and it's definitely possible but if studying abroad is feasible for you it might well serve your needs better as well as giving the JET position to someone who is going to be more dedicated... (ah fuck who am I kidding)

    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Technology is not advanced in Japan--if anything, it is years behind much of the rest of the world--and the gap is increasing. Japan will probably still be using fax machines and floppy drives in ten years--literally. I would not be surprised at all--nor would anyone else who's been here for a while. Technology is outdated, overpriced, mistrusted and wildly misunderstood by much of the population.

    Japanese people are not polite. Western cultural perceptions cause us to interpret many of their behaviors as polite, but, in fact, they're just maintaining their culture of "appearances." Many a clueless ALT has long assumed that s/he was well-liked by many folks around them, completely unaware that they were, in fact, receiving the absolute minimum permissible level of societal acceptance by their coworkers. Japanese people are just like anyone else--there are some nice folks, lots of idiots, a few cool people, and a bunch of assholes.
    Technology is pretty advanced here in certain situations, in other situations it is bogged down by bureaucracy and corruption.

    I really don't agree with the politeness thing. In fact really isn't politeness largely based around appearances? If I genuinely liked someone I wouldn't have a need to be polite as I could just show my genuine feeling without consideration. Whereas disliking or having a problem with someone and not letting your emotions show or affect your working relationship seems pretty sensible and polite to me. Like Tyr said this may well be a cultural thing. I've often felt a lot of unspoken disapproval/discontent with my behaviour as an ALT (some of which I care about, some I don't) but I think I've experienced less than 5 situations where someone has directly addressed/criticised my shortcomings since I got here. Of course I don't know but if being direct in expressing your feelings about someone is "polite" in America then that is a cultural difference you have with more than one country.

    Of course I agree with you that people are people, regardless of culture, are generally either cool dudes or assholes on an individual basis but I absolutely think Japan is more "polite" than most, by which I mean people have a more generally accepted standard of polite behaviour that nearly everyone follows to a far greater extent than most other countries. Of course in specific situations (table manners lol) they have different standards but I would say by and large Japanese people follow their own standards of polite behaviour far more thoroughly than people from my country at least.

  3. #43

    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Technology is not advanced in Japan--if anything, it is years behind much of the rest of the world--and the gap is increasing. Japan will probably still be using fax machines and floppy drives in ten years--literally. I would not be surprised at all--nor would anyone else who's been here for a while. Technology is outdated, overpriced, mistrusted and wildly misunderstood by much of the population.
    It's unevenly applied too. I came to Japan when I was 15 and I was amazed at the selection of Mini-Disc players in Akihabara. They had stores with literally hundreds of models with various features, colors, designs, etc.

    I remember going "Wow, Japan is really the tech capital of the world.........wait..........who the fuck wants a mini-disc player?"

  4. #44
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    @Jiggit and Tyr.

    I really agree with the ideas that Americans and Europeans/Oceania have different approaches to interaction and distance and that it can drastically affect their views here in Japan. I feel that as a Canadian I'm kinda stuck in the middle, coming from a large country, with a concentrated (cities) but spaced out population (Like America, but not as bad), with many beliefs on social interaction and values which come from our old and more entrenched British heritage.

    It's likely why, though I might sound like a totally disgruntled ass hat most of the time, I adapt very well to where I am. It's just like being at home for the most part (I would prefer a slightly different type of social drinking atmosphere, but it's not terrible), where people pretend to be polite, and things just kinda go at their own pace, and yet I am pretty far removed from everywhere but can get to it easily.

    Also I think Jiggit is entirely right about JET. You do need to be more than a language/tourist to do the job. You need to have some investment in teaching, or internationalizing, or integration (as best as you can achieve it), to really succeed at the job in any way. I know a person near by who is very much a tourist here in Japan, and they only planned to stay a year, and right now are really antsy to get out (from what I could tell). The job just doesn't do it for them and I don't think they wanted to experience any more of Japan than the 1 month tourist version. I remember the WORST ALT EVER from last year who was so butt hurt over not getting a "japanese experience", ie not getting all that touristy exchange shit and living in the middle of nowhere, who had multiple mental break downs and was absolutely hated by both ALTs and JTEs. He also didn't have the balls to go home, and abused the entire situation by not working for almost 5 months and still got his free flight out (by that point they paid it just to get rid of him).
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  5. #45

    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Let's not forget that for ugly socially awkward white guys, Japan offers the best chance to actually get with a girl several points above them, be popular, and have friends.

  6. #46
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuroda Ishikawa View Post
    Let's not forget that for ugly socially awkward white guys, Japan offers the best chance to actually get with a girl several points above them, be popular, and have friends.
    If by friends/popular you mean Japanese sycophants who only talk to you because you speak English, then sure!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  7. #47
    Senior Member Tyr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuroda Ishikawa View Post
    Let's not forget that for ugly socially awkward white guys, Japan offers the best chance to actually get with a girl several points above them, be popular, and have friends.
    If you have friends and can get a girl at home (virgins need not apply) and are lucky enough to meet that rarest of things outside of Tokyo, Osaka and the like; a girl (or indeed boy) in her twenties. Then yes, your chances of getting someone a few points about you are better here. The whiteness works to make you exotic and therefore hotter just as being Japanese back home would make the girl hotter there. You can probally make some good friends too, though again this will be hampered by the lack of unicorns/young people who publically socialise, so you won't make quite so many as you could at home.
    Those who are total social retards at home won't find things particularly better in Japan.
    Last edited by Tyr; April 25th, 2013 at 12:33.

  8. #48
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    On politeness, maybe it's a regional thing but I agree completely with word on that matter. Japanese people are horribly rude, and that's judging them by their own standards.
    And I'm getting the feeling some people don't understand American culture as well as they think they do.

  9. #49
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Saitama people are horrifically rude. The whole prefecture is like something from escape from New York.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  10. #50

    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyr View Post
    Those who are total social retards at home won't find things particularly better in Japan.
    I dunno man, I saw a lot of social retards who did far better in Japan than I imagine they did back home. Forced friendships, guilt-invites to group events, co-workers too polite to tell them to fuck off, and a language barrier to disguise social awkwardness seemed to help them out a lot. Plus the rare encounter with a Japanese girl who doesn't know better.

  11. #51
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Saitama people are horrifically rude. The whole prefecture is like something from escape from New York.
    That's the most accurate description of Saitama I've ever seen. I fit in so well here.

  12. #52

    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Quote Originally Posted by mothy View Post
    And I'm getting the feeling some people don't understand American culture as well as they think they do.
    Oh yeah, I'm pretty ignorant and I probably shouldn't venture my opinion but I was trying to speak purely from shared anecdotes, online and with actual friends. So not really very good evidence either way. Doesn't help that the vast majority of JETs are American either.

    But on the other hand I do think it is a pretty important factor that is largely ignored. Anglophone countries are very similar but they aren't as identical as we sometimes assume.

  13. #53
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    American culture isn't even one unified thing. Someone moving from New York City to rural Texas can get culture shock like they would moving to another country.

  14. #54
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    They also could get shot.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  15. #55
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    That only depends on their answer to "What church do you go to?"

  16. #56

    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Quote Originally Posted by coop52 View Post
    American culture isn't even one unified thing. Someone moving from New York City to rural Texas can get culture shock like they would moving to another country.
    This is true of every country though.

  17. #57

    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Oh yea, I just remembered another wonderful example of Japanese technological superiority; the embassy webpages.

    Here's the US one: http://www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/JET/

    Holy fuck, that webpage.

    The UK one is sweet too : http://www.jet-uk.org/

    Meanwhile it looks like someone in Canada actually hired a webpage designer: http://www.jetprogramme.ca/

  18. #58
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    The Canadian JET Coordinator last year was married to a web designer who was the head of the Ottawa AJET group. She got him to make the site if memory serves :P
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  19. #59
    Member dvac002's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    Isn't it quite ironic how many people that want to do JET talk about breaking misconceptions and tearing down stereotypes yet go to Japan with a shitload of misconceptions and stereotypes.

  20. #60
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone like JET??

    I've never heard a JET talk about that.
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